This is only what I remeber of Germany and quickly wrote
down during the trip. I'm sure I've missed some details here and
there. Sorry! It's chronological, mostly.
Now the GPS works again outside of the Netherlands, the road to Husum seems
straightforward enough. With speed limits of 100 km/h on most of the roads,
Germany seemed to pass by pretty quick. Because of this, the Garmin didn't
lead me back into the Netherlands, but chose the faster German roads
instead. Just south of Linge I decided it was time for a break. The bananas I
brought, which entered the top case almost green, turned out to be well on
their way towards their brown, liquid form. I guess that black top case works
like an oven in this hot and humid weather.
The German traffic and roads are an absolute breeze. Nice asphalt, wide roads
and a very sane layout. Too bad big, slow farm vehicles are allowed to use
them too. It can get pretty dangerous when the speed differences are this
high. Or, as a Dutchie, I'm just not used to situations like these. The
Germans seemed to cope just fine without issues.
Racing towards Bremen, and what did I see? It was an actual ferry! The
Lemwerder - Vegesack ferry is the first ferry of the trip. And, by definition,
awesome. Not soon after, a second ferry. This time taking me across at
Wischhafen. I just made it with the change I found in my pockets. Maybe taking
ample amounts of change would have been a good idea. Something to make sure of
for when I'm in Norway.
After leaving the ferry behind the first stop of the trip, a camping site in
Husum, wasn't far off. It wasn't hard to find at all and base camp was set up
within minutes. With the North Sea at walking distance I decided to spend the
last hours of the day walking along the beach. If you could call it that. It
wasn't really a beach and after that long in the saddle you couldn't call it
walking either. With fresh air in my lungs I went to sleep.
As agreed with the camping site owner, I left early in the morning. So much
for the romanticized camping feeling of freedom and awesomeness. Everything
was soaked. And I really mean everything. It didn't rain that night, but heavy
fog rolled in from the sea. Pretty much resulting in me being cold, soaked and
aching all over. I had to pack up camp with numb fingers, wondering what the
hell I got myself into. I'm afraid I woke everybody up that morning when I
struggled to get the Alp off of the muddy camping grounds.
Time to go north, towards the Danish border. Slowly the clouds parted, the fog
disappeared and the sun started to shine. I soon forgot about what happened
that morning and was smiling all the way again. Life was perfect by the time I
crossed the border into Denmark.
Riding into Germany for the second time felt like coming home. Well, a
bit. The roads are superb, even at the Polish border. The difference between
the two countries is staggering. One thing was weird though. A lot of homes
and farm buildings were surrounded by large fences. At a local gas station I
asked about those. The owner told me it was because of the increase of theft
in the region. Thieves, presumably from across the border, steal everything
from cars to the fences themselves. German police is powerless. I don't know
if it's really that bad, but if you compare the two countries it's hardly
Berlin is huge. I've never been to Berlin before, but it's easily the biggest
city I've seen so far, except Singapore maybe. Traffic in the city is actually
very well organized and I had no trouble reaching my hotel. The hotel, NH
Berlin Mitte, was hugely expensive. It's my own fault of course for booking
one day ahead and wanting something close to the city center. I was expecting
luxury for that amount of money. It was mediocre at best. Personnel was rude
and the food was absolutely horrible. Ah well, at least I had a roof over my
The next day was exploring time. Everybody's enthusiastic about Berlin. Let's
see why. After walking around for a few hours a few things were
obvious. First, Berlin is a huge construction site. Everyone's building or
restoring something. Second, tourism is booming. Lots of American tourists. Of
course I've checked out the sites like everybody else does. Berlin is Europe's
cultural heart and has been that way since the end of the war. The cultural
and historical significance of this city is profound. I've read about most of
the significant sites of the battle of Berlin and I've even played a few games
that were less historically correct. Being there myself is quite an experience
and I tried to follow the Soviet advance towards the Reichstag as closely as
possible while exploring the city.
After visiting a few museums, including one filled with East German
motorcycles, I needed to sit down with a nice German beer. Finding a spot was
quite hard and it took me an hour of walking before I spotted an empty
seat. It was quite a warm day that day, so a nice white beer or pilsener was
exactly what I needed. Why not both? Both it was. A standard Wernesgrüner
Pilsener and a rather interesting Erdinger Weissbräu Dunkel. Don't be fooled
by the color of the latter, it's still a white beer. The taste is just
slightly more caramelized. Seeing the sun set over Berlin was quite the
fitting end to this city trip. I went back to my hotel to prepare for the ride
home the next day.
I left Berlin early. Although not as early in the morning as I had hoped. The
hotel parking garage door was broken, keeping me and some rich guy in a tuned
BMW 5-series from leaving. Since the weather forecast was rain for the next
week and I didn't have a map of Germany anymore, I took the fastest and
shortest way back home. Autobahn it is. Plagued by the occasional rainfall the
Alp had no trouble taking me home with an average speed well over 140
km/h. Lacking a 6th gear she did get a little thirsty, especially because I
wanted to know how fast this thing could really fly. 190, apparently. Fully
loaded. What a machine.
Early in the afternoon I crossed the border into
The Netherlands. I made it.