25 September 2012

Germany/Netherlands: The final leg

The picture says it all

The final leg from Prague to Amsterdam was only a 2-day ride.  I ended up doing it in 3 just to be able to meet some more friends along the way in Eindhoven. 
Leaving Prague...
Leaving Prague, I headed for the Pilsner capital, Pilsen on secondary roads.  About a couple kilometers in the ride I realized that I need to check the air pressure in my tire.  Sure enough, it was low and air was needed.  The petrol station had an air compressor but when I used it, instead of pumping air in the tire, all it did was deflate the tire - very annoying.  I found a tire repair shop up the road and asked the guys for some air, in my best sign language.  They thought I wanted to change my tire.  I gave them the sign of putting air in the tire so then they thought I had a leak.  It was pretty funny.  I finally managed to get them to only put air in the tire and then I was off again. 
Traffic jam in the middle of nowhere - actually they were repairing the roads
The weather was a bit overcast and even felt cold at times.  Much different weather than what I had experienced recently back in the east.  Pilsen was a pretty cool town but I wanted to keep going.  While stopped at the square, a lady comes up to me for some reason.  She begins to speak to me in German.  I had to tell her I did not speak German, in English.  She proceeded to tell me that she is not a prostitute, gypsy, or drug addict (I found that amusing).  She asked me for money and I had to tell her that perhaps there are other people who work that would be able to give her money.  She left shortly after.
I guess I am now in Germany
The problem with secondary roads is that when bridges are being worked on, it is difficult to find a new crossing
My destination was Nurnberg.  I had planned to see Matze, Theresa and their son and stay with them for a couple of days.  As soon as I entered Germany, it seemed that the clouds lifted and the sun was shining again.  The area was ridiculously beautiful with super small roads and rolling green hills.  I mapped out a drive that would only take me on the small roads.  I finally made it to Nurnberg, found my friends, parked the bike and relaxed for a couple of days.
Downtown square in Nurnberg
Matze and Theresa surprised me on my self-portait
Nurnberg is a very pretty town with medieval walls and a very old center.  It was very nice to be able to relax the weekend with my friends.  They were the last people I saw in Amsterdam before leaving to Rotterdam on the trip so it sort of made a small closure to the trip when I saw them. 
Theresa made 'Merican buttermilk pancakes with real maple syrup...so good!
By the time it came to leave, I was mentally prepared that the trip is almost over.  I was actually very happy to make it back to the Netherlands to see my friends again and tell some funny stories about the travel.  I had decided to stay the night in Eindhoven to see some friends who recently moved back from the States.  I am glad I did because I don't know when I would run into them again in the near future.  I was greeted with a nice 'Welcome Back" sign on the door and a great dinner.
Oddly enough, I felt very warm when seeing this sign...It felt good to be back
I was happy to see and stay with Julien and Sandrine, it had been awhile
The next day, Monday 10 September, I woke up, had breakfast with them and headed off to Amsterdam.  Within 2 hours I was in Amsterdam, parking the bike in front of Brian and Ashley's place.  The bike trip is over.
Back in Amsterdam, coming closer to being back to reality
My second and last welcome back sign...thanks for making it a warm welcome back
It is a bittersweet moment but inside I am fortunate to have done this trip.  I am fortunate that Harm-Jan had the idea to ride out to Singapore and let me join him.  I am fortunate that I had no accidents on the road.  It was a very good trip and experience.  It felt less like a vacation and more like a cultural experience. 
Thanks for reading and I hope I get to read about your experiences about your trip you make :) one day soon.
We have come full circle from when we were packing up a mere 5 1/2 months ago


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  2. Thanks for the blog I enjoyed reading it and the photos were great, im off on a similar ride myself in March 2013 heading across through Turkey to the Stans, im looking forward to it and seeing your blog gets me excited to head off.
    Ive been on the road for two years and am in Montenegro at the moment after leaving Australia in Januaary 2011 and have ridden right through Africa and all around Europe on my Bmw Gs 800 and had a great time doing it. I love reading other peoples adventures and everyone of them is fantistic as was yours so thanks again for taking the time to share it. Can I ask you a few question about all the Stans and Russia, did you do your visas as you went im thinking of doing just that, and how did you go with the letters of introduction and did you need them for all of the Stans. The other option is to use Stantours.com do you have any recomendations
    Stay upright and happy adventuring in the future.

    Sheldon www.ride4smiles.com