Good morning, we are finished with our 2010 Europe trip.
Nothing new fits into my brain. I need to sort all the newness out, need to find familiar things, need to clean up, repack up for the trip back to Canada.
I believe Carol feels the same way. Enough is enough.
It is strange how these feelings creep into me. There comes a point where, after almost 8 weeks on the road I look for the familiar. Our most familiar place in Europe is Stefan Knopf’s B&B and we are off this morning to rest there for a few days before we fly to Toronto.
Taking the Autobahn from Bayreuth to Heidelberg took us about 4 hours and we were lucky, Stefan had a room for us. We had made reservations but they only started tomorrow, we are a day early.
I build in some spare time, a day or so because one never knows if the bike will break down, how the roads will be or if the weather will cause delays. I do not like to ride under the gun to get anywhere. Having time to spare is fine with me.
The actual ride to Kirchheim was uneventful. It was typical Autobahn riding. I stay with the trucks in the right lane, going about 100 or 110 km per hour. I learned that this is a much safer way to travel than speeding along, even though I know that in certain sections the Autobahn has no speed limit. Germany’s Super Slab, the Autobahn is still a free road system. No tolls are charged. Compared with the rest of Europe this is a great and fast way to travel. There are no vignettes, no tollbooths, and no charges for travelling on the Autobahn. Just do not run out of gas, as there are few gas stations on these roads. Even getting off on an exit does not mean you will find gas immediately.
At Stefan’s we cleaned both bikes, wrote emails, sorted out pictures, slept in until 8 AM, took a shower in hot water, washed our clothes, updated the blog, had breakfast without planning where to go and we met interesting new people. Stefan’s place is a little like a pigeon coup, a constant in and out of people dropping off their bikes or picking up their bikes. The place, every time I have been there, is always busy.
The total miles we rode on this trip were a measly 4411 miles. This is nothing compared to riding in the U.S. but then we were not riding to break a record. We stopped often to smell the roses. We spent a good deal of time meeting people and talking to them. From a Serbian police officer to the new couples we met at Stefan’s, namely Richard and Sylvia Hutchinson, who live in Guatemala and Bruce and Petra from British Columbia. One never knows when, on the roads we travel, we will run into each other again. We found new people, new stories, and new trips and learned so much along the way.
Germany played England on the Sunday we were there. I lost $ 5.00 and a coke to Stefan. Germany won 4:1 and I bet on England. I paid up and still have a credit now with Stefan since he did not have change.
We left Tuesday morning; Stefan drove us to Heidelberg to catch the bus to the airport. We had a good trip, a great time and we are planning to see Romania and Bulgaria next year.