The day will come when I will die. So the only matter of consequence before me is what I will do with my allotted time. I can remain on shore, paralyzed with fear, or I can raise my sails and dip and soar in the breeze.--Richard Bode

Friday, May 24, 2013

Heidelberg, Germany

Hi from Heidelberg, Germany

I am sitting at Stefan Knopf's place wishing the sun would come out (it is 45degrees F; 9 degrees C) and there is a cold, cold rain (Br.r.r.r.). But bad as it is for me, it is even worse for Stefan because he is trying to put a new roof on his house. Rain is terrible for roofing.

I got here yesterday, but my luggage has yet to arrive. I know that it is at the Frankfurt airport, and so is my nice, warm jacket and my sweater. The airline called here and talked with Stefan this afternoon while I was out exploring, and they told him they would deliver my luggge tomorrow. He says he got strict with them and told them it has to be today, but we will see about that. It is 8 pm now, and still no luggage.

I left the Evansville airport, close to where I live, two days ago. It was a short flight to Dallas, Texas, where I was to pick up my direct flight to Frankfurt, Germany.  But we had to circle for an hour while the Dallas airport waited for the thunderstorms to clear off the airport, and then the plane I was on had to land at another airport to get more fuel.  So, by the time I got to Dallas, my flight to Frankfurt was gone.

They did get me on a flight for London, England where I picked up a connecting flight to Frankfurt. I made those connections okay, but my luggage didn't.

I was excited to see Odysseus, my motorcycle, when I got here to Stefan's house. Odysseus was sitting in a big warehouse along with a lot of other motorcycles. This is just one of two or three warehouse where Stefan stores bikes for people from around the world.

Here is one of the bike riders.  This is Dean Tanji. He rides a Vstrom like mine. I didn't get pictures of any of the other people here because they left early this morning to go off exploring on their bikes. I took this picture of Dean while we were eating breakfast at Stefan's guest kitchen.

Here is a picture of Stefan's workshop.  I rolled Odysseus in there today and got his battery hooked back up and did some other odd jobs on him and changed his oil.
 He is all ready and eager to get rolling, Can you tell? (He is the handsome dude on the right.)

I went out to explore Heidelberg a little today. I had to do it by train and tram because my warm motorcycle clothing is in my lost luggage.

I went to see Heidelberg's famous castle up high over the town. I apologize for the poor quality of these pictures of Heidelberg I took from the walls of the castle. I had to use my IPhone camera. I do have my better camera with me, but its battery is (guess where ---).  Right.... in my luggage.

Here is a picture of the town of Heidelberg. Pretty, isn't it?

Heidelberg is just right for bicycles. There are separate bike paths everywhere that keep them away from cars and buses.  I love riding my own bicycle back home,  and would do it all the time if we had bike paths in Illinois like they do here. Everyone seems to ride here, from old people to the very young. They put their bikes right on the train to get to town, and then head off to do their shopping. Perfect.

I hope I will be able to start off exploring tomorrow. I will have to make at least one change in my plans. I had wanted to go ride some of the passes in the Alps, but I hear they are snowed in.  I think I will head for England instead. I have to be there for a Horizons Unlimited meeting in a week anyway, so I guess going that way now will work Okay.

Its going to be cold camping. Maybe I won't be able to do that. I think maybe I will try staying in youth hostels instead. I have done it before. They are clean and inexpensive and, most important right now, warm.

(A quick update: I ran out of battery on my laptop before I could post this blog, so now it is Friday morning and I am eating breakfast. And guess what--- my luggage is here! Stefan told me a few minutes ago that it arrived just after midnight. Now I am all set --- I have my warm clothing, my charging cords, my spare batteries. Now it can be cold (but not rainy please)

More later,