We woke to another stunning day for our ride west into Germany again.
The first order of business in this tiny country was making breakfast and then to get to the shops for a sticker purchase, since this might be our only chance.
We then rode the 50 km to the capital and had a small tour in the pedestrian zone, which if you check the GPS is a shopping Mecca.
Here we said goodbye to Faizal, who is headed south. We then turned northeast the 45 Km to Trier Germany.
Trier may be Germanys oldest city. It was founded in the late 4 th century BC. The Romans conquered it in the last 1 st century BC. The site of the Roman Baths, several large building complexes, the Amphitheatre, and the city gate are well preserved.
The Barbara baths
The Porta Nigra is a Roman city gate built of sandstone about 200AD.
From here we continued north and east towards Mosel. We managed to stay mostly on the small secondary roads. This took us thru many picturesque towns that all looked like they are from Fairy tales. We did take a 20 km detour when Dan saw the Nuburgring sign he could not resist.
We drove up to the information center at 6 pm and it looked closed, but we went in anyway and rang the bell. Someone came out to tell us that yes the track was open, but the tickets are sold 2.5 km down the road.
Driving up here you could feel the testosterone. The place was packed with mostly very expensive and very fast cars. There were a few bikes too, but none with panniers and luggage. You get 2 laps for 27 Euros, but Dan said one was enough. It is pretty scary to have cars coming up on you at 200 km/hr. You got to like his Adventure rider style though…Ortlib bag and a water bottle!
Well now it was after 7 and we still had 50 km to go. We arrived to the Mosel area at 8 and opted for a hotel. In Germany you get Haribo on your pillow!
This is a wine region and all the hillsides are covered with vines and castles.
Today we had just about 100 km to get to our destination in Alzey, but of course we found a long way there.
We rode along the Mosel River and then took a detour up into the hills to see the Burg Eltz. This looks like your classic Disney castle, and we haven’t even got to the Neuschwanstein Castle, after which the Disney castle is modeled. This is a medieval castle still owned by a branch of the family that has lived there since the 12 th century and 33 generations.
We returned to the Mosel and then drove north to Koblenz, where we drove down along the Rhine. This section of the river is a UNESCO site and is lined with castles. There is no bridge over the Rhine river for 100 km from Koblenz to Mainz. There are a few ferries, but because of the UNESCO they cannot build the needed bridges.
We did another loop up into the hills where there is great German driving on their fantastic curvy mountain roads. You know it is going to be good and how good is in proportion to the number of bikes you see coming towards you and the frequency of the road signs warning bikers of the curves ahead.
We arrived to Alzey to the home of our friends Uli and Annaleen. We had first seen them in a photo on another friend’s blog. We emailed our friends to ask them about the couple that they were traveling with whom had the same bikes as us. We then contacted them and hosted them when they came thru Vancouver on the way from Alaska in 2011. In true biker style one of their first questions was did we need to do laundry! They unlike many Europeans have a DRIER!!!
Uli asked us to join up with his Harley Club ride out. They were presenting a cash donation to a living center for severely handicapped people.
Here we were treated to a local delicacy. They cook potatoes under coals and serve them with a cheese that is kind of like sour cream.
After this he took us on a tour of the local area. This is also a wine region and much of the land is covered in vines.
Uli and Annaleen took us to a local winery for a traditional “grape pickers” dinner.
Daniel and Uli went out to get ice cream. They were not gone very long!!
The city of Alzey has had a settlement since the Bronze Age. It was also covered by water 35 million years ago and the museum is filled with fossils of shells and sea creatures found near by. They have almost a full skeleton of a “sea cow”, which looks like a manatee. Uli was born and raised here and so doing a tour of the town with him was really interesting. There are a number of very old buildings in the city.
Annaleen helped us by calling the BMW in Bamberg to see if they could fit in Sara’s 650 to look at the right front fork, which has had a small leak since 2 weeks after it was “fixed” in Finland. She also called to the Daytona boot factory in Eggenfelden to see if they would service our boots urgently. The normal process is you drop them at a dealer and they send them in for you.