Thursday, 6 September, 2012 Berlin, Germany to Calais, France (601 miles) Total Trip Miles – 13,006. 10.5 hrs hours riding
Weather Temperature mostly sunny in the upper 60’s with a mix of sun & clouds…a perfect riding day
Woke up at 5 am and worked on the blog, reviewed some emails and took one of the most civilized showers in quite a few weeks…I was amazed at the amount of Siberian dirt & grime that washed off me this morning. Over the last few weeks I’ve either gone without a shower, sponged bathed or showered in a very small spot that was difficult at best to wash and rinse. The Weinmeister Hotel offered a small closet-sized shower completely tiled with a huge shower head…I also shaved for the first time in a couple of weeks – was starting to look a lot like Santa Claus and it just wasn’t working for me.
Getting back to blogging…it takes about an hour per blog since you often have difficulties logging into a hotels wi-fi for various reasons – each have unique login requirements for one. Sometimes I simply forget to write down my end mileage for the day which means I throw on some clothes and run out to check the bike…many times I’ve simply fallen asleep only to lose what I had written…anyhow, I’ve enjoyed keeping all of you updated on my progress – it’s cool to be connected!
Decided to go ahead and pay for breakfast since it wasn’t included in the price of the room, but it did offer a wide range of options with mostly a more European flair – sliced meats, cheeses, fruits, breads, soft boiled eggs and the like. It was this morning that I truly realized just how tired I was after being so relaxed listening to the overhead hotel music and enjoying a nice breakfast…riding 12 – 15 hours a day and sleeping on average of about 4 – 5 hours each night had finally caught up to me I guess. With the morning sun shining on me, I beleive I could have just stayed a few more days in Berlin.
The mass of stainless steel in the pictures is the hotel’s parking garage…by far the most sophisticated system I’ve ever seen. Once I pushed the button for my ticket to enter, there were a number of security features set into motion. The first were these metal pylons that retracted into the floor allowing me to proceed followed by another metal garage door. Once inside the secure garage area, a light began to blink requesting that I scan my ticket which then informed me my bin location and corresponding steel door.
After opening the door, the car that was in my space totally retracted below the surface and an empty surface for my bike appeared. After pulling my bike into the bin and closing the door, the bike went underground and out of sight….crazy engineering!
Sorry for no pictures of the landscape today, but the entire trip was on super, high speed freeways. In the Germany, there were no posted speed limits, only a recommended speed of 130 kph which is about 80 mph…beleive me there were cars passing in the left lane at speeds well in excess of 100 mph – they were rocketing by in mostly late model luxury sedans like BMW, Mercedes and the like.
Today’s travel took me through Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France…couldn’t help but think of all the history in the region and how much I’d like to stay longer and see some of the historical sites.
Arrived in Calais at 7:30 pm and found a small hotel that works well for me…offering a restaurant & bar – what else does a fella from NC far from home need. To further celebrate & commerorate reaching Calais, a Jack Daniels on the rock was in order for the evening…great to have something from so close to home.
Did take a look at the ferry schedule online and it appears one leaves every 15 minutes with 90 or so crossings daily…can’t imagine having any issues getting me and the bike aboard sometime in the morning bound for Folkestone, England. To assure my bike ships out with me on the plane on Monday to Montreal, I am required to deliver it sometime tomorrow for shipping.
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