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Old 07-26-2014, 12:59 PM   #376
young1 OP
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Location: Taranaki New Zealand
Oddometer: 682
Zagreb to Budapest (Hungary) via Keszthely

Budapest is hot, I arrived here around 5.30pm and the temperature was still over 30c, and guess what? My room doesn't have air conditioning (isn't life tough ha ha)

It Took a bit longer to get out of Zagreb due to road works. One ramp taking me from one motorway to another was closed, with tape blocking the road. I couldn't see any sign of work being done, so pretended not to see the tape etc and rode up the ramp to where I wanted to go.

Isn't it a relief when the road signage comfirms that you are going the right way?



At the border checkpoint I couldn't work out why no one was in the right hand lane so rode down it, of course it was closed. Luckily after my hand gestures etc a car let me in line. Unfortunately having a NZ passport slowed everyone up behind me. I suppose the red X is obvious in the photo....



I didn't realise that you need a vignette to ride on the autobahn in Hungary. Although there were signs I don't know where to buy one etc so rode on. There were lots of cameras over the autobahn, hopefully by leaving Hungary tomorrow I won't have any problems.

I arrived in Kesztheky ready to pick up Bacon, but as you may have seen Jim was delayed. I met Javos, who is a local biker, and we had lunch together. He had a very small amount of English but it was still nice to chat. Thank you Javos.



Jim and Cobey (I hope that is the right spelling) arrived with Bacon. Bacon is an Australian pig who has been travelling the world by bike since 2007, he now wants to go home. Over the years he has been passed from biker to biker and has seen and done many things. His own trip report is at http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=287919.
My job is to get him to New Zealand and pass him on to another biker so he eventually gets home.



Here is the official hand over, it includes his own souvenirs from various countries and a trip diary. As you can imagine me being an older man standing in a McDonalds car park with mums and children about holding a stuffed toy was not a good look (shades of Rolf Harris!) so he was quickly hidden away in my tank bag, where the little pig helped himself to my bounty bar!



Some bike porn on the side of the road



How impressive is the engineering in this viaduct



The Danube, a mighty river



Why is it when it is very hot (today) or wet that it is hard to find where you are staying. This is my hotel, you can see why I missed it more than once, that little green sign just above the taxi sign (and below the second "T" in textile) is the only signage. Cool looking place isn't it....



It is Formula 1 this weekend here so town is busy. I haven't decided yet whether to look around the city tomorrow and head for Slovakia later after lunch or to leave early and take my time riding the back roads.

Finally one for the Kiwis, look whose book I saw for sale :-)

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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds. Explore. Dream. Discover.H Jackson Brown
Europe trip 2014 http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=971014

young1 screwed with this post 07-26-2014 at 02:10 PM
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Old 07-27-2014, 11:10 AM   #377
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Budapest to Bratislava (Slovakia)

First the big news! I have found God between Budapest and Vac



When I got to Vac I thought that I should report my find to the religious authorities. Unfortunately a smelly biker, talking "Kiwi" and with squeaky boots was ignored



I had hoped to get the ferry across the Danube at Vac, however I didn't realise that it only ran once an hour and due to the time I was there it would have meant a 45 minute wait. So in "discussions" with a local I re planned my route.



My route took me to a border crossing at Letkes. I stopped short of the border to get my documentation ready (and to hide Bacon who does not have a passport) I noticed a car that went past drove straight through without stopping. The border station was long deserted!



Yesterday and today I have ridden through thousands of hectares of crops. Coming from NZ which is mainly grassland it is something different



I have seen this in many countries, water melons being sold on the road side, I never realised what big business it was



Yesterday I was lucky as while it had been raining I only rode on the wet road. Today I rode into the weather, so stopped twice to shelter under trees. When I stopped here there was an enormous thunderclap, boy did it scare the crap out of me until I realised what it was!



The third time I stopped I put my wet weather gear on, of course I then rode out of the rain....

Bratislava, how cool is this statue?



And here is me



By the way I found a bar here that sells Captain Morgan dark rum, I couldn't walk past that could I!

Today took me a lot longer than I had planned. I could have ridden direct in 2 hours (but that is on a boring autobahn) but somehow it took me 5 hours. So feeling quite beat tonight.

Unfortunately the ride to Krakow tomorrow is a long one, even going via autobahn, so I will get away early for that.

Edit I have again changed my trip plan. I have taken out Prague and will head to Berlin from Wroclaw with a stop in Krakow. That reduces the kilometres I need to do and gives me a spare day near the end
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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds. Explore. Dream. Discover.H Jackson Brown
Europe trip 2014 http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=971014

young1 screwed with this post 07-27-2014 at 11:51 AM
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Old 07-28-2014, 07:37 AM   #378
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Bratislava to Krakow (Poland) via Czech Republic

As I am no longer going to Prague I took a route (well ZuMO took me) through the Czech Republic.



I rode through some small villages





The countryside was very nice



One village even had their own version of the Statue of Liberty (same but different!)



Then into Poland



Seven lanes of cars and trucks lined up at toll booths. Wouldn't you expect that somewhere between the border crossing and the toll booths there would be a handy money change outfit?



The Czech Republic also has a vignette system. I studied the overhead cameras on the motorway carefully, I think they only look at the front of the vehicle for number plates? Well I hope so.

Now a chance to do some washing, change some money and tomorrow have a day on foot exploring Poland's second largest city (and the home of Pope John Paul).
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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds. Explore. Dream. Discover.H Jackson Brown
Europe trip 2014 http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=971014
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:49 AM   #379
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Hi Mike,

I see you're doing just fine, taking the route as it goes, not following the plan if the feeling is moving you the other way.

We're so happy we can have you at Lobagola B&B (www.lobagola.com) in Zagreb, and we hope we can one day hop to NZ and New Plymouth to do some bodyboarding and skiing .

Enjoy life and ride on
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:35 AM   #380
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Hi Mike,

I see you're doing just fine, taking the route as it goes, not following the plan if the feeling is moving you the other way.

We're so happy we can have you at Lobagola B&B (www.lobagola.com) in Zagreb, and we hope we can one day hop to NZ and New Plymouth to do some bodyboarding and skiing .

Enjoy life and ride on
Thanks for posting the picture, Dooby. It is me (obviously!) packing the bike just prior to leaving Zagreb

Mike
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:31 AM   #381
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A day of playing tourist today, I even had one of those little stickers on me in the morning to show what group I was with (Leanne will find that funny as through Europe we laughed at the "sheep" with their stickers on following a tour guide.

I went to the Weilezka Salt Mine, about 35 minutes drive from Krakow. KT stayed parked up at the front door, I couldn't get her any closer!



Here is the salt mine, the only salt now extracted is from the water that is pumped out (water is too salty to simply discard), it is now the number one tourist attraction in Poland. It has been in operation for centuries.



Stair well going down, this is looking between the stairs, over 800 steps.



One of the many galleries (they are salt crystals in the chandeliers)



Wooden props, to give an idea of scale the round ones are tree trunks



We went down to 130 metres, luckily there was a lift to take us back to the surface.

This afternoon I did the hop on hop off bus. We went past Schindler's factory. His story was told in the Schindler's list movie



Old Soviet architecture



Bacon the pig also had a good day http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...8#post24724948

And finally me contemplating the meaning of life, or was I worried that the glass is almost empty?



My atlas shows me that Krakow is the furtherest east I go. Tomorrow I turn north west and start the ride back to London.
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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds. Explore. Dream. Discover.H Jackson Brown
Europe trip 2014 http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=971014

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Old 07-29-2014, 11:31 AM   #382
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Yes that is Mike, getting his Katoom loaded

Get some nice Pic from Berlin, and keep us posted
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Old 07-30-2014, 09:29 AM   #383
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Krakow to Wroclaw (both Poland)

A good day on the bike, if I had stayed on the autobahn it would have been 270 km, approx 2 hours 30. So I rode out of Krakow on the autobahn and then turned off and set the GPS to avoid toll roads and for the shortest route.

That led to a scenic route through forests and vast agricultural plains (no I didn't ride that track)





Nice quiet roads



Cool statue in Wroclaw, they are on both sides of the intersection





Wroclaw is nice, the old town has beautiful buildings and is not crowded with tourists. Very hot in town though, at 5.20 it was 36c



Berlin tomorrow :-)
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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds. Explore. Dream. Discover.H Jackson Brown
Europe trip 2014 http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=971014
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Old 07-31-2014, 01:59 AM   #384
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Tomorrow I turn north west and start the ride back to London.
When do you get to London Mike? I can maybe meet for a beer or three depending on my work roster.
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:51 AM   #385
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When do you get to London Mike? I can maybe meet for a beer or three depending on my work roster.
Thank you Blacktiger :-)

The bike's green card runs out on Wednesday so that is the latest I can get it to the shipping agent.

I am not sure if I am staying in London, we have good friends near Oxford so I might stay there which will give me a chance to sort my gear out etc

I will let you know though.

Kiwi Mike
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:20 AM   #386
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Wow! So hot the pavement melted beneath the statues!
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:33 AM   #387
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Wroclaw to Berlin

Nothing flash with the ride today I was keen to get to Berlin so did the 340 kms all on the autobahn. It is interesting how slow 120 km/hr starts to feel when cars are going past so much faster.

Wouldn't you think countries would have a nice "welcome to xxx" sign versus these boring signs?



Spotted this Yamaha outside the hotel, interesting.



I had a quick look at some of the historical sites and are looking forward to more tomorrow.

Checkpoint Charlie, the best known crossing point between East and West Berlin during the Cold War. Check out the two Germans dressed in US Army uniform, you pay them to have a photo with them. Also look how close McDonalds is!



It is nice to see all the information about the history of the checkpoint, wall etc close by.

The wall isn't as high as I thought, although still to high to climb over!



Parts of the city have had major rebuilds since reunification. After all the old cities I have been in it is nice to see the modern buildings.



A reminder of WW2



Tomorrow i will continue to explore Berlin.
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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds. Explore. Dream. Discover.H Jackson Brown
Europe trip 2014 http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=971014
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:35 AM   #388
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Keep em coming Mike, thanks for taking us along
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Old 08-01-2014, 01:30 AM   #389
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Thank you Blacktiger :-)

The bike's green card runs out on Wednesday so that is the latest I can get it to the shipping agent.

I am not sure if I am staying in London, we have good friends near Oxford so I might stay there which will give me a chance to sort my gear out etc

I will let you know though.

Kiwi Mike
If you mean next Wednesday the 6th I'm working 6am to 3pm so looks like that's out. Oh well, hope evrything goes smoothly.
Pity you're not around the following week as the Great British Beer Festival is on in London so you'd be able to try lots of our warm(er) beer.
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Old 08-01-2014, 03:34 AM   #390
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Salt mine

Hey Mike, im a little dissapointed in you taking the lift out of the salt mine... And 800 stair? Wasn't that long ago when you'd have include that in a lunchtime run, and you'd look for a way to double back to do them a second time! All this riding really has made you soft.
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