Visiting Tasmania and Returning Home – The last entry

Date: 17/11 – 26/11/13
City: Ulverstone / Australia
Kilometres ridden: N/A
Cumulative kilometre: 66015
Street: N/A
Weather: Hot, sunny, cloudy

After being in Airplanes for two days, we arrived in Launceston where Hugo and Ali picked us up.


We were a bit tired, so Hugo drove us to his house and we settled in. Have a look at the view from the living room window, doesn’t it look great?

We decided to have a short walk on the beach, just before sunset, here is a picture of the four of us :)

Hugo and Ali in working uniform, Ali had to go to work and so did Hugo, at least for a couple of days. That gave us enough time to get over the jetlag.

After two days we were all right and Hugo had time off work. He suggested that we’d have a look at Montezuma Falls, which were not too far from their house. We took the scenic route which included Waratah waterfall, a river crossing on a ferry and passing a dam.

 


When we arrived at Montezuma Falls carpark, the sun was shining deceptively. We ignored the rumbling we heard from afar and decided to leave our raingear in the car…Big Mistake.

After fifteen minutes of walking heavy clouds were coming in and thirty minutes into our three hour walk, it started to rain. It didn’t stop until we returned to the car. Anyway, it was fun and here are the pictures to proove that we really made it 😛


On the way back, Hugo tried to stay dry by holding a branch over his head. I guess he has to refine this method a bit.

Next day another excursion took us to Leven Canyon. This time the rain waited until we were back in the car :)


In Tasmania they have great Cheese factories. At one factory they had some cows displayed, we couldn’t resist playing with it.


Anyway, the time was flying and we had to leave again, one last breakfast and off we went to the airport.

On our flight from Launcheston to Melbourne we had a beautiful view from our window.


That was our last flight; we arrived back home after twenty month of traveling. The whole family picked us up from the airport. Silas was one month when we left, now he pulled Sigrid’s hand luggage. Things have changed while we were away!


At home we had diner together and talked a lot about our trip. It was nice to be home.

Thanks again to all people who made this trip so special!

That’s it…

… for now :)

Cheers, Thanks for reading, and go have an adventure!

Bjoern and Sigrid

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Krueger National Park

Date: 12/11/13
City: Krueger NP/ South Africa
Kilometres ridden: N/A
Cumulative kilometre: 66015
Street: Highway
Weather: Hot, sunny, cloudy

The trip we booked included the transfer from Johannesburg to the Krueger National park. It was a four five drive and our first break was at a petrol station.

At the back of the petrol station was a huge window overseeing a large plain. And here we saw our first Rino and a group of Wildebeest. We were exited.

In the late afternoon we arrived in our accomodation, settled in and went on our first spotting trip.

This is the type of car we used for the spotting trip.

Here we saw our first elephant, hiding in the bushes

and our first water buffalo.

We were exited; we are really in Africa and seeing all the wild animals that we saw before only on TV. The plan for tomorrow was to get up early and have a bushwalk.

Date: 13/11/13
City: Krueger NP/ South Africa
Kilometres ridden: N/A
Cumulative kilometre: 66015
Street: N/A
Weather: Hot, sunny, cloudy

In the morning we drove out into the bush and two rangers showed us around. They showed us how to read the prints in the sand. For example below they found a foot print of a Rino.

Not far from here we could hear some noise. It sounded like two huge animals were fighting. It turned out there were two Hippos fighting in the river. The hippo on the right tries to get up stream where the girls are, the hippo on the left doesn’t like that idea.

From here we walked for a while and saw a warthog, a red billed hornbill and an impala.

On our way back, we passed a water hole, were an Elephant was just taking his’s moring bath. He had a short look at us but decided that we were of no interest at all and continued minding his own bussiness.

In the afternoon we move to anthother reserve, this was closer to the entrance of the Krueger National Park. We booked the tent option for this trip, I must admit is was more comfy then I thought.

And this was the view from our bed.

Date: 14/11/13
City: Krueger NP/ South Africa
Kilometres ridden: N/A
Cumulative kilometre: 66015
Street: N/A
Weather: Hot, sunny, cloudy

Today we toured through the Krueger National Park. On the days before we were in different Game Reserves, which were connected to the Krueger National Park, but this was the real thing. As soon we entered the park, we saw a group of wildebeest crossing the road.

Below are some pictures from the Animal we saw during the day.

At one point we saw two giraffs drinking at a water hole. They drank in shifts, one was watching the otherone was drinking. Looking a bit closer we could see why. The Croc was not far from them, but it looked like it wasn’t hungy at this point of time.

Later on we saw a group of Elephants, with a jung one just playing around.

And finally we found a group of Linons, laying in the shade. One was watching the corps of a young hippo that they must have killed not too long ago. In the tree were two voulchers waiting that all Lions were asleep, so they could get their share of the corps.

Later on we saw again two giraffs and a Hyena with her baby.

Well that ‘s a selction of the pictures of what we saw, it gives a nice overview. Today was our last night, tomorrow we will be leaving Africa and getting back to Australia.

 

Date: 15/11/13
City: Dubai / Emirate
Kilometres ridden: N/A
Cumulative kilometre: 66015
Street: N/A
Weather: Hot, sunny, cloudy

In the morning we had a last bushwalk, on our way we found a group of monkeys in front of our tent and on our way to the reception we passed a monkey and an nyala.

On the pool was a male nyala, but when Sigrid went for a swimm it disappered.

On our morning walk we saw the resedue of a meal a couple of days before.

Anyway, after breakfast we hopped into the bus and drove towards Johannesburg, with a short stop at the beautiful mountain range.

Here is a picture from our group at the airport, I really enjoyed the time in Africa.

In two days we will be back in Australia.

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Cape Town

Date: 03/11/2013
City: Cape Town/ South Africa
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 66566
Street: N/A
Weather: Sunny, cool

After a stopover in Cairo we arrived in Johannesburg and here it struck us, we are close to Christmas!

When we arrived in Cape Town, Reni and Julian were there to pick us up. First I thought Reni has a new friend, but it turned out it was Julian, her son. He has grown so much that I didn’t recognize him.


After we arrived at Reni’s house, we settled in and went out again to have some lunch at a beach restaurant. The weather was awesome!

The next day we planned to conquer table mountain.

Date: 04/11/2013
City: Cape Town/ South Africa
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 66566
Street: N/A
Weather: Sunny, cool

After breakfast, Reni drove Julian and us to table mountain. Well, when we saw the mountain we redefined our definition of conquer, and took the cable car instead of walking 😀

Off we went.


Julian was our guide and he showed us around. The view was marvelous.

We walked for a bit and when we looked down, we could see one way getting up to the mountain. Well, I wasn’t sad that we uses the cable car 😉

After a nice lunch we glided down again. Momentarily we were thinking about walking down, but we rejected that idea pretty quickly.


Not long after we arrived at the bottom Reni picked us up.. At night we had a BBQ, so Julian and I were busy.

What a great day. We sat around chatting until the early morning and decided how to change the world.

 

Date: 05/11/2013
City: Cape Town/ South Africa
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 66566
Street: Road
Weather: Sunny, cool

Today, Reni had a nice plan for us. First we had a delicious breakfast at the oldest wine estate in South Africa, the Groot Constantia.


It is hard to belive that this winery lays in a suburbs of Capetown.


After the breakfast we continued towards Cape of Good Hope, passing Simons town.

On our way we encountered a group of monkeys. We made sure that all the car window were closed, otherwise it might end up in a disaster. One monkey was playing with a glass bottle; it was fun to watch him.


Another one was playing with a plastic bottle, but in the middle of the road.

Not long after we arrived at Cape Point, the most south western point of the African continent. Great we have been to the extreme points in the Americans and now we get one more in Africa :D.

The view from the lighthouse was stunning, see for yourself.

.

During our walk we also found a chamelon taking a sunbath and ignoring all the tourists.

After a short lunch Reni drove us to a Ostrich farm, where we had a look around. Some Ostrich were keen to see what we are doing. On the side we found something else, a hippo family 😀


Now we were on our way to a restaurante with great food and an exceptional view. This was the view from our table  :)


And this is the view from mountain nearby looking at the same beach, isn’t that great?

On our way home we were using a road chissled into the mountain,


and then there was that beautiful sunset.

What a day, we really enjoyed that thoroughly.

 

Date: 06/11/2013
City: Cape Town/ South Africa
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 66566
Street: Road
Weather: Cloudy, stormy, rain

Reni and Julian were going to the gym, so we decided to take a rest day and write another blog and organize some things. Julian was proudly riding his scouter. It is affordable and made him independent from other forms of transport.

The weather was cloudy and stormy and around lunch time it started to rain heavily.


We stayed put and had a nice relaxing afternoon with plenty of time to talk with Reni.

 

Date: 07/11/2013
City: Cape Town/ South Africa
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 66566
Street: Road
Weather: Sunny, warm

In the morning we went to a shopping centre at the harbour with Julian to buy some gifts. After all the hard work was done we had some breakfast in front of a massive Christmas tree.


Before Reni would pick us up again we spend some time looking around. Here we found this sculpture against violence.

And then we arrived at the Nobel square, where the scupltures of the four South African Nobel Laureates are standing. Well on the picture are five, can you find the newest edition?

We found as well some nice souvenir stalls, where we bought what we needed. Reni picked us up, we had a great Sushi lunch and spent the rest of the day at Reni’s house. Below are Reni and Julian thinking about buying some trendy head fashion items 😉


Date: 08/11/2013
City: Cape Town/ South Africa
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 66566
Street: Road
Weather: Sunny, warm

Today Reni suggested to have look at some wineries, not a bad idea we though. So off we went. On our way we passed the Universal Cape Town Film studios, maybe they could like to employ one of us?


Since they were not interested in our talent, we continued to the first winery, the Murati Wine Estate. Established in 1685, which makes it one of the oldest wineries in South Africa. Judging by the windows, they must have sacked the cleaner a couple of hundered years ago and forgoten to hire a new one 😉.
All the old relics created an awsome atmospere. Again, on the right picture below, pick the newest edition 😉


After sampling some nice wines, we continued to our second winerey, the Delheim Estate. I liked the sign for the toilet, Palazo Pipi :)


Here we had dinner and sampled some wines. Well the three glasses were all for Julian, of course 😉

We spent the whole afternoon there, chatting along and sampling some wine. That shows how hard life can be :). On our way back we saw table mounting trying to hide in a layer of clouds, it just looked beautiful.

 

Date: 09/11/2013
City: Cape Town/ South Africa
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 66566
Street: Road
Weather: Sunny, warm

Today was a rest day, not much happened, except when Reni came back from picking up Julian, the car had a flat tyre. Well, we are going to fix that tomorrow.

Date: 10/11/2013
City: Cape Town/ South Africa
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 66566
Street: Road
Weather: Sunny, warm

So in the morning we put the spare tyre on. Problem was that Reni didn’t have a jack, so we used the jack from Karls 4WD, which was too high to get under the car. No problem, we put a plank under the car and lifted it until the jack fit.

After fitting the spare tyre, we were ready to roll. Our plan for today was to get to the Strandlopers, which is a restaurant one hour north of Cape Town.

When we arrived, the lady told us that there would be a ten course menu. We were surprised; this place didn’t look like a ten course menu restaurant but Reni told us before it is a special restaurant and we should bring our bathers??? When we saw the seats and tables we realized why. The eating area was at the beach and the table area was covered with shade cloth and the food was prepared on a charcoal fire, awesome.


So we started with the first couple of courses, then I needed a rest. The good thing is that nobody cares, the atmosphere is relaxed and everybody does their thing. Some went for a swim between the courses. We dipped our feet into the ocean, well it was, let say, fresh.


Then we continued with the next courses, that way of eating is just great. One course was Waterblommetjiebredie which is a stew with lamb and a water plant. The plant tasted a bit like green beans, but the consistency was different. In the picture on the right I hold the waterblommetjies.


The end last course was some sweet pastry desert with coffee. The coffee had a slight gumtree taste, which came from the fact that they put some hot coal into the coffee pot before it was served. We took our time before we left, what a beautiful day that was.

 

Date: 11/11/2013
City: Cape Town/ South Africa
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 66566
Street: Road
Weather: Sunny, warm

Another relaxing day for us, we are on holidays after all. Visiting all these great places is tiring, so we decided to send Reni to work and we had a plunge in the pool. Somebody has to do it, right? :)


Date: 12/11/2013
City: Johannesburg/ South Africa
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 66566
Street: Road
Weather: Sunny, warm

It was time to say good bye to Reni, we could have easily stayed another week without getting bored, but our next target “Krueger National Park” was calling.

So Reni and Julian dropped us of at the airport and off we went. When we were approaching Johannesburg, the captain mentioned that it might be possible that we get diverted to another airport, due to heavy rain, winds and lightning.
Eventually his first landing approach was aborted, which was the first time that I experienced an aborted landing attempt. The rain on the outside was so heavy that we couldn’t see the landing strip at all. Later on we heard that it was not rain, it was in fact hail we saw. Anyway, after taking a large loop we were on our second attempt, this time it worked. In the end we landed, but with all the delays we arrived an hour later, which meant that our transfer to the hotel was gone… Normally it wouldn’t be a problem, but we didn’t have a working mobile phone, so it was difficult to reach our host to get a description how to get there. We ended up using the free Skype available on some spots at the airport, took a taxi and arrived late at night at our accommodation.

Tomorrow we will see our first wild animals; I’m looking forward to that.

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Meeting with friends

Date: 24/10/2013
City: Berlin, Germany
Kilometres ridden: 32
Cumulative kilometre: 66047
Street: Highway
Weather: Sunny, cool

The title says it all, we were meeting with friends and school mates and so if you don’t belong to the Malessa clan, you can skip this blog 😉 .
Today we met with Vincent – Simon and Nikos playmate from Berlin times. We’ve know him for a long time and stayed in contact over the years. Vincent recently visited Australia, and we missed him when he was in San Francisco last year. So we made arrangements to catch up. He lives in a nice townhouse with plenty of outdoor space to have a BBQ.

He is big on fittness and healthy living and he’d just completed the “Though Mudder” event. While talking about our travel it turned out that he might be intersted of traveling from Berlin to Australia in a VW campervan. Hmm, that sounds interesting, maybe be we could get in on that? :P. Well not until we have earned some money I guess :/

 

Date: 25/10/2013
City: Berlin, Germany
Kilometres ridden: 55
Cumulative kilometre: 66070
Street: Road
Weather: Sunny, cool

The next day we met with some of my primary school class mates. First we visited Ilona at home catching up on her and our ventures in live. Time was flying and before we noticed it was time to drive to a restaurant where we met three more of my school mates. The picture on the right shows (from right bottom), Norbert, Mario, Ilona, Sigrid, Pia and me. It was an awesome evening, lot of stories, great food. I was happy that we were only a small group; that way we could hear from everyone

Date: 26/10/2013
City: Berlin, Germany
Kilometres ridden: 60
Cumulative kilometre: 66130
Street: Road
Weather: Sunny, cool

Today we earmarked for a trip back in time- my history. We had a look at my kindergarten at the Postfenn. To my surprise not too much had changed, the kindergarten still existed.

From here our next stop was Neukoelln, the suburb where I grew up. Below is the house and the playground.

The primary school was in walking distance, so we had a look at it as well. The entrance of the school had completely changed, but the rest of the school looked just like 35 years ago. There were some funny new sculptures , though :D.

Around the corner of the primary school there is still the park where we spent plenty of time. However they changed the sign… when I grew up the sign said ‘Keep off the grass’, whereas the new sign says ‘BBQ prohibited’.

Our next appointment was Nocti Vagus, a dark restaurant. Gaby and Robert joined us. First you order your meal and then you move to the dark restaurant, guided by your waiter or waitress who are mostly blind.

Below are two pictures from the restaurant, the left shows our table and the right our waitress 😛

To be honest, it was an amazing and humbling experience and I can definitely recommend it to anybody if you have the chance. Your body tries to compensate for the missing sense and the food tasted more intensive, mind you, it is hard to use knife and fork… 😉

Date: 27/10/2013
City: Berlin, Germany
Kilometres ridden: 40
Cumulative kilometre: 66170
Street: Road
Weather: Sunny, cool

Today we left Gabi’s house to head back to Klaus and Connie, but not before meeting with Carsten and Gabi for Brunch. Gabi and Mathias joined us there. We then rode to Klaus and Conni to drop off our luggage. On Sigrid’s side of the bed there was a box containing one metre of Schaumkuesse! These are special sweets we can’t get in Aussiland. Toffifees- another brand of hard to obtain sweets were on my side! What a welcome back!

At night we had a get-together with old friends at Carsten’s wine cellar. Steppi, Ela, Paule and Suma were there as well. Lots of stories were told and lots of laughs had. What a great night!

 

Date: 28/10/2013
City: Berlin, Germany
Kilometres ridden: 198
Cumulative kilometre: 66368
Street: Road
Weather: Sunny, cool

We borrowed Klaus’s little racer, a blue MXF because it was raining. We visited Onkel Wolfgang and Tante Giesela, Uncle and Auntie of Sigrid this morning and then drove to Marienwerder, outside of Berlin to see our old friend Micha and his family.

 

Date: 29/10/2013
City: Berlin, Germany
Kilometres ridden: 24
Cumulative kilometre: 66392
Street: Road
Weather: Rainy, cool

Today we caught up for dinner with other friends, Billi and Petra and their children Alex and Nadine

Date: 30/10/2013
City: Berlin, Germany
Kilometres ridden: 96
Cumulative kilometre: 66488
Street: Road
Weather: Sunny, cool

More site seeing and meeting people! Today it was Gaby with her friend Heidy Hetzer. Heidy is planning a round the world trip in a special car. We chatted about our experiences and her plans, and arranged for emails to be exchanged and information to be emailed; she might visit us in Aussiland in the next year or so!

After the meeting we went onto the French Dome with Gabi to check out the exhibition there. We even had the chance to play in a parliament hall and use the speaker system… which was connected to our surprise!

We topped off the day by catching up with Patrick and Jana, fellow motorcycle riders we’d met in Narcusp , Canada last year. They are now back home and settled in… sort off. We had dinner together and then moved over to the pub where we chatted a lot and had a good time

 

Date: 31/10/2013
City: Berlin, Germany
Kilometres ridden: 82
Cumulative kilometre: 66497
Street: Road
Weather: Sunny, cool

Today after a yummy breakfast we took time to explore the surrounding of Klaus and Connie’s home with Klaus leading us on a very pleasant walk.

Later that day we set off with two bikes. What great ride through the autumn coloured forest of Berlin.

Our destination was the BMW Motorcycle factory in Berlin Spandau. We originally lived right around the corner but never took the opportunity to check it out. But now was our chance, thanks to Matthias who organised a guided tour for us to attended..

The guided tour made us hungry, so we stopped for Curry-Wurst at the stand across the road before heading to Sigrid’s class reunion.

Quite a few people turned up and we had a great fun remenissing about old time

Date: 01/11/2013
City: Berlin, Germany
Kilometres ridden: 69
Cumulative kilometre: 66566
Street: Road
Weather: Sunny, cool

Our time in Berlin is drawing to a close. Today I removed the GPS and Spot of the bike, so I can take them back home. And we have our fare well party in the Lemke Brewery. We used the blue Racer again get there and promptly got stuck in a traffic jam. This time, however I took a detour through the back streets which I remembered.

We managed to be there on time for a change. Ria and Freya arrived first, then Carsten and Gaby.

One after the other more people arrived. Some took us by surprise as we had not seen them earlier, for example Niko from SEL, Olaf and Henry.

It was a great evening. We were back home around 2AM.

 

Date: 02/11/2013
City: Berlin, Germany
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 66566
Street: Road
Weather: Sunny, cool

Today is the day, the last day in Berlin and in Germany, oh and in Europe for that matter 😉
We had a nice leisurely breakfast with Connie and Klaus. As a far well gift, we’ve got a new member of our team, the BMW bear! He fits in nicely!
We got everything sorted, either packed it into our luggage or stuffed in a parcel which Klaus will send for us .

The last picture with Conni and Klaus in front of the house.

We arrived at the airport three hours early and the counter wasn’t open. Since we were the first ones to check in, we had enough time to resolve our seating issues. Bjoern managed that we sit side by side. The luggage however will have to be checked in again in Johannesburg, not too many surprises here.

Gaby and Matthias joined us for the last farewell and helped us to make the departure more pleasant by organising some Champagne for us all.

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Short visit on the Baltic Sea

Date: 21/10 – 23/10/2013
City: Berlin, Germany
Kilometres ridden: 111
Cumulative kilometre: 65377
Street: Streets
Weather: Sunny, cool

Today we re-visited Sigrid’s childhood neighbourhood. We met Gabi for lunch in the street where she and Sigrid grew up. And even better, in the shop that Gabis dad had previously occupied! He used to have a grocery shop there; today it is a Vietnamese Restaurant which made a nice lunch stop for us.

So after a nice meal we followed Gaby for a tour of her workplace. She and her team work with stocks and make money somehow. Gabi tried to explain it to me, and we decided that would be a topic for another long evening 😛

Our next stop was at Peter and Gerlind’s house. They are friends from Germany which trusted us with their kids in Australia for a while.  One of them even stayed and got married in Adelaide, but they still talk to us anyway.
They live on the outskirts of Berlin and this was one of the times we noticed the frantic traffic during rush hour. We got into some serious traffic congestion and it took us far longer than expected to get there. We were happy to see the house which we heard about but had never seen before. We had some nice conversations about our journey and Peter and Gerlind’s future plans.  For dinner we went to a Restaurant in Friedrichshagen – Sigrid knew this place from the GDR times still – and had a fantastic meal. This was the first time I discovered very nice tasting alcohol free beer.

We arrived late at Gabi’s house. Tomorrow Gabi and Mathias have organized some accommodation for all of us in Miedzyzdroje (I hope I spelt that right), this is a small town at the Baltic Sea in Poland.

Date: 22/10/2013
City: Berlin, Germany
Kilometres ridden: 319
Cumulative kilometre: 65696
Street: Highway
Weather: Sunny, cool

After a relaxing breakfast we started with no hurry. Our first stop was at the hunting lodge Schorfheide which also had an exhibition of Max Schmeling, a famous German world champion boxer.
The next building over housed another interesting exhibition about the use of the hunting lodge in context to German history.

At our next stop there was some lunch waiting in a nice lake resort. Who would have thought that they’d reserve a table just for us?! You can see, riding a BMW has its advantages 😛.
Unfortunately it turned out that the table was reserved for some racetrack guys, bummer.

So we got a nice table outside and enjoyed our lunch there.  A short walk to the lake there were some sun chairs where Sigrid caught me in working position….

After a power nap we continued towards Usedom on a gorgeous day. Sigrid was taking advantage of being pillion and took some pictures during our ride.

Just after sunset we arrived in Seebad Ahlbeck and had a short stroll along the Seebruecke. It started to get a bit fresh, so we had a coffee before continuing.

Not long after we crossed the border to Poland for the first time in our lives. No formalities, just a post marking the entrance. How nice!

Not far from the border was our destination for the night, a 5 star hotel! Each room had a view onto the Baltic Sea and the hotel had an indoor pool as well. We will check that tomorrow morning. After a great day we finished with a nice dinner, happy and content.

Date: 23/10/2013
City: Berlin, Germany
Kilometres ridden: 319
Cumulative kilometre: 66015
Street: Highway
Weather: Sunny, cool

First task of the morning was to have a swim in the pool before enjoying the all you can eat breakfast with a view over the ocean.

To walk off some of the food Sigrid and I decided to have a walk along the beach.

When we came back we packed up and started our trip back to Berlin.

Along the way we had lunch in Kamminke at the Fischraeucherei Kloensnack. Their specialty? Smoked fish, so yummy!

By that time is was a bit late in the day so we traveled straight back. Upon arrival at Gabi’s house we were greeted with a surprise!
Martina, Uve and Sabine – some of Sigird’s old classmates from school were waiting there for us.
Sigrid was over the moon, we sat together and talked about the good old times for the rest of the night.

 

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Staying at Ria and Freya’s

Date: 18/10/2013
City: Berlin, Germany
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 65131
Street: Highway
Weather: Sunny, cool

The morning looked much better, the sun was out and we were in no hurry. Arriving in Berlin we realised that It was strange to be back here and to see the Funkturm and other building that have been so familiar 20 years ago.


We took our time even staying patient in the traffic jam, arriving at Ria & Freya’s place around 2PM. After a short catch-up we left Mahlow for this evening’s entertainment; Ria organized tickets for a show in the Friedrichstadt-Palast.


The show was awsome but unfortunately it was only permitted to take pictures at the end of the show.


Pictures of the Stars as we were leaving ;-).


Date: 19/10/2013
City: Berlin, Germany
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 65131
Street: Highway
Weather: Sunny, cool

The next day we went to visit Ria and Freya’s grandchild Friedrich at Fabian and Lena’s place. Below is the family together, Cordula, Birger, Ria, Fabian, Freya and Lena with Friedrich.

After chatting for a while we went to lunch in a restaurant nearby, followed by a boats trip into the centre of Berlin. This was great, we were discovering Berlin anew. We have seen most of the streets by car or bicycle, but everything looks different from the water.


Since we left Germany in the early 1990 the Government district and the area around were totally new for us. We got to see all the new building in this area. To be honest, I don’t remember the names of the two buildings below, but I though they look great.-just found out this is the Chancellors office from a different side….


The next pictures show the Berlin Central Station and the Chancellor’s office from the other side. People have dubbed it “The Washing Machine”, I guess they are refering to a front loader J.


The next pictures show the Reichstag Building and on the right you can see it with the dome.


A picture of the Museum island that contains five international recognized museums.

And there was the TV tower and the Oberbaum bridge- place of legend in the DDR aera.


The weather was fantastic and we really enjoyed the couple of hours on the boat with our tourguides -Ria, Freya, Cordula and Birger . At the end of the boat tour we walked to the Schloss Charlottenburg, but we had to take a picture of Buddy Bear just in front of the Embassy of Kyrgyzstan.


The Schloss Charlottenburg was part of the Berlin’s ‘festival of light’ and there were different pictures projected onto the front.

What a day, we were exhausted and went home. Luckily for us Ria and Freya were still full of power and cooked for us. During the evening we chewed their ear off about our travels before going to bed late.

 

Date: 20/10/2013
City: Berlin, Germany
Kilometres ridden: 135
Cumulative kilometre: 65266
Street: Highway
Weather: Sunny, cool

Today we would leave Ria and Freya, but not before we had brunch at a asparagus farm close by. So we packed up and went with Ria and Freya to a to Buschmann & Winkelmann in Klaistow. Well I always though asparagus is a long white or green stick and not orange and round J.

The place was bustling with people, luckily Ria and Freya had made booking for us, so we could sat down and have a long, tasty, too small stomach brunch.

After eating so much it was time for a walk. So we checked out the grounds with all sculptures made of pumpkins.

Luckily, I was there to prevent the kids from climbing the Mont Blanc sculpture J

And then they had held competitions about the largest pumpkin -they were all over 500kg but the largest one weight 672kg, amazing-the best Carved Pumpkin and other gardening highlights.


It got late in the day, so we said good bye to Ria and Freya and took off. After a brief visit to Bodo, Sigrid brother we arrived at Gabies house around 9PM, where Mathias, Robert and Gabi’s dad were waiting for us.

We had dinner and talked for a while before heading to bed.

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Quick Dash to Denmark and Sweden

Date: 15/10/2013
City: Wilhelmshaven, Germany
Kilometres ridden: 190
Cumulative kilometre: 64067
Street: Single lane highway
Weather: Cloudy, cold

It was time to leave our lovely hosts, Anita and Bernd and make our way up north. But first we would say “g’day” to Julia’s parents, as we were just around the corner. Bernd recommended a more interesting drive to us from Hamburg to Wilhelmshaven including a ferry ride. That sounded great.

Upon arrival on the other side, we were surprised by the following picture; have a look at the left pollard. Apparently this is a high water warning….. when the captain sees the ducks swimming then the river Elbe has high water J

We arrived at Silvia and Bernds house, and not long after Julia arrived. She’d just returned from visiting Simon in Australia that hour! Ouch, we had gotten our dates mixed up. We were under the impression that she would arrive a day earlier. Anyway, Julia was still in good spirits, so we all went to dinner in an all you can eat restaurant. The food was amazing, unfortunately my stomach was not big enough… It was a lovely evening.

Date: 16/10/2013
City: Copenhagen, Denmark
Kilometres ridden: 541
Cumulative kilometre: 64609
Street: N/A
Weather: Cloudy, cold

Today we will try to make it to Copenhagen which shouldn’t be a problem if everything goes well. Kuh Elsa has been reliable since Italy, so we hope it won’t show any problems in this last part. We started around 9:30 and were heading towards Fehmarn. From there we took the ferry to Denmark. Upon arriving in Copenhagen we found it difficult to find a reasonable hotel; most hotels were either booked out or overpriced. We had earmarked a hotel in trip advisor that was value for money, unfortunately our GPS map stopped just before Copenhagen and we could not find it. So we did our South America thing: driving around and asking people on the street for directions and recommendations. All of them were very helpful and understood and spoke English, what a relief! In the end we found a hotel and happily moved in.

Date: 17/10/2013
City: Guestro, Germany
Kilometres ridden: 308
Cumulative kilometre: 64917
Street: Highway
Weather: Cloudy, rain, cold

Today was the day; we would ride over the Oresund bridge – the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe. That we would land in Sweden on the way was a bonus! But before that, we checked out the Copenhagen icon, the little mermaid.

It started to drizzle a bit and it was cloudy. Maybe we are too late in the season, again? J Anyway we took a couple of pictures and continued to the Oresund Bridge. On the way I did – purposely – a sightseeing tour around the town. Did I mention that the GPS map ended just before Copenhagen?

Eventually we found the road to the bridge, but to my surprise the bridge did not start on mainland Denmark, it started in the middle of the Øresund straight on an artificial island called Peberholm. So it was first through a tunnel and then onto the bridge. Not how I’d envisioned it. I was after the effect that when you ride on the bridge, it looks as though it ends in the middle of the straight… So change of plans, in Sweden we turned around and rode back. Even though it was cloudy it worthwhile for us.

Now we were on our way to Gedser to catch the ferry to Rostock. The clouds got darker and darker, I was optimistic as usual, Sigrid…. not so much.
So Sigrid got her rain gear on and I didn’t. Well after a while it started to bucket down and I got drenched. Stoically I continued for nearly 100km, then I gave up and at the next petrol station finally got my raingear on.  It even fit over my pride now 😛

The rain didn’t let off so I was happy to have my rain gear on. When we arrived in Gedser, the lady on the ferry told us that there was no room for the motorbike on the next ferry, bummer. So we tried to find accommodation, but there was only one hotel, expensive and run down and the tourist information was closed as well. So we thought we get back to the lady at the ferry terminal and ask for some other hotels around. When we arrived she told us that all of the sudden there was space on the ferry after all! We were happy.  Wet, but happy :)

We arrived in Rostock a couple of hours later. The rain had eased; we started to ride towards Berlin. Not long after the clouds caught up with us, so we turned off the highway and looked for accommodation nearby. Tomorrow we will be back in Berlin and catch up with Ria and Freya.

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Rote Rosen

Date: 13/10/2013
City: Hamburg, Germany
Kilometers ridden: 537
Cumulative kilometer: 63725
Street: N/A
Weather: Cloudy, cold

We packed up in the morning and left Wiesbaden having nice weather. Our target today is Hamburg to visit Sigrid’s cousin and her husband. They kindly offered to let us stay at their place for the next two days. The ride went without any problems, except the expected traffic jam in Hamburg. When we arrive Anita and Bernd gave us a warm welcome and we talked until 2:30 AM.

Lucky that Anita and Bern had the next day off, so we planned to sleep in and have a nice breakfast together.

Date:14/10
City: Hamburg, Germany
Kilometers ridden: 152
Cumulative kilometer: 63877
Street: N/A
Weather: Cloudy, cold

We enjoyed our nice long breakfast together. When I looked out of the window I saw a familiar looking rodent checking out the motorcycle.

We left just after lunch and headed to Lueneburg to have a look at the town where the TV series “Rote Rosen” which we watch is filmed.  We decided to check out the town before visiting the film studio. The town now has a guided tour to see the real buildings from the outdoor shoots and a hotel and restaurant with the name.

It was fun to wander through the town and see buildings that we have seen in the series. Time was getting away from us, so we hopped onto the bike and went to the studio to meet Mario who’d been volunteered to do the tour for us. If you believe it or not the tour was organized by Donata whom we meet in Tikal. When we told her then that we watched Rote Rosen during our trip, she mentioned that she might be able to organize a tour for us when we come to Germany. This was so far away that we didn’t think it would eventuate, and here we are, at the door of the studio. As you can see, Sigrid had to convince the guard dog not to tear us apart. She did a marvelous job 😀

Not long after us Mario arrived and we set off. First we saw the hospital, which really was a corridor that connects the offices. Amazing, the whole hospital really consists of this corridor and one single room, which has either a desk and a filing cabinet or a bed with a chair.

Below are just a couple of picture which will only mean something to people who watch the soap opera 😉.
Below is Sigrid in Herrn Flickenschild’s office. What I didn’t realize until this moment, the set has only three walls, there is no fourth wall. It seems obvious when you think about it, but until then I didn’t realize.

And here is Sigrid in the Berger’s living room,

Mr Lichtenhagens desk at home and bath room in the Rosen Haus

and the living room at the estate.

While looking through a whole hall with props we found some signs used in previous setups, how amazing!

Eventually we could even witness how a scene was made and what technical effort was behind it. Every shot has to be done at least twice, first for the tone and lighting and then for real. The quantity of scenes is 45 minutes per day, which seems to be a lot. Mario explained that for a normal movie it is only 6 to 8 minutes per day. After the guided tour we followed Mario back to Hamburg to meet with Donata and enjoyed a nice dinner. And here are our heroes, Donata on the left and Mario on the right. Unfortunately Tobi, Donata’s partner whom we meet in Tikal as well, was working in Berlin, so couldn’t be here. I would never have pictured me as being star-struck around celebrities, but I must admit it was a great feeling to see the actors from the screen in person. Thanks guys for making it possible for us to see the studio in action.

After a marvelous dinner we went home to Anita’s and Bernd’s house and tomorrow we will set off for the Oresund Bridge in Sweden, with a small detour to Wilhelmshaven, which is in the opposite direction, but more about that in the next blog.

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Visit family in Wiesbaden

Date: 10/10/2013
City: Wiesbaden, Germany
Kilometres ridden: 568
Cumulative kilometre: 63188
Street: Highway
Weather: Cloudy, rainy, cold

We packed our noble steed and left for Wiesbaden around lunch time. The weather in Paris was sunny but further away it started to get colder and cloudy. After around 100 km I stopped, since it got too cold- even for me :-). We got the heated gear out and took off again quickly realising that it wasn’t working, bummer. After another 100km it got so cold that we had to stop again. Now I was motivated enough to start to trouble shoot at the petrol station. It turned out that only the wire to the battery was broken. Luckily it was the minus, so I could just connect the lose wire to the frame and it was toasty warm again. That lifted our spirit.

Because Sigrid would like to travel through Luxemburg we made a slight detour. It was sort off on our way anyways.

We had rain on and off and the temperature dropped a lot. As we found out, it was snowing in different parts of Germany, luckily not where we were travelling. After nightfall we were in the Hudsrueck hills but finally we arrived around 10PM in Wiesbaden. Doris was over the moon and gave us a nice warm welcome.

Date: 11 -12/10/2013
City: Wiesbaden, Germany
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 63188
Street: N/A
Weather: Cloudy, rainy, cold

The next two day we talked a lot about our trip and setup Doris computer so we could communicate in future via Skype. Later on we meet Doris friend, Helga. At night we had dinner at a nearby restaurant and meet with Helga’s daughter and granddaughter. The food was fantastic and we enjoyed the evening.

 

The next day we went to a garden shop, which had everything, from flowers, plant, trees, Christmas trees and decoration, sculptures and animals.

 

At night Doris and Helga took us to a restaurant that they are frequently visiting. We tried some local speciality, ‘Hand Kaese mit Music’ which is a particular type of cheese with cumin and onions. It turned out that it tasted much better than I thought, so the cook had to prepare even more of these snacks.

 

Later that night we contacted Anita, Sigrid’s cousin in Hamburg to find out if they had time to meet us. They did and offered us to stay at their place, so we happily accepted.

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The city of love, Paris

Date: 07/10/2013
City: Paris, France
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 62620
Street: N/A
Weather: Cloudy, warm

We made it to Paris!
Getting from Berlin to Paris is not that hard, but when you are in Adelaide, Paris is a long way away!
So when we planned our trip we were hoping that we would have some money left to make it to Paris, and now we did!

We had breakfast and hopped into the subway to get to the Hotel de Ville where the cities administration has been located since mid 1300.

From here we walked to the Notre Dame Cathedral, passing over the Seine.

We took some pictures of the Cathedral before we entered.

 

In the Cathedral we took a self-guided tour.

 

During our tour we were looking for the staircase to the roof, but we couldn’t find it so we left after a while and had a nice lunch close by.

After lunch we hopped onto the subway and got to the Arc de Triumphe.

We walked to the top, the staircase was fun. And Sigrid looked a bit exhausted at the end. …

 

The view from the top was great.

 

At some stage the sun and the clouds provided a nice spectacle, we were just hoping that it wouldn’t start to rain.

We walked down the Champs du Elise when we passed a BMW shop with a nice car in. As it turned out, the mirrors were not working…. so we decided not to buy it J

From here we walked to the Eifel tower and arrived there just before sunset. We took a couple of pictures before we joined the long queue for the elevator.

 

It took us two hours before we got to the top, but the view was worth it.

 

On our way down, we use the elevator to get to the first platform and from there we walked.

What a day! We had a look back as we walked to the nearest train station to go home.

Date: 08/10/2013
City: Paris, France
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 62620
Street: N/A
Weather: Cloudy, warm

Today we started a bit later. The plan was to hop on a train and have look at the Sacre Coeur. When we got into the train, there was some announcement which we didn’t understand. We were sitting in the standing train for another 10 minutes when the second announcement came. Sigrid guessed that there might be a problem on this line and there would be a delay. This guess was supported by people leaving the standing train all of the sudden.

We walked a couple of minutes to the underground train line and hopped on the train there. Here the trains were going as normal, so we arrived at Sacre Coeur a short time later.

We walked up the stairs and had a look inside.

 

When we left the church we realised that there were people at the top, so we started to search for the staircase. It turned out that at the side there was an entry which allowed you to climb up to the top via a narrow staircase. On the top we had to follow a couple of narrow paths to get to the tower.

 

The view from here was great.


 

We also had a look at the crypt and here we found a sculpture with a guy holding his head, not sure why.

Not far from the cathedral was a Dali exhibition, so we had a look at this as well.

 

It took us a while, so when we left it was dark. The right time to have a look at the Moulin Rouge we thought…:-)

Date: 09/10/2013
City: Paris, France
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 62620
Street: N/A
Weather: Cloudy, rainy, warm

The weather forecast for today was rain, so we earmarked today for visiting the Louvre. On our way there we pased a bridge where the sides were completely covered with locks! It’s what couples do; they put a lock there with their names on it! Don’t know how much more metal this bridge can take ..;-)

 

 

Not far from the bridge was the Louvre entrance.

 

First we had a look at the beautiful lady in the Louvre, no, not the girl in front, the one at the wall J, the Mona Lisa, which was secured behind some saftey glass which made it difficult to get a good picture.

From here we had a look at different paintings; some of them were just great, like the faces out of trees or fruits.

 

We made our way to the basement, where the medial evil castle predating the Louvre could be seen. It started as a fortress and the remaining part have been excavated and can now be visited in the Louvre’s basement.

 

From here we went back and had a look at the Greek section, to take a picture of the Venus de Milo.

 

Next we visited the Egytian section, where we found the large sphinx, which weight more then nine tonnes.

For me the most impressive exhibit in this section was a granite coffin, the intricate work was amazing!

 

 

Walking throught the section made us aware that the Egyptians and the Inkas shared some fundamental beliefs. For example: The sun would set in the evening and fight against the evil throughout the night, sunrise the next morning meant that she’d won. Amzing, two cultures so far apart, and both are building pyramids! Anyway, from here we made our way to the Babilonia exhibition where the Code of Hammurabi could be seen inscribed in a stone. The code represents an early law book of the Babilonia from around 1700 B.C.

 

By this time our legs started to get tired, so it was time to get home. On our way out I saw the elevator in the Louvre, it was a huge hydraulic stamp in the middle of the staircase. On the pictures below it’s just moving up. I know, I’m easy to entertain J

 

That’s it, that was our visit to Paris. We could have spend much more time here, I’m sure it was not the last time. Tomorrow we will travel back to Germany, Wiesbaden, to visit Doris.

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