Report of our Eifel and Black Forest trip - June 2005

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Reprobate, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. Reprobate

    Reprobate Sarcasm Loading....

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,375
    Location:
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
    Monday morning June 13th, Maaike and I loaded up our motorcycles – my BMW R1100GS and Maaike's Yamaha Fazer 600, for a trip to the Eifel and the Black Forest.
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    Our first stop was at the [free] campsite of Bikerpension Zum Alte Schmiede at Daun/Putzborn. The field was empty, but we're out of season. Henry is a gracious host and the food is excellent.
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    The field itself is fine, but it borders a thoroughfare and we woke at 06.00 AM from passing trucks, not something you want every day.
    So, after a hearty breakfast, we decide to look for another camping, along the Mosel River. From Cochem we follow the Mosel, but although we find plenty of campings, most cater to motorhomes, not tents. We are welcomed with bemused gazes and wonderment, as if simple camping with a tent and motorcycles is an austere endeavour for those who cannot afford a motorhome. Zeltplatzen or tent only camping grounds are unheard of. Used as we are to French Municipal Camping Grounds with a minimum of facilities, we don't need luxeries like heated toilet seats and the like, but especially along the Mosel it becomes quickly apparent that we're an anomaly.
    After disappointing experiences in Zell, Briedel, Punderich and Burg, we arrive in the small village of Enkirch, which has a huge Wohnmobil Stellplatz or Motorhome Ground for five euro a night. Alas, prohibited for tents. As I voice my complaint to the friendly woman of the Verkehrsamt [Tourist Info], she recognises our plight and phones the owner of a derelict piece of ground next to the Wohnmobil Stellplatz. We get permission to camp there [for free] and get out water from the Wohnmobil Stellplatz. Showers and toilets are at the back of the Verkehrsamt – the key for the coin-operated [1 euro for ten minutes] shower is available during opening hours in exchange for a passport.
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    The coming weekend – June 18 and 19 – therer would be a Strassenfest or street party in Enkirch, with wine tasting and food. Preparations were in full swing:
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    The village of Enkirch was built against a hill and a few of the older alleys were quite steep and rarely used due to the slippery stones – note the banister on the left.
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    Some locals had too much time on their hands:
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    Early morning fog on Wednesday, June 15th, the day we'll travel along the Mosel to Trier.
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    Don't allow the map to fool you – despite the green line on the map announcing the route 'scenic' – the road along the Mosel is thoroughly soporific. After a few kilometers the green hills with luscious vineyards become quite boring and the meandering road itself is busy with traffic and rarely exciting.
    The beautiful old city of Trier, with several remnants of the Roman Empire.
    A few images:
    Porta Nigra [difficult to avoid]
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    Extravagant fountain.
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    View of the city from Porta Nigra
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    Thursday June 16th was warm again, 33 degrees Celsius and rising. Maaike decided to stay in the vicinity of Enkirch, while I made a trip to Zell to see if I could get a CampingGaz cartridge. Riding around Zell, I explored this road that was 'access restricted, locals only' and led to the vineyards. The road surface was excellent, but clearly meant for the farmers to collect their harvest.
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    That evening I took Maaike along to show her these 'restricted access' roads and the view of the Mosel valley.
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    When we were about to continue along the road, a local farmer stopped us and warned us not to move from our spot. Danger. Poison. Poison? He pointed in the distance [check the center of the picture]:
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    He was pointing at this helicopter, spraying the vineyards:
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    When the helicopter finished its job, we could continue down this restricted access road, passing this tower and through this graveyard:
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    A funny aside:
    A house in Enkirch had this weird 'shutter clamp' in the shape of a woman's head:
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    Another version, this time a soldier's head, clamped the shutters of the 'Branden Kopf'
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    Friday June 16th, we made a trip to the Nurnburgring to ride the famous Nordschleife race track. Not that we're racing enthusiasts, but when you get a chance to ride a curvy road without oncoming traffic, speed cameras and speed limits, fifteen euro is not that expensive…
    We took local roads to the North, but somewhere we must've made a mistake – the road we were riding became narrower and the road surface deteriorated. But the view improved, the forest became more luscious and the shade was nice and cool. So we continued, even though the Fazer's suspension was not enjoying itself. After a steep descent, the lowest part of the road was washed with water. Not much, a stretch of perhaps ten meters with an average depth of 10-20 centimeters, but daunting to Maaike who had never passed a flooded road before.
    I showed her there was nothing to it [easy for me with a GS and offroad experience] and she followed me without incident, beaming with joy at this experience. We continued the forest road with a steep ascent. As our motorcycles climbed the hill she mused that she regretted that we hadn't taken pictures of her first 'river crossing by motorcycle'. I suggested turning back to repeat the experience and capture her bravery for posterity, but she declined.

    We arrived around 14.30 hours at the Nordschleife. It was obvious that most of the riders were either repeat visitors, locals or experienced PC gamers who knew every curve of the track. Maaike and I didn't know the track at all, so we rode conservatively. We took turns riding the track to avoid turning this experience into a competition.

    You can find a lot of info on the Nurburging. One of the nicest websites I found is this one: http://www.team-tschauder.de/nring/n-ring1.htm
    At the bottom you can explore the entire track bend by bend with English explanations how to ride each stretch.

    I went first. I had to go at a snail's pace past two accidents – both times motorcycles that went off the track into the gravel pits. There were no fatalities, but the track was closed for half an hour after I finished, to clear the motorcycles away. One of them, a red Ducati had just passed me with almost twice my speed before he crashed. My 'lap time' was fourteen minutes to ride the 22.8 kilometers, with a top speed of 160 kilometers per hour.
    After they had cleared the track Maaike went for her lap, riding the 22.8 kilometers also in 14 minutes, having no crash-intervals in her lap. Her top speed was 200 kilometers per hour.
    Our pictures of the Nordschleife are not that interesting, we could only take pictures of the start and finish:
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    We took a different route on our way back to Enkirch, taking the road across the river to Kovenich and taking this picture of our campsite from across the river – if you look close you can just see a piece of green tent cloth among the trees:
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    Saturday June 18th was our last day in the Mosel region, so we took a trip to Bundenbach to view the restored Celtic settlement Altburg and the ruins of castle Schmidtburg:
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    More pictures of Altburg: https://halmvos.smugmug.com/gallery/625968/5
    Exploring the ruins of Schmidtburg:
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    More pictures of Schmidtburg: https://halmvos.smugmug.com/gallery/625968/7
    The Enkirch street party was rather tame, so we went to bed early for the ride to the Black Forest on Sunday.

    Sunday June 19th we left early in the morning and rode local roads [Morbach, Idar-Oberstein, Lauterecken] to Kaiserslautern, where we followed road 48 South to Johanniskreuz, the biggest crossroads in that stretch of forest and site of a huge biker hotel:
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    We made the mistake to have lunch there – not that the salad wasn't good, but the restaurant was horribly expensive. So, by all means, stop to take some snapshots, but ride on to Kaiserslautern or Anweiler for lunch…

    This part of our trip we made a huge mistake. Our plan, from the evening before, was to ride around the city of Karlsruhe and take local roads to Baden-Baden, so we'd ride local roads to Wissembourg [which, because we would still be in Germany, would be announced as Weissburg] and through Lauterbourg and Mothern [a road number 248 and not – according to our stupid Dutch ANWB map – 284] to Beinheim and cross the valley to Baden-Baden.
    This is ill-advised for the following reasons:
    -lots of traffic, even on a Sunday
    -flat country baking in the sun without any shade
    -rare opportunities to overtake.
    In short, riding through sweltering heat over melting asphalt with a hot hairdryer wind in your face is not my idea of a fun ride. Everything considered, we should have taken the motorway from Landau to Lauterbourg and cut across 'Death Valley' to Baden-Baden, which would've saved a huge amount of time and aggravation.

    On top of that my intercom microphone quit working – I could still hear Maaike, but I couldn't reply. Nice and quiet for her, of course, but it makes traveling together slightly more strenuous.
    By the time we were in Baden-Baden we were overheated and irritated.

    A few cars had crept between us as I followed the 500 south and took a corner to the Schwarzwalder Hochstrasse, while Maaike continued in the direction of Freudenstadt – why the road split this way, I do not know, but I stopped right after taking the corner only to see her in my mirrors going straight on.
    I turned around but had to stop at the traffic lights. Meanwhile I could hear her voice in my intercom speakers, telling me she couldn't see me but trusted that I was still ahead of her. And I couldn't tell her to stop and wait for me.
    Then her voice faded away as she rode out of reach.
    When the light turned green I raced after her, overtaking cars with the recklessness of my former profession of city courier. After three kilometers I reached Maaike puttering behind a truck, thoroughly amazed that I appeared in her mirrors.
    We turned back to the corner where I lost her, rode down the 500 until we reached the first shady parking spot. Her anxiety and my fear of losing her along the way collided and we had an argument that was emotional but cleared the air.
    We stayed at the shady parking spot for an hour, cooling off, eating energy bars and talking to regain our drained energy.

    Various sources had advised me to take the 500 or Schwarzwald Hochstrasse Southbound from Baden-Baden, singing their praises over the beauty of this road. In my opinion, the 500 is overrated. The first stretch of the Schwarzwald Hochstrasse is wide, but curvy and has some excellent views, especially the steep ascent close to Mummelsee, but after Mummelsee the road has large stretches of straight road between the curves.
    And no shade.

    At Mummelsee we asked if anyone knew where we could find a camping and we were advised to go down the mountain to Seebach. This turned out to be an excellent, curvy and shady road. Seebach didn't have a camping, but a local advised us to continue to Ottenhofen. Here we followed a sign and found an old camping where we could stay for nine euro a night.
    The camping was built against a hill, with terraces. We went to the uppermost level, where we found an unoccupied part of the camping that ensured our privacy:
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    Monday June 20th – Maaike didn't fancy riding, but I wanted to go to Strasbourg. Not only to see if I could find a shop that might be able to repair my intercom microphone, but also to buy good suntan lotion and after shave balm without perfume [the tiny bottle I had brought along had popped open due to the heat and I didn't have enough left for the rest of our holiday]. Apart from that, I wanted to check our email, so I decided to go to Strasbourg by myself.
    Riding solo was a relief after the aggravation of yesterday – I could ride as fast as I liked [not that Maaike is a slouch, but she is more cautious than I am] and I could overtake trucks without having to wait for Maaike to do the same.
    Strasbourg was hot, of course, with temperatures of 35 degrees Celsius and rising, but I remained in the shade as much as I could.
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    Traversing Strasbourg, especially during a heat wave, is not an easy undertaking – they closed the city center for all motorized vehicles and all the access roads in the old city are one-way, so if you miss a turn you have to ride around the entire city center to try again…

    I managed to get the suntan lotion and after shave balm at the third pharmacy I entered, with a 50% discount as well, so that was an easy task. My other goal was more difficult – it seemed that there was no repair shop for electronic equipment in Strasbourg. As this seemed highly improbable to me, I interrogated a salesperson at an electronic equipment shop [which were almost as plentiful as their pharmacies] and asked him if the French would just throw away electronic equipment because of a loose wire or broken transistor.
    Finally a salesperson told me that perhaps I was looking for the brique electronique? I know that a brique-a-brac is a store for odds and ends, so I asked directions.
    The shop appeared closed, gate drawn, but I saw that the light was on in the back of the shop and when I knocked the proprietor appeared. No, he wasn't closed, and what's the problem. I explained my problem to him and showed him my helmet. One of the wires was loose, but he had a soldering iron. The wire had been pulled loose because of a stray loop of wire. He suggested to remove the microphone from the wire, make a pinhole in my Respro Foggy Mask and thread the wire through it, then re-attach the microphone, that way the loop would be gone and I wouldn't be able to pull the microphone loose. I wouldn't be able to remove the Foggy, but that wasn't a problem.
    We chatted while he repaired the microphone and I told him about the intercom system – he was trying to develop one himself, could I show it to him? He finished repairing my microphone [for a mere five euro] and followed me outside, where I removed the saddle of the BMW to show him my intercom and explain the components to him. He was pleased, my set-up giving him new inspiration.

    After my shopping I needed some cooling down, so I went to Cathedral Our Lady in the city center, where I spent over an hour with a booklet explaining the sights to me.
    Some pictures:
    The pulpit
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    The Astronomical Clock
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    More pictures of Cathedrale Notre Dame du Strasbourg: https://halmvos.smugmug.com/gallery/625968/10
    #1
  2. Reprobate

    Reprobate Sarcasm Loading....

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,375
    Location:
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
    Tuesday and Wednesday were spent by exploring local roads in the relatively cool mornings and loafing by the pool in the afternoons. Part of Wednesday was wasted by making poser pictures like these two:
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    As to finding the best [read: curvy, shady, steep] roads, ignore the green lines Michelin pastes along 'scenic' roads – most of these scenic roads cater to the mobilehome sheep that think an eight percent grade hill is steep. Take your magnifier and look for squiggly lines [curvy] over the green part of the map [forest = shady] with two or more 'chevrons' [for those who do not know what a chevron is, they look like this ^ or the emblem of a Citroen car]. On the Michelin map, two chevrons means 9-13%, three means 13% +.

    For instance, the Michelin map claims a road just South of Freudenstadt to be 'scenic' but I was rather bored with the lack of curves. However, when we diverged from this road and took a 'white' road South towards Schomberg we found a truly scenic local road that meandered through a forest – shady, curvy, 12% ascent and descent – but not deemed worthy of the green line because it is not a thoroughfare.
    Along this route we took a break at this restaurant and home for the elderly – weird mix of facilities, but it's fun to have a nurse bring you a cappuccino.
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    The terrace was shady, with excellent cappuccino, tasty sandwiches and an aviary with pigeons, canaries and a gorgeous rooster.
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    Take special notice of the 'Sturz Gefahr' [crash danger] signs:
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    There is a variety of these warning signs – another cool one had the German text 'Death is riding with you' which I found really cool. Others were not so genial – a boy with only one leg, on crutches and an elderly couple wringing their hands next to a wheelchair and the text "the speed of a motorcycle – a kick for life!", which I found rather crude.
    Alas, these signs are often in places where you can't stop for snapshots…

    Between all these activities, ordinary life goes on, so Maaike had to shave my head again. This already pleasant experience became even more enjoyable in the open air, with the cool wind around my shaven skin. Much better than in the shower stall at home.
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    Thursday June 23rd we rode local roads from Ottenhofen – by way of Oppenau and Oberharmersbach - to 'Branden Kopf':
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    From 'Branden Kopf' we took another local road that meandered down with steep descents to Walke and finally down to Wolfach, where we took the 33 and 500 to Titisee.

    Titisee has four campings. The one closest to the village and on the lakefront was expensive [19 euro a night] and the proprietor was not very friendly, so we rode on and found Camping Bankenhof – a four star camping with a 'sonderangebot' or special rate for motorcyclists – riders only pay per person [5.80 euro p.p. per night], not for their tents or vehicles. The motorcycles have to be parked on a separate parking, but that parking is close to the tent grounds, so it's no big deal. The camping next door didn't take any motorcycles, but we had some time on our hands, so we rode up the hill to the fourth camping. This one also had a not so friendly proprietor and charged 16 euro a night.
    So we went back to the Bankenhof and checked in. Alas, the tent grounds weren't shaded, so with special permission from the proprietor we put up our tent on the motorcycle parking itself, which was shady all day round …
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    Time for an evening walk to the other camping and the lakeside of Titisee:
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    For those who want to explore the area near Titisee:
    Hexenloch [Witches Hole] between Neukirch and Glashutte is great – sharp curves, steep descents, nice sights – but for motorcyclists there is another attraction. Halfway down Hexenloch there is a crossroads where everybody goes on to St.Margen. Don't follow the herd, but take the road to Wildgutach – this road was so beautiful we were both awestruck. The smooth road surface just wide enough to admit a regular car [a Hummer would be riding the shoulders], with a rockface grown with flowers on one side and a burbling brook with tiny waterfalls on the other side. The road probably didn't get the 'Green Michelin Line' because it was too narrow for regular traffic [if a car encounters another car one of them would have to back up for kilometers before they'd find a spot wide enough to pass each other] and it's not a main thoroughfare…
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    Friday evening we took the 311 south to Utzenfeld and followed local roads to Wieden, in the direction of Munstertal. Before we reached Munstertal we took the road to 'Schauinsland' and Gunterstal to Freiburg-im-Breisgau. This road is closed to motorcycles in the weekend, due to the many traffic accidents – if you want my opinion, close the road to all motorvehicles except motorcycles!

    We arrived around 10 pm in Freiburg, where it was still close to thirty degrees and humid.
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    On the way back, with summer lightning illuminating the sky, my headlight stopped functioning, so I had to change the bulb, with the assistance of Maglite Maaike:
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    Germany has some good arrangements for tourists; we got ourselves a 'guest card' at the camping reception, which allowed us to travel for free with public transport. So Maaike and I went to Titisee and took the train to Freiburg, leaving our motorcycles at the camping.
    Freiburg is a pleasant city – lots of small shops and café's.
    First thing we did is find a terrace near the Schwabentor with a view of the city:
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    After that we sauntered all over the city center, looking for weird buildings:
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    And weird statues:
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    Ukranian accordionists that played excellent classical music:
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    And lots of shops. At one little bookstore where Maaike bought some postcards I notice a box with old maps – Amsterdam before the ringroad and Stopera, Terschelling [a peninsula in the North of the Netherlands] before the village in the West, Berlin with Iron Curtain, Rotterdam in 1960 and Paris in 1956.

    When we came back that evening we found two Moto Guzzi motorcycles parked next to our tent on the motorcycle parking:
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    The owners, Thomas and Rainer form Koln, had left their hometown that morning and were on their way to Switzerland. Many beers later they tried to persuade us to come along with them, while we tried to persuade them to stay in the region and explore local roads with us. After getting thoroughly inebriated and dissecting the influence of Germany and The Netherlands on European politics we staggered to our tents.

    By the time Maaike and I were ready for our explorations of the region, Thomas and Rainer were gazing bleary-eyed into their coffee mugs. We waved goodbye and went on our way.

    Our goal was to ride the curvy backroads South of Titisee. So we followed the 500 to Barental and rode by St.Blasien and Todtmoos to Geschwend. From there we followed the 317 for a short bit and rode through Aitern to Belchen.
    At Belchen we turned onto an unpaved Waldweg [forest road] to Bollen. Only the first part, a steept ascent with deep bumpy tractor tracks, caused Maaike some difficulty in traversing, but the road turned into gravel and sand and became less bumpy. At a crossroads were signs for mountainbike trails, so I took the lead and Maaike followed at a distance of fifty meters so we would have room to brake if necessary. I gave her some gentle instructions over the intercom – which track to follow, how to deal with the reactions of her motorcycle to the trail – but to be fair she didn't need much guidance.
    The road made a slight descent with moderately sharp curves, so Maaike rode mainly in her second gear to avoid having to brake and have some time to look around.
    When we arrived at Wildbollen the road became paved again and we took a break in the shade. Maaike was thrilled with her unpaved adventure, which she found much more to her liking than the fast riding we'd done on the track. As far as that goes this trip was a success – Maaike got the opportunity to get new riding experiences – bad backroads, water crossings, track, and unpaved – so she could assess for herself what she liked best. She used to be apprehensive of dirt riding, but now she realized how much fun it was.
    From Wildbollen we rode South to Schonenberg. The road that passes through Schonenberg is part of the road between Badenweiler/Schweighof and Schonau. This road is marked with red/white blocks on the Michelin map to indicate that it is a 'dangerous/difficult road'. That sounded promising, so we rode from Schonenberg to Neuenweg, then South to Tegernau and North-West through Wies to Badenweiler.
    At Schweighof we stopped at a café for a drink before we went on to judge the degree of difficulty/danger the road to Schonau really held for experienced riders.
    Verdict: Nice road, but not half as dangerous/difficult as some other roads we had traversed previously [like Hexenloch, for instance]. My idea was that the road was marked 'dangerous/difficult' mainly because it was a main road and might be dangerous/difficult for unexperienced motorists with caravans.

    In the meantime it had become quite warm and humid again, so we returned to Titisee, where we relaxed at the camping.
    Maaike decided to shave my head again, this time at the communal table:
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    That evening we noticed we had little cash at hand, so we decided to dine on my credit card at the hostel/restaurant of the man who had given us a lift to Titisee last Saturday.
    The hostel cat was pleased with my attention:
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    Monday June 27th would be our last day to ride around the Black Forest, so we scheduled another backroads trip. From the camping we took the back road through Hinterzarten [not clearly marked – the inhabitants of Hinterzarten are not fond of tourists] to the 31, which we took in the direction of Freiburg. We left the 31 at Buchenbach to got North through Unteribental in the direction of St.Peter.
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    I was low on fuel, but St.Peter had not filling station, so we had to ride down into the valley of Glottertal to fill up. Back up the mountain we took the road to Waldkirch. The road to Waldkirch is great – nice curves and at the top of 'Kandel' is an 'airport' for paragliders and ultralights.
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    Maaike poses at 'Kandel':
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    After our break at 'Kandel' we continued to Waldkirch, took the 294 Northbound in the direction of Wilden and took the road East to Simonswald. Just past Simonswald was the road to St.Martin's Kapelle. At the start of this road was a sign that the road would turn after twelve kilometers into an unpaved Waldweg closed to traffic, but according to our Michelin map it would be a paved road with steep ascents – 13%+. The map turned out to be wrong about the road surface, not about the ascent angle. Two deep tracks filled with sand, gravel and stones, with grassy strip in between, went up the hill in the steepest ascent we encountered – a staggering 18%! Especially the first part was difficult to traverse for Maaike's Fazer, although my GS shot up the hill like a rocket. Again I instructed Maaike through our intercom – which track to take, how to traverse deep holes and tips on riding technique. Higher up the hill the road surface improved – the tracks became more shallow and stones became not as ubiquitous.
    At Sint Martin's Kapelle I quickly grabbed my camera and took this action shot of Maaike:
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    From St.Martin's Kappelle we rode down to Neukirch and rode Hexenloch again. The air started warming up, so we took a break and had a light lunch at hostel "Sonne Neuhausle".
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    I suggested to Maaike that I could ride the remainder of the planned trip alone – I wanted to ride back down Hexenloch to check out the sideroad to Wildgutach, proceed to the road to Simonswald and check out the road up to the 'Brend' and back down to Gutenbach, roads I expected to be unpaved and steep. After that I'd cut through Hexenloch again, cross the 500 and ride through Waldau, Langenordnach and Schollach by Eisenbach back to Neustadt/Titisee. And I noted some more roads to explore South of Titisee, so…
    Maaike, however, wanted to accompany me on this trip – she claimed that she could stop at any time and return to the camping if my trip became too exhausting.
    The trip began with the sideroad to Wildgutach – which I have described above as incredibly beautiful – and a brisk ride to Simonswald and the access road to 'Brend' – which indeed turned out to be unpaved, but do-able on the Fazer.
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    South of Titisee we took the 315 [pretty good curves for a main road] to Lenzkirch, then backroads to Fischbach and Schluchsee, the 500 Westbound to just beyond Glashutten and the backroads to Falkau.
    In totaal some 250 kilometers of backroad exploration.

    Maaike wanted to know whether our trip could be compared to the day trips I made on the 2004 KNMV Midweektour [seven days of 500 kilometer country roads], but that would be difficult to compare, since the Midweektour had not unpaved parts [although we took a few shortcuts that were unpaved]. Even so, at twice the distance the Midweektour would've been too exhausting for Maaike to ride. If you ride 500 kilometers of country roads per day for several consecutive days you better be able to relax while riding or you won't be able to climb into the saddle on the third day.

    That evening we relaxed, cooked our own dinner near the tent to finish our stored meals, paid the camping bill and packed what we could, so we could leave early next morning.

    Tuesday June 28th we packed our motorcycles early in the morning and left the Black Forest with pain in our hearts.
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    We rode part of the route we rode yesterday – through Kandel to Waldkirch – and on to Offenburg, where we took Autobahn A5 to Baden-Baden, crossed over to France and took the A35 to Landau. From Landau we took local roads to Anweiler and the 48 to Kaiserslautern.
    From Kaiserlautern we took the Autobahn to Trier and from Trier local roads along the Sauer to Diekirch.

    Our goal for that day was the village of Liefrange in Luxembourg.
    When Maaike and I just got to know each other, we planned on making a motorcycle camping trip to the South of France in the summer, but – prudent as we are – we took a mini-test-trip in May 2001 to test our gear and see if we'd be able to get along under different circumstances. Our mini-trip took us to the Belgian Ardennen where we stayed two days, then on to Luxembourg and Germany before we returned to Amsterdam. The mini-trip was a success: the intercom didn't work as promised and had to be changed, the trip from Luxembourg to Germany was another test as it rained all day, which tested our tempers [we kept amusing each other, so that was a huge relief for both of us] and the tent got through a thunderstrom with rain torrents without leaking. We had fond memories of Liefrange and the evening walk we took – we found a secluded bay where we indulged in nude swimming.
    So, this year we thought it would be a romantic idea to return to the secluded bay.
    The lake and the secluded bay turned out to be the same as in our memories, except that it was June and not May, so there were other swimmers. Luckily, this time we were prepared and brought swimming gear.
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    After our evening swim we took another stroll through Liefrange, where I spotted this obviously abandoned house in the middle of the village.
    [​IMG]
    In the Netherlands, where real estate and building ground is expensive, a house like this would be long demolished or renovated, but in Belgium and Luxembourg I've encountered these abandoned houses before – they always infuse my writer's mind with the weirdest fantasies… Maybe someday I'll make a series of photos of abandoned houses…
    One last picture, of our motorcycles waiting patiently for us to finish our breakfasts in Wiltz:
    [​IMG]

    For more pictures of our Eifel/Black Forest trip, visit:
    https://halmvos.smugmug.com/gallery/625968
    By clicking on the pictures it's possible to view the pictures in their original format.
    #2
  3. Lobby

    Lobby Viel Spass, Vato!

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Oddometer:
    30,207
    Location:
    San Antonio, Tx
    Super report, Reprobate!

    As often as I've been to Germany, the Mosel and Black Forest regions are places I've never been. Sounds like a trip would be good there.

    Did you consider taking the trip in June? I think perhaps the weather would have been cooler?

    How's your German? Or did you have to resort to your excellent English to get along? :lol3

    I'll show Elsa your ride report. She'll certainly get a kick out of it.

    Oh, my son Sam has appropriated Elsa's RS. After going to the Advrider BYOB thing last month on the RS, he decided he really liked motorcycling. He's going off to college next month with the RS. :cry
    #3
  4. Deano955

    Deano955 Insatiable

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,642
    Location:
    Calirado
    Outstanding report!

    I really enjoy the photos of Europe and I hope to ride there someday.
    #4
  5. rallybug

    rallybug Local Yokel

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2002
    Oddometer:
    8,097
    Location:
    North Salt Lake, UT
    Great report, Rep! :thumb

    Lobby, see line one of Rep's first entry for when they travelled :lol3
    #5
  6. Reprobate

    Reprobate Sarcasm Loading....

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,375
    Location:
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
    Gracias, senhor Lobster.

    I truly recommend the Black Forest if you want to ride some amazing curvy roads. Visit the Hexenloch!

    Eh, this was June, amigo. The heat wave was unpredicted and a rarity - just our luck, eh?

    My German is not as excellent as my English, but slightly better than my French. So I could make myself understood. Resorting to English is not a good idea in Germany though, they're not up on their languages...

    Cool, you do that. How is she doing, by the way?

    Hey, let him buy his own motorcycle! Some clunker that will make him appreciate BORROWING the RS. Appropriate... shhhh. I assume you're also paying his college fees? :nono
    #6
  7. Reprobate

    Reprobate Sarcasm Loading....

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,375
    Location:
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
    There are plenty ADVriders in Europe - I'd be happy to show you around Amsterdam.
    #7
  8. Esteban

    Esteban Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,787
    Location:
    Above Golden
    I have only skimmed your report and it looks great.

    Besides that, anybody who posts pics of getting their head shaved and goes on to explain how nice it feels outdoors to have it done by Maike is a must read in my book.

    I will come back later to finish up. One question though... can you sneak off the road and camp in Europe if you are "cool" or is it taboo ? Looks like you guys are doing it.

    Regards from Steve in Colorado.
    #8
  9. Reprobate

    Reprobate Sarcasm Loading....

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,375
    Location:
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
    If you're cool you can do a lot of things... :D

    There are a few countries where you can camp outside campsites, i.e. Norway, but not in The Netherlands, where you will get fined. Not that you need to - France, for instance, is littered with cheap camping grounds.

    As to us 'doing it', in Enkirch the lady at the Tourist Info called the owner of the piece of land where we camped.

    About twenty years ago I hitchhiked all over England and Scotland, slept out in the woods and shot rabbits with a slingshot to cook them over open fire. I only encountered one 'game warden', but he took one look at the rabbit hanging from my pack and another at my face and decided that I wasn't an ordinary poacher - so he just smiled at me and went on his way.

    I've become more civilized since then... :D
    #9
  10. Mully

    Mully Kineticist

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Oddometer:
    3,767
    Location:
    The Comstock
    Nice job on the trip report! Loved the fotos and commentary. :D

    mully
    #10
  11. Esteban

    Esteban Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,787
    Location:
    Above Golden
    Repro,

    Do they have such a thing as "public land" in the different countries of Europe ?

    Something similar to the USA's national Forests or BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land ? Here in the western USA where we have lots of Federal land you can camp easily since it actually "belongs" to the public. Of course in many states they try to regulate such camping but I for one will sneek in and camp for a night if necessary. I've never been caught or fined nor can you tell I was ever there.

    Esteban
    #11
  12. Blackpaw

    Blackpaw Peter

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Oddometer:
    338
    Location:
    California...East Bay... :D
    I lived in Germany in High School as an exchange student and spent a little time in that part of Germany.
    #12
  13. Wings

    Wings RockiesToSandbox

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2002
    Oddometer:
    14,633
    Location:
    Merritt Island, FL
    Aaah yes, the old digs. I grew up about 45 minutes from Trier, on the Rhein instead of the Mosel..
    #13
  14. Reprobate

    Reprobate Sarcasm Loading....

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,375
    Location:
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
    Yes, but you'll have to look for it.
    For instance, you can camp out in the wild in the Black Forest and the Eifel, but you'd have to check the map if you're not camping on a national reserve [stiff fines if caught] or private land.
    Most countries in the EU try to regulate camping, so campings are everywhere and you're 'encouraged' to use those facilities... Of course, for the adventurers among us, that might sound rather boring, but a camping has some advantages apart from showers and toilets - you can leave your luggage in your tent with a reasonable expectation of finding your stuff untouched after a day riding...
    If you go to more remote areas, the more chances you have to be able to camp out in the forests - Finland, Norway, the plains of Spain [where the rain mostly falls :D ], Eastern Europe - but at the same time you'd have to be careful if travelling alone for robbers [carrying a sidearm 'for protection' is not allowed].
    #14
  15. bavarian

    bavarian bavarian

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,776
    Location:
    Munich, Bavaria
    Too bad, 't see any pics. Writing is great, but "monthly limit exceeded"

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    #15
  16. Reprobate

    Reprobate Sarcasm Loading....

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,375
    Location:
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
    I mailed Smugmug and got some extra room to roam, so you can see the pictures again! :D
    #16
  17. frankie

    frankie Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    61
    Hi Reprobate,

    nice report!

    Camping at Henrys place is loud, even at weekends :-)

    If you plan to ride the Westerwald, just ask for some route suggestions.
    #17
  18. bavarian

    bavarian bavarian

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,776
    Location:
    Munich, Bavaria
    What are you waiting for? Want a GS, RT or R??
    #18
  19. bavarian

    bavarian bavarian

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,776
    Location:
    Munich, Bavaria
    Thanks - very nice pics!!
    #19
  20. Reprobate

    Reprobate Sarcasm Loading....

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,375
    Location:
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
    Thanks frankie, if I head in that direction I'll remember your offer!
    #20