Service the bike, buy rain gear, etc
|Travel From||–||BMW dealer, Tallin, Estonia|
|Ending Location||–||Hotel, Tallin, Estonia|
|Miles Driven Today||–||9 Miles|
|Total Trip Mileage||–||4498 Miles|
|Countries visited Today||–|
|Countries visited on trip||US, Canada, UK, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Finland, Estonia|
A few words about today
Well, of all of the days that I’ve been blogging, and posting videos and pictures, I have to admit to having many really great days. But, of all of the days that I can remember, today I had more fun filming than any other. As you watch today’s videos, you’ll see that each of these folks is a character in their own right, but each so full of life and with a sense of humor that I found uplifting, and contributed to making today a truly awesome day. In addition, I arrived back at my hotel today, to find that I received a gift of chocolates and love from across the world. I can barely come up with words to describe today, so I’ll steal some from my new friend Vlad. Today, I think to myself, what a wonderful world…
For some odd reason, I seem compelled to write about breakfast each day. I guess I really love breakfast, and because I find it to the one meal of each day, where local customs seem to really alter what foods are available for the breakfast meal.
Today’s breakfast was very good, and I was surprised to find such amazing fruit available in Estonia. Where the heck did they get all of these fresh melons, and other things?
The Savoy Boutique Hotel
This hotel seems like it is quite old. I asked the front desk, and it seems that…..
Vlad – He’s part of a wonderful world
I needed to shop for gear, but I had a couple of hours to kill before the store opened, so I took a walk to into the section of Tallinn called Old Town, which is positively medieval in every way. While walking around and taking pictures, I came upon a guy who was singing a song that I quickly recognized as an old Linda Ronstadt tune, which I’ve always loved. As it turns out, this was not a Linda Ronstadt tune, but was a tune made famous by Boney M, who Vladimir described as having created a disco hit.
So, I found Vladimir playing Rivers of Babylon, and was going to take a video when he made it clear that I needed to be a good global citizen, and make a donation. He was of course correct, so I got some change, and made a donation to Vlad, and we started talking. He said that this song was a disco song from the 70s, but I only remembered it from Linda Ronstadt. So, here are all three versions for your enjoyment.
Linda Ronstadt’s version, goes something like this.
And I’ve also included the version that Vlad was referring to, which is the 70’s rendition, by Boney M. To me, this does not sound like Disco, but nevertheless, this is true 70’s magic.
I found Vladimir to be a talented musician with a unique tonal quality and phrasing. So, as we talked, he wanted to send something out to America, which he thought was representative of American culture. So, this is what he did next…
I was really impressed with Vlad’s rendition, but I left him to continue his performances, and I wandered just a few yards away, where I met Joseph.
Joseph – The Blacksmith on the green
Now, I’ve been calling Joseph a Blacksmith, but he’s more of an artisan, who knows history, and has a passion for the history of Tallinn. We talked for a bit, and he offered to let me make a commemorative coin, but I countered by asking him if he’d make the coin for Isabella, and I’d film him doing it. So, here’s is what happened.
And, once again, I found these “Street Performers” to be really engaging folks, who have a whole lot to contribute, and who made my day just a little bit better. Thanks Joseph, Thanks Vlad. Joseph, if you read this, please share this link with Vlad.
Buying the rain gear
Well, after having ridden without rain-gear on some cold and rainy days, I figured it was about time to solve the problem. And so, Marten suggested that I make my way to Motodepoo, a motorcycle accessories store, that also sells several brands of bikes. I took an Uber to Motodepoo, and was met with Simo, who took care of me, and helped me find the right rain-gear.
Simo was really great to work with, and he helped me find a 2-piece set of rain-gear, and within 30 minutes, I had tried it on, verified the fit, and was ready to leave the store. But, Simo and Nick had been such a big help, I wanted to get their perspective on the situation.
Inchape BMW – The bike got serviced
I dropped the bike at the BMW dealer yesterday afternoon, and have been in communication with Marten over the course of the day. I arrived at Inchappe at about 2:15, and Marten took me back to look at the bike, and to get some parts from me, so that the mechanic could finish the bike.
After about an hour or so, the bike was finished, and I was ready to head to the hotel.
But, looking back on all that Marten did for me, I asked him what his role was at the dealership. Marten said that he was a service advisor, but I balked. Given how he had taken charge, and how I had already promoted him to Service Manager in my previous Blog Post, I thought about the big picture. I determined that, given his commitment, and execution, Marten needed to be immediately promoted to VP of getting stuff done for customers. So, to Marten’s boss, if your listening, you better take good care of him, and I’ll be looking for confirmation of a big promotion for Marten.
And lastly, thinking about how important this BMW dealer had been to me, and to this trip, I am placing an Estonia BMW sticker on the panniers, to recognize their efforts, and a job well done.
Back at the hotel
OMG, it’s been a wild day, and I’ve already seen so much, but after arriving at the hotel, I needed to get ready for the group dinner, where all of the clients would meet, and we’d get our initial briefing from Marc and Mike. And so, we sat in the lobby, having a beer, learning each other’s names, and talking about motorcycles, travel, life, and what the next 73 days would be like.
Throughout the many posts in this Blog, you’ve heard me talk about Gerhard. Gerhard could be described as the mastermind behind all of the logistics of these tours, but really, he’s become a trusted friend, and a truth teller. Never one to shy away from the truth, and always interested in helping, Gerhard has done so many things for me, and for all of the folks on the tour, that I was sad that he could not join us for the tour.
But then, seemingly out of nowhere, Gerhard appears in the lobby, and announces, hello Cliff, I’m Gerhard. My face lit up, and I was glad that he could attend, and we would be afforded the chance to give him, along with Marc and Mike, the recognition they deserve.
The group dinner
Meeting so many people, from different cultures, who speak different languages, and who have different objectives can be awkward, and uncomfortable at times. But this group seemed to be a widely diverse, super intelligent, fun and engaging group. As I talked to each of the folks, it seemed that each was fun, and were really nice folks.
What will tomorrow bring
Well, after a day like this, it’s hard to imagine what will come next, but as it turns out, I’ve got the day to myself. So, I plan on finding a tour that I can participate in, which will take me through Old Town, and then out to some of the other interesting historical sites in the area. I can’t wait.