Hello again. Sorry for the delay. Since i last wrote from Frankfurt a lot has happened although not many kilometers have been travelled. We left Neu Isenburg looking for a tyre shop in the rain, and went about 60km before we found one that sold 'all types' of tyres, and fitted them very fast, once we had paid cash up front.
We were hungry for lunch so walked a few hundred meters along a country road from the tyre shop and found a bistro that was closed. Inside was the new (1 week) owner Helger. Helger kindly agreed to let us in and made us some rolls for lunch. Upone learning we were exploring and heading to Switzerland, he wrote out a suitable intinerary, through the Alsace region of France, where it would be pleasant to ride (he has a Fireblade). With shiny new Michelins fitted we bade him goodbye (and invited him to Perth), setting out for France in light rain.
The border was, of course worthy of a photo stop. Even though I had been inot France at Dunkerque previously, here it felt more French. The architecture and general feeling of the countryside seemed to change almost instantly as we travelled. Our route was roughly: Biche, Pirmasens, Strasbourg, Selestat. Shying away from the suspect leaky tent in the inclement weather we stayed in hotels in Pirmasens and Selestat.
In Selestat we had a hotel seeking adventure. Riding into town after 9.00 pm most places were closed. The GPS lead us to a restaurant/hotel in the town centre, from where Sandi was directed towards another hotel sign down the narro street. No-one was answering her knocking when a half naked man leaned out of a second floor window accross the street, indicating in fluent French we should try a house at the end of the street. There sandi found a lady who spoke no English but understood Joondalup sign language and offered us the most authentic French hotel room, along with a lockup garage for the Ducati and dinner! We both reaaly enjoyed getting 'off the beaten track' as it were, in provicial France and experiencing a little of the lifestyle.
Wednesday morning saw us heading for Colmar and drawn toward the wine region and mountains there. in the Selestat hotel we had found brochures to Haut Koenigsbourg (a famous Chateau) and it seemed like a good idea to have a look at it. Following the GPS directions to Orschwiller, I rode through the village back streets until I found a bakerie, where we stopped and ate breakfast standing in the street alongside the motorcycle.
The 'GB' on the bike drew the attention of Christiaan, who introduced us to the history and culture of the village and region, before inviting us to her house where we would return later for a glass of Alsace Treminar, traditional light yeast cake and an enjoyable afternoon chat.
The Chateau was very crowded but well worth the entry fee to experience the French style of fortress castle building. Afterwards it was back to Christiaan's place where we relaxed most of the afternoon, sharing stories. We feel we have gained another international friend an hope it's not too Long before we can welcome her and her family into Western Australia.
At about 5.00 pm we realized we had not ridden far that day so set off south east towards Bad Krozingen (Germany), famous for its hot springs, but where we were too lazy to do much more than relax in another hotel and enjoy Greek Cuisine.
Today we have made a little distance and as the map show, I write this from Basel, another city set on the banks of the Rhine. We were surprised by the border guard who beckoned us into the country with a very bored expression and no interest whatsoever in checking us out in any way.
We have obtained our free maps, walked part of the city centre, and now we are off into the alps, travelling via Lucerne. Sorry there are no pic's today, we have taken plenty, but have left the card reader back on the bike about a kilometer accross the city. In fact that's our next immediate challenge - to find our way back to the bike!
See you soon.