...a beginners look at touring. (Bear with me on this, it's my first ever ride report and first long trip) And of course, my first attempt at posting this failed. That may explain some odd things below.. It all began last Wednesday at work, walking around wondering what to do this weekend.. After checking out the weather report for the days to come, I decided to ask someone to join me down south for a couple of days. Hours later, that problem had solved itself when a friend told me we should go Amsterdam for the weekend. Since this was my first real touring trip down to Europe from Sweden, I had no real clue what things would actually cost. We were planning on leaving around noon, Friday the 29/5 with a stopover in Germany. And heading for home again on sunday, with a over night break at a hotel in Hamburg or Lübeck. That was the PLAN. Somehow, I had estimated the whole trip with fuel and hotel would cost me around 350 euros. I was riding my BMW R1200 GSA, and my "wingman" came along with his Triumph Street Triple R. Two days later, it was Friday and time to go: *** Friday *** The day before my riding pal had just gotten his tank and other details back from the paint shop for his almost brand new Triumph Street Triple R. So we had a little preparation on his bike before leaving. We had to go out and buy some mounts for his new mirrors, and search every place possible for a headset for our Cobra RF radios. Since his bike was fresh out of the paint shop we didn't think putting a bag ontop of the tank was such a good idea at that time - so all luggage went on the GS. We managed to solve everything, but a couple of hours had passed while jerking around different shops in summer heat and full gear. The whole trip from Linköping to Malmö (420 km) was more or less testing grounds for getting the intercom working properly with volume and placement of micro-/headphones. First stop to refuel.. On the way over the Denmark we had to pass the Öresundsbridge, costing us around 22 euros each for just passing over to Copenhagen. We were keeping a good pace, averaging 120-140 kph. I remember the sun being placed "Kodak moment" perfectly between the bridges' enormous towers. At this point we had not taken many photos at all, because we were eager to go places - fast! Taking our first piss on Danish soil. Preparing to leave for the last leg of Denmark. An hour or so pass while cruising through Denmark to Rødbyhavn, for the ferry crossing to Puttgarden in Germany. Crossing to Germany on ferry did cost us somewhere around 40 euros each. Up till now we had refueled 3 times since the Triumph only has a range of around 200 km. Me, on the other hand could go double that distance since boasting the large 33 litre Adventure tank. Average cost at every petrol station stop ended up at 25 euros. The feeling of being the mothership with all the gear and supplies held me back from playing around too much. Taking the ferry only took about an hour, but at that time the sun had disappeared completly, and another problem arose. My wingman remembered only to bring his tinted daytime visor for his helmet, so; snailing along at 80 kph (riding with open visor) and praying that no animals decided to cross the road in front of us we slowly made it to Lübeck. By this time, we were beat up and tired from riding all day without real food or rest. Neither of us had any water and only drank several energy drinks during the day. In all the exitement of being in Germany we forgot to bring cash, and of course we ended up in a highway toll booth and getting the magic words spoken "Only cash". In the middle of the night, without money. With no clue where the hell we were supposted to go.. After some delibirations, the nice man in the booth asked for my credit card and was able (?!) to extract some money from it. We asked for directions to a cheap hotel but at that mental state nothing he said besides "goodbye" stuck in my mind. We knew that we were in Lübeck, but at 02:00 AM a saturday morning the whole town slept. After some 30 minutes or so, we found a Scandic Hotel. But they wanted over 200 euros for a room with two beds for the night. Luckily, at the same time. Another swede showed up in his car, with the same problem. He was searching for a cheap hotel for the night. But didn't find anything open at that hour. It was beginning to feel like an adventure! Minutes passed until we finally managed to wave down a taxi and asked him to drive in front of us to a nearby hotel. And yes, the taxi driver delivered! Finally we had a place to sleep!! The other swede, from Gothenburg in Sweden was a real hoot. His english was somewhat limited, but worked hilarously great at the moment. While taking care of the payment at the lobby, he told the receptionist that he was in Germany to watch his son do some "pole jumping" the next day. Those words, combined with the fact we were going to see "pole dancers" the next day in Amsterdam cracked me up inside. Last order of the day, battling with the foot odour from my wingmans boots, we hit the beds.. At last, maybe 03:30 AM we turned off the lights. But I didn't get any sleep for maybe an hour later due to excessive Red Bull intake during the day. (Felt like the Benny Hill theme was looping endlessly in my mind, not allowing the brain to slow down and sleep) :huh More to come in my next post!