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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Date: 05 – 06/10
City: Paris, France
Kilometres ridden: 358
Cumulative kilometre: 62583
Street: Highway
Weather: Sunny, warm, Rainy, cold

We arrived in Buc, a town close to Versailles, without any problems. The next day we made our way to the Palace of Versailles. We were lucky: we didn’t have to pay parking fees with our motorcycle and we got a park right front of the Place.
However it took a while before we got the tickets and then we had to join a queue to enter the Palace….

The splendour in which Versailles was built is unbelievable. Below is a model of Versailles which gives an overview, the small brown building in front is the entrance gate which you see in the picture above.

Below are some pictures of some of the amazing hallways and rooms.

The sheer size of some of the paintings was impressive; some pictures were larger than the footprint of our first flat!

And the painted ceilings were just mind boggling.

I found the hall of mirrors most impressive. From here you also had a view over the garden which was so big that it would take a full day to visit.

It took us until the evening to have a look through all the rooms and hallways. We didn’t have time to visit the garden as well. That would take us another day! So in the evening we hopped onto the bike and rode to Paris, which was just under 100km away. Sigrid had booked a flat for us for the next four days. It was just under the roof, which ment climbing stairs. I guess that will be good for our waistline J

City: Mont Saint-Michel, France
Kilometres ridden: 71
Cumulative kilometre: 62225
Street: Highway
Weather: Sunny, warm

We took our time to get to Mont Saint-Michel, where we parked the bike and hopped on the bus to visit the island.

On our way we saw the new bridge being built, to connect the island. It will make access to the island independent of high tides.


When we entered the town through the gate we could imagine being back in the 1700’s.


The town was nicely restored and there was still some restoration work going on at the monastery and the outside walls.


Looking at the people walking throught the mud flat gave us some idea about the proportions of the island.

The monastery was impressive; as always it’s hard to capture.


From the monestery we entered the garden, which had a great view.


We continued to walk through different levels and rooms. We followed the signs, since we lost our orientation in the maze of rooms and hallways.




Eventually we found the exit….

We booked a hotel in the town nearby and walked to the local dam at sunset, where we were told we would have a great view onto the island.

Due to the clouds, the sunset was not spectacular, but the island looked great with the clouds and at night.


Tomorrow our plan is Versaile, will see if we make it there in one day.


Date: 02/10
City: Blois, France
Kilometres ridden: 78
Cumulative kilometre: 61796
Street: Highway
Weather: Sunny, warm

After a good breakfast we set of to visit our first castle, the Chateau de Chenonceau which is built over the river Cher.

We took a self-guided tour around the Chateau and below are some pictures.



We couldn’t resist trying out the maze… to be honest, it was not too difficult.

After a bit of fun we continued to the second castle, Chateau de Blois, the place where Charles VII liked to stay. It was also the place where Leonardo De Vinci was staying until his death. His grave is there as well.


Below are some pictures of the surroundings which we took from the castle.


Our next stop was Blois, where we would like to visit our next Chateau. This chateau is different; it is built in the middle of the town Blois. Tomorrow we will have a look at it, so we organised nice accommodation just around the corner.

City: Ernee, France
Kilometres ridden: 358
Cumulative kilometre: 62154
Street: Highway
Weather: Sunny, warm, Rainy, Thunder

Early in the morning we packed up and visited the Chateau de Blois.


It took us a while; even though there were only some of the 570 rooms to visit. King Louise XII lived in the Chateau and his emblem was a porcupine which could be found in many places.


Below are just a couple of the 100 bedrooms. The amazing fact is that each of the more than 500 room had its own fireplace. Imagine how much wood they must have burned during the winter.


We couldn’t resist seeing how we would look on the throne.


Our last chateau was waiting for us In Usse. This chateau looked a bit like a Cinderella castle, and as it turned out, the author Charles Perrault was thinking of Chateau de Usse’s when he was writing sleeping beauty.


We couldn’t resist climbing up and having a look in the attic. The view from the top was fantastic.


The day was nearly over, so we decided to continue towards Mount Saint Michelle, which was the goal for tomorrow. On our way we were riding towards a thunderstorm and we could see the lightning in the distance. Learning from previous experience (that little bit of rain mentioned in the last blog…), we stopped at the next available accommodation and enjoyed listening to the rain in a nice warm room.

Date: 29/09/2013
City: Le Muy, France
Kilometres ridden: 101
Cumulative kilometre: 60840
Street: Highway
Weather: Sunny, warm, Torrential rain…cold! Warm…

The motorcycle park I’d occupied overnight was so small that I couldn’t get the panniers on. So I parked it on the footpath and packed it there.

We left Monaco late in the day and at the first petrol station we saw some really heavy clouds in the mountains and some bright lightening. Sigrid suggested to put the raingear on, but I told her we would just skip the bad weather since the road we were on would just pass it. Well, the road had a heavy bend and we were heading straight into the bad weather. Why didn’t I stop? Well, I was still hoping that the road would make another turn, but it didn’t. We got into a torrential downpour; the rain was so heavy that I had water running inside my jacket within half a minute. I had to put the emergency blinkers on and pulled into the emergency lane. I couldn’t see anything in the rain, same with some cars. To top it off, lightning was hitting the mountains not far from us multiple times. By the way, the water running inside my jacket was freezing cold. Sigrid was seriously peeved for some reason.
We moved at a snail’s pace and finally stopped under a bridge. There we put our rain gear on.. on top of the wet clothes… at least the wind would not cool us down too much. We didn’t talk much on the rest of the ride, except for the occational barking of orders 😉

Not happy Bjoern!

The wind was freezing and we started to shiver. So on the next turnoff we went out and got into the first hotel that we could find. Why is it that as soon you have a hoel the sun comes out?!

much better now, might try the pool later after all

Anyway, we had plenty to dry and the bathroom heater was too small for all the wet items.

But as the sun was out, our things dried in no time

At night we had some pizza in a small town nearby.


Date: 30/09/2013
City: Baillargues, France
Kilometres ridden: 254
Cumulative kilometre: 61094
Street: Highway
Weather: Sunny, warm

In the morning we had a great breakfast and took our time. We were heading towards the Grand Canyon du Verdon. When we got closer the road started to get narrower and narrower. In the end, there was no side lane or middle line; it looked like a wide bicycle path. The landscape was great, I didn’t see too much since I was looking out for the traffic, but Sigrid enjoyed it thoroughly. When we arrived at a view point, we had a short walk and I took my time to look around.

After a nice walk we continued towards the Millau Viaduct. The mountain road was nice and windy. Great to ride with a fully functioning bike 😛
When we turned a corner we saw a blue lake. The view was just great. Below a picture ofKuh Elsa, she had a well earned rest after the strenuous mountains roads :).

On our way we passed our first castle, we checked it out from the outside. Unfortunately we were there at the wrong time to look inside.

City: Noyers-sur-cher, France
Kilometres ridden: 624
Cumulative kilometre: 61718
Street: Highway
Weather: Sunny, warm,

After a nice breakfast we set off for a long day. We drove to the Millau Viaduct, went over it and stopped on the other side at the view point. It is really difficult to get the sheer size of the bridge, on the right you see a truck behind the guard rails.

We continued and rode off into the sunset 🙂

Just before dark we found some accomodation just off the highway. Tomorrow we will start to have a look a some castles at the Loire.