What a day, 2 new countries, 400 miles
|Eagle’s Nest (Hitler’s summer home?)
|Znojmo, Czech Republic
|Miles Driven Today
|Total Trip Mileage
|New Countries visited Today
|Austria, Czech Republic
|Countries visited on trip
|US, Canada, UK, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic
I’m at a little more than 2700 miles, just the distance across the US, and I’ve done it in 3 weeks. Not a super-fast pace, but not slow and lethargic either.
One quick thing…
Before we get started with a log of today, I thought I’d show you another example of the level of detail and planning that I did to prepare for the trip. I knew that I’d sometimes wake up groggy, and I knew that there’s a right way to do everything, so I purchased some socks that are optimized for balance, and performance. Can you see the enhancements?
I knew that today would be a pretty long day, so I got up at 5:00, packed, loaded the bike, and had breakfast at 6:15, before hitting the road at 6:45. I arrived in the Czech Republic, at the Pension at just about 5:45 PM.
Traveling to Eagles Nest
While driving on Route 304, I came upon a road sign that looked to me like a detour sign, but once again, since I don’t read German, I went around it. In the video, you’ll notice the signs, which simply have the indicator for Hwy 304 covered with a big red X. Exactly what the hell does that mean?
I then traveled about 3 miles, until I began to see numerous signs that indicated that highway 304 was closed, at some distance down the road. But, none of the signs indicated what the problem was, or where it is. So, it was impossible to tell the GPS to route around it, as I simply didn’t have enough information. But, I figured I’d just have to figure it out.
My first reroute was behind a truck, which you’ll see at the end of the video, and who seemed to be dealing with the same problem as I was. So, it was a safe bet that he knew where he was going. So, I followed him for a while, and then turned off, following my GPS’s suggested route.
Well, the GPS was good, but not good enough. As it turned out, I arrived in the town of the obstruction, just at the point of the detour, which turned out to be a bridge that was being rebuilt. So, there I sat, for a few minutes, trying to decide what to do.
After 3 minutes, a guy on a bike was approaching, and I asked if he spoke English, and he said that he did. He then acknowledged my dilemma, and said that the route around the problem is long and complicated. But, since I had a motorbike, maybe I could use another route, which he would show me. I followed him for 2/10 mile, and he then showed me how to cross the bridge, as if on foot.
it worked perfectly, and probably saved another 30 minutes or so, but in any case, I’m very glad to have met Wolfgang, who is a kindhearted soul, with a big smile, and (of course) some local knowledge.
As I was getting ready to ride to the Eagles Nest, Wolfgang did his best to express to me that I would be crossing the little alps, and sometimes, the weather can be very bad. If I should come upon bad weather (Wolfgang suggested), I should turn around, and try another route. More on this later.
Well, I made it all of the way to the Eagle’s Nest, and after paying a 5 Euro toll, I was really disappointed to find that the road to the Eagle’s nest was closed to Cars and Motorcycles, and that I’d need to get off the bike, and walk. I really debated what to do, but in the end, I knew that I had a really long ride ahead of me, and I simply didn’t have the time to make the trip to the top of the hill.
So, I motored on, towards the Austrian border, which was only 3 miles away from the Eagle’s nest. So, off I went.
Now, this is the time that it seems that Wolfgang was talking about. But, I had assumed that he meant I’d hit weather on the way up to the Eagle/s nest, not afterwards. So, I pressed on, finding the weather getting worse and worse. I should have listened to Wolfgang, as the fog became so dense that it was nearly impossible to see any more than 50 feet in front of me. If you don’t believe me, watch the video and see how the fog appears, and gets worse, and worse, to the point where it is a wall of fog, with 25-50 feet of visibility.
After exiting the fog, I needed to grab some lunch, so I ordered something, which turned bout to be 4 little bratwursts, and some sauerkraut. It was delicious. The video below, tells the story of the fog.
REPORT AFTER THE FOG / Lunch
A video of the dense fog
OK, so now, with the Eagle’s Nest, and the fog behind me, I’m riding the finally 240 miles to the Pension, and I pull into a rest area to reset the GPS, which had been acting funny. As I’m sitting on the bike, a guy walks towards me and says something like; Hey South Carolina…
I looked at him, said hello, and we started to talk. His name is Robert, and he’s a technician who works on conveyor systems, living in Denmark, but had previously lived in the US. He seemed to be an interesting guy, so I decided to get him on tape.
In addition, the fact that Robert had read my license plate got me thinking. As I’m riding along on roads in Germany, Austria, and now the Czech Republic, it must be a real shock to see a motorcycle, with South Carolina license plates. Maybe that explains all of the people looking funny at me, as I’m riding along. Or, maybe I just look funny. You be the judge…
I learned a few things about Czechia
After I got to the hotel, I locked up the bike, and headed to dinner. The waiter was very impatient with the fact that I did not speak Czech, and at one point, I thought he was going to ignore me. All the while, I was using every bit of technology that I had in my arsenal, to communicate with him, but he was not keen on using a translation app to help us. He wanted to speak Czech, and that’s the end of it.
So, I found a young kid at the restaurant, who spoke Czech, and pretty good English, and in short order, I placed an order for some rather delicious spicy chicken, with bacon and onions, in a cream sauce. Simply delicious.
But, did you know that they don’t use the Euro as currency in the Czech Republic? No, they have their own currency, which will certainly complicate things when I attend the race this weekend.
What will tomorrow bring?
Tomorrow’s ride will take me East, into Slovakia for Lunch, just because I can. I’ve found a nice restaurant, and an ice cream shop, which should serve to make a memorable lunch stop. I’ll end my day at the hotel in Brno, where I’ll spend 4 nights. The total riding distance is scheduled to be about 230 miles, but Robert warned me that the roads of Slovakia, and Czech Republic are more like cattle paths, so I should expect slow going.