The plan is to fly back to Germany to get the bikes near Leipzig. We have a few items to sort out like installing the new Odyssey batteries to replace out 5 year old Deka. We are a bit worried they will be toast after 8 months again. They have been awesome, but we don’t want to risk any battery issues this year. There is a new bash plate for Dan’s 800 since the current is so bent up from hitting rocks on our river bed routes that it is almost impossible to get on and off. We also purchased a couple of Rotopacks for extra fuel, we are putting the exhaust silencers back in, and adding rear shock socks. So we will be a bit busy before we set out.
We are flying out of Vancouver May 1 on the return portion of our ticket home from Spain last fall. Strike one was that our pre-booked cab to the airport was 40 minutes late, but since we were going extra early we still managed to arrive before the check-in cut off. Strike 2 was the flight to Heathrow scheduled to leave at 2045 left 90 minutes late because a luggage container got jammed in the cargo door and they had to cut it out to get the luggage unloaded. This did have a plus since our very long layover was now much shorter. From London we had a 90 min flight to Hamburg, where we had strike three and the skyway wouldn’t approach the aircraft. They finally managed to fix it after 20 minutes. We were surprised and thrilled to be met by our fiends Wolfgang and Brigitte who came to get us even though we had a rental car. Now it was time for a beer and Ativan to get thru the night.
Wolfgang had a full day of activities planned for us including a visit to the newly finished 789 million Euro Hamburg Concert hall Elbphilharmonie.
We then had a walk on the Elb River, lunch at Northsea, and a visit to the very cool Miniatur Wunderland.
One really cool thing was the light dimmed to dark every 15 minutes or so for the night action.
The Airport is fully functional with takeoff and landings as well as taxi and service to the planes.
We did a tour of the center including the Rathaus or city hall and then Brigitte joined us for an excellent Syrian meal.
May 4 it is time to hit the road if by rental car and drive the 442 km to get the bikes where we had stored them for 8 months at MotoSoul Resort, Mutzschen. (Thanks Tad and Gaila).
We had arranged a guest house stay with an amazing family in nearby Tautendorf. We were very well taken care of by Nicole and Matthias and kids! They welcomed us into their family, fed us, and helped us with some bash plate bolt removal issues.
Friday May 5 we had arranged to pick up the bikes at 9 am at Motosoul and they kindly let us use their facilities to do the work we needed to do. We had a few snags. The first was there was a 1200 parked in the door to the garage with the steering locked. This required careful maneuvering and a bit of shimmying to get our bike out. Next the new batteries from Louis that are we checked the “correct” ones do not fit in the bikes as the cables can not be connected. Luckily the Deka’s we have are amazing and again started right away after 8 months off tenders. Next after 45 min of struggling with the screws for one exhaust silencer we gave up and packed them in the luggage for later. We really need a magnetic driver to try to get the angle of attack right without fear of dropping ht screw into the pipe. Dan’s is a bit bent after the crash last year in Italy. This is a project for later in Kosice. Now the bash plate…. stupid system of rubber and metal bolts that are very difficult to get out. We did not manage to get out more than 1, but back at the guest house and with help and tools from Matthias they finally got them off to be able to mount the new bash plate at 9 pm. After 5 hours of fixing and packing later at Motosoul we dropped off all the gear 20 km south at the guest house and then had to drive 40 km north to the Louis in Leipzig to return the batteries and then another 15 km north to drop the rental car at the airport. This done we had to go back for Sara’s bike at Motosoul and finally arrived back to the guesthouse tired and starved after no food all day at 630. Nicole we will be forever grateful for the delicious hot dinner. Needless to say jet lag and all the work we did not take a single photo! This is courtesy of MotoSoul!
Finally both of us back on the bikes!
Our plan today was to be up at 7 get the bash plate on and the bikes packed and be on the road after breakfast at 9….have jet lag and be awake at 4 am and then sleep until 9….left there at almost 11.
We had some fog and drizzle and cool 8.5 degrees weather until after 1pm and then it was mostly sunny on our ride south into Czech republic after 6 hours and 367 km. This was mostly on small secondary roads, but we did have about 60 km of highway today. There are lovely winding roads thru picturesque villages in Germany and Czech.
We are staying in a guest house of a restaurant in Chvalšiny, Czechia, which is 12 km from the UNESCO city of Cesky Krumlov. We did a short hop down to the city for an ATM and a few photo ops! Then we returned to the Pension for the garlic and cheese soup and a pizza ( fall back meal when you can not read the menu).
We woke up to a grey and ultimately rainy day. We headed back to Cesky Krumlov for some fuel and then made for the small roads in an almost direct line across Czech to arrive to Trencin Slovakia after 381 km.
We had some heavy rain for about 45 min and this was also on the only freeway section we did. This was a nasty 30 km. Czech’s drive very fast and pass dangerously close too often. Finally we did have some sun in the afternoon. The route is cross-country to the Slovakian border.
We arrived to Trencin just before the rain started and we did not get to see the castle as it was closed by the time the rain stopped at 630. We did have a nice dinner on a terrace overlooking the city. We were staying at a very cheap hotel that was above a small casino. Small but clean and comfortable.