Wild Dog Adventure Riding

Riding: Plan, Report and Racing => Ride Reports => Global Reports => Topic started by: King Louis on January 24, 2015, 02:41:56 pm

Title: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: King Louis on January 24, 2015, 02:41:56 pm
We started thinking about a round trip in Europe since I started riding in 2004. No particular plan regarding the route, but the general idea was to start in Bremerhaven (North Germany) - Istanbul - Gibraltar - Bremerhaven. A trip of a lifetime, and that is exactly what it was.

How is such a trip possible? Time wise and financially? With a fair bit of planning it is. Thanks to a very understanding business partner, to whom I will forever be grateful for this, the time question was solved without many problems. It was not as simple as it sounds and there were times when doubt came up but in hindsight we are glad that we pulled it through. Life is too short and I just don't want to look back in a couple of years time and say, I wish we had............

Financially it was only possible because we used some of our retirement funds which we had put aside for a long time. Mixing that and going camping makes it do-able, but Europe is not cheap.

Before we start riding, a little history about the bike. We had planned, to ship our adventure over to Germany, do the trip and ship it back. That proved to be a bigger problem than anticipated. The bike is still financed and I approached the financing co. to obtain a cross border letter, same we used when we travelled neighboring countries a year previously. To my surprise, this was denied. They would have no control over the bike when I take her overseas. What utter nonsense. After various e-mails and three meetings where I raised a verbal shitstorm, they graciously gave me permission, to take the bike overseas. Subject to insurance cover, which I understand. So I just had to organize insurance cover. What a problem. No SA company gives you cover overseas. Overseas companies which I approached, don't accept cover without you having permanent residence. My permanent residence is SA! Eventually I found an American insurance co., which would give me cover for the trip. R 12000 for three months?! Plus the fact that I now missed the time frame to ship the bike, I would have to air freight it now, as the flight tickets were already organized. That would set me back another R 33.000, ie. it would cost me already R 45,000 to get the bike to Europe and back and have her insured, before we started riding! Stupid, really. So I went onto the German GS-forum and bought a second hand Adventure. BMW bikes are more expensive than here, can you believe it? I bought a 2011 30 years anniversary model with 30,000km on the clock, for just under R 200,000. Renting is not an option, it is just too expensive for such a long time. So we bought her and hoped, we could sell her again afterwards at a decent rate, so the damage would be acceptable. It worked out well.

The first of May arrived and we found ourselves at ORTIA, staring at the huge airbus A380-800. Fantastic. Our seat reservations were ignored and we ended up in the middle section. That aircraft is not made for tall people, the flight was crap but anyhow, the destination and the fact that we would cruise through Europe for three months made up for that shortcoming. Not long after making the connecting flight from FRA to Bremen, we were picked up by our mate Frank, who helped us a lot for this trip. Due to the fact that I have no residency in Germany, I can not register the bike in my name, neither would I qualify for insurance cover. Frank did that for us and it worked like a charm.  He also managed to get us a personalized number plate, picture to follow. EU14 was born. We had the dealer put on a set of Heidi's K60, went to the bank to organize a European credit card and were ready to go. With Frank and another old mate we rode through to Hamburg and surroundings, I wanted to get used to right hand side traffic as I had not driven a car/bike for about 30 years now. It proved to be easier than expected. A quick family meeting and we packed everything into the panniers and the 89l Ortlieb luggage roll. That was all we needed and all we wanted, including tent, sleeping bags, mattresses, clothing, electronic equipment, tools and first aid kit. Minimax. Three t-shirts, three underpants, one pair of long trousers, one pair of shorts and our rain gear, all of which proved to be enough for that period!

Monday morning arrived and eventually the trip was on. We went from Bremerhaven to Berlin, so far still highway. I had to get used to that again - we cruised between 120 and 140 kmh and the cars and trucks (!) were flying past us like we stood still. We used the Zumo660 and bought the European maps for the trip. The plan was to cover around 300km per day or so, depending on how we felt and what we would see. Basically we always had  the GPS set to avoid highways and toll roads, which worked well in general. We saw areas, which we would not have found had we followed main roads. Aside from the GPS I had a Europe map in the tankbag display, just to maintain a general idea of the route we followed. In Berlin we stayed with goods biker friends we had met in SA and who stayed with us here and another couple which we met whilst touring Mocambique a year earlier. They looked after us very well to show us Berlin and food/drinks were excellent and plenty. One evening, we had to travel back in the dark, it was raining and we were riding over slippery cobble stones on new Heidi's.  I took it easy and managed to ride through two red robots since I did not want to brake too hard. Nothing came of it, we were lucky. That can get expensive in Europe......! Very expensive.

Our host Rene served us a huge breakfast the next morning and the time to say good bye arrived. He left for work and we just had to leave and close the door. He lives on the fourth floor of an apartment building and we had to carry the panniers, luggage roll, tank bag, helmets and gloves downstairs, the bikes were parked in the backyard of the building. I stepped out of the apartment and my left foot was placed on the door mat, which slipped out from underneath me. I tried to balance my body and my left arm went up in the air, just to make sure, that the Zumo flew out of the helmet, in which I had put it, disappeared over the balustrade and fell down 4 floors to hammer with a loud bang on to the concrete floor. Shitfuck, big one!!! I thought the Zumo was history and raced downstairs (as if that helps now???). It was cracked a fair bit, but the screen was still intact and I could switch it on. Wow, I was impressed and relieved at the same time. I mean we have a bit of air in our budget, but for that kind of money I would rather buy wine. Furthermore, how would you find the Garmin shop in Berlin without your Garmin? :patch:

We carried on through Berlin direction southern Germany towards a castle (Koenigstein) which was recommended to us by Rene. The Zumo starting doing it's own thing, left out roads, some others disappeared, so it was not working properly. I stopped at the side of the road to check it out. When I removed the battery, I noticed that the micro sd card had come lose and after pushing it in, it worked again. Was I relieved again. I mean I get lost in places with the GPS, never mind where I end up when I use it! Without it I usually find very interesting places in very interesting areas, trust me. :ricky:

We took the road south with the general direction of Prague in our minds. One of the few highways I took was not appreciated by SWAMBO and our intercom got into action. It banged on my helmet, a general sign to stop. Knocking is just kind of saying something, so we slow down. Banging is the more serious sign and means to stop.  ;) After a short, convincing discussion, we followed the navigator's advice, to take a different road. It worked out well, though, what can I say? We found the hotel, which was recommended to us via the GS-Forum. Unfortunately it was full, but another one, which we spotted on the same road, still had a room available for two. We were warned about Prague in terms of theft, for personal items as much as the bike(!!!) and were glad, to use the facilities. The rumors must have been kind of justified, as the owner of the hotel insisted we park the bike not just in the locked back yard, but in the extra locked garage! No problem, nice gesture. We took the tram into the city and did the touristy thing. Prague is beautiful but although we did not go in high season, the city was packed with tourists. In general, I prefer being away from big  cities and lots of people. For this trip the cities I wanted to see were Prague, Istanbul, Venice, Madrid and we were not disappointed!

Prague is stunning with all it's attractions, beautiful buildings, ornaments, bridges, restaurants, artists and has a great flair. We watched a pocket thief in action, you could clearly tell he was one by watching how he mingled with the people etc., pity that we could not catch him in the area, where we watched him. We had lots of Czech specialities to eat and drink and from all the walking we were rather tired by the time we got back to the Hotel. Carmen managed to put vitamin e-crème onto her toothbrush instead of toothpaste.... must have been good for the brush as she had no further problems during our trip! :biggrin:

To get out of Prague was torture, the traffic was bad. The bike got nice and hot, but eventually we managed to get on to emptier side streets and worked our way down to Austria in the general direction of Linz. Once we arrived in Austria, the scenery changed noticeably and the east block heaviness fell off, if you know what I mean. Austria is beautiful and we found a little B&B with fantastic views of the surrounding mountains. The local food and beers were again lekker and we had a good evening.

The next day we met up with a fellow rider from the GS-Forum who offered to show us around. What a great choice, he knew all the roads inside out, the mountain passes that were open (one we could not do yet as there was still too much snow) and we criss-crossed the whole day without a single dull moment. What I liked was the fact that our friend, whom we had never met before, was super friendly and nice and accepted, that we wanted to cruise, rather than pushing hard through these stunning mountainous areas in Austria. So we could enjoy the views, the nature and all. We do hope, that he will manage to come and visit us some time so we can show him some of SA's nice spots.

The night was spent with a good friend who lives in Villach, a southern Austrian village. Again we were treated like kings and got lots of food and beer, so that by 10:00h that night my eyes just closed on their own and I went to bed for a well deserved rest. Only to be woken up at 4:00h in the morning by one neighbor, who had to play very loud oompa music. I was ready to kill. :dousing: Austrians, a funny lot.

We were advised to continue along the Soca river towards the Mediterranean coast. What a great tip. The only downside was that it started raining in Italy and carried on the whole way to the coast. It would have been nicer in sunshine, but we could not pick. Once on the road, you have to decide to stay or to ride, never knowing exactly what will come, where you end up and under what conditions. We were also looking for camping spots, but found that often it was easier to stay in a small hotel or B&B, combined with being tired and not wanting to pitch tent any more, rather enjoying a quick shower and going for a nice drink and nice food after a day in the saddle. We caught plenty of rain, which was the worst in 100 years in the Balkans. Of course during our trip..... :ricky:

Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: woody1 on January 24, 2015, 03:39:15 pm
Wow.. What a lekker trip.   :ricky:
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: Offshore on January 24, 2015, 06:50:21 pm
Ist das alles?
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: DirtRebell on January 24, 2015, 07:05:02 pm
Epic RR in the making here.
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: woody1 on January 24, 2015, 07:21:01 pm
But we NEED to see the pictures... lots and lots of pictures.  :imaposer:
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: subie on January 24, 2015, 07:36:38 pm
But we NEED to see the pictures... lots and lots of pictures.  :imaposer:

Yes!! pics  :thumleft:
Title: Re:
Post by: Dorsland on January 25, 2015, 07:00:29 am
I'd love to do a trip like this. Going to enjoy reading this...
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: I&horse on January 25, 2015, 07:26:49 am
Tic tock
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: Steekvlieg on January 25, 2015, 09:58:24 am
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: DCR on January 25, 2015, 11:59:16 am
Wow. Looking forward to the pictures. A motorcycle tour of Europe is on my bucket list.
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: King Louis on January 26, 2015, 09:14:45 am
busy with pics...
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: Pistol on January 26, 2015, 09:31:10 am
Lekker Rainer been waiting for this one :thumleft:
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: dirtyXT on January 26, 2015, 10:09:15 am
 :sip: :thumleft: :ricky:
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: King Louis on January 26, 2015, 03:03:52 pm
Struggling to drag pics into the text via photobucket.......aaaah, fifth time it works.... :imaposer:

Our plate:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1015_zps6bf9b43d.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1015_zps6bf9b43d.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: Takashi on January 26, 2015, 03:32:13 pm
Finally, I was wondering when this ride report was going to start appearing.

Waiting in anticipation Sir...
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: King Louis on January 26, 2015, 03:34:19 pm
Ready to go:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1026_zps452993e4.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1026_zps452993e4.jpg.html)

What we took with for three month, before packing:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1004_zpsfae45830.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1004_zpsfae45830.jpg.html)

After packing into panniers, luggage roll and tank bag:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1005_zps17d4d7d8.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1005_zps17d4d7d8.jpg.html)

Previous owner was funny....

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1011_zpsce7b70ea.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1011_zpsce7b70ea.jpg.html)

GPS check on the side of the road in Berlin...

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1066_zpsa0ba9901.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1066_zpsa0ba9901.jpg.html)

Fully packed GSA for two up / three months, not too bad!

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1075_zps53b7cc04.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1075_zps53b7cc04.jpg.html)

Prague speciality:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1104_zps7ded90d6.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1104_zps7ded90d6.jpg.html)

After Prague speciality:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1106_zps58c23fd0.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1106_zps58c23fd0.jpg.html)

Karlsbridge in Prague:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1119_zps6f45cd91.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1119_zps6f45cd91.jpg.html)

Arriving in Austria:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1135_zpsa9320fbd.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1135_zpsa9320fbd.jpg.html)

Transformer one:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1159_zps40eb6727.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1159_zps40eb6727.jpg.html)


(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1161_zpse6453644.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1161_zpse6453644.jpg.html)

Transformer two:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1164_zps0fd0128b.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1164_zps0fd0128b.jpg.html)

The banana along the Soca River

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1188_zps84e39120.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1188_zps84e39120.jpg.html)

First morning in Croatia (Opatija) after a rainy previous day. Fun!

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1196_zps28236b3a.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1196_zps28236b3a.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: woody1 on January 26, 2015, 03:49:49 pm
I like that WOODEN bike.

Nice... we like it not even better.. :imaposer:
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: King Louis on January 26, 2015, 04:25:28 pm
The hotel was a pensioner's paradise, but at least the breakfast was super and with that weather we cruised along the coast down to Split, were we camped for the first time. I forgot to pack in a wine bottle opener, can you believe it? But hey, all campsites are under German Motor Homes control, the latest and largest one's you can imagine. Boy are they equipped. When they park their gigantic mobile homes, they take out the remote to adjust the antenna for the cable tv. Unreal. And the look you get when you ask for a corkscrew. :imaposer:

Then the dialogue starts why and where you come from etc, and at least they noticed our African flag parade on the panniers. Ooooh, you are from South Africa? And you speak German? Yes and yes!

Our first self cooked meal and self prepared bed, it felt good, fantastic view over the bay, camping right next to the beach.

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1207_zps3c20b264.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1207_zps3c20b264.jpg.html)

The road along the coast...

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1201_zps7b149a72.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1201_zps7b149a72.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1202_zpsf7559ff6.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1202_zpsf7559ff6.jpg.html)

The next stop was one of the few planned one's, at Zaton, just before Dubrovnik. Carmen's best femal friend from Germany and her Hubby were there for 5 days on holiday. So we surprised him, as he was not aware that we were passing through. We could get a room at the same B&B and spent a great evening together. The next morning was dark and cloudy and it started raining again. And it rained some more, so we had a rather long breakfast and coffee. It did not clear up, so we had more coffee. By 11h it was raining steadily and we just donned the raingear again and went on our way down the coast.

The border crossings were easy peasy, so far nothing to worry about. Montenegro must be beautiful, it impressed us even in the rain and I would love to spend more time there on the back roads into the mountains. Looks inviting for some gravel touring:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1226_zps98a433fa.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1226_zps98a433fa.jpg.html)

Well, not in this weather. We decided to ride further down south until we see the sun again and went into Albania, were we finally stopped in Skoder at a pretty new hotel. The normal houses are run down and/or in poor condition with Albania being one of the poorest countries down there. We took some side roads, where potholes were more than the tar section.

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1248_zps6f54d3d7.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1248_zps6f54d3d7.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1256_zpsc84aeb52.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1256_zpsc84aeb52.jpg.html)

Once again - even with the GPS - we lost our way various times. Also mainly because signage is not always there or misleading, you can not necessarily tell which is the main road you intend to follow. So we saw places, which not many Albanian's have been to, either. The whole day was spent with banana on, banana off, on and off, on and off......until we reached Shkoder and found the hotel at 40 EUR for the night. We ordered some Montenegro red wine and it was delicious. You will have the odd comment about the drinks and food we had, simply because for us it is a part of enjoying the travels and taste local meals and drinks.

Albania has got lots of houses, which seem to be unfinished, well actually they are unfinished. From what we understand, the owners don't have any tax to pay as long as a house is under construction, so you see a lot of houses under construction. For many years.....! According to Swambo, Albania is a country of coffee drinking, talking men. Not much else seems to happen there. She broke off one tooth and a decision was made, to have it fixed in Turkey rather than in Albania....

The next day was time to get into Greece. Carmen need the toilet urgently, but did not use the one at the border post. We found an acceptable one further down the road in Greece, which has fantastic roads compared to the previous countries we went through.

A clean one:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1261_zps6c36b955.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1261_zps6c36b955.jpg.html)

We needed to decide if we wanted to carry on to one of the Greek islands, or Istanbul. Due to the weather being rather inconsistent, we decided for Istanbul and carried on to Ionnanina. The hotel as per GPS proved to be a restaurant only, so we carried on to the city center where we found a small hotel. In fact everything was small. The hotel, the room, the bathroom, the inner city had small roads, small coffee shops, small restaurants. We found a little pleasant takeaway and scoffed down some lekker giros with chips and bread and rounded it off with hot chocolate and Metaxa, the Greek brandy. We had no problems sleeping well.

The following day lead us towards Kavala, the first coastal town on the Greek part. We took the highway and were surprised by tunnels. Many tunnels. I stopped counting at 40 (!!!) and we learnt afterwards, that this tunnel project is the largest in the world. Not being a fan of highways in the first place, I was glad we took this one.

Just before reaching Kavala.

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1264_zps73956339.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1264_zps73956339.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: Draadwerk on January 26, 2015, 08:16:17 pm
I am soooooo jealous. Looks fantastic. Keep em coming please 😄
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: Would I? on January 26, 2015, 09:11:23 pm
Great so far. Keep it coming!!!!!
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: Carrots on January 26, 2015, 09:35:39 pm
I heard a rumour about this trip......cant wait for the rest Rainer! I think "epic trip" is an understatement.

Classic pic.....true happiness and being content!!
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: Wild Woody on January 26, 2015, 09:41:57 pm
Its taken long enough for this RR ........
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: DirtRebell on January 27, 2015, 08:35:37 am
Nice! Keep it coming!
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: Lem on January 27, 2015, 09:09:47 am
This is some awesome stuff Ranier! Keep it coming
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: Splash on January 27, 2015, 12:06:10 pm
What an amazing trip. Please keep the reports coming.
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: King Louis on January 27, 2015, 05:30:53 pm
On the way to Kavala we stopped over for lunch at a restaurant in Kozani, no other guests were there but the owner was rather friendly. The language barrier hit us. I managed to order my first Greek salad in Greece, but the drinks order went like that: Carmen: Can I have a cup of tea please? Owner: Yes, Greek coffee! Carmen: No, I meant tea! Owner: Yes, Greek coffee! Me: Could I have a cappuchino? Owner: yes, Greek coffee! Me: Maybe you have an espresso? Owner: Yes, Greek coffee! Me: ok, two Greek coffee please! Owner: YES, I CHAVE!

We made a detour through Thessaloniki, which did not impress us much so we carried on to Kavala, a small but nice coastal place. Missing out on the campsite and being tired, we chose a 4* Hotel with a nice view over the harbour and all action was in walking distance. Good call that as it started hammering down with rain. That would have been fun in a tent...

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1266_zps5a97528e.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1266_zps5a97528e.jpg.html)

Here a typical Greek activity (male dominated!)  :biggrin:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1270_zpsb20e1454.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1270_zpsb20e1454.jpg.html)

We were greeted with blue skies the next morning and after a large breakfast with lots of sweet stuff we got going towards Turkey. Along the stretch on the coast we stopped in Alexandropoulis for coffee and made another experience. They do not serve you coffee unless you order a meal? We asked why some other people had coffee and were told these were personal friends, not guests. Go figure.

We reached the Turkish border and had to pay EUR 30 for insurance cover. All of that because our mate Frank forgot to give us the green insurance card when we left Germany. At present we believe it is in Villach at our friend with the Oompa band, it didn't get any further than that. Then the Customs official wanted to see Frank's passport, in whose name the bike is registered and I already saw some problem coming up. But the chap simply accepted my explanation regarding SA residence and let us go. I was quite happy about that.

I had read on the GS-forum that max. speed for bikes in Turkey is 90kmh so I took the first opportunity at a police road block to stop and check with the occifers. They confirmed that, although you don't see anything on their traffic signs. He said 90 is allowed, 99 still accepted, 100 BIG problem. That's the rule, by which I stuck. Strange feeling when many cages overtake you on a bike, but not worth the trouble should you get fined.

Turkey smells different than Greece, no joke. Don't know why but it does. The road  was rather boring and the architecture - apart from the odd mosque - as well. Square buildings seem to be in. We reached our next overnight spot in Tekirdag at the coast. Again our incredible language skills provided us with a nice meal. The waiter said he speaks a little English, but he didn't. Not even a little. So instead of red wine we received Raki, a local aniseed Schnaps and instead of chicken, we got lamb based meat balls. All a local speciality according to the waiter. Back in the hotel Carmen got a little laughing fit when for the first time in her life she heard the muezzin make his prayer call. He sounded as if he was dying, maybe he was, we didn't go to check.

The distance to Istanbul was only 135 km and the ride was uneventful. I intended to make a picture at the city border, but didn't really find it and all of a sudden you are right in Istanbul. One of the most hectic traffic situations I have come across in my life. Total chaos, nobody gives a damn about bikes, everybody wants to be up front, they push in from all sides at all times, lines and robots are mere ornaments without any meaning. The hooter is important and a relative aggressive riding style helps. We made it into the city centre and found a hotel within walking distance to the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sofia, the rates were ok and we were allowed to park the bike on the pavement, which is not normal. Istanbul is full of parking houses and big signboards with indicators, how many (if) empty bays are available. Obviously cars need to adhere to that, otherwise they will be towed away in no time. Here is our parking spot in front of the hotel:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1289_zps42b0d256.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1289_zps42b0d256.jpg.html)

A quick shower and off we went to the Blue Mosque, which was only 1.8km away. We lost the orientation, in the Orient nogal (!) despite a road map, but the road signage was not always there and we walked around a fair bit until we eventually found it. Shoes off, scarve for Swambo's head and we were in the Blue Mosque. Packed with thousands of other tourists, the smell was overwhelming, but what the heck, we don't get here too often.  Afterwards we walked over to the Hagia Sofia. Now all these old buildings are just awesome as they survived the war, different from central and northern Europe. We really liked it and will some day go back. Luckily we had no space on the bike, otherwise Carmen would have started a shopping spree. I mean these buildings are from the 6th century, can you believe it?

A small market on the way...

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1290_zpsaf2cc84e.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1290_zpsaf2cc84e.jpg.html)

On the way to the mosque, a derelict building, still people living there...

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1290_zpsaf2cc84e.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1290_zpsaf2cc84e.jpg.html)

In a mosque:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1304_zps6a88263b.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1304_zps6a88263b.jpg.html)

Shoes off, nose closed:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1307_zpsafe1710a.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1307_zpsafe1710a.jpg.html)

Blue Mosque ceiling:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1323_zpsec7f146d.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1323_zpsec7f146d.jpg.html)

Hagia Sophia:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1334_zpsd61ff32a.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1334_zpsd61ff32a.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1382_zpsb01acb0c.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1382_zpsb01acb0c.jpg.html)


(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1398_zpsa917ffaa.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1398_zpsa917ffaa.jpg.html)

All highly interesting and impressive, the pics hardly reflect your real impressions. The evening was spent with a couple of friends who are pilots for Turkish Airlines. The next day we visited the cisterns, a water system from the 3rd century, still intact, with fish in the water.

Turkish coffee:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1425_zps3968d420.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1425_zps3968d420.jpg.html)

Tourism police:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1442_zps3c9e5985.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1442_zps3c9e5985.jpg.html)

the cisterns:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1444_zps51dd7d5d.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1444_zps51dd7d5d.jpg.html)

This was followed by a visit to the Grand Bazaar, a fantastic market place with plenty of Middle East influence, colours, smells, approach of dealers, we just loved the place.

We bought a silk scarf for our daughter:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1451_zpsa2233eb4.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1451_zpsa2233eb4.jpg.html)

I nearly bought this pure silk carpet. EUR 6000 only!

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1454_zpsc06a5d8d.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1454_zpsc06a5d8d.jpg.html)

Every carpet dealer has a brother in Cape Town, who owns a restaurant in Long Street, can you believe it? We heard the story about three times, seems Istanbul's population is one big family.... :biggrin:

Grand Bazaar in daytime:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1461_zpsb66d2246.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1461_zpsb66d2246.jpg.html)

Another carpet dealer/coffee break:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1463_zps160daede.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1463_zps160daede.jpg.html)

At the Bosporus:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1468_zps36fabc4e.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1468_zps36fabc4e.jpg.html)

Grand Bazaar at night:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1476_zpsd8389d4c.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1476_zpsd8389d4c.jpg.html)

The evening was spent at a restaurant with the view of the Bosporus and the prices of that, too. A tourist trap of note, into which we walked without great hesitation. What the heck, first time in our lives. The people selling goods at the Grand Bazaar throw the packaging and all right into the street before closing the shops and the garbage collectors come during the night, next morning all is clean again, one well oiled machinery.

Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: Sláinte Mhaith on January 27, 2015, 05:38:23 pm
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: Carrots on January 27, 2015, 05:44:38 pm
What an adventure!
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: King Louis on February 01, 2015, 02:21:50 pm
The following morning it was time to visit the dentist and get rid of that problem. Carmen was worried about communication and they would just pull the tooth rather then fixing it. Where we in for a surprise. Obviously lots of Europeans travel to Turkey specifically to have their teeth fixed. The clinic was top modern, the dentist spoke English, albeit a touch limited and/or rusty but she could voice her concern and it took under an hour and she was done. I had a nice chat to the two ladies at the reception who wanted to know what we do and checked the bike with big eyes and said they would love to do a trip like that. They also brought me some lekker Turkish coffee, so my time there was no waste at all. Pity I had only space for one pillion... ;D

Here at the dentist:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1478_zpse0b3a198.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1478_zpse0b3a198.jpg.html)

After that we decided to go over the bridge at the Bosporus which separates Europe from the Middle East. Pointed the GPS right onto the bridge and went. But not onto the bridge. There were a few one way roads which were not marked as that on the GPS and we took an unwanted detour, following the rough direction to where we wanted to go. The traffic was getting thicker, thicker and thicker. I could smell the clutch, we could not or only hardly move, the traffic was completely gridlocked and it took us effectively half an hour to move like 20m. It was the first time since I ride adventures that the over heating warning light came on. We were also running low on fuel, so we decided to get off the bike for a while, let it cool down and check the next petrol station. Couldn't reach the one on the GPS as the traffic was directed by a cop who had different directions for us in mind than the GPS. Eventually we just followed the road and found a garage to fill up. The traffic was absolute chaos and we decided that the bridge is not a total necessity, so we rather wanted to carry on with the trip and made our way out of Istanbul, back towards Greece. In the evenings we had plenty of time to look at our options how to continue and the question came up if we should go to Athens or rather one of the Greek Islands which we had eyed during our planning stages. Athens lost out and we were on our way towards a greek island. Going back to Greece we followed the same route we came and stopped over night in Tekirdag, following the coast from there further down to Thessaloniki via a slightly different route. We found a cheap place in the middle of town, at ourselves silly at one restaurant, where a single portion would be sufficient for both of us. We had to round it off with some grappa. Walking back to the hotel it was the first time whilst travelling through Greece how bad the economic situation is down there. Every second shop or so was closed, but not for the day rather than barricaded for good. Sad story.

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1500_zps417b0833.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1500_zps417b0833.jpg.html)

Two things that I remember came to mind. First of all the Garmin Europe Map has got speed restrictions built in. Whilst correct in Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, they became more and more unreliable in the more southern countries and you have to check the actual signage rather than trusting the GPS. It can become rather expensive in Europe... We have not received one ticket in Europe whilst riding, by now we received a police picture from Italy, doing 79 in a 50 zone, I have no idea yet, what and if anything will come at all. Our friend, in whose name the bike was registered, can prove that we was working in Germany on that date and the bike is not registered any more. Time will tell, we just don't want our friend to bear the consequences of our action, that is not on. You collect point s rather quickly and it may be expensive. Time will tell.

The second matter was general usage of ATGATT in Europe, which was prominent up to Austria, the further down south you go, the less they deem it necessary to care. A big factor will be the higher temperatures around the Mediterranean countries, I guess.

From Thessaloniki we followed the road south towards via Katerini, past the Olympus to Larissa, from there to Trikala and cut from there right through the middle of upper Greece direction Arta, which was our destination for the day. What a great decision, see for yourselves:

At the Olympus

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1536_zps2339327d.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1536_zps2339327d.jpg.html)

into the mounains:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1542_zpsf78dda02.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1542_zpsf78dda02.jpg.html)

A seldom used road, rocks the size of helmets had to be doged:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1544_zpsfbb64c59.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1544_zpsfbb64c59.jpg.html)

An old brigde:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1547_zps8a8c8cb2.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1547_zps8a8c8cb2.jpg.html)

Where we came from:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1553_zps90fce91a.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1553_zps90fce91a.jpg.html)

The road varied from tar to more potholes to gravel and we only came across a few cars during the whole day, the scenery through the mountains, on top of them and back down to the coast was fantastic.

The day was reaching the end for riding, but we cold not find a camping site. A hotel, 4*, that looked better than budget, was eventually found. As it was off season, the were quite happty to reduce the rate to budget level, how nice. As we arrived, we were the only guests. Whilst having our first beer we were watching a Durch Tourist Bus arriving and the group provided us with the entertainment for the evening, which would have been somewhat dull without them. About enquiring with the guy at the reception, he provided us with a tip where to go and the next aim for the day became Lefkada, which was also recommended previously to us. The ride
was easy and via a little bridge/sleuth we arrived on the island. After a bit of searching, we found the campsite. But it was one km away from the beach, which we did not want and also closed!? We spoke to another German couple who toured with their bus and they told us about a campsite on the mainland, further down and we agreed to meet there again as we were somewhat faster on the bike than them. The first campsite we found was actually crappy and whilst having our first beer and checking it out, we didn't like it at all and left again. We found another one further down the road, slightly better but still questionable. But we stayed. The other couple did not come, so they must have found another place to stay. I got orders to go shopping for beer and onions for supper. Easier said than done. I got an 8-pack of beer, no problem. But onions? No chance. First I had problems to find the greek word for onions, secondly this dorpie was inhabited by locals, who hardly spoke any English at all, so it was a lekker game of guess what I'm saying with lots of gestures, drawings etc. Then I received a tip from a young man who spoke a little English and said, I am in the wrong dorpie for onions. I had to go to the next village. On the GPS that was like 10km away? I asked how far and he said: 200m!  :imaposer:
They have a fruit and veggie shop. Which I could not find by means of the signage or trying to talk to locals there. I found a bakery (by the bread and cake pictures outside), which proved to be the veggie shop as well! Go figure? 5 Oranges were on display,three bananas, two aubergines, a few salads, NO ONIONS. I bought green peppers and decided, they had to do! I got back to the campsite quite late and swambo already was worried something had happened to me as it took such a long time. And I don't waste time when shopping! :pot: :peepwall:

She thought I had gone, with money, passports, telephone, i.e. everything she would need in an emergency. We laughed it off, tried the local beer and enjoyed our self made supper. The campsite was weird. I also noticed that they had big signs in the toilets not to throw the used toilet paper into the toilet but dispose of it in an open bucket. Really? Eish! :o

We followed the road north towards Igoumenitsa, where we wanted to board the ferry to Brindisi/Italy. The campsites we found along the coast did not impress us much and after a short discussion, we took the option to go to the island of Korfu instead, hoping it would be better as we had heard good feed back about Korfu. On the road to Igoumenitsa I spotted a 1200 Tenere and the rider sitting at a close coffee shop. The bike had Italian plates and we stopped to have a chat to the rider. What a good decision. He just came back from a trip to Teheran/Iran and had some good stories to tell. After learning that we were on our way to Italy, we took out our European map and he told us where to go and what to eat, always concentrating on things we were not aware about or simply did not know. All of it proved to be great advise and we have seen parts of Italy, which people don't visit often and tested local dishes and wines. Wunderbar!

En route to Igoumenitsa with our newest friend Luca, giving us fantastic tips:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1560_zpse02e3ac8.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1560_zpse02e3ac8.jpg.html)

Some roads on Lefkada came to an end, where they simply stopped and I had to turn around, no other way out.

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1569_zps40e742e1.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1569_zps40e742e1.jpg.html)

At Mytikas, the second crappy campsite, at least right at the beach, my first swim in the Mediterranean sea:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1585_zps2e5686f1.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1585_zps2e5686f1.jpg.html)

Dinner, the cooker is crap!

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1588_zpsf689f435.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1588_zpsf689f435.jpg.html)

Boarding for Corfu:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1606_zpse3845e6c.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1606_zpse3845e6c.jpg.html)

Our campsite at Dassia/Corfu (the owner wanted to keep our passports during the stay, we said, certainly not, we can pay cash, don't worry...we came across such request regularly!)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1613_zps7e98a379.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1613_zps7e98a379.jpg.html)

Corfu is a lekker island, it was really nice and quiet still being just before the holiday season started, they where just getting in shape for the tourist hordes, which we avoided.

We cruised the island, found nice restaurants at acceptable rates, including the campsite restaurant which was really good. The only thing, the Greeks don't make good wine. One afternoon we went for cocktails (about 7,50 EUR average), Carmen got a neck massage, in general life was good!

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1632_zps50319821.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1632_zps50319821.jpg.html)

Transformer 3:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1633_zps564223d1.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1633_zps564223d1.jpg.html)

At a graveyard, a personal shrine with matters from live on display, this  chap did aged 27, possibly on the bike?

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1638_zps1afac0bc.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1638_zps1afac0bc.jpg.html)

This chap stopped, we had also stopped to take a picture, and asked, if we were alright or needed help with/for the bike! We really liked that, genuine fellow that!

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1641_zps29fbf1e5.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1641_zps29fbf1e5.jpg.html)

We spent four lekker days on the island and it was time to move again. Leaving Corfu:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1649_zps0797ff6a.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1649_zps0797ff6a.jpg.html)

We had the ferry from Igoumenitsa to Brindisi booked at a travel agent on Corfu. They only leave after midnight and as we have never done this before, we did not want to take a chance. Corfu was left in the afternoon and we rode around Igoumenitsa's port/town a bit, took some photos and had a beer or two, rounding the day off with dinner not far from the dinner. So we thought. Then we went to the quayside were the ferry was leaving. 30 trucks and three bikes were waiting, more trucks arriving. I found some Turkish Lira in my pockets and we could not use them or change them any more. I went and joined a group of truck drivers and asked, which one the driver was from the Turkish truck. They did not know what I was after and I was met with some reluctant faces, one guy saying, me, why? So I gave him the money and said he should buy some beers for his friends... Their faces lit up and big smiles and thank you's came over. I went back to Carmen and the waiting game started. It became dark and we looked far into the sea, not seeing a thing. A boat came and the lights became bigger, yay, our ferry! Not so. It docked next to us. Another one came about half an hour later, at good last! It went past our anchorage. Cut a long story short, ours came around 1 in the morning, you just sit there and waste time. Nobody knew (or told us) when it would arrive. A touch frustrating. I'm used to that in Africa, but in Greece?

Trucks and bikes

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1652_zps1811dd95.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1652_zps1811dd95.jpg.html)

Waiting, seeing, and again waiting....

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1653_zps6b3e0986.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1653_zps6b3e0986.jpg.html)

Finally time to board

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1658_zpsca8dcc09.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1658_zpsca8dcc09.jpg.html)

Since the ferry took 7 hours we took a cabin to catch some sleep, I did not want to continue riding totally tiered. Well invested money and we caught some sleep before entering Italy.

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1661_zps0a7fa85c.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1661_zps0a7fa85c.jpg.html)

Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: Dorsland on February 01, 2015, 07:36:22 pm
Lekker adventure.  What's that saying about when in Greece, um Rome, do as the Greeks do  ;D
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: King Louis on February 11, 2015, 04:58:59 pm
We went from Brindisi to Salerno, taking the side roads. Boy do they have curves in Italy, like well build women. Plenty of them. In fact, that day I had enough of them once we reached Salerno. You think our 22 is hectic, go to Italy. The closer we got to Salerno, the more hectic the traffic got. Go for the gap, all the time, from all sides, never mind what you ride/drive. I thought Istanbul was hectic, but the Italians are not far behind. We found a little B&B and a restaurant not far from it. The door was open, although there was nobody else there. Again we were too early - as usual. But hungry. The owner/chef was very friendly and we ordered our first Italian Pizza in Italy. Man was it good, just for that I would go back to that restaurant. The picture does not do it justice but it was hellishly lekker. The house wine was that good that we ordered another one for taking along. We kind of regularly kept an extra bottle with us, in case you don't find nice accommodation or run short of time to go shopping.

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1669_zps26298e6c.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1669_zps26298e6c.jpg.html)

The next day was cruising along the Amalfi coast. Stunningly beautiful and a must for anybody in that area. The traffic is weird, although it was off-season, it was a good mixture of incidents. Either you do have Michael Schumacher on your arse or you have somebody going at walking speed. I have not yet worked out, how it works for Italians. Add in the odd bus on a tight bend and it becomes interesting.

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1692_zps2a7ae920.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1692_zps2a7ae920.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1695_zpsf85c2932.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1695_zpsf85c2932.jpg.html)

We were set at our touring speed, taking the scenery in slowly. Beautiful coastline, small villages, tight street, nice old buildings, lots of cyclists (as crazy as here in the cradle....) and every now and then checking if the banana still works. On and off.

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1703_zps2fd89baf.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1703_zps2fd89baf.jpg.html)

We reached the outskirts of Naples, a hectic city, traffic still crazy. Being in front at all times under all conditions is a local sport, scooters rule. A Golf GTI tried hard to get past but eventually gave up, I could just not make way and try to be polite but he stuck to my bumper within a couple of cm, so maybe my hand signs helped a bit, as he backed off. Luckily the bike has got some presence. As per our friend Luca's instructions, we took the road leading inland to L'Aquila.

On the way

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1720_zps63cd0a69.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1720_zps63cd0a69.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1725_zps9740daad.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1725_zps9740daad.jpg.html)

The ride was stunning, through part of the Abbruzzes and Grand Sasso National Park. Pity we did not see any bears, which we were warned about. Finally we reached L'Aquila, which was subject to an earth quake six years ago, 308 people died, reconstruction costs at 16 billion USD. The centre of town was the most affected, the buildings are still under construction. As per further information supplied, the guys in charge pocketed the money rather than spending it on the reconstruction!!!! Pretty much like in SA, isn't it? In Germany, the town would have been fully re-done 6 years later.

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1742_zps3602ffc3.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1742_zps3602ffc3.jpg.html)

All hotels which we "found" in the GPS, were either non-existent any more or simply closed or under construction. The weather turned for the worse and the first four we found, were all full, so we decided to get out of town and put up with whatever we would find coming up. I was tired and the rain hammered down. Not a pleasure. After a while we saw the sign "Hotel" and followed the little road leading up to it. Under construction, brand new, not yet open to the public. And on we went. A short while later we eventually found another one and they had "the last room" for the night available. We heard that phrase often.....but it was good, clean and the restaurant provided us with the specialities Lucas mentioned to us, plus a top class wine, so the day was rounded up in complete satisfaction. We had pasta Amatriziana and Raviolo D'Abruzzo, washed down with a rather expensive red wine from the Abruzzo area.

Fresh, but dry, we continued the next morning via Assergi to the Campo Imperatore (surprisingly not well known amongst other bikers in Europe?), a beautiful mountain area. Going down to Ofena for coffee we went via Teramo to our day's destination Benito del Torro....(plus VAT) were we found a campsite again.

Campo Imperatore

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1751_zpsdaa80139.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1751_zpsdaa80139.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1752_zps4d108417.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1752_zps4d108417.jpg.html)

The GPS directed us via strange side roads once again, one ending up in a dead end, closed off by a barrier. A bit of squeezing and we just made it, as I was not interested to go back and find a different route again.

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1766_zpsecefdf5e.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1766_zpsecefdf5e.jpg.html)

See honey, it worked, no problem

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1767_zps551f68ff.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1767_zps551f68ff.jpg.html)

Benito del.....Gran Tourismo? I do not want to be here in peak season. The campsite was nice, but right at the railways and trains going through all night. Yeah, camping is great.....

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1770_zps48b0e1f5.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1770_zps48b0e1f5.jpg.html)

Short cut under the railways

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1775_zps2954e34e.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1775_zps2954e34e.jpg.html)

For what it's worth, I checked the oil the next morning before getting going. Right empty....of course it had to be a Sunday morning. No shops open, petrol stations closed, petrol available prepaid for notes or credit card. Sherbit! We went back to the campsite, at least they spoke English and could tell us where to get some, what a relief.

We went north to Ancona and cut left inland again to the Toscana. Beautiful and via GPS side roads again. But GPS lacked a bit of talent when it came to interpretation of English in terms of camp site. We were lead over a gravel road to the top of a mountain, but absolutely no campsite there. The next 4 B&B's fully booked, it was a long weekend, which we did not even know. The day got long and we found a very nice little B&B somewhere in Chianti (area) and had a great dinner. The Italians can't drive but boy can they cook up a storm. First time I had a white pizza. Based with Brie cheese and apples, a great combination!

A wine farm

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1798_zps6b5e1f39.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1798_zps6b5e1f39.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1805_zpsf5c74130.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1805_zpsf5c74130.jpg.html)

Along the strada del vino

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1817_zps4ee3d040.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1817_zps4ee3d040.jpg.html)

Carmen found out that we were actually more in the Umbria area than the Toscana and we took direction inland again, avoiding the bigger roads and staying away from the main traffic. The weather was great and I have the habit, to ride with an open visor often. As usual, you are paying for that with getting hit by insects regularly. One worked it's way up my sleeve and stung me three times, another one worked itself between the buff and my neck, not too bad but good enough to be irritating.

We found a campsite and it was time for Swambo to proof her talent in the clothes washing area, which I leave to her. I checked the bike for wear and tear and all bolts etc, which can be done with a wine glass in hand, right? The inner lining of the tankbag had a tear and needed fixing with duct tape. Exhausting....

The route for the next day was just zig sagging along, towards Siena / Florence.

Some impressions

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1821_zpsbb4d2d08.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1821_zpsbb4d2d08.jpg.html)

That's what happens when you don't understand the sign board....no way around this one but back to where we came from

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1822_zpse90736cf.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1822_zpse90736cf.jpg.html)

Self catering the next evening, one does not always need a restaurant

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1874_zps6a7f17c7.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1874_zps6a7f17c7.jpg.html)

The Tuscany, what a nice part of Italy, beautiful to ride and enjoy the old stone buildings, coffee shops etc.

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1882_zps93d3b319.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1882_zps93d3b319.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1885_zpsd83a85d4.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1885_zpsd83a85d4.jpg.html)

Every couple of km I had to stop the battle ship and turn around, as Carmen needed to take pictures. Again the scooters were kings in the towns and we eventually reached Florence. The city is hectic and didn't do it for us, so we decided to carry on to Bologna.

Of course we picked the route with a certain rain forecast...

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1894_zpsf9840199.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1894_zpsf9840199.jpg.html)

In line with the weather conditions, we decided not to camp and stayed at a little Hotel in the middle of town. It is a student city with a different old city centre, rather interesting, but somewhat dirty. Lots of graffiti. I find this a lack of education and respect. Lots of people flowing through the narrow streets, plenty of shops with specialities, hams, cheeses, sweets of all kind and obviously boutiques. All at rather high prices, which I doubt the students will pay, rather the tourists. As we did not know how long we would still be in Italy, we once again had pizza and a lambrusco to dream off. We also found some nougat, cookies and Grappa, one has to taste local specialities, right?

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1903_zpse11ad303.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1903_zpse11ad303.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1905_zpsadd6ba7d.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1905_zpsadd6ba7d.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1906_zps9871ac25.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1906_zps9871ac25.jpg.html)

More to follow...

Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: dirtyXT on February 12, 2015, 07:11:33 am
 :thumleft: my dream trip through italy and all the little places inbetween. keep it coming!
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: King Louis on February 22, 2015, 11:58:27 am
Venice was our next destination and to get there is best a quick job. Once out of Bologna, it get's boring crossing the Po delta. Straight roads, flat surroundings, but absolutely nothing exciting. Our next door neighbors at Korfu told us about a nice campsite just before Venice. Mestre was reached quickly and after a few words with some friendly locals we found the camping ground. It was quite well organized, clean, and a few more international visitors than the usual German retirement army with their top of the range campers. The tent was up in less than ten minutes, security not an issue according to other campers, so we left the luggage roll in the tent, locked the bike panniers and took the bus to Venice.

A tourist city of note, expensive and packed with tourists from all over the world. Despite all this, we liked it a lot, the city has got a good vibe. You can virtually walk all of it or you can take a boat connecting the various parts of the city or you can take a gondola, including an "o-sole-mio" performance with an on-board tenor. We skipped that and just looked at one performing whilst his partner was propelling the gondola with a stick through the canals. Entry level for a gondola trip about EUR 80 for half an hour. Some of the shops had so many different things on offer that even I would have bought some stuff, but due to space restrictions we stayed away from that.

A masque manufacturing/selling shop:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1916_zps6f71f085.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1916_zps6f71f085.jpg.html)

A monkey and a grappa

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1932_zps2c9be073.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1932_zps2c9be073.jpg.html)

Evening approaching

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1935_zpsbbceccf5.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1935_zpsbbceccf5.jpg.html)

Holding on

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1943_zps6af6470b.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1943_zps6af6470b.jpg.html)

The next day was planned to get back to Venice and take the day to see what else it had to offer. It did not come to that. I thought, I had a bout of food poisoning. Left the tent to go to the bathrooms, half way there something tore me down, hard and fast and the world was spinning around me. I never had that before. I managed to go to the shower and wash, dried off, put my clothes on again and round number two hit me. An attack of note which made the world spin around in all directions and no order, I went down again, managed to crawl to the shower, sat against the wall and showered ice cold until it felt a touch better. Dressed again and walked slowly back to the tent, swaying like a drunk. I started feeling sick. Carmen had left the tent already, I went down again and threw up, sweating profusely. It was the first time in my life that I asked my wife to call an ambulance, I did not know what was wrong and knew I could not handle it on my own. Time to check out our travel insurance. It worked well and Carmen managed to call an ambulance - doctors don't come, you have to get to the hospital. Another advantage is you do not have to sit in the waiting area when you reach the hospital but go straight into the emergency section where a doctor starts checking you. Blood tests, ECG, blood pressure tests were all done, I was put on a drip and waited what would happen. Carmen was not allowed in and one of the male nurses helped translating between me and the doctor. I insisted on malaria and bilharzia testing, which they initially did not want to do, but I wanted to know. In the afternoon I got the all clear and we took a taxi back to the campsite, I was good again. What a relief. Even the Discovery peeps checked up how I was doing - probably they also wanted to know if any further treatment and associated costs would be necessary. We paid cash at the hospital and got all refunded under our policy, no problem at all. Good to know, if and how the system works.

In the ambulance

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1950_zps14fdea85.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1950_zps14fdea85.jpg.html)

Venice was delayed by a day, but I was good again and we had a fantastic touristic day. Piazza San Marco (clap made the trap and they hammered us for two beers at EUR 27,60 - so far our record in Europe. At the exchange rate valid at last year it came to about R 420.00!!! Rialto Bridge and some of the churches and other cultural buildings were visited, mixed with some food and drinks.

Alternative transport

 (http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD1954_zpsc2712bec.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD1954_zpsc2712bec.jpg.html)

Rialto bridge

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2001_zps6013408b.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2001_zps6013408b.jpg.html)

Where we bought the pub

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2047_zps9122b9dd.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2047_zps9122b9dd.jpg.html)

Venice was done, I was good again and back at the campsite we met three Spanish club riders, who hardly spoke any English at all. We took our Europe map out and explained to them in the typical hand fashion dialogue about our tour. They took out a  pen and left marks on the map where we should go. Again, like our Italian mate from Greece, these tips proved to be worth their value in gold. A couple of beers later we shook hands and went to bed.

I had another attack last December, the diagnosis was that I had a viral infection of my balancing nerve. You feel like a permanent drunk without having to pay for it. Luckily in Europe it did last a day only and we could carry on with our trip. Last time it took me two months to get back to normal. Since it is viral, there is a good chance it will be recurring, although I hope not. There is no cure for it yet, the quacks can only treat the symptoms, but not the cause.

Out of Venice we took the highway for a change. The route is boring and we just wanted to cover distance, before we reached Verona, on to Bergamo in 38 degrees heat and over to Como. We found a small hotel in the middle of town, at the promotional rate of EUR 89 for the night. Hotels at the lake front start from EUR 120 upwards. Thank you. The hotel was good and clean, the staff very friendly and it was within walking distance of the lake front anyhow. We walked around a bit and had nice dinner with a fantastic view.

Lake Como

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2066_zpsd6750bc7.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2066_zpsd6750bc7.jpg.html)

We checked the map and decided to take the St. Gotthard road, Grimselpass and Furkapass to get to my best mate Juerg and his wife Noemin in Switzerland. They live close to Gstaad and we were happy not to have to pay for accommodation, which is stupidly expensive. We really tried hard not to convert everything into Rands, but it does not always work, I promise. We paid for shopping food and wine and took our mates out, the good thing aside from the price niveau in Switzerland is that you get top quality.

Here a few shots from Switzerland, which I love....

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2068_zps855e4d77.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2068_zps855e4d77.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2071_zpse1a96051.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2071_zpse1a96051.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2081_zpsf4fa8673.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2081_zpsf4fa8673.jpg.html)

These passes, paradise........

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2087_zps3dc09460.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2087_zps3dc09460.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2111_zps2bb57932.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2111_zps2bb57932.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2133_zps815d4236.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2133_zps815d4236.jpg.html)

We were surprised about the amount of bikers doing these passes. There were hundreds of them, all of them going faster than us, enjoying the views and rather cruising through this utterly beautiful area. We had lost our feeling for time and did not notice, that we did the passed during a public holiday, that's why there were so many bikes on the road. We avoided the restaurants and stopped at a little caravan en route, much like a boereroll seller. They had swiss cheese samis on sale, wow, they were good!

We stayed with our friends for three days, who took us under their wings and we toured together in their car through the neighboring areas, including the Berner Oberland, Lauenburg, Montreux, Gruyere with the Giger bar and museum (the inventor of the aliens, who passed away last year).

We had lunch in front of the Eiger Northface, went via Interlaken, a clock shop town taken over by Chinese. They even have Chinese staff to cater for the busloads of Chinese who are buying watches. And they come in the thousands. A watchmaker was interviewed on TV and asked, why he would open another shop as he had already two in town. He said they simply can not cope with demand. And the watches they sell are not the cheap ones!

A few more impressions

 (http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2136_zps0bdcf1e1.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2136_zps0bdcf1e1.jpg.html)

Eiger Northface

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2157_zps8cdda0d1.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2157_zps8cdda0d1.jpg.html)

Check the paraglider...

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2165_zps654ec8a7.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2165_zps654ec8a7.jpg.html)

Coming back to my mates house, I park the bike next to his car and put it on the centrestand to check the oil. I don't do that too often, as I know the adventure pretty well. His car was parked on a concrete strip, the bike on grass. As I bend down next to it to check the sight glass, the soft ground gave in to one side and the bike fell onto my mates car. Fuckshit. Big dent and nice scratches on the door panel. On the bike, the throttle bent, the screen bent, on of the holding pins sheared off. So I bent everything back as good as possible, in the process breaking the second pin holding the screen. I fixed that temporarily with cable ties, the pins could be replaced at a later stage. I left some Swiss Francs with my mate and he told me later that all was covered plus a meal for the two of them. Man, 9000 km without any problem and then this shit. Anyhow, the company and the surrounding just were so good that this little incident did not bother us for too long. I still had to visit some business partners in Basel and Zurich, which was combined with seeing some old friends and we had a really good time. Then our backsides started itching and we needed to ride again into new areas, France was on the cards.

Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: Knucklhead on February 22, 2015, 12:31:22 pm
Very mooi
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: Dorsland on February 22, 2015, 03:20:51 pm
Wow it has got expensive to travel on the Rand  :o  I have never been to Switzerland but it looks beautiful.  As a whenwe it would be interesting to get some of your general impressions of Europelater on in the RR KL.
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: Jondu on February 22, 2015, 09:30:49 pm
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: Carrots on February 25, 2015, 11:39:51 am
Eeeish.....that food poisoning besigheid is not good!

Where is the rest?
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: ButtSlider on February 25, 2015, 12:44:27 pm
Dammit, just as I was getting into it. . . . . . . it just stops.  :dousing: :sip:
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: Man from Nam on February 25, 2015, 02:19:59 pm
Lekker :thumleft:
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: silvrav on February 25, 2015, 02:34:44 pm
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: Mikie on March 03, 2015, 02:02:03 pm
What a trip!!!
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: bud500 on March 03, 2015, 03:44:02 pm
Great trip and lekker travel writing.
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: Sputnik080 on March 03, 2015, 03:56:46 pm
Absolutely wonderful!
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: King Louis on March 05, 2015, 08:31:53 pm
The time had come to carry on. It was difficult with our friends being so nice to us and looking after us so bloody well, but our bums were itching, to be honest. Maybe it also had to do with the fact that I could not stand up straight in my mates house! I'm 1.95 and his place is a 500+ years old house and the flat, they provided for us, had such small headspace that I had to walk bent most of the time.  ;)

Our route lead us via Gstaad, Col de Pillon, Chamonix, Martigny to Grenoble. The Montblanc was not to be seen as it was totally covered in clouds. We found a nice little campsite and finished the day of with Pizza and Lambrusco once again. In France, the bathrooms are not separated for male and female, which I did not know, just wondered why there was a chick half dressed talking to her boy shaving. Interesting!

We were eventually riding on the Route Napoleon, cutting further south. Nice riding, as faster speed was possible than in Switzerland, until my speed control knocked on my helmet..... ::) Our next overnight destination was Digne des Baines, a thermal bath. It was raining and we decided to take a hotel room. The place was rather empty and the restaurant was closed because of that. So we had to ride back into town for dinner. No soccer, as no TV with the appropriate channel to watch the worldcup. What the heck, it did not really matter. We wanted to see some games but took it easy, when we could not see it. The last thing I was missing for three months was actually TV. Don't know if we missed much, but I don't think so.

The following day was a hammer. The distance was rather short, but the scenery was stunning. We rode  the Gorge du Verdon, plenty of other bikes and campers on the road, but what a fantastic area. If you ever get close, do it! We continued via Grasse to Vence, where we found a nice B&B to stay. We went to town and had a couple of drinks and eventually found a nice little speciality shop where we bought cheese, ham and fresh bread, some whine, so dinner was "at home". Carmen was a touch sour grapes, as despite TV we missed the Germany game, only to learn afterwards by our neighbor, that it was on, just on a different channel. Was I glad that I was not responsible for that! >:D

Hitting a natural road block:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2230_zps47c50454.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2230_zps47c50454.jpg.html)

Entering the Gorge du Verdon

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2243_zpsaadb177d.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2243_zpsaadb177d.jpg.html)

Gorge du Verdon

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2251_zpsddb08a77.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2251_zpsddb08a77.jpg.html)

Travellers breakfast

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2308_zpsc560e27f.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2308_zpsc560e27f.jpg.html)

We always wanted to see Monaco, Nizza and in general the French South Coast. Monaco is just one hell of an expensive place. Old buildings, in very good nick, compared to rather shoddy looking places in Nizza. The undergroung highway system with traffic circles was impressive. We did part of the formula one race track (well you can't really miss it, the place is not that big...) and at least I can now state that I stood at pole position. We took a break in a little coffee shop which we needed to charge our camera battery. Whilst sitting there, we noticed that once again scooters are kings, but we also saw millions of rands going past us in form of top of the range cars.  It was good to have seen it, but I am not sure if I need to go again. It is just not our scene.

Cannes was even worse. People are there to see and to be seen. Luxury cars for hire by the hour, one boutique next to the other. Prices from different planets than the one we live on. Traffic: stop and go. We found a nice little campsite, quite empty and we had peace. Our cooker didn't do the job, so we went to a restaurant, at least we could watch some soccer that night. We had a swim in the Mediterranean and a good nights sleep before carrying on to Saint Tropez. Another place which is kind of nice, traffic horrific, old town ok but full of other tourists, so we left it again and went inland towards the Provence. How beautiful and what a nice change. Rolling hills, forests, farms led us eventually to a small place named Carces and we found a hotel with cheap accommodation. We were the only guests. Dinner was bought at a local super market, but it was rather nice. Better than camping, as it was - yes you guessed right - raining. The bike was parked in the street and in the middle of the night I was checking, if she was still there. She was. ;)


(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2320_zps863093d5.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2320_zps863093d5.jpg.html)

En route to St. Tropez with the red rock formations, for which the area is famous

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2358_zps144335f1.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2358_zps144335f1.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2359_zpsab58e2e6.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2359_zpsab58e2e6.jpg.html)

Bike parking in Carces

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2377_zps364c7013.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2377_zps364c7013.jpg.html)

Checking at night

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2378_zps885599ef.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2378_zps885599ef.jpg.html)

Leaving Carces we approached the coastal stretch again. Something was not right with the gears and I stopped in Montpellier to check it out. Could not find it right away and had problems, to gear down. Only when I stopped, could I do that. That was a bit of a nuisance and concerning, when going through the Carmargue.

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2384_zps956ff1e4.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2384_zps956ff1e4.jpg.html)

Because of the gearing problem, we decided to carry on to Barcelona, as the do have BMW bike garages. We arrived Thursday afternoon and met with the service manager, who spoke no English at all. Oh ja, on the way there the cable ties ripped off and the screen said hello to me, going down flat. So I held it with one hand in place, as the wind was hammering at 130kmh. Do that for about 10 minutes and your arms are getting tired. Very tired. Eventually I slowed down as I could not hold the screen upright against the wind any more. Only then did I realize how much pressure is on the screen at 130kmh plus.... it is enormous!

The service manager did not really understand what I was talking about and pretended, he did, but he was looking at places at the bike which had absolutely nothing to do with what my problem was. I booked her in for the next day, she was also due for the 40,000 km service in any case. We found a hotel in walking distance (quite a walk, though) and headed for the local night scene. The place was called Sabadell, which is a suburb of Barcelona. At least it was local and not overrun with tourists. One of restaurants not far from the hotel became our hotspot for the next couple of nights for dinner. They had tapas and all kind of other things at very reasonable prices and a TV which showed the soccer games. All of them realized rather quickly, that we were Germans. I wonder why? :biggrin:

At night I established a list of the things I wanted checked and explained the problem I had with the bike and translated everything with google. Since I had no printer, I had to write everything down. The next day, I gave the list to the mechanic. What a fantastic guy, as usual, a biker himself, speaking good basic English and we struck an immediate repertoire and understanding of the issues on hand. What was interesting was that BMW Spain does not recognize the BMW worldwide guarantee I had purchased with the bike!!!! Unreal. I was concerned as it might have been a problem with the gear box, which can get rather expensive.  The mechanic did the service and - as usual - could not find anything wrong with the gear box or the clutch either. The bike was fine. Yeah, right! So on Saturday we rode up to Andorra, I always wanted to be there, don't ask why. Beautiful road through Spain to get there, stopped by the Police! Once we got closer to Andorra the traffic thickened and became stop and go, us right in between the cars. On the right side was a separated lane, obviously for bicycles. After the third motorbiker went through, I followed a Spanish chap and bypassed all the traffic. Only to be picked out by a nice police officer, who mentioned that it is an offence and the penalty is EUR 250.I explained that I followed the Spanish guy, as he should know the local laws. But  he was not happy with that. I apologized profusely and eventually he let us go with a stern warning not to do that again. Would I? :patch: :ricky:


(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2403_zps7fc5af1c.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2403_zps7fc5af1c.jpg.html)

Andorra is very modern, in fact too modern for us. It was nice being there but even the old town was re-built and looked somewhat too modern to us. It is a purchasing paradise for Spanish and French people, as it offers tax discounts for electronics and all.  Other than that it is not such a big attraction, but rather sterile. We left it to return to Sabadell via the French side. A stunning ride through the mountains. Again I developed problems with gearing down. Furthermore, the GPS packed up completely, obviously on a day when we had planned to watch a Germany soccer game. We managed by memory and a bit of criss crossing to find the hotel in time and could watch the game in our favourite restaurant. The following day we did the Barcelona Tour in the hop-on hop-off bus and soaked in the most important sights of the town. It is Gaudi Town, the architect, who is responsible for the most impressive buildings in town. It was quite impressive. Once again, full with tourists like us.....

Back via France

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2429_zps03eaa189.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2429_zps03eaa189.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2441_zps4619c900.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2441_zps4619c900.jpg.html)

Graffity, a sign of disrespect by somebody. I hate it.

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2488_zpsceb4e408.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2488_zpsceb4e408.jpg.html)

Monday morning back to BMW, changing the timing belt which they did not have on stock and checking the problem again. What a relief, a nut had loosened which kept the connecting rods in place via a ball joint. One can not see that unless you remove the part in front. It was quick and cheap and that was the one and only problem we encountered during the whole trip. What a pleasure.

We quickly went to the Garmin shop in town, they could not find the problem, did not have a spare battery, but gave us the cabling and a new mounting thingy free of charge. They checked our purchase details from years ago from SA and had us on the system!!! Wow, that was impressive.

Our Spanish friends we met in Italy had told us not to use the road down the coast southwards, and I had in mind to see Madrid for no particular reason but wanting to be there. So we continued inland towards Madrid.

Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: michnus on March 06, 2015, 08:38:34 am
lekker, subscribe  :sip: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: King Louis on March 07, 2015, 12:41:03 pm
The road to Madrid gave us a completely different scenario from the coast, interesting from a different landscape and the smells. Really. Via Zaragossa it smells of pig farming all the way. This earthy clay smell, but not overbearing. The Spanish must kill every pig coming into sight, because we did not see a single one in the whole of Spain. I'm not lying. Another reason could be that we ate all of them en route. Everything with jamon this, jamon that, starters with jamon, main dish with jamon. In the tapas bars they usually have complete hams hanging, 80-100 is the norm. When we saw three pigs on a farm some 200m away cruising through Portugal we actually stopped to take a picture. As much as going to Kruger and sighting a leopard. Actually I have seen more Leopards in Kurger than pigs in Spain!!! :imaposer:

Our GPS gave up it's ghost completely and we stopped at a petrol station and purchased a map of Spain/Portugal, as our European map in the tank bag was just not detailed enough and we zigzagged through the country without much orientation. With the more detailed map purchased we found our bearings again and carried on to Madrid. Now that city surprised me. Millions of people, very very clean city, lots of historical buildings, nice parks, despite the fact that it was full with traffic, they somehow manage to keep that traffic flowing, by far better than in other big city we visited. How they do that I do not know, but it was quite a pleasure to have such change. We did not feel like camping and found the "Best Western Hotel" in the city centre, so we could reach many attractions on foot. At a price, though. The parking garage for the bike was 14 EUR per day.....! We walked and walked and walked and just enjoyed it, it's a lekker place to chill and enjoy food and the old town buildings, I liked it a lot.

Don Quijote and Sancho Panza

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2524_zps49153544.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2524_zps49153544.jpg.html)

Motocross fans?

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2537_zps3b7ab128.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2537_zps3b7ab128.jpg.html)

The chap was real, check the next pic.....some way of making money, ain't it?

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2538_zpsb984bd5f.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2538_zpsb984bd5f.jpg.html)

The royal palace

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2541_zpsad9fa120.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2541_zpsad9fa120.jpg.html)

We walked the old city and hit a tapas bar to increase our jamon intake once again. Although I cheated a bit with chicken. Carmen, as usual, thanked them in French. She has a knack for languages, so in France she usually said mille grazie, in Spain Merci beaucoup, in Portugal grazias, back in France obrigado and so on. Funny enough people never said anything, possibly wondering more about her hubby who cracked regularly when she applied her verbal tricks. But sometimes, she was happy...see for yourselves:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2555_zpsacbfaa47.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2555_zpsacbfaa47.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2565_zps0ed80204.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2565_zps0ed80204.jpg.html)

Nobody there?

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2573_zpscee212e6.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2573_zpscee212e6.jpg.html)

But now! There she is, queen Louise....

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2574_zps9d236633.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2574_zps9d236633.jpg.html)

Beautiful park

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2584_zps53c758fe.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2584_zps53c758fe.jpg.html)

Spanish village with olive plantations surrounding same. They have huge areas just for olives. Did I say huge? Yes, huge.

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2598_zps02333b99.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2598_zps02333b99.jpg.html)

From Madrid we took the route via Toledo and then side roads down to Granada, which lies beautifully before the Sierra Nevada mountain range. We were looking to find accommodation with TV to see the Germany/USA match. The campsite didn't have. Neither the next three hotels. I had done around 500km, which is on the longer side of days in the saddle and wanted to park the bike, eat something decent, wash it down with some local wine and put legs up. After a short intercom notification (slap agains helmet from behind), I slowed down so we could communicate and we decided to carry on to the coast, as it was only 70 km away and I thought to add that and call it a day. It did not work out. On the way the intercom knocked on my helmet again. Slowing down again, what now? Don't you want to go to Sierra Nevada? No, I'm tired, I'm moeg, we said we gonna go to the coast now, didn't we? Yes. So where do you want to go now? Sierra Nevada! :biggrin:

Guess what, we turned left towards Sierra Nevada. A great road lead us up the mountain towards the top of Sierra Nevada and whilst riding, we noticed a sign: campsite, which you could not see from the street. Turn around to check it out, decision made chop chop. Very few campers, nice, clean, quiet, with pub and restaurant. All we needed. The tent was pitched with the door opening facing the surrounding mountains and Granada in the distance, stunning. The pizza we ordered was possibly the worst we had the whole trip, but the wine made up for it. No shops close by  either, so you put up with what you can get.

The view from the campsite

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2603_zpsc7f62c1c.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2603_zpsc7f62c1c.jpg.html)

Packing up the tent and all had become a routine, chop chop and everything has it's place. The only problem was lifting the luggage roll on to the bike, when my back said to me, I don't like this. I have had this before, signs of wear and tear from years of competition dancing and playing squash. So halfway up I dropped the bag like a hot potato. This can develop into a nasty situation, as you can't move much any more. I took a painkiller and took the riding very very easy, particularly the slow manoevres. Luckily it did not get worse, you still move around 450kg in motion and one wrong turn can have nasty after effects. We encountered very little traffic taking an extended way through the mountains to the coast. Absolutely scenic ride, very enjoyable.

We hit the crest of the mountain pass and I was already excited to see the coast and smell the salty air. What a disappointment when that happens, you are looking at a sea of white plastic sheets all over the place. Green houses (white one's) as far as the eye could see. The air full of fertilizer smell.

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2614_zps2b662271.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2614_zps2b662271.jpg.html)

A quick decision was made to carry on via Adra to Motri

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2623_zps4da9ff94.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2623_zps4da9ff94.jpg.html)

Because of my back we decided not to camp and found a little two star hotel, absolutely nice. We walked along the beachfront and came to an area with various restaurants and took seats in a good looking place. Receiving the menus, we had one glance at the prices, closed the menus, got up and out of that establishment. Tourist rape of note. After a while we found one that we liked and the prices were more budget like. Nope, no ham today! Curry chicken for madame and pork chops for me and a decent wine rounded up another different day.

Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: Dorsland on March 07, 2015, 02:32:29 pm
This is an awesome trip KL, different from the normal types of adventure rides we read about here but really lekker.  I'd love to do a trip like this.  Spain looks beautiful, those parks so clean and neat and civilised.  Great reading, looking forward to more. :thumleft:
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: Topie on March 08, 2015, 07:18:51 pm
Awesome report, looking forward to the rest......   :happy1:
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: DirtRebell on March 09, 2015, 08:31:58 am
What a beautiful trip you've had.
At least a once in a life time must-do.

Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: King Louis on March 15, 2015, 03:48:21 pm
Carrying on south towards Malaga, we stayed on the coastal road. The GPS was still non-functional, we googled the next Garmin shop in Malaga and after a bit of criss crossing the town we actually found the shopping centre with the mentioned shop. Yeah! Packed with electronic gadgets, but no more Garmin products, neither a fitting battery.

The campsites along that coastal road did not look promising, the towns of Malaga and Torremolinos are hot spots for tourists and we were not impressed. It was an easy decision to turn inland with Ronda as our next destination. We found a small but very decent hotel right in the city centre and had a good night out in the old town of Ronda. The surrounding area is well known as the route of the white villages, roads in excellent condition and beautiful surroundings. We planned a route for the next day, which we could not do as on road was completely closed to traffic and we changed direction without a detailed plan. What a fantastic ride and for the first time we saw the trees out of which wine bottle corks are being made.

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2627_zpsb12eaac0.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2627_zpsb12eaac0.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2630_zps3cd79633.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2630_zps3cd79633.jpg.html)

Zahara village

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2636_zpsf19779e6.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2636_zpsf19779e6.jpg.html)

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Cork trees

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2656_zps20c03304.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2656_zps20c03304.jpg.html)

Cork factory

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2659_zpsfac4efd7.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2659_zpsfac4efd7.jpg.html)

From there we rode to the southernmost part of Europe, Tarifa. A paradise for kite surfers and beachbums. The old town is packed with bars and restaurants and a permanent stream of tourists is around, the ferries to Tanger going hourly. We found a bar with soccer coverage of the world cup, the atmosphere was great and supporters of all teams were around. I had to inform a couple of Dutch supporters that their country's participation is ok, but unfortunately they won't get far.They did not like that and branded me, which I could not avoid, there were too many of them.

Dutch fans

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2665_zpsfe8d9e23.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2665_zpsfe8d9e23.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2666_zps13198559.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2666_zps13198559.jpg.html)

Washed in the morning, warn first time at night, spare ribs....

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2667_zps5c68ccac.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2667_zps5c68ccac.jpg.html)

The Rock. Gibraltar

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2676_zps2efe3e5f.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2676_zps2efe3e5f.jpg.html)

15km from Africa

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2682_zpscb964795.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2682_zpscb964795.jpg.html)

This was a bit touchy for us, being 15 km away from our home continent. Sounds kind of melodramatic, but that's just the way it was, even if SA is still a tad away. The next day was spent shopping as camping was planned for a few days after Tarifa. Carmen still insisted on putting her feet into the two different seas, similar to our Cape Agulhas. Done and dusted.

After shopping we took the road north and after a 20 minute ride we found a very nice campsite with direct access to the coast. A kitesurfers dream and I will be looking into that, looks like great fun and the kitesurfers we spoke to recon that it is actually easier than windsurfing. We watched these okes for hours and spent plenty of time walking the beaches. It was not peak season and suited us just fine. In summer this place must be packed to the hilt. If we should come back to Spain some day, this will be one of the spots to be re-visited!

As usual on the trip, we split the workload. Carmen had to wash some clothes and cook dinner, I had to open the wine bottle, still being rather exhausted from the 20 minute ride. ;D

Kite surfing

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2701_zpsa3ff9d10.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2701_zpsa3ff9d10.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2705_zpsafe2dca9.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2705_zpsafe2dca9.jpg.html)

We spent a couple of days relaxing and doing very little but eating and drinking local wine/lemonade mixtures, which were just lekker.

Via Sevilla and Huelva we finally reached Portugal with it's Algarve coast.

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2718_zpsd03c95f8.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2718_zpsd03c95f8.jpg.html)

Up to Faro the area is pretty much covered in marsh and not that attractive, from Faro the long white sand beaches began. We reached Lagos, a very clean and neat city where we had some lunch and continued to Sagres, the most southwestern part of Portugal, where the rocky part of the Algarve starts, which most people know from pictures. It is a pitty that you have to take the mainroad inland to the north and if you don't know exactly, what the actual coast is like, you have to take chances without knowing what you will see. Without fail we came across beautiful beaches and rock formations.

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2725_zpse27ddc2d.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2725_zpse27ddc2d.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2731_zpsfb2c5685.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2731_zpsfb2c5685.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2741_zps3cc5fd64.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2741_zps3cc5fd64.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2756_zps0ae32f02.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2756_zps0ae32f02.jpg.html)

The day ended in Sines and we were keen to see the Germany/France game. The Vasco da Gama Hotel looked rather inviting  but was out of our budget at 110 EUR. As they were rather empty, and we explained that our budget would not allow us to stay, they dropped the rate to 75 EUR. So we took the room. Super service, very friendly, top restaurant and for a change I had a fillet steak. Very nice, but not close to our meat in SA. If you want to enjoy good meat, stay in SA! Just a hint, you know.....

Our next stop was Lissabon and once again we attempted to visit a Garmin dealer. WIth google maps and a bit of memory we managed to find the shop. And it was a Garmin dealer!!! But it was Saturday, the shop was closed. I don't know what it is with me and Garmin, I really don't.

Many houses had tile pictures on their walls, depicting the profession of the owner, rather interesting

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2795_zpsb1f6673d.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2795_zpsb1f6673d.jpg.html)

We worked out way up to Estoril and further and I managed to find a "Salao Cabelleireiras Estetica Hombre" = barber, where I managed to get a hair cut. They did not speak any English whatsoever and we had some fun explaining what I wanted with many handsigns and pantomime moves, followed by lots of laughter. It cost 7 EUR and I left a 3 EUR tip, the lady doing the haircut was more than happy. I don't think that happens too often as these little places are more or less only used by locals.

Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: michnus on March 15, 2015, 05:20:35 pm
I can live in Portugal easy peasy, it's a seriously cool country.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: King Louis on April 11, 2015, 03:32:55 pm
Well we are not done yet..... :ricky:

The evening was spent in a recommended restaurant, which was excellent and we had Portuguese flat chicken, wine for swambo and a beer for myself, as I still had to ride back to the hotel, they had a restaurant but it would not open before 8 and as usual, we were rather hungry and decided to go downtown. It was a good choice. Some light drizzle woke us up the next morning but stopped just before we started riding towards Porto. It rained on and off and the temperature had dropped considerately, so we decided to skip camping and booked a room in the Ibis Hotel, not expensive and pretty central so we could walk to the old town of Porto and stroll around the many very old buildings and the river front, where all the action is. In one of the side streets we found a local restaurant, that really looked good but they specialized on prawns and octopus meals, which swambo does not eat. She said we should stay and she will have something later but that was not ok with me, so we carried on and found a place which made lekker prego rolls and we tasted various Port wines from the region, which went down well. There were many people around and lots of live entertainment, altogether a round evening and we enjoyed walking quite a bit for a change. The bike was safe in the underground parking and the hotel staff very friendly.

A tram, which we haven't seen for quite a while:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2811_zpsfdb471d7.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2811_zpsfdb471d7.jpg.html)

Some of the port we had to taste

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2831_zpsf82ee21e.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2831_zpsf82ee21e.jpg.html)

Interesting road signs!

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2849_zpsfd2af457.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2849_zpsfd2af457.jpg.html)

Everything is pretty run down in Portugal. Either they do not have the funds for maintenance or they do not spend the money for it, which is a pity. We had done enough coastal stretches and decided to cut inland towards the mountainous area. What a good call. En route we still found another Garmin shop, but once again no battery in stock and a three day waiting period, which we thankfully skipped. So we continued without GPS and followed the map, which was rather large. Often we circled a round about a couple of times, before somehow deciding which exit to follow, as neither was the road named nor the next city we wanted to go to. Eventually you follow the general direction and get to where you want to be. The road led us via Braga through the mountains to Chaves and further to Braganca, a beautiful stretch to ride and very little traffic. Not far from the old city centre we found the Tulip Hotel, a three star establishment with a Pizzeria restaurant attached. Two beautiful old beemers with Swiss plates were parked in front.

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2854_zps868948f0.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2854_zps868948f0.jpg.html)

The restaurant proved to be a pearl of note. So far the only good pizza you can get in Italy, in other European countries it is called pizza, but it is just not the same. The owner had his training in Italy and cooked up a storm. The waitress was a gem, extremely helpful, not overbearing and made some really good suggestions regarding the food and which wine would be best to round the meal up. Eventually she told us that she was the owner's daughter. After dinner we joined the Swiss couple and had a great evening. We exchanged details and hope, they will come and visit us in SA. They were quite keen. Some Spanish chaps we met told us about the beauty of Galizia, but eventually we decided to carry on to Picos de Europa instead. Towards the Spanish coast, we reached Leon, where we found a BMW dealer. I quickly went in and asked them to check the GPS, one of the wires had come lose but we still had the issue with the dead battery. They had a BMW GPS unit, which is identical to the Garmin and has the same battery. Once swapped, the GPS worked like a charm. But they did not have a battery in stock, it would take three days to order. I don't know if I mentioned this, but we heard that story rather often. So I said to the guys, order one, but give me the BMW GPS battery. That seemed to be a strange concept but after a while they agreed. Yay, our GPS was fully functional again. We found a little tapas bar/restaurant and decided for dinner to buy some lomo ham, cheese, bread and red wine, for the pricely sum of EUR 14 which proved to be a rather good dinner which was consumed in the hotel room while watching the demolition game between Germany and Brazil. We could hardly believe what we saw...... :o

En route to Leon

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2857_zps96e2aa08.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2857_zps96e2aa08.jpg.html)

The Bazilian demolition

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2859_zps33b9c87a.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2859_zps33b9c87a.jpg.html)

We focused on Picos de Europa, what a stunning area, a must for anybody in the area. We found a bed and breakfast for hikers in the little dorpie of Sta. Marina de Valdeon. Bunk beds (too short for myself), in a loft room, toilets and showers two stairs down, pub/restaurant in the middle. But the owner, a young couple, were fantastic and did everything themselves. A couple of dishes were offered in the evening and it was really nice, homemade food and as usual some local red wine. The owners father also stayed for a couple of days and really enjoyed talking to us in German nogal, he used to work for Siemens. The total population of Sta. Marina de Valdeon is 13, During summer a few more, so the one night we met with 75% of the local population in the pub. We stayed two nights and toured the area, nature at it's best, Mountains, valleys, gorges and all, very good roads, little traffic, all in all a little paradise.

See for yourself

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2878_zps01063fab.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2878_zps01063fab.jpg.html)

Sta. Marina de Valdeon

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2890_zps931b9b9e.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2890_zps931b9b9e.jpg.html)

Handmade weather forecast

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2899_zps29720859.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2899_zps29720859.jpg.html)

We hiked a bit

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2905_zps7e3adbfe.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2905_zps7e3adbfe.jpg.html)

Our B&B, very cosy

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2911_zps2bbca70e.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2911_zps2bbca70e.jpg.html)

Riding all days was fun...

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2933_zps49d619a8.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2933_zps49d619a8.jpg.html)

Picos de Europa

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2937_zpsd114446b.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2937_zpsd114446b.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2950_zps937c6e15.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2950_zps937c6e15.jpg.html)

Our very nice hosts

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2956_zpsf94acebe.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2956_zpsf94acebe.jpg.html)

Our next station working along the coast was Laredo. The original plan was to go to Biarritz and up north along the French coast, but the weather forecast got continuously worse so we changed our minds and went east to Pamplona and do the Pyrenees instead, which was a good call. Once again we were caught by rain in Pamplona (the bull run was over already....) and one car was just so slow I had to overtake. Just as I accelerated, the rear wheel started spinning and the battle ship made a funny side move. The traction control kicked in and steadied the bike instantly. I am quite happy about such technology and can't say, if I would have saved it on my own, but fully loaded two up it is a handful to control.

The weather got worse, the rain more and fog was added to the mixture that you could hardly see anything right in front of the bike. Eventually we called it a day in a small hotel on the French side, very neat and very expensive.

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2968_zpsddc0a6e3.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2968_zpsddc0a6e3.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2972_zps606c2ca0.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2972_zps606c2ca0.jpg.html)

Dinner, various courses, the menu looked very promising and it tasted great. Just too little and after all courses I started getting hungry. The French....

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2975_zpsf452aee0.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2975_zpsf452aee0.jpg.html)

I had enough of the rain and ordered sunshine for the next day. It worked!  :biggrin:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2988_zps530a777d.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2988_zps530a777d.jpg.html)

The further we went, the more beautiful it got. Up and down, serpentines, switchbacks, stunning views, mountains and valleys you can cruise through all day long and it does not get boring.

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2991_zpsa5380765.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2991_zpsa5380765.jpg.html)

Some of the roads through the Pyrenees are actually part of the Tour de France and plenty of signage tells you when it will be closed for public traffic. There were plenty of cyclists on the road, I still rather use the throttle to get up the mountains..... :pot: :ricky:

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2994_zps506e1a38.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2994_zps506e1a38.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD2999_zpsfa9684d2.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD2999_zpsfa9684d2.jpg.html)

We zig zagged through the Pyrenees, followed the scenic routes as per map and worked our way north. From the German forum we picked up that the bridge of Millau is something to see so we took the general direction towards Millau.  We stopped over in a small coffee shop. They do not serve breakfast?! But the owner managed to get us some toast and jam, plus two coffees. All for just under R 200..... At the coffee shop we met two Swedes, father and son team on their enduro bikes. We had a quick chat and they admitted, they would love to have a full German breakfast again. Once again as we were about to carry on, it started raining heavily. We had taken out the map to  check the route and I quickly shoved it into the compartment of the tankbag. As the bike was standing in full sun, they plastic was very soft and in my haste I ripped the top corner open with the map. Nothing that can't be fixed with duct tape, though.

We found a very neat camp site in Lacaune. Once again joint bathrooms for men and women. Our cooker's fuel line became porous and all I managed was a big fireball, again and again, burning some grass, but not heating the water for our spaghettis. Eventually I gave up and we walked into town, about half an hour from the campsite. With our usual luck, it was a public holiday in France, which we just did not know about. After a while, we found the one and only open pub in town and had dinner.

Well dined and wined we made our way back to our tent, to fall into some well deserved sleep. Not so! about 50m away was a small hall and it was the local bingo night, with entertainer, loudspeaker at full blast so did not miss anything at all. Swambo mentioned, it will only be until 10 and then it should be over. Well ok then. Not so! First of all it carried on up to 10:30, after which the disco started. I could have killed someone and was about to take my leatherman and cut the main power line to the campsite....but eventually I fell asleep. Camping is great!

The following day led us through beautiful areas as we were approaching Millau, to view the "Le Viaduc de Millau". I had not seen any pictures yet and for what it's worth somehow I expected a gazillion year old stone bridge. Were we in for a surprise. check these pictures of this masterpiece!

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD21036_zps4d7022c4.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD21036_zps4d7022c4.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD21042_zps6e5d4f1e.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD21042_zps6e5d4f1e.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD21046_zps17e38f66.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD21046_zps17e38f66.jpg.html)

A BMW advert worth picture: Freude am Fahren

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD21048_zps2c3c7dd1.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD21048_zps2c3c7dd1.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD21050_zps9d34f602.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD21050_zps9d34f602.jpg.html)

Once again, despite GPS, I got lost and we did the bridge twice. We cruised through the Cevennes, a stunning area. Whilst doing so, I saw a sign diverting from our route and named Gorge du Tarne and after a quick consultation with my cruise control, we agreed to give it a try. It was a good decision.

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD3001_zps4a70dd5d.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD3001_zps4a70dd5d.jpg.html)

Camping along the river Tarn

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD3007_zps34d63219.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD3007_zps34d63219.jpg.html)

Definitely an area for another visit...
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: woody1 on April 12, 2015, 09:41:07 am
What a nice trip.  Thanks for sharing  :ricky:
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: King Louis on May 03, 2015, 03:27:23 pm
The following day led us along the river Tarn, what a beautiful part of France this is. Carmen just regretted that we did not add another day to do some canoeing, one more reason to come back to this part of the world some day. Through the Cevennes we made our way up to Lyon, where after a couple of fruitless attempts for accommodation we ended up at the Best Western Hotel, which we knew from Madrid, expensive and bad internet connection. Same as Madrid. We rounded the day off with a lekker meal in a close by restaurant.

Now it was time for us to decide if to carry on through France or back to Germany. The world champions won and we decided to go to lake Constance (Bodensee) and check out the Rheinfall on the way. Due to the distance we took the highway for a change. We went past Geneva when all of a sudden I saw black. Just like that. The adjustment screw from the beak had come loose and the beak dropped down in front of the visor, at about 120kmh, great feeling and Carmen wondered why I slammed on the brakes and brought us to a complete standstill in no time....luckily all went ok and I just took the beak completely off for the time being.

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD3017_zpsa7ce9b94.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD3017_zpsa7ce9b94.jpg.html)

Back in our old home country

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD3022_zpsa05c0081.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD3022_zpsa05c0081.jpg.html)

The Rheinfall

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD3024_zps613d3c00.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD3024_zps613d3c00.jpg.html)

Once again we could read menues and got what we wanted, always helpful when you are able to praat die local taal. In Sipplingen we found a very nice B&B, totally reasonable and within walking distance to a restaurant on the lakeside. The food was very good, the wine was excellent and we were in great mood. On the way back to the B&B we had a great show of a gentleman not being able to reverse his car in a construction site, which he should have avoided in the first place, but he just could not drive his car. His wife was fighting a traffic sign that had attacked his car and we just stood there and smiled, it was just looking funny. She complained how we can just stand there and laugh instead of helping them - so I did but could not just leave and mentioned that this would not have happened if he could drive properly. They eventually managed to reverse the car and drove off, we continued walking to our B&B. Needless to say that their car drove into the car park a few minutes later and they were staying there as well. We quickly walked up to our room.....

Once again we consulted our maps to plod our way back. We had been visiting the Kleinwalsertal 30 years ago and wanted to see, if it was still as beautiful as we remembered it. Here a few images from the road to the Kleinwalsertal

Typical Bavarian houses

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD3034_zpsbf09b731.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD3034_zpsbf09b731.jpg.html)

En route to Riezlern

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD3047_zpse28c6f06.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD3047_zpse28c6f06.jpg.html)


(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD3048_zpsf458e892.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD3048_zpsf458e892.jpg.html)

The stunning view from our "pension" in Riezlern

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD3050_zps13e7740c.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD3050_zps13e7740c.jpg.html)

We walked to the "Kanzelbahn" and went up the Fellhorn mountain

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD3072_zps1c61c347.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD3072_zps1c61c347.jpg.html)

As you can see we had lots of fun

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD3073_zps3c01a289.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD3073_zps3c01a289.jpg.html)

Then it got funny, in the following picture you can spot the "Kanzelbahnstation" where the cabins arrive. From there you walk. We walked. Now in Europe, if it is nice anywhere and the weather is good, there are thousands of people. But here we were and fewer and fewer people were around us, which we quite liked. Then it struck us why.....we did not look at the signs and very cleverly missed the last cabin going down the mountain again.

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD3078_zps4d2a5677.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD3078_zps4d2a5677.jpg.html)

Logically this was the one and only day in three months travelling, where we had a booking at a Restaurant, based on a recommendation from our hosts. The signs on top of the mountain indicated 2 1/2h walking time back. We had two hours left before the booking. 1955m down the hill in strops. We made it in one hour 40 minutes, but boy, we had sore muscles for the next three days. At least the recommendation was well worth it and dinner made up for it big time.

The way down the mountain

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD3082_zps99b62474.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD3082_zps99b62474.jpg.html)

Our pension "Walserheimat", to be recommended should you go that way

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD3083_zps7dc005eb.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD3083_zps7dc005eb.jpg.html)

The following day we took the bus to Oberstdorf and got us tickets to go up the Nebelhorn, stunning weather and superb views all around us. See for yourselves:


(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD3093_zpsd21cb89a.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD3093_zpsd21cb89a.jpg.html)


(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD3102_zpsa0734c4b.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD3102_zpsa0734c4b.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD3105_zps2b477f81.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD3105_zps2b477f81.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD3108_zps021cd4d6.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD3108_zps021cd4d6.jpg.html)

Our next direction was to get to Duesseldorf to stay with my boet and his wife, en route the beautiful black forest area. That's what we thought. But once again whilst the first part from Riezlern leading north was great, but it started raining and raining, once again time for raingear and it was a rather careful, full concentration ride through the slippery roads of the black forest and not really enjoyable as it could be.

We found the Hoehenhotel Rote Lache, built in the 60s, and still looking the same inside.  But once again the food was typical lekker German fare and a great local red was going down very well with it.

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD3114_zps95b328af.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD3114_zps95b328af.jpg.html)

From there we took the Weinstrasse up to Duesseldorf to visit my boet, the weather still being crappy we decided to spend an extra day rather with family, which was a good decision as we had - as usual - a fantastic time and my boet made a good effort to cut his work short and spend time with us.

The beginning of the wine route

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD3115_zps3c9d2dd5.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD3115_zps3c9d2dd5.jpg.html)

In Duesseldorf, walking along the river Rhein

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD3126_zps6ff722e4.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD3126_zps6ff722e4.jpg.html)

After a few days in Duesseldorf, we went to Gelsenkirchen to stay with bikers from the German GS forum. People we never met before invited us to stay with them, others joined and we were loaded with the best German Currywurst, followed by huge T-bones, washed down with great beer. Needless to say we had a long long evening with lots of stories from everybody, pictures from bike trips and all. We hope, they will come to SA soon so we can offer them a similar treatment and show them our beautiful country.

Eventually, it was time to ride back to Bremerhaven, the start of our tour. Logically it started raining, but it did not really bother us any more.

Back in Bremerhaven

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD3136_zps8c136949.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD3136_zps8c136949.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD3140_zpsf1375289.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD3140_zpsf1375289.jpg.html)

We sold the bike in 5 minutes flat for more than I hoped, so all good. But it was weird to leave her there.....

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD3160_zpsfe71a47b.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD3160_zpsfe71a47b.jpg.html)

Check the Spain sticker...

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD3161_zpsd9deaca7.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD3161_zpsd9deaca7.jpg.html)

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD3162_zps03f60e01.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD3162_zps03f60e01.jpg.html)

Here an overview of our route, all together 19,000 km

(http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b565/samoose1/EU14CARD3163_zpsfc049570.jpg) (http://s1292.photobucket.com/user/samoose1/media/EU14CARD3163_zpsfc049570.jpg.html)

Well, that is it.

Hope, you enjoyed it! Planning for more is happening....

The End!

Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: Mikie on May 04, 2015, 07:46:07 am
EPIC, thanks for sharing

19000km, wow!!
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: 1ougat on June 19, 2015, 06:57:16 am
 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: Excellent report

What did you do  to imbed the pictures between the text?
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: King Louis on June 22, 2015, 01:13:05 pm
:thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: Excellent report

What did you do  to imbed the pictures between the text?


I used Photobucket. Write the text, open separate window with the pics on the photobucket site, click on picture to post, upload, copy and paste into text.
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: 1ougat on June 22, 2015, 01:17:11 pm
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: Hentie @ Riders on June 22, 2015, 04:14:42 pm
Awesome  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: zebra - Flying Brick on October 03, 2015, 06:40:41 am
Very, very nice trip report, well written, inspirational, with the right amount of humor, story length to picture content!

Felt like I was travelling along with you two!
Title: Re: Let me take you through Europe - the story of EU14
Post by: King Louis on October 03, 2015, 10:06:48 am
Very, very nice trip report, well written, inspirational, with the right amount of humor, story length to picture content!

Felt like I was travelling along with you two!
Thanks, my pleasure, mate... :thumleft: