Twenty-one days in and we’re still on two wheels and four feet, which is pretty remarkable considering how we started and where we’ve been (eight countries and about 2500 miles). It’s true that the four feet ache a bit and the two wheels look the worse for wear, but we’ve crossed our own rubicon having fully transitioned to our on-the-road selves. This manifests itself in several obvious and not so obvious ways:
- Our new normal routine is get up, get dressed, get packed, have a quick breakfast, and we’re on the road before 8:00 AM. Typical day is 200-300 kms with 3-4 stops along the way. As soon as we know where the day’s end will be, we stop so that KR can book a hotel from a roadside restaurant along the way. It usually takes us between 30-60 mins to find the hotel. Then rest, take a shower, put “street clothes” on and go to dinner somewhere around 8PM. Repeat everyday except those that we stay in one place for more than a night.
- We’ve both been through a remarkable transition. KR is feeling so good that she’s lugging our bags up flights of stairs, walking around each town we visit, and eating like the horse she’s become. I’ve become a motorcycle riding machine, no longer worried about each curve or bump in the road. After three weeks, I’m fully in sync with NoName: )
- Dinner conversation (well, breakfast and lunch as well) revolves around maps and GPS headings. It usually includes at least one Zoom call with Sam H. while he’s on Google Maps and I’m on our analog maps. It’s worked out remarkably well given we never really know what to expect or where to go before our dinner conversations.
- The Southern Loop of the trip is done as we’re now heading northwest to Spa, Belgium (I write this from Rotheburg ob der Tauber in Germany). We’ve been through a bit of northern Italy, crossed the Adriatic Sea in a ferry to Croatia, ridden to Dubrovnik on the southern tip of Croatia, with brief passages through Bosnia and Slovenia, and then back north along the Croatian coast, up through northern Italy and into the Austrian Alps. We stayed a day and a night in Austria and are staying in one of Germany’s most picturesque Medieval cities tonight.
If I were a better writer I could take you along with us through the many, many backroads we’ve ridden up, down and through. Last night Karen remarked that the the sunflower fields of the Loire Valley seemed like years ago, and they do. The most remarkable biking roads we’ve been are through the Swiss and then Austrian Alps. We did 400+ kilometers on Wednesday through the Austrian Alps that I wanted to shout out loud, “Wow wow wow, look at this, and over there!” but I would have become hoarse because the beauty never stopped. Riding through the back roads of northern Croatia was like stepping back in time, to what seems like a grayer time. No more easy, laid back beach life of southern Coast once we go inland to northern Croatia, which still shows signs of its dull communist past. Both extremes were experiences to remember.
Even though we ride as fast and far as we can, there’s no escaping the red hot temperatures smothering all of Europe. Everyday ends soaked in sweat. Yesterday it was 90ish here in Rothenburg, just like in Omis, Croatia or Dijon, France. Surprisingly, tonight’s old German hotel is the first without air conditioning. Rain wise, we’ve been lucky, only getting drenched once (who says hair driers can’t be used for soaked boots?). I write this sitting under an umbrella in the garden of the Hotel Gerberhaus.
Enough with the verbiage, here are the pics. This is only a small sampling…
Going South Through Northern Italy on Our Way to the Adriatic Coast
Along the Coast of Southern Croatia
Northern Croatia, Slovenia and Italy(Again)
The Austrian Alps
Rothenburg ob der Tauber Germany
More as it happens.
fw & kr