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: 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.

 

We are off again to another visit to Europe, this time we’ve planned to visit the more southern part then Morocco and Egypt. Here are now a few snaps

from the journey to Berlin.

Stop over on Doha airport

 

Date: 29-30/07/2017
From/To: Hjartdal – Suleskard
Distance: 232Km
Total Distance: 8939 Km
Weather: Cold, Drizzling, Sunny
Road: Paved

Next morning we started at beautiful sunshine, and then it started raining, hailing


and then sunshine again. We stopped and put our gear into the sun to dry off. Close to Lysebotn we found a campground with nice cabins, so we booked one for the next couple of days. On the right hand side you can see the houses around with green roofs.


The next day we looked at the weather forecast, it was raining for the next couple of days, but there was that tiny window tomorrow from around 6 to..8PM. We were sitting put for the morning and in the afternnon the weatherforecast was still the same. So we arrived at the beginning of the hike around 4PM. The hike consists of three inclines, all of them have some chains to get up or even more, to get down again.


The weather forecast got some points right, the rain stopped for some time, but not completely. And then there were the clouds coming in.

When we climbed up, we were over the clouds.


And then after three hours we reached a ravine where we had to climb through. I wasn’t sure if we were on the right track, but all of the sudden I could see the Keragbolten. The rain has stopped, but the clouds came in and did not leave.

Well, Sigrid looked first how to get to the bolten, then here she was, on the bolten, arms wide spread out.


So now I had a look at the bolten, first from the top. On the right picture you can see me peaking down onto the bolten, and that’s it. I chickened out, no way that I hop onto this bolten. So the picture on the right was as close as I got.

Here are the pictures of the bolten in good weather. On the right picture you can see how to get onto the bolten, taken by other people.

 


Anyway, on our way back the clouds came in even more and made it impossible to find the way markers…-scaring Sigrid a little.


But at the end we made it and Sigrid was releaved…-me too… On the right picture you can see the car park with our motorcycles; by then the clouds had disapered.


Here we back at the bike. It was 10PM, just before sunset.

A short video can be found here.

We went home and dried our boots with this cool shoe dryer in the hallway. I guess the Norwegians know why they have these dryers in most of the hutts in this area J


The next day the forcast was rain from the morning to the evening, with a couple of minutes break between. Advantage?! We could see a beautiful rainbow straight out of our window.. while we stayed inside, recovering..;-)

Tomorrow we will go down to the Lysebotn, the town at the botten of the lysefjord. A nice windy road, hopefully it stopps raining.

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

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.

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.