Well we’re on the road. What a great feeling!
After a flight that seemed to go on forever we arrived in Frankfurt only to have Customs shut down while our plane waited to clear, due to a security breach. When it finally re-opened, we picked our bags and Heiko was on the other side waiting for us. After a short visit Sandra and I grabbed a 3 hr. nap to help us recover from the jet lag, then we all went out for supper to the Ratskeller inOberusel , a suburb of Frankfurt.
Heiko is particular when it comes to food, and with me giving him a heads up by skype a few days before he had the Ratskeller picked out, a short walk from his home. Now April thru early June is Spargel season (asparagus) in Germany and France, and in particular the White variety which is covered up before chlorophyll can case the stalks to go green. Done up with a light whipped Hollandaise sauce, a true Calfs (Veal) snitzel and potatoes this was an exceptional first meal.
On Friday Heiko took us to see Klaus’ new shop which is now out by his place. Very nice motorcycle accessories offered there.
Afterwards we headed for Heidelberg where we would be re-united with our bike. Stefan was in the midst of off loading crates of motorcycles that just came back from Bike week in Daytona, and was laying a brick patio. Our Vstrom was in great tick, and after replacing the hub cushions, plugs and signal reflectors I washed the bike and started it up. What a great sound to hear it running so nice. It was also then that I realized that the bike was in front of Mike and Ruby’s R1200GS’ as they were at Stefan’s at the time. Note the ‘reasonable facsimile ‘ plates that they run on their bikes. This was likely done, after another Calgary rider (Ekke Kok) had his Alberta plate stolen off his bike while overseas. You see the bike does not have to have current registration while over in Europe, it just has to have a registered home title and plate.
Today would be another great day. After meeting Tom, Burt and Tanya at Stefan’s we loaded all our gear up and headed out. About 150 kms later we stopped for a break and Sandra remarked about how smooth the bike was. With the new rear wheel hub cushions installed along with the new chain and lower geared from sprocket the bike was ‘zoned out’ and perfect all day long. The new iridium plugs seemed to have the reported affect of better fuel economy which is welcomed given that we are paying 1.6E/litre right now.
Our day would end when we arrived at the “Le Detour” Castlehouse Pension in tiny Buffard France. If ever there was a small French village this is it. Such a great start to the trip! Ate at the L’Edgar’s bistro in another small village 3 kms away. Such beautiful old buildings in Buffard.