In more ways than one
|Travel From||–||Amsterdam, NL|
|Intermediate Location||–||A Bridge Too Far (Arnhem, NL)|
|Ending Location||–||Dusseldorf, Germany|
|Miles Driven Today||–||130 Miles|
|Total Trip Mileage||–||1287 Miles|
|New Countries visited Today||–||Germany|
|Countries visited on trip||US, Canada, UK, The Netherlands, Germany|
Well, It’s approaching 2 weeks on the road, and so far, I’ve visited 5 countries, and traveled almost 1300 miles, so I’ve traveled about 10% of the journey, but less than 10% of the the miles. With the trip to Berlin, and the rest of the touring around Europe, this percentage gap is expected to change.
The emotions on the road
After almost 2 weeks, I wanted to talk about what it’s like to wake up each morning, having to re-engage with the bike, and the journey.
Try to imagine that each day, you wake up, and find yourself full of conflicting emotions, which you must manage, embrace, and address. Each morning finds me getting on the bike, always concerned about whether I’ll understand the words and meaning of all of the road signs, with the hopes of avoiding an error which could put me on the wrong piece of road, at the wrong time.
The pressure to get it right is very high, and is exacerbated by the fact that none of the signs are in English, forcing me to pay strict attention to my GPS and the driving instructions, spoken to me through the comm’s gear in my helmet. But, things go wrong, and as I was leaving the port in Hook of Holland, the GPS crashed, and I had to pull over and let it reset. Without the GPS, I would be almost completely unable to get to my next destination.
But, also on each passing day, there are the emotions of joy and wonder, which cause me to look at each passing object on the side of the road, and try to take it all in. The roads are spectacular, but the traffic and the weather complicate things, causing me to be hyper-vigilant, always watching for fast-approaching vehicles behind, traffic ahead, and the Map on the GPS, my constant riding companion.
And so, each day brings with it a call to arms, which causes me to become focused, and to pay attention to every detail, which allows me to manage my journey, my safety, and my security.
A Bridge Too Far
The John Frost Bridge, often called “the Bridge Too Far” is the place of a famous battle in the Netherlands, where a small band of soldiers, tried to hold off the Nazi forces. The battle was bloody, and ultimately, the Allies lost the bridge, but they held it for four days, much longer than anticipated, helping the war effort.
The tower shown in the Gallery is largely the same tower from the battle, those many years ago.
The ride to Germany
The ride to Germany from Amsterdam started as a raining day in Amsterdam, with the weather along the route fluctuating between dry and cloudy, light rain, and intense rain. But, I’ve become pretty comfortable riding in the rain, and the rain repellent that I use on my visor is excellent, and it really does a great job of keeping my visibility at close to 100%.
Along the route, I had to stop for gas, and a bio brake, but when I paid for the gas, I had to also ask for a 1/2 Euro coin, in order to insert into a security door, which allowed me to use the bathroom. Coming from the US, it’s hard to imagine paying to use the bathroom, but this is just one of the many differences that I need to accept, and move on.
Purchase a new power supply
Arriving at Ingo’s home, we had a beer, and a snack, then headed out in search of a power supply for the laptop. The local store had two to choose from, but in the end, only one was really suitable, so I bought it.
I also purchased another power adapter, which would aid in charging devices more quickly.
We tested the power supply, and it worked fine. So, another problem solved, and its once again, time to move on to the next challenge, and the next adventure.
These Germans take their beer very seriously, and Ingo and Anika did their best to educate me in the nuances of the German beer system, the laws, and the beer. So, I had a chance to try several different kinds of beer, and I expect that as I come to other regions, I’ll experience more and more types of beer. Certainly, my time in Berlin will offer numerous other choices to sample.
What will tomorrow bring
Tomorrow, I expect to do some sightseeing in Dusseldorf, and the surrounding area. High on my list of things to see is the Neanderthal museum.
Thanks so much for sharing your detailed account of your amazing trip! I do look forward to reading about your daily adventures. Enjoy and stay safe!
Yes, I need to stay safe so that we can share another meal when I get home. But, for now, I’ve got work to do…
Cliff: Dave Parker & I (& others) discusses you & other issues this weekend at Mid-Ohio. Coincident ACNA Performance Driving Event Committee F2F meeting, and a HPDE. I brought an Audi hybrid, and will write up the curious experience for ACNA. We wish you fair winds et al. -Bruce Parker
Thank you Bruce,
I appreciate the support that you, Dave and all the other give to me on this trip, and also when we discussed the HPDE issues that I brought up.
Seems you are moving right along. So glad your are seeing the sites and history. Enjoy the adventure and thanks so much for taking us along.
I wish you and Kathy could join me. I suspect we could have an awesome time in Amsterdam, as long as you secured your motorcycle properly, or for that matter, didn’t bring a motorcycle at all.
Cliff, I was able to track you on the Garmin Real Time page, and it looks like you’re almost in Berlin. When you get there, a must for you when you go out to eat is to order some Schweinshaxe (roasted pork knuckle). It’s one of the most delicious dishes that you’ll get in Germany. Wash that down with a beer and you’ll be very happy you tried it.
It’s great to hear from you. Yes, I’ve finally arrived in Berlin, and I’m in the hotel, waiting for my buddy Ben to pick me up. But, I do need to acknowledge that last night, in Dusseldorf, Ingo and Anika took me out to the Old Town district, and we had beer (of course) and I ordered Pig Knuckle, just like you suggested. It was very good, and made the beers taste even better.
Thanks for the suggestion,