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

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Heading down to Morocco

Hi Everyone--

It has been a long, long time since I posted to this blog. I have been at home in Illinois all winter except for a trip up to Wyoming to see family there. Now it is April and I am on my way down to Morocco. This is something I had planned to do last summer, but I got to Europe too late in the season and decided that Morocco would be too hot when I got there, I decided to go to Norway instead. This year, though, since it is early April it certainly does not seem like it will be too hot at all in Morocco-- at least it is not too hot so far traveling down through Western Europe.

I started my trip this summer in Heidelberg where I keep my VStrom motorcycle. My bike was all ready for me when I get there. I had a lot of work done on it during the winter while I was in Illinois: new spark plugs and coolant and tires and other things.

From Heidelberg, I rode west on a German autobahn, going up through Cologne and over to Holland. My destination for that first night was to see my daughter, Jessica, and my son-in-law, Renaud, at their house in Enschede, Holland, where Renaud is working on his PhD. It was a long, cold trip getting to their house from Heidelberg, and I was so happy to get to Jessica's and Renaud's house for a nice long visit.

Here is a picture of their house on Easter Sunday. They had a big party for some of their friends. It was marvelous, and, even better, it was sunny and warm.

Easter Sunday was one of the few warm and sunny days I was to enjoy for the next couple of weeks. I left the next day and started down though Belgium and France, heading toward Spain. The ride was day after long day of misty cold rain coupled with very high winds. I was so glad each night when I could stop. There was absolutely nothing to write about, and thus no pictures to show.

And so, I got to Spain. The parts of Spain I have been passing through so far have been a little boring (and very cold), but today the weather turned off nice and sunny and warm. I stopped in a tiny Spanish village and wandered around, taking pictures.

I really like these little villages. There are tiny medieval streets to walk, and shops selling local things: honey and hats and so forth. What do you think of these shoes?

I don't know if they sell many shoes like these, but there are lots of other items to buy. The people in the town sampled me with nuts to try. The nuts were really good.

It is early in the season so there were not many tourists around. I could walk these streets for hours taking pictures. I wish I had a really good camera with me.

Spain seems to have plenty of mountains. I guess they are everywhere. I am told Spain is the most mountainous country in Europe -- not that it has huge mountains like Switzerland, but that it has a lot of mountains.  My route coming south today took me on a beautiful mountain road.

I am hoping there will be many more roads like this as I continue to ride south.

I do like mountain roads.

I am told that in the past children seldom left their valleys to marry. There must have been a lot of inbreeding back then. Now, though, the towns have grown and Spain is very modern. It is also quite inexpensive. I have been eating for far less than it costs in the rest of Europe.  Speaking of eating -- it is 9:30 at night now, so it is time to go get an evening meal. Walking around at night is really, really pretty.

So, adios for now. I will try to post an update again in a few days.


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