Trip Report: Germany: Part 2 (long)
Trip Report: Germany -A Motorcyclists Heaven (Part 2)
Well in part one I covered getting: to Germany, the bike and locating Hermann.
For letters that require an umlaut, I have used the convention of following the
letter with a double quotemark, so in Wo"rth the o has an umlaut.
Sat., 13 May: After a good nights sleep and an excellent breakfast (I
particularly like the home made jams and preserves) at Hermann's house,
we packed our bags and mounted our steeds and were on our way. Hermann
has a Virago with hard luggage and I had packed into a tank bag on the
GSX/R. We left Reinheim and headed east to Hochst and took a nice backroad
over to Wo"rth and south on 426 to Kleinheubach then to northeast thru
Freudenberg to Wertheim. Wertheim is a picturesque little town on the
river Main. We walked thru the old village and climbed to a castle ruins
on top of a hill overlooking the city. We had a delicous spiced pork chop
sandwich and a soda for lunch. We continued along our route thru lots of
small villages and thru Wu"rzburg where we picked up the A6 north to A70
east which took us by Bamberg. Just north of Bayreuth we took A9 north
one exit to 303 east. The A routes are the autobahn and while they are
definitely slabs, they are great for moving long distances quickly.
Somewhere on A70 we crossed the old east-west frontier. It is not shown
on any of the maps and it is hard for me to believe the German Unification
happened 5 years ago, but there were two indications of this boundary. One
was a solitary watch tower sitting on a hill look east over a wide valley.
The second was a marked decrease in the quality of the roads and the fact
that there was construction everywhere. A70 also ran on the high ground
with nice views of the surrounding terrain. I believe this area is part of
Bravaria. 303 took us 39 km thru the Naturpark Fichtelgebirge and then
headed north along the Ceska Republika to Selb. We discussed crossing the
briefly into Ceska, but I opted out not knowing what problems I might have
with a US passport and a rented bike. So we continued to skirt the border
and headed to Rehau and followed back roads along the border to Oelsnitz,
Adorf, Klingenthal, Tannen-bergsthal, Eibenstock, Aue and finally to
Schwarzenberg. Just beyond Schwarzenberg in the village of Gru"nsta"dtel
we got a room at the Landgasthof Reitsch. This was a newly renovated Bed
and Breakfast which had been an old mill and they had a local dark beer
called Schwarzbier. After a couple of these and dinner, I was ready
to watch the news (watch was all I could do), make some notes about our
days ride and fall asleep. Our room is next to the mill stream and we hear
the constant rush of water, I will sleep well tonight. So here are some of
my impressions after this long day.
Roads: In East Germany we had lots of cobblestones in the villages and towns
and many of the roads were in disrepair, but some were very nice having been
just newly paved. Others were bumpy, frost heaved, and/or pot holed. I
mentioned the Autobahn above and we also traveled on nice back roads that
meandered thru farms and farm lands and thru the woods. We had lots of
curves and switchbacks. There were other bikers everywhere we went. The
roads as I mentioned in part one contined to be a navagators nightmare.
Nothing ever goes straight thru, there is always a twist or a turn to throw
off the unwary.
Feelings: The GSX/R is a pain in the butt. Literally I couldn't sit on it for
more than an hour without stopping to stand and walk about. My wrists are
sore and I have lost most of the feeling in my right palm. Even three weeks
later, my palm still has a spot that is numb. We did over 500 km today in
about 10 hours of elapsed time. My knees are sore from being too bent and
my legs were having cramps. At the end of the day, I was tired, glad to stop,
and enjoyed the food and beer. Did I mention how sore I got sitting on this
Smells: We passed field after field of yellow Canola oil plants that were all
in bloom and what a smell. This on the other hand was offset by the smell of
fertilizer and manure that was being spread on the fields. It was a hot day
more like summer than spring.
Sights: Yellow fields of Canola plants checkerboarded with green field of
grains. We saw castles on hilltops and terraced vineyards, and village after
village. We saw rivers the twisted thru the countryside and barges moving
cargo and sparkling mountain streams.
Yeah, it all seems very surreal now, but it was beautiful and calls me back.
This was the longest trip the Hermann had ever done with the Virago. He
really liked the east Germany valleys and the nice weather that we were
having. He also wished we had found the Hotel a little quicker at the end.
But I bet his seat was a lot more comfortable than mine was. At this point
I would have died to have my VFR.
---- End of Part 2 ----