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Out of the Cage - A Spring Ride across Europe 2021

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Don T, May 30, 2021.

  1. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚢᚱᚴ - Scandinavia.
    2020 was a year to forget.
    All my travel plans came to nothing and most of the other things I enjoy doing was made difficult or impossible.
    After a year of that shit I felt like a caged lion. I’m sure many of you can relate to that.


    In January 2021 I got the vaccine. In Marts my girlfriend received hers.
    We had all of May off from work. It was time to resume life in earnest – it was time to go travelling!

    As we headed out Friday the 30th of April, equipped with “Corona Passports” and the app “Re-open EU” on the phone, Europe was still affected by lockdowns and restrictions. The plan was to explore the northwestern regions of Spain and make it all the way to Portugal if possible. We would take it one day at a time and hopefully get across Europe without too much corona related hassle.

    We didn’t encounter any control at the border to Germany – only received a text message with a request to comply with the German test and quarantine rules.
    Compared to any other time I’ve been to Germany there was very little traffic on the roads and we were making good time. Late in the afternoon we arrived at @Martigo ‘s place in Sauerland. We had taking him up on his offer in the tent space thread.
    As always it was a pleasure to spend time in the company of a fellow advrider.
    Martigo was a great host and really spoiled us. In the evening his girlfriend joined us for dinner.

    Waiting for the ferry to take us to Germany.
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    Martigo greeted us in Kuentrop.
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    He had a nice selection of bikes.
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    [​IMG]

    - a cozy house.
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    - and a lovely girlfriend.
    [​IMG]


    Skaverup (DK) – Kuentrop (D): 586 km.
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    To be continued...
    #1
  2. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    In the morning we were treated with a delicious breakfast before we hit the road again. Martigo decided to join us for the first part of the days ride to show us some of the nice roads in the area. When we had said our goodbyes Katrine and I continued south.
    We had a long way to go as we had a dinner appointment in Switzerland the same night.

    The temperatures dropped during the day. There was no control at the border to Switzerland. When we reached the Jura Mountains late in the afternoon it was just above freezing - and raining.
    It was a relief to turn off the bikes in the garage of our friends’ house in Magglingen.
    We were greeted with a much needed warm shower and a hot dinner.
    We hadn’t seen our friends for a very long time. There was a lot of catching up to do so we stayed for 2 nights.
    During the afternoon on our rest day it started snowing. We were happy that the bikes didn’t have to leave the garage.

    I'm sure we haven't seen the last of Martigo.
    [​IMG]

    Ready for a chilly morning walk in front of our friend's newly built house.
    [​IMG]

    It was a beautiful house.
    [​IMG]

    In the afternoon we took a stroll in Biel.
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    [​IMG]

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    Meanwhile he bikes were relaxing in the garage surrounded by various sports equipment.
    [​IMG]

    Kuentrop (D) – Magglingen (CH): 717 km.
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    To be continued...
    #2
  3. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    Recharged by a pleasant rest day in good company it was time to hit the road again.
    The weather had improved significantly. We crossed the border to France before noon. Again there was no border control. It was a great day on the road.


    In the afternoon we checked in at a B&B in the countryside. Just in time to go for a jog before the 19.00 curfew.
    The Hostess served us a nice dinner in the evening.
    Before sundown we soaked in the outdoor hot tub with a view to Massif Central in the distance.

    Beautiful morning in the Jura Mountains.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In France we managed to throw a bit of gravel roads into the mix.
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    We had a nice room at the B&B in Le Bouchet.
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    We did a jog down to a dam/river. It turned out that the last 2.5 km back to the B&B had an average incline of 17%. It was a killer.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A soak in the hot tub was a perfect way to round off the day.
    [​IMG]


    Magglingen (CH) - Le Bouchet (F): 370 km.
    03.png
    #3
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  4. pitbull

    pitbull Long timer

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    Great photos. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.
    #4
    Don T likes this.
  5. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    Thank you - and you are welcome :-)

    Hang in there.
    The report will become more interesting shortly when we get to the areas we had set out to explore. Up until now, we have mostly been covering distance.
    #5
    Tomaso and pitbull like this.
  6. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    It's been a long time since we've seen a new report from Europe, thanks for the gorgeous pics and for taking us along. :thumb
    #6
    Don T likes this.
  7. Saso

    Saso Happily sporting the DRD4 gene Supporter

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    Great to see you both back on the road! :beer
    #7
    Don T likes this.
  8. Coffeeman

    Coffeeman Coffeeman

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    Reading, UK
    I love this, envious
    #8
    Don T likes this.
  9. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    I hope this RR will inspire others to resume travelling. It was a great experience despite the various corona related restrictions.
    Much more to come. Stay tuned.
    #9
    young1 and Saso like this.
  10. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    Thank you guys :-)
    #10
  11. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    After a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast the journey continued.
    It was an uneventful day at a brisk pace on mainly bigger roads. The weather was nice and we enjoyed the ride.

    @MrPopples had invited us to stay at his place. I got to know him 5 years earlier, when I was on a solo ride and took him up on his tent space offer.
    He wasn’t back from his guitar lesson when we arrived, but had left cold beer and snacks for us on the terrace. We could live with that.
    When he got back it was time for more cold beers and a BBQ. He prepared the best duck breast I’ve ever had!

    In the afternoon we crossed the Millau Viaduct. It's impressive.
    [​IMG]

    MrPopples charming house in the countryside.
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    We got the master bedroom.
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    Time for BBQ:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Le Bouchet (F) - Saint-Cricq (F): 525 km.

    04.png
    #11
  12. NSFW

    NSFW who else would love noobs? Super Supporter

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    in for the ride....:ricky

    nice to see almost no covid restrictions...hope it gets better from there.
    #12
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  13. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    Welcome aboard :beer

    We encountered plenty of restrictions across Europe.
    In Germany tourists weren't allow to stay in hotels, B&B's etc.
    In Germany and France all non essential shops were closed.
    There were a strict curfew in France.
    Regulations about masks everywhere - some countries stricter than others.

    We just behaved according to the rules, and enjoy traveling again.

    It gets much better!
    #13
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  14. Essbee

    Essbee Been here awhile

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    East Coast, South Africa
    Beautiful and pristine Europe! Love it. Thanks for sharing!

    @Martigo I also have a Grundig number plate hanging up in my garage....from many years ago!
    #14
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  15. Gustavo

    Gustavo Motociclista Errante

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    Alright, off to a good start! Looking forward to following along the rest of the trip. :ricky


    Gustavo
    #15
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  16. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    It was still early morning when the bikes were fired up. Mrpopples had to prepare for work. Katrine and I had a mountain range and yet another border to cross.

    The riding was good from the word go. Soon we gained altitude in The Pyrenees. At 1860 meters we crossed the border to Spain. No control here either. We travelled west through the mountains most of the afternoon, before checking into a hotel in a small village.

    Nice scenic roads in the south of France.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Near the border to Spain.

    [​IMG]

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    At the hotel we did a workout on the balcony before dinner. A great way to loosen up after a long day's ride and to build an appetite.
    Adventure riders - I salute you.
    [​IMG]

    A side note:
    Since mid December the gyms have been closed in Denmark due to corona. I spend a lot of time looking for a good alternative. Only when a friend of mine pointed me in the direction of "Iron Wolf" did I find what I was looking for: Simple, effective, varied no bullshit routines you can do anywhere with a minimum of equipment. Try it out if you are serious about building muscles and getting in shape. WARNING: Not for sissies!
    This is some of my favorite Iron Wolf routines: Full Body Calisthenics - Military Deck of Cards - The Ultimate.


    Saint-Cricq (F) - Ecay (E): 392 km.
    05.png

    To be continued...
    #16
  17. NSFW

    NSFW who else would love noobs? Super Supporter

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    nothing better than words from you and others who are actually traveling. thanks Don T for the latest.

    i am on the fence if i should fly out to EU in mid-July and continue my road trip. good chance by then the restrictions will ease up a little more. i'm fully vaccinated, so i'm a step closer....lol

    enjoying your RR and keep them coming.
    #17
  18. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    Soon after we left the hotel in the morning, we entered the Basque Country – the first of the Spanish regions we had set out to explore. Now the trip would start in earnest.

    From home I had created an 3.700 km scenic track from San Sebastian via Santiago de Compostela across the border to Braga in Portugal. We didn’t follow it to the letter. Together with the weather, our mood and input from locals it helped to shape the days stages.

    The first full day of riding in Spain offered nice weather, great roads and amazing scenery.
    With the thermometer indicating 25° C in the afternoon, it was good to get out of the riding gear, when we reached the day's destination - a hotel located at the edge of a town in the Basque hinterland.

    A few hundred meters from the hotel a pedestrian bridge crossed the river and a trail disappeared into the tree covered hills. It was an invitation we couldn’t resist. We dug out our running shoes.
    It was a tough but beautiful jog. On our way back down through the woods I ran out of luck. I sprained my right ankle badly (for the first time in my life). I heard the snap when it happened. We still had a couple of kilometers back to the hotel. Nothing to do but grit my teeth, watch my steps and keep going.
    The best I could do back at the hotel was to elevate the ankle as much as possible and compress it with an elastic bandage.

    We had dinner at the hotel. I didn’t feel like walking more than I had to.

    Charming Basque countryside.
    [​IMG]

    And beautiful waterfront.
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    Back in the mountains.
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    It was very lush everywhere.
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    Great cross country jog - picture taken just before my misstep...
    [​IMG]


    Ecay (E) - Azkoitia (E): 303 km
    06.png

    To be continued...
    #18
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  19. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    I'm glad you are entertained.
    From now on the days/posts gets more interesting and picture heavy :-)

    After having travelled for 4 weeks through several countries, I see no reason for you not to resume your road trip - especially not when you are fully vaccinated.
    #19
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  20. NSFW

    NSFW who else would love noobs? Super Supporter

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    don, getting hurt sucks, and hope it's just a minor case.

    the latest word is US citizens can't travel in France, Germany and Spain. anyway, there are other options. one is....from Greece, i can go to Italy, Austria, Croatia and neighboring countries. i have 3 months to burn and don't want to do it at home. Southern California is not the best place to spend summer.

    let's see what you mean by picture heavy......i like visuals than well-written words.
    #20
    Don T likes this.