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Old 08-28-2013, 12:49 PM   #61
kuhjunge OP
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Wicked commenting comments

@Wal2
We got now really confused and since we did not follow the news lately we needed to check a few things to be sure...
- Switzerland does not belong to EU nor EURO
- Switzerland does have an own currency i.e. CHF
- We have not tried to pay with Euros in Great Britain
- Instead we tried to pay with pound sterling printed by the bank of Scotland (i.e. GBP) in England and got refused


OK, now a few thoughts to the rest of your comments and we hope that other readers find this as interesting as we do

One can never please everyone and one can never be pleased by everything! That is just normal in life

This blog is not just about biking around the world! It is the story of our new life style! Veganism, the love of animals and wild nature are a big part of our life and therefore we also write about those things in our blog. We are against cruelty/brutality towards animals, nature and humans! So when ever we see a need to comment/criticise something concerning those things we also do it, because silence means agreeing and silence has never made any changes in this world!

There are plenty of blogs, which just plainly tell the routes etc. people have been driving and they say "wow" to basically any scenery without any opinions or true feelings...
We are full of opinions and we also like and dare to say them out loud! Some people might find these upsetting and others helpful, when thinking where to go or what to do. We are writing this blog mainly to ourselves in form of an open journal and we like to be honest to ourselves, and also to our readers. So we'll do our best in future to share our experiences with others, may they be pleasant or not.

We've been mostly commenting/criticising things about Britain, because the country just wasn't for us This doesn't however mean that we don't like any other cultures or countries! For example now we've been really happily enjoying for several weeks the beautiful forests and streets of south Germany, and the abundance of eco markets!

And now back to the journey, we are already many days and events behind

Ilta & Wolfi
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:53 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by kuhjunge View Post
We've been mostly commenting/criticising things about Britain, because the country just wasn't for us

And now back to the journey, we are already many days and events behind
Keep it coming, I'm enjoying it. Funny enough, your first statement is very true. I rather enjoyed my time in the UK, especially Scotland, simply because I found so much vegan food. Of course, I was eating out for many of my meals, and compared with my home, there were significantly more choices in vegan eateries and meals than I was used to. I loved ordering vegan sausages in the pubs everywhere!
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Old 08-31-2013, 12:11 AM   #63
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Eek "Vacation" at Rudi

Finally at Rudi (August 8th), where we originally wanted to have some sort of vacation or at least take it much more easier... Well Wolfi's list of repairs and must-do's had grown quite long and the hope of vacation vanished at the moment we arrived!



Arrival at Rudi and girls felt at home right away.




We got nice room from upstairs. My bed on the left and Wolfi's place in the corner

Wolfi started with his "body repairs". He needed some dental work and found a dentist nearby. After telling about our journey, the dentist surprised him with a "no charges at all"! In fact he even x-rayed the teeth to see whether there are other deficiencies and he found one potential trouble maker and this was also fixed.

Huge thanks to Dr. M.B. at this point. As he experienced a good deed in his life and carried it on, we will do our best on carrying it further as well! One thing done.



Next was some small things with the Suzi...




Ralph came over to have a "Benzingespräch" and I was rather sceptical about the things they suggested...






Ralph explaining how they were done with his V-Strom.






And the work starts - installing Scottoiler and changing the brake lines.


Shortly after Cornwall Wolfi's POV HD helmet camera went broken. Somehow the camera main unit did not find anymore the camera head. That's what it is with cables and connectors. It seems a connector pin is broken (Wolfi did buy the camera about 13 months ago and so no more warranty and no mercy to open the housing).




Wolfi investigating the helmet camera.




Work continues with the SilberWolf...




The overflow tube was somehow stuck - unbelievable amount of dirt came out

Wolfi's Garmin GPS had served well on many trips, in extreme temperatures from cold (-33C) and heat (+42C) and traveled the world with us already earlier. No wonder the DC connector totally disintegrated at some time. Instead of throwing unused stuff away when we left Finland, he did give things to friends for their usage. Lucky us Ari did not really need the other power cable and he was so kind and send it to us in Germany. Thanks a lot Ari, it saved us a lot of money!



Broken GPS power connector

I took the time at Rudi a bit more easier... My main idea was to go training with the local karate club, but unfortunately they were on vacation the whole time. So I just had trainings by myself, had some fun with Rudi's trampoline (good exercise for stomach muscles!) and especially enjoyed the beautiful and almost never ending forests nearby! I had plenty of good runs with my fabulous Vibram five finger shoes :) Those shoes are really one of the best buys ever, I highly recommend to everyone! Of course I helped Wolfi occasionally, but mostly I was just on his way... So kitchen was again the thing that kept me rather busy and boy did I do some fantastic goodies again!



Enjoying the hot summer and nice little garden :)




Magnificent forests in Altenkessel! Finally this Finn could properly breath again :)

Saarland is very religious area and there are churches almost around every corner and they also make them selves noticed constantly! At Rudi we could enjoy the extremely loud "bling-blong" every 15 minutes 24/7!!! So no hope to get proper sleep either and that was also one of the things we were heavily looking forward to :( Well I guess just have to get used to it, because most likely it just gets worse the more souther we go...




Even in the middle of the forest there's always "help" around the corner




Delicious blackberries were just in season and on our walks we had often stomachs full of them!




Berry stealer

We also had some time to visit "almost" family like Usch, to whom I made the very successful cake and cookies.




Usch, me and Wolfi in Völklingen.




Lyra made instantly friends with the neighbour boy from Usch.

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Almost every day we enjoyed some healthy and delicious smoothies, which even Rudi started to like! Thanks to Rudi's enormous mint bushes, we got also plenty of healthy greens into the drinks :)

Green: 2 bananas, 2 pears, huge bunch of fresh mint.
Yellow: 1 banana, 1 orange, 3 peaches, coconut milk.








Following the slogan from Saarland "Hauptsach gudd gess" we had one evening a really delicious meal of vegan burgers, garlic potatoes, salad and beer



Happy men with their delicious vegan burgers!

~ Ilta
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Old 08-31-2013, 08:10 AM   #64
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i used Switzerland only as an example of a country with borders and with its own currency...it dosen't have to take euro's although it can if it wants

Scotland is the same, its an independant country within the UK with its own currency

i appreciate all your points, and i especially like to hear comments about established views

however, i still think you came across as needlessly rude, dismissive and having a whinge

had my say and i'll leave you to it
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:15 AM   #65
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Wink EGT-meeting - Munich

After spending two weeks at Rudi we though it was time to hit the road again. Better not bug him too much at once or we wouldn't be welcome anymore...

Skippy had an upcoming Karate seminar close to Saarland and this gave us an opportunity to make a little loop through Germany, the Alps and Vosges before coming back to Rudi to take care of my unfinished business. The plan was made and off we went.

The target of the first day was to reach the EGT -meeting. We enjoyed the curvy roads and beautiful landscape of the Hunsrück and got a friend when we crossed the Rhin at Boppard. Jörg was his name and he decided to follow us towards the EGT -meeting... since I had a GPS



Crossing Rhin at Boppard and we had a rest on the bottom of this cool castle.

We arrived quite late and needed to find a pitch place in the dusk which was a little tricky. Anyway we built our tent and next day we hissed the Finnish flag ;)
The fields were full of sidecars and solo bikes - over 1500 vehicles came to the event. It was interesting to see so many different sidecars and many of the detailed solutions still gave ideas to improve our hack. Lucky for us though, no
sorrow came when seeing other sidecars. We think the concept of our sidecar is the best for our purposes - especially when we saw other solutions for dogs' traveling.




25. EGT 2013 in Hatzfeld-Reddighausen




Tent with Finnish flag ;)

On Saturday evening the organizer gave prices for example for "the longest journey from abroad to the meeting" and I thought I would at least make it to top three with almost 12.000km (Helsinki - EGT meeting via Baltica alone is already over 3.000km). Well well, think again - it seemed that the calculation principles were fuzzy, as a guy from Norway with about 1.200km got the first price :-o ... The positive side was that I would have had no idea where to stuff the trophy and I left the event with a smile on my face



Skippy making cacao-halva. Yummy :)

Next major stop was in Munich where I could visit some ex-work colleagues. Hans & Heike invited us to stay at their place again (we've invaded there already on an earlier trip to the Alps) and we were very happy to be there.





Skippy, Heike, Hans and me (from right to left) with Hertta (always close to mom), Ulpu and Lyra




Internet junkies :)




Peter, me, Hans and Hans (from left to right) - it was nice to meet my ex-work colleagues. All the best in your futures!

After Hans we finally headed towards the Alps.



Play rest at the river Isar.




Art at river Isar




Good intentions to remind people what to do about litter




... and the reality! :(




"Action pic" from Skippy on the lovely private road Vorderriss - Wallgau

and then to Austria...
~ Wolfi
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:58 AM   #66
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Cool2 Alps - Vosges

In Munich I remembered that my tattooer, who has done almost all of my tattoos, lives at the moment in Davos. Because of one unfinished birdie, I wanted to contact him to see whether he would have time to finally finish it. Luckily he did and so we headed towards Davos via Rinnen, Berwang.




Haus Seebach at Rinnen.

We had a nice room at Haus Seebach, which is a very typical Tyrolian house. For our huge surprise we got there so far the best hotel breakfast of our trip! They had delicious fresh figs, nectarines, bananas, plums and a mango. Amazing! The surroundings were amazing as well. Beautiful vast forest with a lovely waterfall, where we had a long and pleasant walk in the evening.








First I thought this was a rubber toy, so still it was, but in the end it moved a bit. Really strange looking creature and so intensively black!




The only negative thing about the place was this graveyard right behind our room door :( Really creepy and so sad to look at!
















Ötztaler Alpen, Austria.




Lago di Resia, Italy.




Lunch brake at Lago di Muta, Italy. Delicious watermelon for us and some cookies for girls :)












Ofenpass, Switzerland




Davos, Switzerland.





















Good winter transport to carry beer in the Alps..?




Roadside beauty...




...and some more :)




Who is the biggest stinker? Excellent sign!






Plenty of poop bag-dispensers everywhere in Davos and the city really was clean from dog poo! Well done :)



Switzerland is very expensive country for budget travelers! After some heavy searching and some misunderstandings we finally got rather nice little apartment for two nights. The flat was totally a flashback from the seventies, with all the brown colours and funny furnitures :) So in the end I got inspired to do breakfast according to the theme...




Apple-plum-cinnamon "pudding".

...and I finally got my beautiful birdie and flowers finished :) Thanks Ile, you're the best!




I really love my birdie collection and it will definitely grow over time!




My photographing astronaut



Pretty soon after we left Davos Wolfi had a very unpleasant little accident. On one very tight mountain road he got squeezed by a camper van :( Because of the slow speed I could easily see what was about to happen and tried to wave the Italian guy to stop, but for some reason he just needed to push through and broke Wolfi's left sidecase! We got totally furious about this and I was especially worried about girls, because the sidecar was stuck between the camper and the mountain!



After some sweating and swearing on the road and causing some minor jam, we finally found a common language and managed to move to a parking lot nearby, where the swearing continued... The guy had really annoying attitude and was just constantly saying, that no big damage happened and that this sidecase would be easily fixed with some banging! He also tried to justify things by saying that he got much bigger damage to his camper - well, he lost a piece of plastic, which anyway is just a decoration! Wolfi almost lost his very expensive sidecase and the PC inside there and the exhaust pipe... Not just a little thing for us, especially when it's about our home!



We were really close to call a police to solve this thing (and I was close to do something else, but decided just to curse in Finnish...), but after some thoughts realized that most likely it wouldn't help anything. It would just delay our trip with several hours and anyway it was just our words against theirs. So we momentarily fixed the sidecase with a string and hoped it would last until Rudi...  






The entire case got twisted, bent and pushed towards the bike... 




The locks won't close properly anymore and there is now a gap inviting rain water in.




Exhaust pipe was very close to get badly damaged.



Only few kilometers after our problems we noticed a biker in the ditch and of course stopped to help the poor Swiss guy. Bike didn't look too well anymore, but at least the guy seemed to be fine. Hopefully only hurt self esteem...




It's not too easy to pull a bike from the ditch, takes many strong men to do it... ;)



After Davos came the best part of the trip. Gorgeous Swiss Alps with magnificent views and exciting serpentine roads! That day was great fun, but also a bit exhausting, since we drove 330km and mostly just heavy curves!




Oberalppass, Switzerland.




Furkapass 2431m, with a view to Grimselpass.




Grimselpass 2164m. Töff = motorbike in Swiss



From Switzerland we drove back to Germany for one night to have a shopping day at Freiburg. I'm totally addicted to my Vibram shoes and desperately needed a new pair, since the old ones are soon worn out.  We have been trying to find a shop that sells Vibrams almost ever since I got the first pair back in Berlin, but without too much success. Obviously the shoes haven't conquired too many countries yet. Well luckily we heard from Rudi's brother that there is one very good shop in Freiburg and it was anyway basically on our way! So I got a new pair which is better for trail running and I'm extremely happy about them We also found a great Alnatura-market and got plenty of organic goodies for the rest of the trip. For example delicious chocolate-rice-icecream and huge medjool dates, yummy! :P



Then we were good to go to the Vosges...




Jep, iso pallopää! (pakko kommentoida ennen kuin pikkusisko kerkee )




View to the Alps from the Vosges.



We stayed two nights at Soultzeren and we got to enjoy again very beautiful and hot weather. I think it was over +30! Vosges has very lovely forestry landscapes and we had again nice walk on hills, where we met a really funny sounding donkey and a young runaway bull. On top of the hill we also had a small karate training, which was a nice change to a normal walk. Wolfi's learning quite well ;)






My great new Vibram Spyridons, perfect for heavy terrain!




Some sort of chestnut tree? Beautiful anyway :)



Overall we had a very nice and interesting loop. Almost constantly beautiful sunshine and very warm days! I saw plenty of new places, but also some old familiar ones, and got again much better with the sharp curves.




Our track - ca. 2300km






Height profile of our track



~ Ilta





P.S. Today I will go alone for two weeks back to Kappeln (first via
Gerolstein) to have some intensive karate trainings... Wolfi will stay
with girls here at Rudi and hopefully finally has his vacation...


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Old 09-06-2013, 07:18 AM   #67
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Laugh Where is Ilta..?

Great, we made it to the press and our story got published in the Sidecar Traveler -magazine. Or to be exact I got my story...























































There is though twice mentioned a person called Ilta, but no words or pictures about how does this person travel. Is s/he(it) a mascot or my guardian angel? It seems like I'm going around the world alone with my three dogs and the SilberWolf...

Because of my curios nature of course I needed to find out where this Ilta really is! It wasn't an easy task at all! So well hidden...




...but finally I could find her! Looks pretty safe place to travel

~ Wolfi
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:08 AM   #68
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Cool2 UK impressions - the movie

Finally I had the time and opportunity to make our UK movie :)

Again no luck with embedding the video here

Click here to see the video.

I am still working on getting the Full HD video clip uploaded, but so far no success

~ Wolfi
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Old 09-18-2013, 02:04 AM   #69
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Wicked Wolfi - "home" alone

Since Skippy enjoys beating up other guys in Karate training, I was able to finally have my vacation. Well, almost

Skippy's Suzi was almost due for another oil change (and some other minor issues), so I decided to do it simply at Rudi's place. I also replaced the original fork springs with the ones I got from Hyperpro. I was amazed how quickly the fork oil got old, after only 10.000km, it looked very dirty.




Easy tool to measure the air chamber

So, it did all that, was happy with myself and cleaned the place up, when I tossed with my big fat ass Skippy's bike. P****** ja S******.

Well, maybe now it's time for a new blinker ;)




New color on Skippy's bike

Besides this minor incident, Skippy took off and I was on my own with the dogs. Since I had now plenty of time, I tried to find some sidecar get-together in Saarland and I even found one - lucky me. It was the official "1. Gespanntreffen" in Kirkel-Neuhäusel. So I went there and just made it to the Saturday afternoon excursion ride. Not bad, a last guided tour through Bliesgau and surroundings. When we came back to the campsite, the dogs and me had a snack and then it was time to get back to Rudi's place. Those ladies were just hazzling too much and the kids were all over the dogs, so I needed to maintain my mental balance as well (handling three hyper-active dogs alone is a challenge).




Nice campsite and separated from the normal campers - good luck in the future.




Waiting to get started with the ride








More sidecars (and solo bikes) on the other side.




Met Jörg (left) again - thanx for the help with the GPS holder. 

I also had some time to meet relatives, old friends and fix a few items on my bike, like the damaged Jesse side case, my broken POVHD helmet camera (it was only the one pin at the camera head connector) and other small things.





I am not shitting ... only using my body weight to straighten the side case ;) 




Mana and me




Hertta guarding the house door and waiting for mom to come in



Besides a few last minutes hazels with some bike issues and packing, my last day at Rudi went rather peacefully. I was even able to make my yearly brake fluid change and washed girls. Now they smell very nice and are all clean to see mom again

It's now Wednesday morning (18Sep) and I am heading to North Germany. I am wondering what kind of welcome we will have. Girls have not been so long separated from Skippy for a long long time, and Hertta never.

A big - no huge thanx to Rudi, who had a lot of patience with me and girls :)

~ Wolfi
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Old 09-18-2013, 04:41 AM   #70
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This is one of my favorite threads in a very long time. I will be subscribing following along with you. What an incredible journey. I am honored that you are sharing it with us. Having a hack myself I find it even more compelling.
The very best to both of you, always
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Old 09-21-2013, 03:34 PM   #71
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Cool2 video and so

Video is now in Youtube in Full HD (1080p)
part I: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pv7k47rhdTQ
part II: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7tqwhH10fU

@ ClearwaterBMW
Nice to hear that you like our thread. Got some doubts whether somebody reads and enjoys our writing
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Old 09-21-2013, 08:05 PM   #72
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I am following too.

I know how hard it is to find internet while on the road. Many times I had a good WiFi signal but could not connect on my recent trip across the Continent.

It makes a big difference when you know that others are reading and following along. I too have a Vstrom, but on my last trip I rode my BMW

Safe travels and keep the photos coming

bob
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Old 09-22-2013, 06:31 AM   #73
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Really enjoying you wonderful ADVenture, honest writing and pictures. Vegan travel is tough enough, doing it with the 3 dogs is even tougher. Wishing you a safe journey.
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Old 09-23-2013, 12:56 PM   #74
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What a adventure, you're really living it

Do you have any pictures of the sidecar build?

Terveisia Suomesta!
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Old 09-25-2013, 03:51 PM   #75
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Wicked The road to black belt

A bit over two weeks ago I left Wolfi. Well,  just for two weeks, because of my karate ambitions ;)

I've been dreaming of black belt ever since I started karate and for the last two years I've been heavily practicing for it.  Originally I wanted to get my black belt in Finland already a year ago, but in the end it didn't go all too well, because of some rather strange/peculiar reasons... Well then came the time to start our journey and I had to change my plans...

2010 we lived a moment in Saarland and there I was training with the local karate club and got used to the German habits. I'm also surviving pretty ok with German language, so I thought why not try to do my examination here in Germany. In May in the beginning of our journey I was training for two weeks with the Tokaido club in Kappeln. I really liked the people there and their way of practicing and also the sensei there turned out to be very nice and helpful. So in the end of May I decided to take part in dan-examination in Germany.

During the summer months I didn't have a chance to visit any other karate clubs or seminars, but I practiced alone when ever possible and few times even with Wolfi. I also had heavy correspondence with Werner Wilhelmsen (the sensei of Tokaido), or actually Wolfi-'my personal translator' had :) Werner did plenty of paper work for me. Made me the member of their club and the German Karate Federation and also sent me the official passport. He also did good job by explaining certain techniques via email, so that I could practice alone. Thank you very much for all your efforts, Werner!

7th of September was a preparation camp (Vorbereitungs Lehrgang) in Gerolstein. The previous day I drove there and that was also my very first proper trip alone in abroad! Everything went perfectly fine until I was about 20km from my hotel. Then came the problems.... I don't have a GPS, so I have to survive with just paper maps and some written directions. My hotel was in really strange place and no signs to the place until just 1km before! So in the end I made 60km and 2h extra, and also had to call Wolfi to give me some directions over the phone... Luckily all the other places I found easily :)

The preparation camp was held by sensei Shuzo Imai (8th dan) and I was instantly happy to see that he does some important techiniques (eg. tsukkomi) the way I've learned them. One big stress point less! The other participant were very friendly and quite interested of this Finnish visitor... In the lunch break I had some nice conversations and all in German! I'm rather proud of myself ;) Training was very good and heavy and I got a very nice partner for the couple techniques (kumite). It's really rare joy to get a partner with whom you can instantly practice like you would've known for years! Sorry I forgot your name (I'm really lousy in remembering names), but thank you for all the help, my very nice training partner!

After the camp we even got personal feedback from sensei Imai. I really appreciate such! Imai said, that my techniques look very good, I have a good posture and that I have very good chance to get 1st. dan in two weeks! I was almost melting of happiness :) Just need to get more power! Well, that I've been hearing for quite some time already and am heavily working with it...

Next day I headed north towards Kappeln and 12 days intensive training with Tokaido... It was over 600km leg, but didn't feel too bad because I was finally able to enjoy my own speed. What an enjoyment it was to drive 120-180km/h on the Autobahn!!! Usually our speed together is max 110km/h, so I was heavily smiling almost the whole time :)



I had a really big double room with mini kitchen and balcony just for me alone! What a luxury :)

I stayed in Dörpskrog Ringsberg, which is about 30km from Kappeln, because it was the cheapest place in the neighborhood and also in the middle of quiet countryside. I was really in need of peace and quietness, so this was almost a slice of heaven for me. I had a comfortable bead, soundproof walls and lovely walking ways in the village. What else does one need to be able to relax? ;)




Corns eaten by deers.

It was raining almost every day, but luckily there was some moments without rain, so I could have nice walks along the fields. Plenty of corn growing there! I met some sweet little deers eating corn almost daily, but unfortunately didn't manage to capture them on film. They were always too quick or against the sun.



Along the walking path was growing plenty of wild blackberries, damsons and apples. What a great pleasure to pick your own lunch! :)




There was also growing wild hops, but didn't start making my own beer






Beautiful boys in the backyard of the hotel. I wonder does the corn go straight to humans or via these fellows...




Food for the weekend. Just perfect amount for one person for three days!




Heavenly smoothie full of energy! 4 figs, 4 bananas, 1 tsp vanilla powder and some water.

One has to have a partner in belt examinations, because there is plenty of partner techniques. I got Harald from Tokaido to be my partner. Also with him it was very easy to start training, no problems what so ever! I've been very blessed with good training partners, already back in Finland! Terveiset Lasselle ja Artolle! :)

Harald is a very good instructor and motivator and has plenty of good tips. I was in very good hands and in the end didn't have much stress about the examination. The biggest stress point for me was the language! Germans have totally different way of pronouncing the Japanese words than Finns have and then there is also different dialects...



What a lovely welcome!

After one week practicing in Kappeln I thought it's time to do something else as well. So I decided to have a ride to Denmark, because I've never been there and the border was just few kilometers away. The weather was very nice when I left, but just when I was entering the border it started raining again. Eventually I had only 150km loop, but at least now I can say I've been there :)



Besides the normal horses and cows, I also met some camels in Denmark :) I hope they were not for the entertainment or nourishment of humans!



Saturday 21st of September was the big day: dan-examination in Neumünster! I had traveled there the night before with Wolfi, who I met in Kappeln. Really strange feeling to drive together after two weeks break, but of course a great feeling to be together with him and the girls again :) Two weeks is definitely the max time I need/want to be alone! This was also the longest time I've ever been separated from Hertta! It's rather easy to be away from Wolfi (I'm used to it), but to be without my babies is almost heart breaking...



Doing juntsuki-no-tsukomi.

The examination in Germany is a bit different than in Finland, but no means any easier!!! Much less katas and partner techniques, but much more kicks and hits! Because of my injured hips and lower back, certain kicks are very painful and even dangerous for me. Luckily the senseis were very nice and understanding
and let me do easier versions of two jumping/turning kicks.



My fear of the language problems wasn't for nothing, I was barely able to understand half of the commands! Luckily after first three or four techniques I realized that the examination is going exactly according to the technique-list. I had learned the list by heart and could do everything according to my memory :) Just some small and inconspicuous double checking from my neighbor occasionally... ;)

There was only four other candidates besides me and the tempo of the
examination was extremely fast, so luckily the whole event only took about two hours.
No 4-6 hour tribulation like some people had been scaring me! Anyway I've never understood these marathon tests. I have this 'old fashioned' way of thinking, that just from one technique (eg. juntsuki) you can see what someone is 'worth' of. Well, different clubs and countries all have their own styles and ways of thinking, and one should respect them! :)



Kihon kumite #5, one of my favourites ;)

The examination went very well. I had positive feeling the whole time and so did Harald, which helped a lot with the small tension I had :) Of course I made some small errors, but was always able to do better next time. Nobody's perfect!



After we had sweated our asses off the senseis had a small break to think things over... and finally they awarded new dan-grades for everyone! I was of course extremely happy and relieved, but the proper understanding of the situation didn't hit me until after two days! Well, I was extremely tired and couldn't think too clearly anymore...




Senseis from right to left: Werner Wilhelmsen (5th dan), Shuzo Imai (8th dan) and Andreas Frahm (4th dan?).

The only negatively surprising thing in the exam was, that we didn't get any feedback! I was very disappointed about that, because I think it's very important to get proper feedback in order to get better! Lucky me, Wolfi was filming my parts so I could at least valuate myself and I also know very well my own weaknesses... The only thing I heard was, that there was no hesitations at all whether I should get the belt or not! So obviously I did pretty well :)




The happy black belt owner between Harald and Werner. The new belt was a gift from Werner/Tokaido, thanks a lot!




Germans love their stamps!

Two days after the examination I got email from Harald. He had asked feedback from sensei Imai, who was then instantly answering back. He said all my techniques were good and correct, but I need to get more speed and power. Nothing new there for me, but I still appreciated this very much! Extremely nicely done!



This power problem I've heard for years. Sometimes it's heavily puzzling me, because when I do 'kihon' (techniques alone) people say they don't see any power, but when I do 'kumite' (with partner) I get constantly complaints that I hit too hard! This just makes me wonder, is it because I'm almost always next to much bigger men and of course people compare me to them (even unknowingly) and then I definately look weak! Or is it the thing that people think fastness is power..? I'm not horribly fast, but I do know I have quite a lot of power compared to my size... and my training partners know it also ;) Hopefully one day I figure this out one way or the other....
Now some thank yous:
Vielen Dank an alle Mitglieder des Tokaido Kappeln für ihre Hilfe und tolle Unterstützung, vor allem Harald und Werner!



Suuri kiitos myös kaikille Sokuton ja LKK:n jäsenille, jotka ovat olleet auttamassa ja tukemassa jo dan-harjoitteluni alkuvaiheessa! Erityiskiitos Artolle! :) 
~ Ilta





P.S. Links for those who are interested to know the differences with Finnish and German dan-examinations:

Germany: http://www.wado-karate.de/uploads/media/wado_po.pdf

Finland: http://www.sokuto.org/karate/1--dan/
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