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Old 08-13-2012, 01:55 PM   #16
Olorin_the_13th OP
Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Saxony
Oddometer: 56
Monday, 30th

Had a dreadful night and a boring day was to follow. But hey, I'm going to make it interesting, just for you :-D

I don’t know when I awoke, but it must have been around 2 o’clock. Everything is still dark.
Went to mind my business, got back inside my ten to continue sleeping just to realise: every midget wound on my body hurts, urging me to scratch (and I have about a hundred of them) and I am not sleepy anymore.
So I lay awake, fighting the scratching for hours and hours and finally, when the sun arose, I found some sleep. Thus, I got outa the sack just about 9 o’clock and left the campsite almost 1100.

But that was not to be regretted.

Why Wales? I can tell you. That's why!

Met a group of bikers along the way. Very seldom, that, hence I mention it. I really like the option of having his own countries flagg on the number plate!
As much as I like the Ducati ST2/3/4. Not that many horsepowers, but who cares? If not for the steep fueltanks and my need to really make miles and miles without repairing the complete bike over and over, these would have sooo be mine! (hope my little Princess does not read along here, too )

Hell of a sight, aren't they, hmn:

My first goal of the day was Celtica, supposed to be a museum of celtic culture in the past and the here and now.
It wasn’t. It was some strange combination of art gallery and outside-walk-with-signs.
It could just as well be I didn't get the point of the whole thing, still it wasn't mine on that particular day.

Next, I went to Cerdigion museum. At least, I thought so, following my GPS. Ended up in the foot-people restricted area of a small town with no museum to be seen. Knocking on wood, I was not stopped by Police for entering the per pedes area.

Next on the list was Carmarthen Musuem, the museum of Carmarthenshire.
It was a rather scrappy old castle/cottage/house/villa. Nice signs and everything, but so…worn down, I could actually see the gardines hanging off the windows. Oh yeah. And it was closed. Opening times Tuesday to Sunday 1000-1630. I was there MONDAY 1600 -.-

Okay, still another stop to come: Manorbier Castle in Pembrokeshire. Pembrokeshire is ment to be one of the best coastal areas for its steep cliffs and whatnot. Unfortunately it is also hard to reach, speedlimit of 40 to 50 (miles) everywhere and loooong snakes of cagers. Arriving there, I found out the beach was not the least bit impressive and Manorbier castle, while maybe private owned and worth looking at from the inside (collections and stuff) and EVEN BEING OPEN! Was very unimpressive from the outside and furthermore, I had NO intentions of seeing anything more. Drizzling from the skies may have played a roled in that...

It was at this moment I realised I just wanted to home. I was on the home-going trip actually since Skye. But! There is no need to rush and I fought the urge to do so.

By the way I met a very well educated german-speaking british guy at the castle, making some philosophical smalltalk with me. I think he teaches at some university German language and culture, since about culture and history both of Germany and UK he seemed to know quite a lot. Who knows? Maybe he was from Oxford. I am proud NOT to know, so I can wonder^^

Thus I was heading towards Cardiff. I wanted to see the castle of Cardiff due to it’s reference to an classical horror-story about the Castle, the Lord and an old hungry women…
When I arrived (after driving two hours feeling cold and in the drizzling) I saw that this castle may have interesting history (basically founded by the romans) but indeed is just a huge walled square. Surrounded by an ugly town. In which the Olympic Games took place, one thing I totally wanted to avoid. Luckily, the games would start in Cardiff only a couple of days after my passing *sweeping sweat from forehaed*

Speaking of which, while Snowdonia is a really nice National Park with marvellous routes to ride and whatnot, the southwestern part and northwestern part of Wales are little more than a huge village. Farming, shaking down houses, almost no industry, a lot of roadworks, everything looking really really poor – and accompanied by at least one third of the houses having “for sale” signs. A pity.

These signs are far from seldom all over the UK, whoever dreams of having his own cottage in the middle of nowhere will have plenty of options. But in Wales it was worst!
The "Family Butcher" signs I spotted only in Wales - and really liked that. Thinking of it now, why the heck did I not stop to by some meat?

Still, I had some descent meal in oh I don’t know where. It was just some small town with the first descent Inn I found. And descent it was, with good salads and everything. Turned my mood up quite a bit. Otherwise, this part of UK reminded me of North France and that particular story was a piss in the ass, I can tell you.
Also, the view on the sea en route aforementioned village to Carmarthen was amazing. See how blue the Irish Sea can be!

Compared to that, Cardiff and surroundings really suck. The area of Swansea to Cardiff have been producing steal and mining coal for a while some decades ago, which one can clearly determine. Port … esp. is undescribable ugly.

So, I did the only thing rationaliseable and feelgood choice: since I was quite fit, I hit the superslab to make some mileage. Will make it easier tomorrow and Wednesday.

I did not know, streamlined trucks really would be in use somewhere real-world! And another nice bridge, of course.

Exactly when the sun went down, according to my GPS, I hit the “find resting place” shortlink and was in a neat little inn with two rooms – guesthouse – within five minutes. No breakfast tomorrow, but cozy. This Inn is just something for “special” people, which ADV Riders quite definitely are, thus I can recommend it. The wee bit dirty patina and very rustic appearance make it quite picturesque.

And hey, the have something almost unique in Britain: double glazed windows!
Which here, basically means two windows after another, to be closed separately. Open at the point of my arrival, letting the midgies in. Oh well, time to apply the Smidge. I can see the little critters sitting above the lamp and between the window. Would like to burn the fuckers for the pain and irritation I am still feeling. Looking like a crumble pie I am, still.
But I had no hairspray on the man, so much for ATGATT. Now, they are dead meat further darkening the walls. Maybe not the nicest thing to do for a guest, but hey, why did they let them in in the first place?
Anyways, it's at least a kind of Rock 'n' Roll lifestyle ;-)

By the way, double glazing is really an USP here around. Saw announcement today: “stationary caravans with double glazing to be sold!!!”
Which urges me to mention I never really understood the idea of having a stationary caravan, which is so huge it can only be moved by an over-sized HGV/40 ton truck.

After a last cider during updating my trip diary, I called it a day.
It was not my day, definitely.
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:42 PM   #17
Olorin_the_13th OP
Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Saxony
Oddometer: 56
Tuesday, 31st

Okay. Now it's getting tough. I'm back at work and need to remember the thoughts&feelings of this day. No trip diary to work from. Well, let's give it a try, shall we?

Despite the “picturesque” appearance I had a wonderful sleep – which gives mankind one more indication of what really matters in live. Not midges, as it seems.
I hope, at least -.-
Luckily, I am way prettier again in the meantime.

At 0930 I already set of. My plan for this day was: Exmoor National Park, Lands End, Eden Project, the antique village close by, Dartmoor National Park, possibly Stonehenge.

The reality looked like this, I have been soaked for several days now and the weather forecast for South-England for the last two days of my plannend trip spoke of rain, rain, clouds and rain.
I told myself several times “ah c'mon, it's just water, you will see wonderful stuff and afterwards, you will feel lucky to have continued.
Despite of that, after only 30 miles, I encountered the first cloud. Or better, it engulfed me.
And it was a huge cloud, well over 50 miles big in my rememberance. The further West I drove, the darker and wetter it got. And the less I saw. So I was looking forward to another two days of seing particular nothing, but getting wet to reach a geographical point, where I had already been warned there's not much to see in any case?

No way, I'd rather spend my vacation otherwise. So, at the outskirts of Exmoor I made a quick U-turn and headed directly for Stonehenge.
Immidiately, I started to feel better – I had a new goal, new destination, new mindset: I was going home! And after a couple of ten miles, even the whether got better.
Above that, I had some nice moments also:

these can pull caravans?
But suddenly, you encounter a house on the move. Thought, such things would happen only in America.

Land Rover. Nothing Else Matters.

Also a common sight on english main roads: the occasional fish&chips stand.
With notification of holidays absence, also!

Arriving in Stonehenge, we had even some sun and evrythin'. And I was not the one with the longest ride. I always enjoy meeting people from Scandinavia.

So I sat down to prepare my breakfast.
What a wonderful idea: all these mass-tourists paid a fortune for a crappy sausage and I would just sit there and enjoy the smell of a wonderful freshly brewed tea and scrambled eggs. If only my fuel cocker wouldn't have broke down that very moment. Oh was I pissed.
Well, sometimes moments have to be screwed up, haven't they?

Only then positive surprises can come to their full effect. Like when I learned, that it cost 23!!! heavy British Pounds to enter the Stonehenge area.
For that price, one can get as close as maybe 30 meters to that heritage of world's culture.
For another price, namely exact zero, one could also choose to stay behind the wire-mesh fence in a much greater distance. Like, 33 meters. Or so.

I was delighted to see, what many of those tourists did to justify the money spent.
Example: a family of three. Father, Son, Son's girl. Or a similar constellation. All three have cameras.
Son positions itself in front of the Stones. Enforces a smile. Click. Click. Click.
Son's girl positions herself in front of the Stones. Enforces not a smile, but a huge grin and thumbs up. Click. Click. - oh, wait, someone ran through the picture, hold on, hold on. Son's girl holds on, grinning, thumbing up. Click. Click. Click.

Meanwhile, all the birds don't give a shit on the wagonload of people, sit in big groups on top of the stones know...give it a good shitting.

I was laughing so hard on the stupidity, idiocracy, undescribable pure nonesense of this scene, I could hardly catch my breath.
Just had to drive on, after that.

Besides, those graves in the background would have been much more interesting.

Plus, I needed to speed up a bit, 'cause since my early travel was not actually planned, I hade barely no idea, when the next ferry from Newhaven, my planned port of departure would go.

In the end, I arrived 1630 there, only to learn there is just one Ferry going back and forth to France and that one would not depart before 2300.
Oh how I felt pitty for the french bicyclist arriving at the same time. What a long wait he'd have, only to arrive 0400 in the morning in France.

New encounters on the Road: a nice Lotus Elise and a Cap'cino. Both quite seldom these days.

I, on the other hand, speculated on the Ferry from Dover, going every 2 hours or so. Thus, I changed my plan again. My GPS decided, it would be the fastest route to drive over the small streets along the coast instead of hitting the slab.
Who am I to decide otherwise? It has so far not let me down!
And yet again my trust was well spent. It would lead me through Hastings and many small, diverse towns and villages. Nice pictures...

How I would so not like to live there:

That's a bit better:

Due to the habit of friendliness of the english people, showing itself in their driving style, which means the split lanes for you whenever they can, not caring whether it's allowed to overtake or not, I made miles quickly. Oh, how I love the “Think Bike!” campaing all other UK.

I dig takin' self-shots of my shadow or mirror image, biking...better than "I'm bored, I'll held my camera at arms length and slightly above my head, take a picture of myself and post in on the internet. Look, how many facial expressions I can handle!" at least 8-)

At 1815, I read a sign. “For Eurotunnel, follow...”
Hmn. Shall I? I have no reservation. When one reserves with a fixed departure time, the Eurotunnels costs about 35 GPB. If he reserves for flexibility, he pays almost triple that price. If I showed up without anything and without any clue, what would happen?

Well. Shortly after 1900, I was on the train. It did cost me just 70 GPB. Which is about 20 GBP more than the Ferry Newhaven-Dieppe. But considerable more flexible and faster.
Bought the ticket, could drive onto the train directly. I was the last passanger, the train halve-empty.
I did not need to tie down the bike, just was free to hop down and let it stand there.
And while all the cagers would need to sit tight in their cars, I was to roam freely in the wagon and do some sports, whatnot.
Sometimes, one needs just to play a little bit on risky options.

Totally spontaneous, at 2000, I was standing on european soil.
My mind begins to wonder...oh well, let's just start driving. After a while I thought to myself: why don't we see, how far you get? Don't press anything.

But, to be honest with myself, my goal was already set. 905 km where still ahead of me, the night about to break. We are VERY goal-oriented in my family.
I had an idea, a goal. It felt good. I drove on.

The sun is about to set. The Race against time has begun.

Well. Let's just say, that interestingly not the tiredness is the big issue in night-driving. I have much experience in these matters. All one has to do is to split the goal on many smaller goals and go on like with a computer game “just this next level, sweetheart, then I'll join you in bed!”.
And suddenly, one overcomes the tiredness and is concentrated once more. After that, it's simply routine.

The biggest issue with night-biking, from my perspective ist the sudden cold and – how surprising – the darkness. It's hard to be quite fast in curves without seeing exactly where one is going!
At least, in Belgium this is made easier. Nice pics, sort oft ;-)

It's the break of dawn and we are cruising comfortably with totally legal speeds of let's say 100 miles into the sun. Crappy picture, I know. But just had to pinpoint the moment.

Just as planned, I arrived home 0520, about 15 minutes before sunrise.

Took myself a home-brewn beer, paired it with a cigar and a Single Malt Scotch Whisky.
Sat down into the grass on an overlook and waited.
Everything felt just right.
Every single decision I made was absolutely right.
Life is good.
Have faith in god (ähem, one of your choice) and your stomach.


Well. This ends the trip.
All in all, I made roundabout 1550 kilometers that day, so almost 1.000 miles in less than 24 hours. I drove from sunset to sunrise.
Think, I am now officially ironbutted, am I not?
Despite that, I had no real pain in my backside, just my arms could have felt more relaxed.
I really love my Futura, which makes such rides possible.

Yeah. Fellow riders, what d'ya think?
Have I earned my spurs?
Have I earned the ride to proudly wear the ADVrider – stickers?


Funny enough, when I made my first tank stop back in Germany and went into the shop there, I immidiately realized, what stupid forkin' ghastly, unfriendly folk we Germans are. About which trivialities we make matters. How senseless often we worry.
Goddamn, when I was addres formally by the tank shop guy (you know, “Mr”) I was totally confused.
Who the heck put a stick up your bosom?

As I knew up front, such long, lone roadtrips, the adventure just for yourself. It changes a man quite drastically. The feeling cannot be shared, not with all the Unknowing, not with other bikers and only partial with other fellow riders, which ones or several times in their life did such a thing.
Once more:
we are born – alone. We live – along. Especially when we REALLY live. We die – along.
But somehow, these thoughts are far from depressing.

I wanna do it again!


This ends my story, so far.
Thanks for joining me.

I rested some days, tried to recapitulate.
And then, I set off again, as planned, to a neat “little” festival in Czech, called “Brutal Assault”.
I'll append those experiences to this thread another time.
Once you live bike, you will suck more out of every second, learn more. On bike, as well as off bike. As you will see.

For now, good night!
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Old 08-15-2012, 04:40 PM   #18
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Dec 2011
Location: UK Northumberland
Oddometer: 148
enjoyable read ,
ive ridden lots in Germany, i like how it feels laid back and friendly compared to the UK, less intense in most respects, as soon as i get back to UK i feel as you did about being back in Germany,
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:52 AM   #19
Olorin_the_13th OP
Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Saxony
Oddometer: 56
Originally Posted by Wal2 View Post
enjoyable read ,
ive ridden lots in Germany, i like how it feels laid back and friendly compared to the UK, less intense in most respects, as soon as i get back to UK i feel as you did about being back in Germany,
Maybe then the friendlyness has to do a lot with the appearance of the ADV tourist as helpless chap.
Or with his appearance of Grim And Frostbitten Sons Of Northern Darkness, about to capture your daughters virginity.

OR there is a much simpler connection: we are on the ride, we feel good, we feel alright and now ones gonna stop us now - feelings of happiness and joy tend to radiate & multiply.

Well, at least, when I hear this from some other guys, it confirms I am not required to re-locate to another country. Sooner or later, men are men everywere. Some friendly, more not.


When you are over to Germany, were do you ride, regulary?
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Old 08-16-2012, 01:23 PM   #20
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Location: Worcester, GB
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Looks like you had a great time, you managed a fair old distance .

Only the Dutch would commit such an act of sacrilege as to put a caravan on the back of a Morgan .

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Old 08-16-2012, 05:13 PM   #21
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Joined: Dec 2011
Location: UK Northumberland
Oddometer: 148
you are right, people recognise we have chosen to ride in their country, we are not seen as typical tourists because we are on 2 wheels, they sense our desperate attempts to be free of the 9 to 5 and can join us for a few moments in our stupidity
i was in Germany 5 or 6 times last year, i feel very comfortable there, i find Germans to be affable, kind hearted people on the whole, as you say, at the end of the day, men are men, anywhere, good and bad.
ive ridden lots of Germany and 90% of big towns south of Dusseldorf , which is my favourite city and default destination if i only have a few days, i ride down to Basel to a friends house and usually go through Germany, also have a friend in Moselle Valley.
without stealing your thread, a picture quiz for you

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Old 08-19-2012, 08:46 AM   #22
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Joined: Jul 2012
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Hi Olorin! Nice ride report -- thanks for taking us on your trip and sharing your insights. It is often those thoughts about the trip that make a report special. I like the way you kept an open mind about your route and changed it as time and weather dictated. Next time you are up in Scotland, here are a couple of distilleries to visit: Edradour and Balvenie. Edradour is very small. They only make barely enough whiskey to be considered commercial, and some of their equipment is 150 yrs old. Balvenie I think is really special because they still do their own malting and have their own cooper. I think you would like these two very much. I agree that British Heritage or whoever runs Stonehenge has raised the price too high. Next time you are there ride up to the circle at Avebury, not far away. Unfortunately they put a road and part of the village inside it, but you can still, at least 5 years ago, walk right among the stones and even touch them, and it is free, except you may be sharing the field with some sheep! It is not as evocative a place as Stonehenge, so there are trade-offs. Also, if I remember correctly the ride through the Vale of the White Horse was very nice and the huge "drawing' of the horse on the hillside (cut away the turf and reveal the chalk beneath and you have a white you can make huge pictographs) was very cool to see.

Please do report in the future on your trip to that bike rally!

Blader54 screwed with this post 08-19-2012 at 08:47 AM Reason: bad speling
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:06 PM   #23
Olorin_the_13th OP
Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Saxony
Oddometer: 56
Blader54, it's not a bike rally I am going to talk about, but ... oh, why don't you just read on^^

Edruador is not even KNOWN to me, while the Balvanie is quite famous. Hmn. Yes, I think I should visit them.

By the way, I have decided to go either on the Isle of Islay or the Whiskytrail (Speyside) during Christmas and New Year with a couple of my buddies.
Do you know whether this is possible, or are all the stills closed over the years changing?
Have you recommendations on how to organize this?

Wal2Thanks for the little hints in every picture, I would have had no idea without 'em and the almightly overlord Google. I feel like not knowing my own damn country^^
Oh well, the Ruhrpott and surroundings are the areas I always try to miss by far when I'm out.

Particulary because of this little fucker and his likes:

How I always love to go to Aachen -.-

Going down to Basel over Blackwood Forest and back over Freiburg and possibly the french side could happen in September.
Have never explored the Blackwood Forest so far and still have vacation to get rid off...

OneBall, In retrospect, indeed I had a great time. Not sure about when and under which circumstances the next greater ride will happen. Also not tooo sure 'bout the distance. I felt like I made quite slow progress most of the time, esp. taking into account I originally wanted to cover all of Scandinavia in something like 16 days :-D
Will have to meditate a bit on what's next and what's really the pace I dig most.

Now, I'm going to do a little photo-sorting and then try to continue with the "Annex"
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:04 PM   #24
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Location: behind BigWan, trying to keep my feet tucked in :)
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Originally Posted by Olorin_the_13th View Post

Notice the lot of stickers on his tail? He was, as it seems, everywhere, basically. One badass MoFu of a real slender MILF!
Does MILF mean the same thing over there as it does in the USA?

All kidding aside,
I really enjoyed your report!
thanks so much for posting over in my RR, or I would have missed this gem.

Haven't been to Europe in a million years, and your RR really made me miss it.
If we get to vote, I say you should go to Greece next. The islands - Naxos, Santorini, etc...
The roads are a bit slippery (lots of oil, no rain), but gorgeous.

OSO LOCO!! osoooo!

Oso bored? you can find the rest of our ride reports HERE
make stupid your favorite!

LittleWan screwed with this post 08-20-2012 at 02:48 PM Reason: emphasis :)
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:38 PM   #25
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if you mean what i think you mean..........MILF is the same in the UK as the US..
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:51 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Wal2 View Post
if you mean what i think you mean..........MILF is the same in the UK as the US..
Then Olorin_the_13th has some explaining to do!

OSO LOCO!! osoooo!

Oso bored? you can find the rest of our ride reports HERE
make stupid your favorite!
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Old 08-20-2012, 03:59 PM   #27
Olorin_the_13th OP
Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Saxony
Oddometer: 56
Originally Posted by LittleWan View Post
Then Olorin_the_13th has some explaining to do!

WTF? In which state of sinister insanity did I write THAT?

...havin' a look...

Goddamn! Screw you, you got me there!
I almost thought, I did mix up the picture onces again.
But as you might have noticed, I normally put the words above the picture-stuff.
So, the MoFu-stuff makes purrrrfect sense.
And what's a MoFu other then a MILFu, hmn?

Be it, as it may be.
Let's get on with the last part of the RR:

The Annex

Well. This has nothing to do with UK. It is not even a proper RR, 'cause it's less than one week, less than 600 miles and not too much about riding.

So, why is it here?

'cause when I set of to Rotterdam about a month ago, the idea was to drop back home for about two hours, to fetch some beer and drive directly forth to Königratz or Hradec Kralove for a festival.
Since I came home early, the rides do not connect totally.
But this shall not matter, since the upcoming days were epic and mind-changing nonetheless. And they involve my overloaded hog, at least.

I just have one slight issue: I'm trying to boil down and boil down...but it's still almost 180 pictures I'd love to show you -.-
Well, I'll have to work something out along the way.

Why am I going to Hradec Kralove?
Well, I'm kinda into Metal and usually attend the PartySAN Open Air as part of my summer vacation. You know, three weeks of, spend two weeks traveling and then, refill your batteries on a festival.
Lying in the sun all day, getting' stone drunk and talking to people you haven't met in a year, seeing a handfull of bands performing. Perfect vacation.

Only it tends to start like this:

And it's down from there on. Way, way down:

It really is pouring down big time almost every year. Great Britain is a desert compared to the second weekend in August.


This year should be different, 'cause I was on a festival not in my home country. It's called “Brutal Assault”.
Despite being a fan of PSOA for many years, it drew me there for

a) the location: Brutal Assault takes places in an old fortress in Czechland. With two stages next to each other.

b) the bands. Let me just pick some names:

Paradise Lost

Dimmu Borgir
Machine Head

Amon Amarth


At The Gates

Agnostic Front, Moonspell, Nile

Six Feet Under, Sodom, Krisiun, Solstafir, Textures, Heaven Shall Burn, Crowbar, SOIA, Hatebreed, Swallow The Sun,The Black Dahlia Murder...

...just to name a few. You don't recognise these names? Shame on you, appearently your music knowledge sucks^^

and c) I wanted something new. Different.

So I set of on a Tuesday to spend the night in Dresden. The idea was to fall asleep by 2200 in order to do the next leg of 200 miles Wednesday morning so I could fetch a good site to camp and park my bike.
Well. It got more like...0300. Guess, I have to work on how to realise the plans I make. But hey, if you are being shown around the bars of my capitol city by one of the best cocktail mixers around and a great friend? What shall one do. Another version of “200 miles, 3 hours of sleep and a headache” lay ahead.

When I entered Czechland over Zittau (to avoid the slab), I've been greated by THIS:

Translation “Grabstein = Gravestone”.
How fitting, some of the smaller towns in Sudetenland / Sudety (the area of Czechland, where germans lived, before this nutty Austrian came along and made my forefathers do a lot of dumb, nutty, insane up to inhuman stuff) really do look like dead.

Couple of miles later I saw these ruins of castles. Look like devils horns to me. How fitting when I am driving to a festival of Metal.
Yep, now I felt properly greated.

Before the CCCP / USSR / Easter Block crumbled down, when we had East-European Spring and all of a sudden, democracy was off the chain and ruling (as it is in Belarus, still ahem), Czechland was AFAIK one of the richest parts of the Eastern Block and we east-germans did envy them most of the time.
But right after the fall of the Great Wall around east of Germany, after the unification, we had great help from the western part of Germany, while Czechland went way, way down. Living close to the border to Czechland, up until a couple of years past, we would drive over for cheap fuel, cheap tobacco, cheap food, cheap hotels, cheap...almost everything and the travellers succesfully looking for cheap women have been many, too.
Hell, maybe seven years back, a punk-ex-girlfriend and me even drove up to Hotel Adlon in Prague in a tiny old Opel / Vauxhall Corsa (between Bentleys and the likes) without receiving a single strange look.

Now, nobody shall ever again try to convince me the Czech would be poor or anything.
Take a look:

It's just that those people do not invest into looks. They invest into prosperous things. You can have companies there, like Meopta

When driving by, it looks really really crappy and scarry. But when you actually enter, you find a park of machines full of the newest CNC technologies available on the market. And you see progress everywere. The prices go up, the roads get better, the cars bigger.

I even found a solar power plant and a outdoor equipment store (we all know their price policy...) near Jaromer and that is a really provincial town indeed.

When you are in Czechland these days, you can feel a certain spirit I last came to know right after the unification of Germany 'bout 20 years ago: the people have real DRIVE. They want to achieve something, they are eager to try out new things. Maybe aftermaths of the despair they fell into twenty years ago, but it is really magical! I'm a nostalgic guy, this might play a role indeed.

Anyways. As I know metal festivals, or almost all festivals, they take place at airports or other places outside of town, where nobody goes, regullary.
Not so in Jaromer.
Here, the festival takes place right in the middle of Josefov, the part of Jaromer with the fortress.

The complete town is dedicated to the festival during these days. They engulf the black, sweaty, growling, evil drunkards boarding their territory for a couple of days.
You have a flower shop, suddenly selling Panzerdivision Marduk shirts (Marduk. Epic polish deathmetal. Technical deathmetal comes from Poland these days. All of it.).

Between two shady buildings, about to break down any minute, they tensioned a tarp and sold beer.
En route the way to the festivals entrance, there were weekend gardens. Allotgardens, you know. The inhabitants opened the fence, started to roast pork on a stick and sell that plus beer like crazy.
Camping grounds and parkling lots. No dedicated areas. People parked and camped practically EVERYwhere in the whole goddamn town.

Growshop. And in the tobacco store on the other side of the road, showing kiddies what proper policing is all about:


Almost all restaurants in the city Jaromer had a special Brutal Assault Menu. With pictures. Which was great, 'cause how trady the Czech might be, even the young generation does speak nothing but Czech. I was (with my compagnion) lost in a town with no means to verbally communicate with the inhabitants.
But this was nothing to worry about either.
First of all, everybody helped everybody. The Metalheads from Czechland, which did speak english, approached you when they saw you were in trouble and helped out. And, to my surprise, this festival had sooo many Czech and just a small portion of foreigners, despite the epic band list.
Second of all, you did not even need to speak. Bypassing a complete stranger and showing the devils horns, smiling, he immediately offers you his bottle of Vodka. Or...KoRN.
I'm not too sure. It was home-distilled and I am pretty lucky I did not become blind. But hey, it tasted great and what a friendly guy.

Also, the Czech metalheads tend to be quite clean. On the camping ground I saw only one group spewing wastes all over the place – and these were franco-belgians.
Those guys:

When I made this photo, they jumped from the lorry into the Quechua tent (these are tents build up within two seconds. You throw them on the ground and the spring into shape. Quite practical, at times). It would not break. Haha!

My other tent compagnions was a belgian, some people from freakin' Venezuela, staying in Europe for three festivals in a row and fetching us a rum degustion (you know, the PROPER stuff you dont get over here) and it was four bottles of it and one group of Latvians.
What great kind people!
I drank with them and actually survived. I even was able to stand upright and keep on talking!
They needed to get rid of both their alcohol and their meat, so the invited us all to barbecue.
Really great guys. So open-minded!

Now, some photos of the festival itself:

"We don't sell weed". Yeah. Sure you don't.

Keep telling this these guys:

Some other interesting visitors:

(this picture actually has the No. 666...)

They even had a toilet for the disabled. The beer was coming directly from the truck.

Great food was to be found everywhere.

And you had some kind of natural tribune, at which you could just lay back and enjoy the show totally relaxed. Like old people like me love to.

I cannot go on romancing on the bands performance itself. It was just amazing, e.g. when the soundcheck of the next band really, REALLY pissed of Nick Holmes and he shouted and sung as enthusiastically as I never saw a vocalist before. You just have to be there yourself.

Besides that. Do not take your women with you into Czechland if they are not very, very relaxed.
That's why:

Luckily, we could not even communicate with the people from the scene.
So the chances we would be Bad Boys were quite low.

Not like him. Prototype of a badass. Dork^^.

After four astonishing days, I went home over the smaller roads and towns...300 miles this day.
If you are in the region by chance, sometime in future, do not miss the backroads of Sudety. The contrast between flourishing zones and zones of remaining property is...overwhelming.

Met a guy touring all over south of France, Switzerland, Austria and Czechland for the last three weeks. Slowly. Owns a gas-station in the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains) near the Czech border. Was looking to tour the old roads through Sudety, before the slabs where build. On a blue japanese bike, no he an inmate by any means? Forgot to guide him here.

Anyways, as planned on Sunday, late afternoon, I completed my summer vacation trips, preparing to return to work the day after. My last shots were from a Junkers Ju-52. The Aunt Ju. The plane able to fly slowest world-wide. You could actually drive with a motorcycle under it, it needs to fly just above 110 miles...

The inspiring last five days really where the Point on The I.
Despite not being an actual big roadtrip, the effects on the mindset of my small, unimportant person and the friends I made there for me seemed to be a proper extension of the marvellous experience I had in the last weeks.

One last thing. Proof: I was there by Motorcylce!

Goodbye, Brutal Assault!

Olorin_the_13th screwed with this post 08-20-2012 at 04:41 PM
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:44 PM   #28
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Location: Phoenix, Arizona
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Originally Posted by Olorin_the_13th View Post
Yeah. I indeed DO look like nothing can stop me, eh?
Well, maybe that my trustworthy steed is a bit of loaded:

Holy crap! I'd say! Did you notice that big round table is dragging the ground? Isn't that likely to limit your cornering prowess?

Tell about the sheepskin. I could use that thing on the KTM, but I wouldn't think you'd need it for the Aprilia Futura. Mine has the most comfortable seat already. A perfect motorcycle seat it is!

I really enjoyed reading about your ride. That's a pretty cool route through interesting places. It looks like you had an enjoyable time.

BTW, I enjoy metal, but not too much death metal. I do love Opeth! They self-identify as death metal, but I'm not sure they can really be classified as that anymore.

I'm glad to see someone else actually touring on one of the most perfect touring machines. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:10 PM   #29
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Joined: Jul 2012
Oddometer: 1,190
Hello Olorin,
The weather on Islay at the end of the year seems to cold and windy and rainy. Cold? I mean 40F is a heat wave. Windy? Gusts to 70mph have happened within the last few years. Rain, snow sometimes. I couldn't recommend riding in that unless you are what my Irish ancestors call "a hard man." As for the distilleries, there are some really good ones on Islay but not all are open between Christmas and New Years. This is one time a car might be the wiser choice. Here is a site that has lots of good info on them:
I would get in touch with the distilleries and see who's going to be open. Islay is fairly close to Campbeltown so you could nip down there and check in at Springbank etc.

I think you enjoy visiting Edradour in part because it is so small and old style. They only have a still that can hold 160 liters at a time! Just 3 men work there but they value the tradition so much that when they have to replace a piece of equipment they have it duplicated right down to the dents in the original.

Thanks for writing about your further travels. Sorry to think it was a bike rally! I was confusing your ride with one of rtwdoug's. Good riding!!
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:24 PM   #30
Olorin_the_13th OP
Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Saxony
Oddometer: 56
Originally Posted by dave6253 View Post
Holy crap! I'd say! Did you notice that big round table is dragging the ground? Isn't that likely to limit your cornering prowess?

Tell about the sheepskin. I could use that thing on the KTM, but I wouldn't think you'd need it for the Aprilia Futura. Mine has the most comfortable seat already. A perfect motorcycle seat it is!

I really enjoyed reading about your ride. That's a pretty cool route through interesting places. It looks like you had an enjoyable time.

BTW, I enjoy metal, but not too much death metal. I do love Opeth! They self-identify as death metal, but I'm not sure they can really be classified as that anymore.

I'm glad to see someone else actually touring on one of the most perfect touring machines. Thanks for sharing!

Hi Dave!

Thanks for taggin' along O:-)

Your correct. The Fut is almost all I could ask for in a touring bike. She has a lot of ooomph from below and high above, she does corner so well I noob could never ever really use her (despite unscrewing the table later that day^^) the way she wants to be treated.
And yes, the seat is damn comfy. It is actually such a great bike that I indeed use her ~ 150 miles every day and ~365 days per year.
Which should show all sceptics: the italians can build really reliable bikes. Not just Ducs >

But after ~ 400 miles in one go both my knees and my ass burn a bit. Being a long-legged spider, the knee angle is too tight for me. So, I got myself a gel-seat AND the sheepskin.
Which works really great for almost evrything.

Still, the sheepskin is there for a completely different purpose, to tell the truth.
Whenever I go to meal, somewhat five young ladies are standing around my little beauty, which is parked in front of the company, curassing and purr-purring her.
That's sheepskin for you! :-D

Oh and no. Old Opeth may be some kind of death/black stuff, but's more like gothrock, isn't it?
Same development as Paradise Lost, which I dig really.

Out on the street on the other hand, doing endless miles, there is almost nothing better than good old doom/stoner rock: Black Label Society, Kyuss, Colour Haze, QoTSA, Grand Magus et cetera.

Whenever your next time out in the Desert, give it a try.
You will not return.
Not as the person which went into the desert, anyways...
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