Wednesday, 31 August 2016

CZ16 - The Last Day (PD)

The last day. Breakfast where we had plenty plus bags to make a packed lunch. And plenty of coffee.
We were off in a slightly roundabout route back to the A3. I had to stop in one village as I had forgotten to put my glasses on.

From here it is difficult to remember the order of things. Ride. Petrol. Snack and repeat.

A little detour around a roundabout on the border with Belgium and France. It means that the eagle eyed men in black could spot terrorists... Yeah.

Some 411 miles later we arrived to the usual up-cock at Eurotunnel.  Long delays as the French cheked us OUT of their country and almost as long as we got back through British passport control.
Off to the train and on the quay when they decided we weren't going after all as a police car needed the carriage to itself.

It was impossible to go back and so we watched, four bikes and nine cars, as the next train loaded and buggered off. Shambles.

In the end we setoff almost an hour late. No apology for buggering about.

Instead of being home just after 1815 UK time it was nearer 1915.

It was over. After all that riding I needed a sit down!

So that was it for another two years.
2012 Le Mans 
2014 British MotoGP
2016 Czech
2018 ????

The total mileage for me on Trip 2 turned out to 1767.3 miles. Over the course of the week the miles per gallon ranged from 44.09 to a high of 54.52. The highest was on the section through Germany to Zolder in Belgium.

CZ16 - Day 5/6 - (PD)

Our last evening in Brno.  We have been invited to a meal with Jiri in Ostrovacice and so we piled in Lilka's car and headed off. They had cleared up pretty well and there was hardly a sign of the signage for the GP circuit as we went past. Just the darned roadworks blocking the nearby entrance to the D1.

Jiri's new house he is building is a tech marvel with electronic controls and an eco roof.  The former way over my head.

We had a great time and then headed, full up, back to bed.

On Monday morning we hopped in the car and head to Bystrc to an oplatky specialist where I could buy a few boxes to bring home for us to eat, some for work and some for Claire's friend in Hythe.

Then we packed up. Posed for photos and were off.

Our first petrol stop was only a few yards up the road from Lilka's and as I had a lot of crowns I paid cash.  I still had a lot of crowns.  Our route back was pretty much similar to the way we had come except we strayed off the S20 to the north of Pisek and that's where things got messy.  A brief ride up S3 then a left onto S19.  

There were signs to say a bridge over the Vltava, Ždákovský most, was closed but we were certain there would be a marked diversion.  As it happened there wasn't. Cars in every direction trying to work out where the heck to go.  After a about 30 minutes we reset the TomTom for Pribram and off we went in a northerly direction around a lake formed by the Vltava and a dam, to Orlik. The road here was cobble city idaho for miles and miles before we once again joined S19 to the other side of the downed bridge.  

It was here we saw a marked diversion to Tabor, where we had just come from off S3!!  We had another petrol and lunch stop just short of Pribram. I used up some change buying some drink and wafers (oplatky) to take home. Still have some.

Once on the D5 near Plzen we upped the pace to try and recover the lost 50 minutes on the diversion and the fact it was already 4.30pm at the lunch stop.

We arrived at Zum Grunen Baum about 1930!  Here we had single rooms for €30 each complete with bathroom and wifi. Free parking outside.  

The restaurant was open and we ate in with a beer, one for me and two for Neill!  

And then to bed.  Day 7 would be a long long day in the saddle across Germany, Belgium and France to the Tunnel.

Monday, 29 August 2016

CZ16 - Day 5 - Raceday (PD)

Up early and the weather had turned. From about 3am it had been raining. It was still raining as we had breakfast and then set off to get the bus.

This time not wearing shorts and t-shirt but full bike waterproofs and boots. We were equipped with borrowed umbrellas.

We decided to cut the trek and view from the bank  at G. I think the hill is the one called Horsepower Hill. We had a good spot right at the top where it was flat and then at times had to defend from people that think standing an inch from you is acceptable.  Maybe on a Tokyo subway train, just maybe!

It rained through warm-up and to the start of the MotoGP race.  This benefited the British racers as Scottish rider John McPhee won Moto3 by a country mile, Sam Lowes finished third in Moto2 and inspired tyre choice saw Cal Crutchlow in the MotoGP race from Valentino Rossi (hurrah)  and Mark Marquez (boo-hiss).

We sang the National Anthem twice on the day. Pity the other British were too ignorant to join in.

As Red Bull Rookies started we had a wander and as part of the thank you gift, we bought Tomas a GP16 baseball cap.

The bus ride back wasn't as bad as the way up. No 45 minutes of travel chaos caused by police not enforcing the bus lane to the circuit. So on the way back we weren't sweating in non aircon buses whilst wearing full gear!!

We needed a shower and change before heading out to Jíři's house for bbq and look at the house he is building....

Wrapped up against the cold and wet

CZ16 - Day 4 (PD)

Saturday morning and Lilka had made a huge breakfast. 

We ate that and then got ready and set off for the bus stop up the road.

We had agreed that when we came back we would take Lilka,  Jarek and Tomas to dinner and maybe a little wine tasting at Pavlov.

The authorities put on free buses from the city centre to the circuit every ten to fifteen minutes and we got lucky.

Within ten minutes we were in the circuit and looking for viewing area C.

In the end we found the tunnel and then the long walk to C. It was pretty packed by the time we got there but we found a square where we could set up camp for the day.

The weather was really hot.  I was glad I had liberally covered myself in Factor 50.

Without a camera the photos I took came out pretty shitty or a bit distant.

After qualifying we trudged back to the buses and were lucky enough to get the next one out and back in the house in ten minutes.

We needed a wash'n'brush up before going out. Lilka had made a gulash soup and we had a bowl before getting ready.

We all bundled into Jarek's car and headed out to Brno first and then to a restaurant. I had ribs. See pic!

We spent a little too long on Brno but Neill got to see something of the city.

Before we could react Jarek was up and paid the bill. We had to have a plan.

From the restaurant we headed south to Pavlov.  The journey extended by roadworks.  We flew past the old town hall where I thought we were going. It's where Claire and I  went with them in 2011. Instead we stopped outside a new looking building called Venuse.

We had a wine tasting. In the cellar were 65 different wines from the local villages sorted by village, then from dry to sweet.

I managed 23 before I gave up. Each time drink at most a half inch in the glass. Neill was way ahead in the 30's. We decided that to get a chance to pay we would buy Lilka's favourite wines and then give them to her on Monday before we left.

I had already brought two bottles of English wine from the Chapel Down Vineyard in Kent. It was locked in a pannier and wrapped in bubble wrap and a travel blanket.

At least that plan worked.

We got back pretty late and went straight to bed.

Tomorrow is race day

CZ16 - Day 3 (PD) Pt2

I had emailed Jíři from Písek to give a rough idea of our arrival time. Luckily it wasn't too far off and as we approached the old town, they were there to meet us.

Sadly for about the third or fourth time of visiting we were unable to get in as this year there was a folk festival in the square!

We parked and walked in. I needed a coffee and whilst we had a drink, Neill and his camera went for a walk.  I took a few pictures on my phone. Despite owning a few cameras, I didn't bring one on this trip. Space was at a premium.

From Telč with Jíři leading on his Ducati  848 Streetfighter and Tomas bring up the rear on his Suzuki SV650 we had a spirited 80kms ride to Lilka's.

After a few hairpins over the last few days I has remarked how the Rocket hadn't touched down. Forget that now.  Both sides have the hero blobs shaved down.

We arrived at almost 7.45pm after a detour at Třebic sent us into the country on roads I had never encountered before.

Lilka and Jarek had got beer ready for us plus a sit down dinner with sausages!  I do like my Czech sausage!

We were both tired and with the plan to get up and go to qualifying the next morning we slunk off to bed.

The photos are all Telč.

CZ16 - Tag 3 (PD) Pt1

3. Tag begann mit einem Frühstück im Hotelrestaurant.

After the night we had it was an earlyish start. I don't have much of appetite in the morning but did manage a roll or two. Neill managed more.  I do like a coffee though.  The machine made it to my liking. Luckily.

Today's opening visits were planned by Neill.

Firstly the Nazi Congress Hall - - and then around to the Zeppelin Field.

I did have my photo on the stage where Adolf addressed the masses at the Rallies, but unlike the guy in front of me, I didn't make any hand gestures.....

The last Nazi stop was to the Burger King that is housed in the old power station. Check out the photos and see if you can see where the eagle was!

From here the route was to the autobahn across the border into the Czech Republic as far as Plzen. Then off there to avoid the motorway road works nearer Prague and along the D1 to Brno.

The idea was to use Silnice (S) 20 and the S23 for most of its length to Brno, or at least to my friend Lilka's house in Popuvky.

The first stop was Pisek for a petrol stop. I had planned a stop a little further on but instead we went to an adjacent McDonald's as they have free WiFi.

We didn't have lunch, well a McFlurry and a drink.

The roads in ČR were very good and put those in Kent to shame. Smooth tarmac perfect for motorcycling.

There were many trucks and overtaking was a study in concentration and speed. Some of the Czech drivers have a more death or glory system of overtaking and it seems to have worked successfully for most.

The plan was to arrive at Telč - a UNESCO site - and meet Jíři and Tomas in the square and after coffee ride to Popuvky.

More to follow.

CZ16 - Day 2 (PD) Pt2

From Heidelberg we headed along the Castles Route. As before most were very difficult to see or stop at.

The TomTom route took us to Rothenburg an der Tauber. Here we took a small detour to see if we could get some scenic pix.

We arrived at a gatehouse with some one way system that looked like chaos would ensue in England but the locals managed it seemlessly.

We took some photos before we got back on the road to our second overnight stop in the B&B Hotel in the city centre.

The hotel was easy enough to find right outside the city walls.

We were able to park in back of the hotel.

Once washed and dressed we set off in search of a beer and some nosh.

This proved more difficult than expected as the kiosks seemed to do food but not beer. Times must have changed.  Once we got a beer it was then too late for the sausage stands.  Seems they shut up around 8pm!

After some walking we found a bar with ouside seating. We opted to eat in. Once we had ordered our schnitzels and beers Neill noticed that there weren't many women clientele, there was one. And some of the blokes were very close and cuddly. Didn't affect the food or beer.

Back at the hotel and on WiFi we Googled it. Confirming it was a gay bar.  Another experience in life.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

CZ16 - Day 2 (PD) Pt1

After a pretty good night's kip and breakfast, we set off southwards towards Heidelberg and the Castles Route.

To describe it as a nightmare might be too extreme but the roads were packed and we made hardly any progress.  In hindsight the autobahn for the first leg would have been better.

The stop in Heidelburg found us parked on the side of the Neckar river a few hundred yards from the scenc bridge. We walked up into the university square and into a kind of rec building where we bought an ice cream. Here the Burg or castle is high up overlooking the town.

They have a funicular to get to it.  We gave that a miss and expended a few megabytes on some pix of it (poor) and some other scenic bits.

Scenic,  like the bridge and the weird sculpture!

I also saw they had a branch of Claire's favourite shop - Käthe Wohlfahrt. Didn't go in just took a pic.

Next stop Rothenburg an der Tauber......

Friday, 26 August 2016

CZ16 - Day 1 (PD)

I was up early and shuffled the cars about to get the Rocket out of the garage.

I had fitted the Saddlemen bag the night before and ut was just a matter of popping my sponge bag in one of the pockets.

A quick top up of petrol in Hythe and I was at the Shuttle terminal in time to meet Neill who was already there.

After picking up the Czech cash from Travelex we were off. Almost a miracle in that the train was almost on time leaving.

The ride to the first overnight near Frankfurt would be a mile crunching motorway trip.

Neill had planned the route pretty extensively including petrol stops. Off motorway where possible where they are cheaper. 

We finally arrived at the hotel about 1730 and checked in.

The NH Frankfurt Airport West as it says is near the airport and also pretty much next to a railway line. Incredibly, the hotel was pretty soundproofed.

Once we changed we needed to get out for something to eat and a beer or two.

The hotel is in a small town called Raunheim. The first few places were shut and we walked further along to find a beer. The first being very well received.

A further walk revealed a restaurant where we could eat and have a beer. Perfect.