Tag Archives: bike

Mind the Moose

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From the beautiful and unanticipated allure of Amsterdam we made our way towards Denmark. I think both Will and I were slowly starting to realise at this point, that the end of our amazing journey was nearing. We drove on into Germany. We’d been told by some German friends we’d made in Amsterdam that Hamburg was a must see on the way to Denmark. But as we neared this great port city we decided it would be better to stay in a smaller town where it was more likely to be cheaper and much less industrial so we continued on, leaving Hamburg for another time and another adventure. We did, however, stop about 100km on in a little town called Elmshorn. The police there turned out to be so friendly and directed us straight to the most beautiful and interesting little camp site we’d seen. It was a little further on in one of the neighbouring villages and had the greenest of grass. Right next to the site was a large field with a big embankment. On the other side was a view of the main channel between Hamburg and the ocean. There were sheep scattered all over this field and embankment, which had a little bench where we could sit and watch Germany’s main water traffic slowly go by. It was so peaceful here. The country side was just as beautiful. We were surrounded by farm houses and farm lands that I thought belonged in the best housing magazines. It was really such a beautiful and peaceful area. Unfortunately it started raining shortly after we unpacked the tent so we couldn’t really enjoy this magical place properly. We had an early night that night seeing as we’d driven so far that day.

The next day we despondently left that haven and headed for Denmark. We decided we would try to get as far as the first big bridge seeing as the weather still wasn’t looking too good. We drove through the beautiful Danish country side. Here we saw the most wind farms. I thought it was quite a beautiful sight to see these silent moving spikes forever turning all along the country side. It was very green with lots of horses, cows and sheep all along the roads we chose. We tried to stick to the back roads as the highways were usually tolled and much too busy. We drove as far as Nyborg which is on the coast just before the first large bridge we’d have to cross. This was also a very nice little coastal town. The campsite we stayed at was right on the beach and had really nice facilities. There was even a stove and mini oven we could use. The beach was very pretty too and had the most amazing rocks strewn all along it. When hit against each other it sounded like glass but and broke quite easily but inside it looked like a smooth marble, the outside being pure white. Will thought it might be flint but it never made a spark, just broke making some stunning patterns in its grain. By this time the sunrise and sunsets had become so stunningly beautiful. You just have to wait a bit long before you can admire its beauty. We’d sometime even go to bed and then wake up to a stunning sunset. But I remember this night being a particularly pretty one. At about 11 at night we went down to the empty beach and watched how the orange sun had infected the entire sky and sea which was as flat as glass with its burning colour. The next day, however, we were awoken by a very nasty storm. Our clothes still weren’t dry from our previous encounter with rain so this didn’t help one bit. We then decided to stay another night in Nyborg as the weather was apparently going to clear up that afternoon and be much better the following day. We needed our jackets and pants to dry at least. It’s no fun riding in cold wind with a wet jacket. The rain continues most of the morning but stopped in the afternoon as predicted. Will and I were making some dinner in the little kitchen when I noticed it had started drizzling again. Seeing as we’d packed out wet things out again to dry in the afternoon sun, Will quickly ran to go pack them away again. That is when the heavens completely opened up. I have never seen such hard rain in my life. And all within the same minute Will ran out. I couldn’t control my laughter. Poor Will had to then run around in this torrential downpour trying to get our clothes and things covered and out of the rain. He’s only been there a few minutes but when he returned to the little kitchen he was more than soaked. It looked like he had just jumped into a pool. I felt so sorry for him but at the same time thought it was completely hilarious how he had been totally soaked in a matter of 5 minutes. I made him some soup to make up for it. He was very brave and took one for the team that day.

The following sunny day we headed across the giant bridge toward Sweden. It was quite scary to cross this incredibly long bridge on a motorbike because the wind was very strong and at times was pushing us so hard that we were driving at an angle. After driving past Copenhagen we crossed our last incredibly long bridge. Though this one was longer than the first it was slightly less windy so we could enjoy the scenery a bit more. There were large wind farms built in the middle of the ocean. Quite a cleaver idea I thought. Sail boats scattered all across the intensely blue waters and then finally, Sweden. After paying quite a sum to cross the bridge we drove on into the beautiful country side. I had been unaware that Sweden was covered by so much forest. I was expecting open fields with farm houses and cows everywhere which was the trend throughout the rest of Scandinavia. But here there were trees everywhere. It was very beautiful but after the second or third hour of just looking into a wall of trees I was hoping for something different. The trees are mostly fenced away by a giant, ever stretching moose fence. My mission was to spot a moose and I was very determined. But, alas, I saw none. That day I think we drove the furthest we had gone on the bike in one day, about 600km. To say the least my ass was in some serious pain. We eventually reached our first stop, a little town called Motala which was situated on the shores of one of Sweden’s big lakes. There we met another of Will’s friends. We only stayed one night as we were both quite excited to get to Stockholm where we would stay for about a week and meet some good friends of Will’s. Motala was quite a beautiful little town. There was a giant fountain that sprayed a huge tower of water into the air in the small harbour. We spent a pleasant evening with Will’s very vegan friend. We had to be very careful what we brought into the house and had some interesting conversations with her about her routines and principals.

Next we were off to Stunning Stockholm to see Agnes and Sasha.

Sooooo Pretty!!!

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I’m so sorry it’s been ages since we have posted. And apparently the keyboards in France are different to the rest of the world, but only slightly, therefore more annoying. Well after departing a very cloudy Slovenia and saying a sad goodbye to Niko Will and I headed for Italy and the farm. We did get a bit wet on the way but nothing too serious. Our first night in Italy was spent at a very fancy campsite near Ravenna, with a beach and some great facilities. We quickly realised that the price to camp in Western Europe was the same as a 2 star hotel in the East. The next day we raced down to Todi where we were met by my whole family. It was really great to see them again after such a long ti,e of traveling. I was also very glad to meet my aunt’s washing machine. My brother and Grace had also arrived at the farm only a few hours earlier. I was quite impressed that I remembered how to get there after 6 years but the farm still looked as beautiful as ever. The dam was full, the cherry trees were hanging heavy with giant, red cherries and I got to meet the two new dogs on the farm, Birba and Buc. I’m very proud to say I was named their Godmother.

We spent almost a whole week on the farm. It was so great to just relax and not move around from place to place. We went for walks everyday with the dogs, strolled through markets in Todi and had the most amazing food. The one meal that always stands out is a trip to Titignano. This meal consists of about 6 courses of the most amazing home-made Italian food available, including wild boar. And with as much wine as you can drink and great company it makes for a splendid evening.

Will and I also went in to Rome for 2 nights with my aunt and uncle. We had one day to see everything Rome had to offer, and we did it! It was so great to be back in one of my favourite cities. We had an early start and managed to walk the entire Rome flat. We even managed to see St. Peters which never fails to take your breath away completely. We walked around the Colleseum, tossed coins into the Trevi fountain, looked at art in Piazza Navona and ate gelato on the Spanish steps. Every street in Rome has something amazing and beautiful to look at so to go by foot it the best way, I think. We returned to the farm for one last special night. My aunt, Will and I sat on the porch, ate a wonderful meal, drank champagne and watched the lunar eclipse. It was a great way to end off a stunning week in Italy.

The next day we were back on the bike, which had a few new repairs and brand new tires. We headed straight for France and Marseille. I have never seen such a fancy and beautiful coastline as that of Italy and France. Though the road was a bit busy we drove through some of the cutest little towns along the coast with the most amazing views of the sea and ports with the biggest yachts you can imagine. If I was a super-rich-famous-person, that would be the first place I’d buy a house. We stayed in another campsite just past Genova and arrived in Marseille in the late afternoon the next day. It was so great to see our friend, David, from Korea again. He showed the best time we could have had in Marseille. We had a stunning dinner on the beach and watched a beautiful sunset on the first evening. The next day we went out with his father and family on their sail boat. This was my first time on a sail boat and it was great! I was feeling closer to my apartment on the Italian coast already. The weather got a bit bad so we headed back. this was an experience on its own: it felt like the boat was going to tip over any minute and I had to hold on in order not to fall off the other side. It felt like I was in the Volvo Ocean Race. It was great! The next day we took a stunning drive to a nearby village along the highest cliffs in Europe. We spent the rest of the day burning to a crisp on the beach. Will tried very hard not to look at all the naked boobies. He failed 🙂

Our next destination was a tiny village not far from Montpellier where some of Will’s friends lived. It was Florian’s Birthday and to celebrate we all headed for the mountains and camped it a beautiful forest. It was a really great evening, though French was the prefered language. We sat around the fire, ate wild boar pate on bread and drank wine. The next day we went to some amazing pools for a swim. The water was freezing but Will made me go in. I could only manage to dip in once so I skipped out on jumping from the rock into the water below. That night we went to a little bar in another nearby village and listened to the guys practising with the band. They were really good and Made for great entertainment for the evening. We ate pizza, pate, breads and sausages at the bar then went to a little music evening out in a parking lot. There were mostly kids there with their parents. It was really funny to watch a couple of little boys standing in front of the DJ’s smoke machine all night, waiting for it to blast them with smoke in the face. I can’t imagine that to have been very good for them but they loved it.

We arrived in Montpellier yesterday. Will was very excited to be back in the city he stayed in for a year during university. He gave me a quick tour of the city centre after eating a wonder kebab at his favourite place. We stayed at a youth hostel last night which was very expensive but our only option. Today we are meeting his friend for lunch and possibly another day at the beach. Tomorrow we head for the Alps and a town close to Montblanc called Chamonix. Then It’s on to Paris!!