Back in the saddle

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Europe » Sweden
September 14th 2020
Published: September 14th 2020
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After my clusterfuck in India there were too many months off-bike, when I finally I got back on the bike again, the first 500 m felt really weird and then I was back.

Not to forget Covid 19/ Corona/Gyyna Flu (Trump)

A couple of badly cooked bats or pangolins or maybe a stew of both stopped all plans for ventures out into our wonderful world.

Lock downs in every country and closed borders and the Swedes due to a different approach were the pariahs of society.

Social distancing and very frequent washing of hands got it under control in Europe travel bans were lifted and even Swedes could travel-

I asked my friend Stefan if he was game and he was, the plan is to ride some Swiss passes, drink some beer and have fun, but even the best laid plans may be thwarted, by rain and being high up in the Alps when it’s raining is a waste of time, we’ll sacrifice some beer to the weather gods as to please them, good German beer should please any God.

The first day we went from home down to Verden in Germany, all on motorway, boring but quick and the next day down to Donsbach where I have the pleasure to have some very good friends who were happy to have us as house guests for two nights, some eating and some drinking and some some sightseeing soon polished off the day.

Some curry in the evening and some fermented grape juice and the company of my friends made into a nice day.

The next day we went south for a while and then some shoddy programming of the sat nav found us way out of the way, but the riding was good so it did not really matter, hotels we hard to find not the hotels as such but ones with rooms to rent were a rare as hen’s teeth.

Some run of the mill bog standard place took pity on my credit card and let us in.

The next day we checked and double checked the goal of today which would be Freiburg, not further from Switzerland than you can spit a rat.

Good but slow riding, it takes forever with hamlets being very close together, almost 10 hrs to do 300 and some km.

Going home

Crossing some mountain ranges in Alsace was the high of the day and it’s now beer o’clock and I like being punctual.

We rode back to Germany to Freiburg, close to Switzerland, a nice German hotel with a good kitchen.

As the weather forecast for the weekend in Switzerland promised rain, so we remained in Alsace and did some very nice rides in this region, good views and a very crappy lunch, but yet again you can’t get it all even if you want.

Then down to Mulhouse for some sleep and a so so hotel and a crummy Thai wannabe dinner and some fermented grape juice and it was shuteye time


Not wanting to pay for the motorway pass made some interesting detours via Germany onto some local Swiss roads, with more speed limits than cars, it took, not forever but it seemed so, finally after 10 hrs we arrived at our goal, Andermatt,

1500 m or so up in the mist laden sky made it cold outside, so we dined at the hotel and got a good night’s sleep.

The weather Gods smiled at us with a clear blue sky and the roadGods with superb views and good roads,

We did Furka pass made fame in the Bond film, Goldfinger with hotel Belvedere in all it’s ”splendour” in front our very eyes, unfortunately no Sean Connery.

The next one was Grimsel pass and the Susten pass.

A quick over priced lunch and then we crossed over the Oberalp pass and ended up in Davos after some more excellent riding

Truly a day to remember , the only drag is that no picture will ever make justice to the breathtaking landscape.

Davos was a horrifying experience for my wallet, we take turns, sort of, to pay for things and it was my turn.

Swiss prices are not friendly to you wallet at all, no Sir.

Well you only live once because if you live more than once in the next life I would be a pauper.

Bright and bushy tailed we left for Austria and Grossglockner and some other sundry Austrian delights and ended up in Mittelsitter in a 74 year of hotel with some 50 cm wide floor boards and a nice landlady who haggled with herself, nice and half Swiss prices.

The waitress at the dinner places was a peach, a perky arse and a nice smile and friendly to boot.

I’m as always interested in ornithology, I enjoy a nice bird as much as any aficionado of birds, notable drop in Switzerland, dreary looking with a dull plumage, things picked up in Austria.

Anyway after too much food and wine we had an early breakfast and set off with moderate speed to Grossglockner, moderate speed is safer than some of the lunies who’ve got motorbikes and think that every trip is a race., No wonder that accidents happen when they overtake in hidden corners and expect people to move to make way for them.

As for me I kept to the right side of the road and so far so good, no broken bones, but then again the fat lady has not sung yet.

We wanted to do the Nockalmstrasse with is a trip through some kind of biosphere but got there a bit late, no bikes after 18.00 hrs so we stayed in the village, one of many just before the start of the Nockalmstrasse and had a mediocre dinner at some place or other.

Some people should not be allowed to cook food for other people and charge them for it, the waitress cum wife of the cook said that he’s made very good food, liar liar, pants on fire.

*twas edible but no more.

Unfortunately very few if any Vietnamese noodle soup ladies about.

So the next morning after a decent breakfast we did the ”Strasse”, the whole area is a Unesco biosphere and very different form most other passes as it’s not that high and parts of the road is covered in cow shit and also sometimes the animal is on the road as you pass, that is if the cows is not standing across the road, then you honk and it might move, I’m not going to play chicken with a cow.

The Nockalmstrasse done, I’ve got the sticker, we went to Berchtesgaden where one of Donald Trump’s roll models use to have his Eagle nest, now out of commission due to refurbishment so we just went for a spin around and enjoyed the views as seen from the Panorama Strasse.

Ah yes, we had some very nice Sacher torte and coffee, Yummy.

I also perused the possibility of buying some lederhosen, no deal as that would break my next five years worth of clothes budget, 500 Euros for a pair of shorts, no way.

Off to Munich to visit some fiends and their new baby, we spent the night at their house after some nice food and wine and the general good time of meeting up with mates.

I must say, that they called my very nice motorbike boots Orc boots, lost some brownie points there.

So now the only thing that remained was riding home, riding out however far is always ok, but riding home is a chore.

Wanting it to get over and done with we too the autobahn to Potsdam wit the intent of staying there, not a snowballs chance in hell to find a room, so we headed west on B-roads, somewhere out there there should be a hotel with beds for us.

Finally after riding in the dwindling daylight we found a small gasthaus run by and elderly couple, him 80 and her 75 years of age.

A couple of beers arrived in no time flat and some zigeunerschnitzel with fried potatoes some more beer and then a schnapps with the landlord.

The breakfast, as always in Germany was good , bar the coffee that was like having sex in a canoe, fucking close to water.

Some more B-roads and some more of the boring autobahn got us to the first ferry and as we hit Denmark the weather turned for the worse, no more sunshine for us and gusty winds.

After a long dreary ride from the last ferry, it had gotten dark and it had also been raining which does not make for nice riding.

As for the Corona situation, in Germany masks had to be worn in every establishment and in every restaurant of bar you had to fill in a form with your name, address and phone number, very good but a bit strange.

The Swiss were a lot slacker, sort of wear a mask if you want to and in the small villages in western Austria no masks or hardly any but things got a bit more stringent as we moved east.

Everybody I spoke with did not know of anyone who’ve had Corona, anyway I hope that I did not bring any back with me.

Time for the fat lady to sing.

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Two happy people

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