Date: 13/4 Saturday

Km ridden: 280

Location: Lübeck

It’s an unfortunate truth that even a great time must eventually to come to an end. On Saturday we packed up and prepared to leave the island, but this time using a different route. But first, breakfast! Unfortunately our breakfast plans at the nearby bakery were foiled because all the seats were taken, so we went for breakfast at Nielson which is a great coffee shop with a view over the Wattenmeer (ocean).

Then we took a ferry to the Danish island of Romo.

A long bridge joins Romo island to the mainland.

We followed Matthias, our faithful guide, over that bridge and then from Denmark back to Germany – without a notable border.

Our destination was the Nolde museum.

This famous expressionist has very colourful art and benefited from his reputation that he refused to work under the Nazi regime. Even though that’s correct it turns out that he was actually supportive of the Nazies, only withdrawing his support after they rejected and banned his art!

Seeing this garden…

…one can imagine where he got his inspiration for his colourfulness from

Shortly after that our path separated. Matthias and Gaby had to return to Berlin, while we were heading in the direction of Rügen (another German island) to visit Reni.

As it turned out, the trip would have been too long for today unless we were willing to ride in the dark, which is something we really try and avoid… aaaand it was quite cold (6 degrees!!! 🥶) bearable with our heated jackets but not much fun.

So we stopped in Lubeck for the night. We had found this hotel on the internet:

On the picture you can see the main hotel, however the offer was for a building to the side, a few hundred meters away. Our room there was cheap, warm and comfortable enough, but no hot water cooker or coffee making facilities. That seems to be normal in German hotels – darn 😩 . We had no camping equipment to help us out here, but a supermarket nearby helped us out with all we needed. Another bug bear was that internet was only available in ‘common spaces’ – meaning the common places in the main hotel which shut shop after 8:00 pm – meaning no internet for us….

 

Date: 14 April 2019

Km ridden: 263

Location: Ruegen

The next morning was still cold, but after a good breakfast at the hotel, which did well to negate our negative feelings from the night before, we were off.

We had a short look at the gate of Lubeck

For fun we did some of our exercises in front of the gate to send to our fitness club friends

 

It started to drizzle, but luckily not too badly, so we reached Renie’s Esperanca Feriendomizil a bit after lunch.

We were excitedly greeted by her and her dog JK

We unpacked, and for dinner we went to a Mexican restaurant. Back at Renie’s place we had some wine

and talked till the wee hours of the morning.

The first day we went sightseeing the colossus of Prora , a building complex started by the Nazies, then used during GDR times for the police, now being rebuild for modern times and sold as investment flats.

Later we found a Gosh fish shop in Binz, yummy! And we noticed the 700 year sign on the Binz peer.

Turns out this little village really exists for at least 700 years… coming to prominence only after sea side holidays came into vogue.

The next few days we spent with Reni. We caught up with her parents as well; they were visiting from Berlin and had the new dog in tow, a very lively golden retriever mix.

For the next day she promised that we’d take him along the beach for a long walk. Said and done we set off with him the next day – or should I say he took off with us?

He was so energetic that he pulled us along the whole way – the whole 8 km way along the beach! We didn’t dare to let him off the lead for fear that we wouldn’t get him back. Still it was great fun, albeit exhausting.

That did not hinder us from having a great lunch by the beach

Finally we could help with some lawn mowing and carrying some of Renie’s collected artwork to the appropriate places in the garden of the holiday complex.

Now the place was ready for the Easter rush.. to see the art you’ll need to visit her J

http://www.feriendomizil-speranza.de/

Date: 15 April 2019

Location: Mahlow

In the morning we packed up and said our farewells, promising to see each other again in October.

Then it was off again direction Berlin. Our target for the day was Mahlow and we arrived there in the early afternoon.

The next days were spent washing, planning and preparing for the big trip!

06/04/2019: Sylt

Km travelled today: 550

Weather: Sun shine, 14 degrees

Today’s the day: our fist long distance ride on this trip!

We had never been to the island Sylt in the North sea of Germany, so Gaby took advantage of this and gave Bjoern a great 60th birthday gift last year. You guessed it, a trip to Sylt!

Matthias arrived on the dot at 9:00 am for a timely start. The first stop was after 100 km, then off again for a stop in Ratzeburg by the lake.

Since this was our diet day we had tea and coffee instead of food, which was no problem. After Ratzeburg we drove a while along some smaller roads, then back onto the highway. We finished up at the vehicle train which would take us to Sylt.

Strange thing that train- no passenger carriage at all.

Gaby was a bit worried that we’d need to sit on the bikes for the trip….

But no! They had a truck with about 10 seats parked at one end of the train, with A train attendant driving back and forth along the train in it. Once our bikes were secured on the train by the staff we were sitting comfortably in that truck for the 30 mins journey. Seriously, there were no cabins, we rode across in a truck on the train!

Getting on and off was very easy and after a short drive we reached our home for this week in Morsum.

We had an apartment with two bedrooms kitchen and lounge room, very comfortable.

Now we wanted to finish the fasting day with some fish and Gaby just knew where to go: “Gosh” which is a famous fish shop on the island.

Once there, all of our good intentions came crashing down as we had a scrumptious meal of fish and wine.

Back at home Gaby took out the champagne and after she gave a a really moving speech we re-celebrated Bjoern’s birthday.

Meanwhile on other locations around the world Niko and Simon were working to re-instigate our blog which was not working since our internet service in Adelaide had switched to NBN.

They managed to get it up and running – well limping- with a few issues remaining to be fixed at a later date. A MASSIVE thank-you to Niko at this point who put in a few hours to arrange everything when he really could have used the time elsewhere!

We had a great time on Sylt taking in the sights and enjoying the delicious food. After sightseeing we often went for coffee and cake to different bakery- cafés, for example the Kupferkanne and the Backstube, just to name a few. The Backstube had a noteworthy sign saying:” any piece of cake smaller than 300g is a cookie”- love that J

Bjorn’s pancake J

We visited the most northern part of Germany,

some beach art at that point

the highest point of Sylt – the Uve dune,

and old graveside – Hunengrab

as well as the church that has the gravestone of Mr Hahn, the captain of the ship transporting the first German settlers to Australia – specifically South Australia where they named Hahndorf after him. He was actually born here and came back in his old age.

At night we often went out for dinner into great, always different and always fabulous restaurants. Here the names of some of them:

Sansibar,where we re-celebrated Bjoern’s 60th

Samoa Seepferdchen, where we first enjoyed the sunset

Salon 1900 , after the organ concert in a nearby church

One night we cooked ourselves, easy pasta – obviously also very delicious indeed!

The other night we had a great evening with our host, Keike and Hans-Adolf. Gaby and Matthias knew them from the Glass club as they are proud owners of goggomobiles.

Time flew with great conversation, nibbles and wine.

We even kept up with our exercises, and Gaby joined in. That was great fun! But.. we didn’t take any pictures save this one

With health in mind and to combat Sigrids cough, Gaby even arranged a visit at a homeopathic practitioner, let’s see if it helps!

Oh, I nearly forgot: on our last afternoon we got to try eggnog grog at another great venue, where we watched Sylt’s motor rail trains coming and going.

And last but not least we encountered some friendly wildlife-

Some hares, just in time for Easter

Same with the lambs

And a friendly seal which we could handfeed with some fish!

03/04/2019: Marienwerder

Km travelled today: 124
Weather: Sun shine, 16 degrees

In the morning we packed or bikes for the first time on this trip, taking all of our luggage except the camping gear.

After saying goodbye to Freya, we stopped for a short coffee at Klaus’s, then headed off to Marienwerder to visit Micha and Manu. We arrived around 3pm in the afternoon. After Coffee and cake we checked out their new overland truck cabin and could help them to get that big thing onto the base of their truck….  accurately!

At night we watched pictures and exchanged tips and stories about travelling. They put us onto an app called Park4Night, which sounds great so we’ll check it out for sure!

04/04/2019: Seeburg

Km travelled today: 80
Weather: Sun shine, 14 degrees

The next morning we continued with our fitness routine – we were a bit lax on that in recent days…. 

And were rewarded with a sumptuous breakfast!

Later we drove Micha to a doctor’s appointment to get his eye sorted out.  Little did we know that this would mean turning into a pirate! 

Returning home we finished the afternoon with waffles and coffee before making our way to Gaby in Seeburg.

Not even 5 mins into the trip we got a phone call… we’d left the bag with all the chargers at their place, U-oh!  U-turn time!

By the time we were ready to set off a second time, Sigrid’s fuel gauge was low and we thought it prudent to drive 15k’s to get some fuel…. turns out that this was in the opposite direction 😉.

Finally we were off to Seeburg and the GPS thought it would be best to drive through the city. Oh well…. In the end we arrived at Gaby’s shortly after sunset and her dad opened the door for us . Gaby arrived 5 mins later; we had a night cap and fell into bed.

05/04/2019: Berlin

Km travelled today: 40
Weather: Sun shine, 14 degrees

We’re keeping up with our exercises! Wohoo! All exercised out, we did some washing and planning for the trip. Sigrid had the luxury to get to a facial today. Bjoern dropped her off at the public transport and picked her up after in the city. There we visited a range of shops, namely the Ampelmännchen shop, Apple Sore and Aldi.

On the way back to the bike we saw this! The Quadriga with bears! How cute!

All set up we finished with dinner at a Currywurst stand.

Later at Gaby’s we finished the night with a glass of wine… Well, actually Bjoern and Gaby talked until midnight 😉

31 March to 3 April 2019

Berlin

We used the next few days to finish the setup of Sigrid’s bike.

Bjoern and Klaus fixed the head bearing, the air filter, tightened the chain, changed spark plugs…. with almost no hiccups.

Meanwhile Sigrid helped Freya in the garden and was paid in strawberry cake… not a bad currency!

For some reason one of the lights at Freyas place wasn’t working right. Some investigation he found a nail which was probably the culprit…

A nail like that 😊

Bjoern doing magic 😉

And one evening we managed to see Erik!

We met him in Australia at a HU meeting after which he came and visited us in Adelaide for a bit. Great conversation and a great meal were had.

Did I mention food?

Freya – the incredible host she is – cooked Kassler and Sauerkraut for us the other day.

That was also suuuper yummy!

30/03/2019: Berlin
Km travelled today: 38

Weather: Sun shine, 21 degrees

Today we were planning to visit Manja and Simon at home.

Due to the late night we slept in! We hurried to get onto the red bike but still only managed to be there quite late, by which time Manja sent us a WhatsApp snap of “Grumpy Hungry Simon”. Seems he wanted breakfast 🙂

When we finally arrived they showed us their flat. It’s a small kitchen and a decent size living/bedroom which seems perfect for the two of them. They also have a good sized balcony which they’ll use as second room whenever the weather allows – like today 🙂

But first we were off to explore their neighbourhood. We walked through the lovely park, stopped at the lake seeing this great duck swimming there.

Great McDuck, Also known as a Mandarin Duck. … not to be confused with a Peking duck.

and then we had some goulash soup because that was what they had at the park cafe and Simon wanted “Breakfast”.  No idea why he would have breakfast so late 😂

More exploring, – a squirrel

then some cake – unfortunately with no picture – instead one of the peace bell

More exploring – this would be a great playground for Silas and Caspian!

After we left the park, we walked the “Kiez” a bit and explored the lovely shops in the side-streets.

After all this walking it was high time for a break, so we stopped to get some wine at this street party we happened to walk into.  Everything was already being picked up but the very jolly wine-maker was still going strong and happily serving.

We had never seen an American school bus in Berlin before…  But apparently they have these as party busses now!

Then we walked through the “Kiez” for a bit more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coming past a curious sign reminding us of home right next to the

restaurant Snow-white with curious decoration. This on one the ceiling (the photo of the deer is not sideways!)

 

Here we’d meet with Vincent and Diana. We’ve known Vincent for a long time, back from when we lived here. Oh, and he’s now Simon’s boss 🙂
Isn’t it strange how life turns out sometimes?  
We had a really great evening together and on our way home we got to see Vincent’s electro Smart. What a great little car! And soo quiet!.. and too dark to take a picture… that’s our excuse and we’re sticking to it 😀

Date: 27/3/2019
Location: Berlin
Km ridden: 15

Buerocracy part 3 – the easy part

This morning we were too lazy for exercise. Our excuse was that Klaus picked us up early to drive us to Ludwigsfelde and register Bjoerns bike.

It was surprisingly straight forward this time! Maybe we are getting the hang of this whole German Bureaucracy thing?  Probably not, but we were done in less than an hour, leaving enough time to go shopping!

That meant that Sigrid scored a new motorcycle jacket and we got some spare parts before heading back to Mahlow for the evening.

 

Date: 28/3/2019
Location: Berlin
Km ridden: 15

Freya offered to take us along to try out a jumping class. It was great fun and super exhausting. We were so focussed that we forgot to take pictures during the class, but here we are at the gym as proof:

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To ensure balance, all this exercise called for a good breakfast which we had at a lovely bakery.

Freya then dropped us off at Klaus. We added the number plate – now with valid TÜV sticker – to Bjorns bike. Now we were ready for a test run, but weren’t sure where to go.  Eventually the test run led us to Gerlind, where we helped her move some stuff before heading to dinner at a nice Indian place nearby.

 

Date:29/3/2019
Location:Berlin
Km ridden: 15

The morning started with core exercises-back on track 🙂

With the exercise done, Bjoern went to Klaus to do some motorcycle maintenance for our upcoming journey. Sigrid stayed in Mahlow for some household chores. 

Then, during bike maintenance, disaster struck:

While changing the spark plug a plastic bit broke. Bjoern had no time to fix this because he had to be back for an outing we had planned with Freya.
He was not happy at all. After some back and forth, trying all sorts of things, Klaus pulled the proverbial rabbit out of a hat and managed to fix it.

A little stressed Bjoern headed back to Mahlow and managed to get himself cleaned up just in time for us to head out. 

Freya took us out for dinner at the “Villa Rixdorf” fantastic ambiance and great German food.

After a delicious dinner we headed to the “Theater Heimhafen Neuköln”, where we saw a very entertaining show called The Rixdorfer Perlen.

Date: 26/3/2019
Location: Berlin
Km ridden: 12

Klaus picked us up in early after we’d done our exercises – well at least the short version – again.

His car needed TÜV as well, so we dropped the car and all papers at the workshop and went ahead to explore the area Adlershof. We found the Johannistal Airportfield, now a nice biotop with rare plants.

Then we discovered the Trundelturm and wind channel, where, back in the 1930’s, to-scale model airplanes were filmed with high-speed cameras to investigate the cause, effect and correction of airplane “Trudeln” or Spiralling. 

Close by in the Engine testing station, we found a student cafe – cheap!- and had an interesting talk with the barista.

 

He originally studied to become a chemistry laboratory clerk, but changed his mind and is learning to be a tram driver. He informed us about history of the Motor test station and the trundle wind channel.

Another picture of the trundle wind channel, which used to be used to test the “trundling” of aircrafts.

 

Later we found the UNI Mensa where we had lunch with obstacles. All students had a card they used to get cheap lunches. Like pay-wave for food. For us that meant a choice of no lunch or obtaining of a guest card. We decided to get the guest cart – each of us needed one – and loaded them with a few Euros each in order to get our lunches. Said and done, we entered only to discover the caveat while working out the prices… Hmm not as cheap as we thought, all food had 2 prices: Student and Normal with Normal being not very cheap.  As guests, of course, the more expensive one was valid for us… ah well. The food was ok and in the end we could return the guest cards and got a little money back.

After walking around a bit we found a nice coffee shop with good looking cakes. We could not resist.

Just when finished we received the phone call that the bike and the car were ready for pickup, all done!

Unfortunately by now it was too late to go to the motor registration in Ludwigsfelde, we would do that tomorrow.

We finished the day at Klaus’ place watching some pictures and videos of his holidays.

Date: 25/3/2019
Location: Berlin
Km ridden: 10

 

It snowed!

Even in this weather, we still kept up with our sport by doing a short session with loads of burpees!  We’re 60-ish, and traveling, what’s your excuse? 😉

Freya drove us to the migration office to get Bjoerns visa extended…  Even though he has the strongest German accent in the family, he was the first Australian. Back when we moved to Australia, he bravely forfeited his German citizenship for an Australian one to give us certainty of residence.  

Luckily we were there at 11:50, so we still got a number. Sitting down we expected to be in and out in no time…however there is lunch… A nice official told us to get some lunch ourselves because we would only be seen after lunch – approximately 1 hour later… We waited in the cafeteria, then it was finally our turn. The actual application went without a hitch once we got in, and we were out in a flash. Now we just need to wait to get the visa.  Aaah, German bureaucracy. A game of patience and waiting. 

Directly after that we met up with Klaus to head to our friend Peters place where Bjoerns bike had spent the year. Being efficient, we employed 3 gps devices: Bjoerns, Sigrids and Klaus’…. all of them leading us up the garden path, almost literally.  We ended up on the wrong side of the Müggelsee.  After a scenic drive around the lake we ended up in a Forrest. For some reason Klaus didn’t want to continue that direction.  Eventually after a couple more turns we managed to find our way out and arrived at Peters place just before dark, about 1.5 hours later than intended.

Unpacking the bike was a great joy, no marks, no rust and with the battery reconnected it started straight away!

Ok by now it started to rain and Bjorn had to ride the bike in the rainy dark to the workshop where we needed to have it inspected for the TÜV: a necessity that needs to be done every 2 years to ascertain the roadworthiness of a vehicle.

Sigrid was worried, but despite her worries all went ok and we dropped off the bike before Klaus drove both of us home.

Date:22/03/2019
Location: Berlin-Kleinbeeren-Mahlow
KM ridden: 15

We took the bike to pick up our new SIM cards for our phones. Then we met for lunch at Freya’s, she had prepared a German chicken dish – Frikassee for us, yummy! The rest of the day we spent at Klaus and Connie’s, torturing them with showing them our photos.


Date:23/03/2019
Location: Berlin-Konigswusterhausen-Cottbus-Mahlow
KM ridden: 54

Today we got to meet Manjas (Simons girlfriend) family, so we headed over to Cottbus where they live 

We used the bike and a train. It was Manja’s mum’s birthday and we got to meet the whole family


Date:24/3/2019
Location: Berlin Mahlow-Blankensee
KM ridden: 54

Freya drove us around to visit Blankensee.

There we had lunch, then walked along the lake then went for coffee and cake! What a great day in crisp spring weather.

 

Date:21/03/2019
Location: Berlin-Kleinbeeren-Mahlow
KM ridden: 12

 

This morning we got up a bit later. We started with our gym session first in the room, then in the front garden.

Anne, our coach from EFM Flinders Park arranged a program for us we could follow when on the road.

 

Additionally we had started a new thing to stay healthy. A “5/2” health plan: 5 day normal eating, 2 days of diet where we eat only 500 cals a day.
Fasting day today! So we had muesli for breakfast…

We got the bike ready for the first outing and started to drive to Klaus.

One Proud Biker

After only a couple of meters a warning light turned on indicating that the back tyre did not have enough pressure. We stopped at the next petrol stations to pump up the tyres. What we didn’t remember was that the tyre pressure in Germany is measured in Bar not PSI so we pumped them up to a nominal value. We quickly noticed a second issue: the GPS wasn’t getting charged by the battery.

When we arrived at Klaus’s house, he was working on his Polo to get it ready for “TÜV”: A mandatory bi-annual vehicle safety inspection. As he was working, Bjoern took a look at the GPS issue. Seemed that the clamps had come loose, so he removed all clamps and soldered the contacts. While he was at is he re-wired the Spot tracker to the battery (The thing that makes our Map go and tells our family we’re okay) and closed the bike up.

In the evening we went back to Freyas and had fish for dinner, finishing off our fasting day.