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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Doogle, May 13, 2019.
One of us is usually gone. We will meet again. Maybe when you retire.
Staying at the same great apartment. We were winning the tournament when I left. Too tired to stay and too many clothes to wash for tomorrows games. A picture of my shirts drying in the locker room at the tennis complex.
I drank a lot of water today. But I'm still plagued with leg cramps tonight.
Last night I looked for a pharmacy to buy some New Skin. All pharmacies were closed. Desperate for something to protect my chafed chest today, I considered anything that might work. I had Shoe Goo packed with my tools. I dabbed a little on and let it dry. No problems today.
July 13, 2019 Essen Germany 4 miles
Last night was tough sleep. I'd wake up every couple hours with leg cramps. I struggled out of bed and walked back and forth for about 10 minutes unit my hams loosened up. I'd get back in bed and sometimes move the wrong direction and set them off again. But I survived.
I was at the German Open Pickleball Championship from 8 am till 7 pm. They don't know how to run a tournament yet. I played 2 games early on. Then waited 7 hours to play again. I hope tomorrow goes better. I need to pack everything tonight, because I will be riding towards Poland as soon as the tournament is over. This trip is winding down and soon I can sleep long and have my recliner naps again. I miss them. I may find a bar tonight and have a farewell beer. Or 2.
What an amazing trip and an awesome ride report.
Than you for sharing your adventures.
July 14, 2019 Heilbad Heiligenstadt, Germany Nordduetscher Bund (hotel) $69 190 miles
Lights were out at midnight. I slept till 5 am. Could barely get out of bed with right hip pain. I'm not tournament ready. It got better the more I limped around. It was painful carrying my luggage down to the bike.
By the time I got to the tennis complex I had improved enough to play. After playing 5 matches, we were eliminated from competition. At 5 pm I was back on the road heading to Poland. I'm a few miles off the highway. But I was tired and cold. This is a small, very German looking town. A man just told me this town was part of East German.
The breakfast room.
That town looks very similar to Leavenworth, Washington.
the town looks deserted....
regardless, still here for the ride.
July 15, 2019 433 miles- trip total 6328 mile
Went to bed at 1 am. Planned to sleep till breakfast at 7. Hip pains woke me up at 5 and I couldn't go back to sleep. So I did some rough flight packing. They had a great breakfast. And I was on the road before 9. It was another cool day. I saw some church spires on the horizon and decided to stop for a while. Bautzen, Germany. I've been here before. It's a large town with a lot to see. It seems more touristy than before.
I didn't buy parking because I didn't have time for a long stop. Most pictures were taken from my motorcycle. And I can't put identify names on any.
View attachment 1786864
When I dropped the bike off at Abacus, the man was amazed that I put over 10,000 kilometers on it. He looked up train and bus rides for me. The bus was cheaper and faster. And it left in about an hour. Then he called Uber for me. What great service.
20 minutes later I'm at the bus station. They have a grocery store there. Trying to use my last Polish money, I went in and bought water, candy, pastries. I wanted something for the 5 hour ride to Prague. I spent half of the money. Didn't have room to carry much. I guess I thought I didn't have room for the water, because it went missing some how. My hip couldn't make it back up the steps with all the luggage to buy another bottle.
I'm a little early for my bus. The electronic sign says Station 8, #1300 to Prague 17:35. Where's my bus? I happen to look at Station 9 and see 1300 on its windshield. I was the last person to put luggage in. 4 minutes later we pull out.
The bus ride through Poland was flat and boring. Soon after getting in to the Czech Republic it had hills and curvy roads. All back roads with many nice looking hotels.
At 1030 pm the bus arrived in Prague. From there I had to take 2 train rides and a bus to get to the airport. Now it is almost 1230. The 2 hotels close by were full. So I'm sitting in the lobby of the airport.I was lucky they had carts for luggage. I can't carry my drybag. It's too heavy for my hip. I've been taking 2 steps, then swinging the bag forward with my arm. I'm surprised the bottom hasn't worn through yet.
I wanted to sleep here for a while. But security just woke up 2 guys sleeping across from me and made them move on.
I feel for ya, man. Been in similar travel situations. Hang in there, you'll be back to the old comforts of the USA in a day or two. Keep the updates going...it's been fun following along.
Thanks for following. I hope to post pictures of my feet hanging out over Preikstolen when I undelete my card. I probably won't wake up for a couple days after getting home. Wish I had a video of me hobbling around the airport. I think I'll ask to board with the babies and cripples. I could really delay a flight.
July 16, 2019 Prague Airport
27 hours after last sleeping, I went to try the self check in. It asked if I wanted to upgrade to first class for $43. I wanted to upgrade anyway to have more room for my bad hip movements. $43 ??? Is this an April Fools joke? I filled in everything and put my credit card in. All done? Then it says this option not available anymore.
When I went to the luggage drop off, I asked the agent about an upgrade. They said $43 also. Here's my card. 15 minutes later and many agent calls they said no again. But for $1500 they can make it happen. They could ship me in a coffin before I would do that. But the 2 agents did try their best. They changed my self check in seats to a front row aisle seat. Then they had a young man come with a wheelchair. Other than realizing I'm officially an old old man, it was exactly what I needed. He wheeled me through security, even with my water bottle. He only slowed down long enough to let them see my passport. IF my hip gets better, I may start faking this.
He took me to the gate, then said maybe I would rather be in the restaurant. That's good. He said he would come back in time to help me board. He may be better than an alarm clock. I've got an hour till lift off. And I'm ready.
July 17, 2019 Home again
The last 2 days were pure misery. Walking, standing or turning my right leg caused much pain. The Prague Airport was great helping me. My flight to Philadelphia seemed to never end. I managed to doze off a couple times for a short time. But the flight was over 8 hours. When I got to Philadelphia the wheel chair I requested was not there. Then I had a 4 hour wait for my flight to Dayton. And again, when it was time to board the plane, American Airlines didn't have a wheel chair for me. On the plane I found I was not seated at the requested place. They said I would be at the bulkhead aisle, where I would have extra leg room. I was a row back from there. I watched the small screen videos while flying to Dayton. I watched the news, which I hadn't seen for 7 weeks. I don't care what political party you affiliate with. But I think the one sided totally anti Trump, story after story is wrong. Unbelievable stories. (Un)American Airlines will not be my flight choice again unless their prices are significantly cheaper. When I landed at Dayton, I expected a wheelchair to be waiting for me. I told the stewardess before we landed. Once the request was made in Prague, it is passed forward for other flights. I hobbled off the plane, almost last. There was a wheelchair there. And a woman was sitting in it. A man brought another wheelchair up and left it folded. I asked if it was for me. He said "yes". But he was the only person there to push 2 wheelchairs. That could have been a mishap. When we got to baggage claim, he pushed the other woman off somewhere else. I never saw him again. My wife found my luggage and put it on my lap. Then she pushed me out to the curb. Thanks again, American Airlines. That information may bore you. But it makes me feel better writing it down.
This morning, I feel better than I have in 5 days. I can walk without too much limp. And I go to my doctor in 1 hour to see what he thinks. I recovered pictures from June 28 at Preikstolen, Norway. I will edit them in to that post. And I will post some here also.
Hanging 10 again.
Douglas we thank you for the beautiful story s .It felt like we made the trip ourselves.
Good to hear you are at home. Wish you al the best with your hip. And thank you that you visit us.
Greatings from Drina and Cor
I wish I had more time. I would like to have gone and said good bye again to Drina and Corr. Tonight I was talking to my son. I told him I hope he can meet all of you and Niek. He loved our trip to Europe last year and would like to return sometime. Maybe another generation of Lear's will visit you. For me, it is always a history lesson when I visit your family.
Riding in northern Europe:
It takes getting used to, but the drivers are very courteous. Horns are seldom used. Turn signals are use for lane changes.Drivers don't meander in the left lane. If someone is behind them, they get over so they can pass. Trucks aren't overloaded and can keep up with traffic. But their legal speed limit is sometimes lower. I only recall seeing 1 tire carcass on the road shoulder. Speed limits are obeyed more often. Cameras with speed averaging between points put some fear into drivers. There was almost no road kill. Maybe because they cleanup instantly rather than waiting until a deer is flattened to the size of a pancake.
What I carried with me:
I had a medium size backpack and a 55 liter drybag. It was a little tight, but would have been perfect if I hadn't pack some unnecessary things. I didn't need my heated vest and the wiring and switches to hook into the battery. I always used GPS's in the past. Both of mine had problems early on. I used my Motorola G6 phone exclusively after a few days. And I had a recently replaced Samsung phone as a backup. I didn't have a SIMM card for phone service in Europe. It would have been nice a few times. But using WiFi worked well enough. I had several extra shirts, socks, a pair of gym shoes, and a pickleball paddle for the tournament I played in. Not things most people carry on a motorcycle trip. I took a small and large battery pack. Never used the large/heavy one. But it might have been needed.
Where I went:
Tallinn, Estonia could have been a several day visit, even though I'd been there before. Not knowing what I might find in Norway and how much time I would need there, I focused on getting there. The top of Europe, NordCapp, was a destination to check off of my list. I didn't expect much there. It's like crossing the equator. If there wasn't a sign somewhere, or a globe mounted on a base, you'd never know. I didn't find anything in Finland that would slow me down from reaching NordCapp. Maybe I didn't look hard enough. But Norway was my mission for sites. Norway is sparsely populated and nice riding. The first hundred ferry rides were a nice change. Then they were just a chance to stretch my legs and look at the route coming up. Southwest Norway was the best. Only better because they had the 3 famous rock formations requiring hiking. Denmark was flat and boring. Copenhagen is a great city. But it was too far off route. I stumbled on to several old German towns. I kept telling myself I was going to come back here sometime. Visiting my friends in The Netherlands is always good.
Where I stayed:
The night before I left for Europe I decided I had too much to carry. I ditched my camping gear. I found lodging with Booking.com and hotels on my map programs. Several times places were full. But I always found a place. While riding with the 2 guys from Poland, I discovered camping isn't always the way we think it is. Usually they have cabins or rooms also. Nice lodging many nights for me. A lot of places require you to use your own linens. Or you buy or rent from them. I used a silk sleeping bag liner I brought. Sleeping in Finland and Norway in June can be confusing. It never gets dark and the window covers seldom blocked enough light out. I'd wake up at 2:30 thinking it was morning. There are places called hytters. They are usually cheaper places to sleep. They are cabins, cottages or other structures that individuals rent out. Well, that's the way they looked to me. I would not have known that if I didn't ride with the 2 guys from Poland.
Rooms, beer, and eating out are expensive. With my very limited knowledge about food prices at home, I would guess grocery shopping in Norway is comparable to home. Except alcohol. The tickets for ferries was very reasonable. I think gas was $7-9 a gallon. There are very few motorcycle rentals in Norway. And they are expensive. My rental in Poland was $1700 for 44 days.
That's all I can think of now. If you travel there, I hope this information helps you.
Nice summary! Being from Norway it sounds like I need to get out more ...and go visit Germany
Awsome ride. Awsome report. Thank You!
I hope to meet you again in Ohio, in Germany or anywhere else on this beautiful planet.
I wasn't too far from you. But I had a tight schedule catching my plane. There is a chance my wife and I will return next year for a river cruise.