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Thread: Round 4: Another Ramble

  1. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuftywhite View Post
    So the Czech Republic haven't run out of beer then?

  2. #66
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    'All I want for Christmas is a Dukla Prague Away Kit'

    Prague is sure wasted on groups of pissed English lads in dresses. FFS.. can't you just go to Blackpool??

    What struck me about the city last night.. well I was amazed at the amount of seedy and generally suspicious looking people there were loitering or milling around. For anyone with any kind of 'street smarts' Prague after dark is one great mahoosive great warning sign. An endless supply of very sketchy and really dodgy looking folk. And you only need whip out your camera for a quick picture.. And then the neon 'Tourist' light would come on above your head.. and you could feel yourself pulling them in, like you possessed some sort of offal tractor beam.

    I slept oddly last night. I had a couple of migrane style headaches, very brief but quite painful. I haven't experienced anything like that a long time. Not pleasant. But I feel OK in the morning and raring to go to see the sights

    Prague is just visually stunning. Architectually breathtaking.. Quite, quite beautiful.



    It's the city of a million cameras. Never seen so many happy snappers..



    That said I'd put me in that category. Can't stop taking pictures!



    The musical variety of Prague..



    Jawa ahoy..



    Blimey.. is it nearly Chrimbo already..?



    The smart view is that as not to take cabs from those hawking in the street in Prague. I can't think why. This fellow in black stage rear and his blacked out window 300 Mercedes look the height of respectability, no? He had Dark Sunglasses too. I dared not take a blatant photo, he gave me the fear



    Ah, the sights of the old town..



    .. the Astronomical Clock..



    .. skiffle in the old town square..



    And here's the fuzz. Got a feeling they're kept busy..



    I refuel at Starbuck's with some vanilla bullshit and continue my ramble around the town.

    Stopping for a sticker..



    Tat is not a problem in Prague..



    One of the stores here has an extensive range of 'Newham' branded Varsity gear. I'm not aware of this part of the London's academic excellence; barely of its existence. I did used to drink in the bar at the North East London Polytechnic in Barking a long time ago though. I couldn't help but laugh about it, to think of the aspiration to hang around Plaistow tube station. I was sort of tempted to buy something as a gag, but it would have been an expensive one, so cash will be saved for other tat.



    Wenceslas Square. More of a rectangle, mind..



    My my, we've come a long, long way from the Estelle 130..



    Your actual obligatory Tram Shot..



    The Charles Bridge..



    .. All very pretty..



    .. as are the views from there..


    ..


    The John Lennon Wall.. What a peaceful place. I linger for a good half an hour..


    ..

    ..


    Time for some suitable sounds. My Lennon/Legend album isn't on this phone, so I make do with something else..


    ..


    A young lad from Japan rolls up and plays 'Imagine' on the mandolin. It's all very sweet and I congratulate him, he seems a tad embarrassed, bless. Should have filmed it

    That tops off a terrific morning.

    Onwards and upwards. No really upwards, going up to the castle.

    Tempting..



    Mmmmm..



    Terrific architechure, squares, spires.. just everywhere..



    I resist the pull of food and beer to go to the Castle



    Very pleased to be here even though I probably don’t exactly look it..



    View of the city from the castle..



    It's a fair way back down..



    Young ladies collar the guards for a piccy..



    Who is that good lookin' fella with the camera then?



    Museum of Young Art..



    Oh, and by the way.. I do actually look for a Dukla Prague shirt, by the way. I can find Liverpool, Chelsea etc.. No local teams.. Not even Sparta! What!?

    More temptation. Something has to give!



    Sorry.. Had to



    My pedometer registers 17,000 steps today. I'm knackered. I go back to the hotel and have a nap. I sleep to past nine in the evening and so can't be bothered to go out. The hotel bar is quite nice so I stop for one of these. Kozel, eh? Didn't know they did a dark. I know they do a light, and that's pretty tasty. Dark gets the thumbs up, too




  3. #67
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    Great report. Pics of Berlin brings back some good memories of time spent there

  4. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by geordie156 View Post
    Great report. Pics of Berlin brings back some good memories of time spent there
    Cheers

    Yup.. and Berlin.. awesome

  5. #69
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    Prague to Bad Bernach im Fichtelgebirge

    I slept better last night. No migranes. Relief.

    Breakfast and then back to the tarmac then.

    There's a party of folks from the good ol' US of A at breakfast. They're regailing stories- one had to pay 300 CZK for a taxi ride around the corner (About £10) one of them got charged 400 CZK for a bottle of water

    I pack up the bike and am down in the garage getting ready. The porter (having played no part aside pressing the button to open the door) is hanging around and clearly angling for a tip, worst thing is he's really distracting me in quite an irritating fashion whilst I'm trying to sort a couple of bits out, I think partly on purpose to get me to cough up. I have hardly any Czech cash, but I do have a £5 note from the Bailiwick of Guernsey that I keep in my dummy second wallet following a vist there in 2004, so I give that to this dummy and he finally goes away. Good luck with that one then old chap.

    The weather is pleasant outside, 8 degrees no less. Toasty, toasty.

    I've decided to do a little further souvenir hunting before I leave. Yes, I really am shopping for that Dukla Prague shirt..



    Good old Half Man, Half Biscuit. I really must dig out my copy of 'Back in the DHSS' to relive other classics such as '99% of gargoyles look like Bob Todd'. A classic album.

    I find the ground after a twenty minute ride out of the centre. No shop at the ground though.



    Where could it be?



    They're having a bit of redevelopment here at Dukla. There's a little man in a hut on the gate. He speaks no English, but he understands what I want after a time and a few fun moments. He makes a few phone calls. The shop is not here. He draws me a very useful little map.



    So much for that. I can't find the place. I go around and around. But I'm sort of determined to find it- bee in the old bonnet and all that.

    It is an awful lot of sodding around. Eventually I find it. It is on the second floor of a virtually anonymous building. The woman in the office there was curious to see me. She'd been warned from the ground of some lunatic on a motorbike who is searching for her. She speaks good English and is very welcoming. 'Yes, we do sell some of these shirts to English visitors, we don't really know why' she said. I consider trying to explain, but I've lost enough time already today so I just opt to smile and say 'Ah'.

    It's roughly at this point I realise I've no Czech money, only Eurobobs, which are no use here. This isn't exactly a shop- no cards either. Ah indeed. So I return again twenty five minutes later and make my purchase.

    Treasure. Oh, and that's the 'club shop' behind. Not exactly the Arsenal Megastore, but then again I can't stand Premier League football and all it represents these days, so this would be exactly my speed.



    After the morning of general daftness I'm back heading West. By now, its 1pm and wherever I'm going I need to get to it. I do about an hour and a half, but I'm thwarted by numerous diversions and what not. Going nowhere fast.

    And still, like a child distracted by a balloon, I head into the town of Krusovice, and I know what that means. It'll mean a stop.



    Ale. Quite.

    Distracted I was indeed.. remember I said about the tag for the key? It works, trust me.



    My last remaining loose pennies of Czechbobs buy me this:



    And I rummage even deeper and manage to fund another tin. Packing space is now somewhat limited..



    Second thoughts lets give them a real shove into the bag

    Onwards. Odd random sight. Didn't realise they had a Czech office?



    OK lets go. Fast road. Motorway. That'll do.



    And the 'motorway' lasts for about 10km before it becomes two way, very busy and full of Czech racers trying to get home.

    Better news is though that I have a great Sausage Roll at an OMV petrol station at Karlowy Vary. Two gentlemen of the local constabulary arrive and inspect the bike. I get appreciative nods, I presume I'm 'hard core' now
    I congratulate myself on the decision not to have a Krusovice themed top box roof rack and get back to the road.



    After another hour or so I'm crossing back in Deutschland.



    Quite a nice evening and there are worse places to be..



    Bad news though. I start to get another bloody headache, so lickety split I get some mobile internet and find a hotel. The hotel I opt to stay at turns out to be overbooked, so I'm marched down a hill, to another hotel and up three flights of stairs to my new dwellings. 'Come back to my hotel for your meals. We will buy you a beer to say thanks'. Too kind..

    After a shower and a decent lie down the headache subsides. I go back to the original place to dine as it seemed far, far nicer and, you know, I'm jolly glad that I do. There are profuse apologies on behalf of the booking.com cock up. The beer is very good indeed and the food is even better.

    A splendid pfeffersteak, with a rich peppery red wine and onion gravy which was well.. just top class.



    .. 'Apricot Dumplings' and Ice Cream. Oh yes.



    Let me tell you this dunkel tasted as good as it looks. Oh, and it was only 1,30 Euros for a big glass.



    Back down the hill to Gasthof #2, up the bloody Zugspitze, off to zzzzzzzz..


  6. #70
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    There's a party of folks from the good ol' US of A at breakfast. They're regailing stories- one had to pay 300 CZK for a taxi ride around the corner (About £10) one of them got charged 400 CZK for a bottle of water
    i was finding out how much the menu on the wall for 190k was

    then you said that

    farkin ell 14 quid for water - merkins mwhahahahahahaha (or am i bad )

    headache not too bad hopefully

    dukla yay

    eintrach frankfurt next

  7. #71
    Son of Ah Knah Yee Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    After a day encased in waterproofs (of the non-motorcycling variety) that is a rather enjoyable interlude...
    ...now, is me Budwar chilled yet......

    PUI since 2004


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  8. #72
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    Migraines

    Rob that'll be all that dark beer you seem to consume get yourself some migraleve from a chemist or the like ,so homeward bound is it ??

  9. #73
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    Bad Bernach im Fichtelgebirge to Motten

    Sleep rated as 4/10. Head feels alright as it happens this morning though. Tad tired though. Pack up, down stairs, up hill, pack bike.

    Breakfast back at Gasthof #1. Actually very good and I'm made a generous portion of eggs and (sort of) bacon. Very nice too. I think the poor frau is still feeling bad about the mistakes of the t'interweb. I take my time and don't get away from the breakfast table until after 10.30.

    It's gotten cold ovenight. Noting the Icy bits (sorry, dodgy phone pic). Ah. Gulp.



    Seriously easy does it then shall we. The good part is that it does get warmer rapidly as I descend a little out of Bad Bernach, and fairly sharpish the temperature is a couple up below zero. That is very good news. It starts to rain. Not so good news for the rain, but it isn't sleet or snow I suppose. Leaves, shite and lots of construction filth covers the back roads. But I'm dry, warm and currently don’t feel like someone is hitting me on the head with a brick. Winner.

    A decent enough morning of riding and the fresh air is lovely. The temperature climbs to a balmy 4 degrees. I go through lovely little towns, one of which Sesslach https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=Se%...rmany&t=m&z=11 a terrific small walled town with a little sqaure and tempting looking Gasthofs. Favourite location added to the Zumo for a later date.

    I stop for a coffee and a bun at the tail end of lunchtime.



    Smashing- just the ticket..



    The locals are very friendly indeed, every customer greets me and says hello.

    Bike needs a wash..



    I don't get very far today though. Blasted headaches are back again. Nurofen doesn't seem to be helping so much. I get onto the the internet and just find somewhere close.

    I find what looks to be a suitable place 20km up the A7 Autobahn which is close by. I zip along at 130kph to knock off the km's quick as I can. Hotel is found.

    Not many miles today. Pathetic show.

    I go straight to bed at 6pm with a thumping head. I just fling my gear off and clean my contacts, have a quick clean of the teeth and that's that. I get off to sleep but the owner of the hotel phones my room at 8.45 to tell me the kitchen was closing. Considerate I suppose, but I didn't want dinner and now I can't sleep. It also occurs to me that the room stinks of fecking smoke and I never noticed that before. Cold in here too. The Wi-Fi is Lo-Fi, bordering on No-Fi. Miffed. Not all the travel tales are gems of fun

  10. #74
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    Motten to Hoek van Holland

    The plan tonight was to meet some friends of mine in Frankfurt for a decent Saturday night out, have a meal, get generally squiffy and have a good time, after which I'd be heading North. But I've got a bad head again this morning and last night in the early hours it was dreadful. So I don't think it a good idea and I've decided to pull the plug and just get home.

    The alarm is set for 7.30, or at least I think it is, until I find myself sitting up in bed and having a scratch at a quarter to nine just a bit confused. My best couple of hours of sleep in my little ashtray were the ones immediately before and after when I should have woken up.

    Odd. I feel like I've got a hangover without the beer.

    I go downstairs. I'l l get coffee and juice and we'll call that breakfast for today, I don't feel like eating. The owner is there. Last night when I checked in he'd said '38 Euros, ok?' to which I'd said fine, before he marched me up to the Senior Service suite.

    He then produces the booking.com document and says that 'Ah, the cost is actually 47 Euros. I didn't see this last night, I would have given you a much better room. But I must charge you this.' I tell him 'best of luck with that' and go and sit down. Cheeky sod.

    By the time I get packed and go back to pay (for a minute I just though of fecking off) he's not around but his burly waitress has printed off an A4 invoice with a bill for 38 Euros. I had already sorted out the exact money so was ready to say stuff it. No need though. I pay up and off we go no fuss.

    Heading North West is kind of strange using fastest route. It zig zags far to west and then north on the Zumo almost at a right angle, obviously routing to Autobahn as fastest. I can't do that all day, so I make my way directly North West blighty bound and we'll see how we go.

    Criss crossing Deutschland..



    It’s a decent ride; a quiet Saturday morning in the hills. The roads are damp, but it is warmer.. all good stuff. The head is clear and I manage a couple of enjoyable hours before deciding to have a pit-stop.

    I pull in at a McDonald's for an apple pie and a coffee. I recall a recent thread on here with many folks expressing a disdain for the place. I can't remember my last visit at home but on the road abroad they can be a proper little oasis. Now I know you would not want to navigate the globe using them in totality, but they are useful in their place. The food, well.. 'meh' to that, but a bun is good.. when its cold outside the hot apple pie is hotter than the sun, the coffee is OK, and the fishburger is alright. Plus, you can download the locations and stuff them in your Zumo so you can always find them and drop in with minimal fuss. You get free Wi-Fi, even in Germany now. And not forgetting, the la pièce de résistance of the motorcycling visit, the McTrap (TM). Yessir, clean lavvys, with an hourly seal of approval from a local student.



    Of course, we know that proper rufty-tufty adventure motorcyclists live to curl one out in a ditch by the side of the road before camping out and cooking their hedgehog. Each to their own

    The aforementioned Wi-Fi is used, and after a short browse at options I book a ticket on the Stena Hook of Holland ferry back to Harwich. I did like it on the way out. Fair way to go still but it'll be a decent stop tonight and a simple ride home tomorrow.

    Sad to be going home. I'm..



    ..Füchtorf.. to say the least (Note to camera operator: use zoom)

    After a bit more rural stuff and a fill up courtesy of Aral we're soon on to the Autobahn. I switch from music to podcasts, they're proving a real boost for me when the riding is boring. One Danny Baker's 5-live Saturday morning show and we're carving through Cologne on the motorway at a rate of knots. The traffic is very heavy and there's lots to watch out for. We break clear of the city but and before too long there's a final leg stretch before crossing over to Holland at 4.30pm. The light goes off and it starts to rain. It rains harder, the dutch traffic is difficult and impatient, but I press on.

    My sole transit stop in Holland is on the motorway. I stop at a Shell Garage, I need some sweeties, my mouth is like the bottom of a hamster cage. It's pouring of rain outside and I'm bundled up, snug as a bug in a rug, so I don't de-kit. I patiently queue up with my packet of mentos. I present them on the plate with my 2 eurobobs. The spotty fella just looks at me. I look at him. Time passes. After a good thirty seconds he makes a gesture at me to take off my helmet. Oh please. What, now? 'I haven't bought any petrol, I've queued here for five minutes, this is not a stick up, I just want mentos'. The two euro piece and the mentos wait on the tray, motionless.

    I can virtually hear the whistling piece from 'A fistful of dollars' before drawing the guns.. who is going to blink first?

    He makes more hat off gestures, I look blankly. Eventually he gives in and I'm given my change.

    I should have taken off my helmet and revealed my new storm boy balaclava with my eyes poking through to see what the poor kid would have done. That would have been a good gag, but I wasn't for fiddling around with my noggin given present circumstances.

    Holland is supposed to be a small country, isn't it? But it feels like it goes on forever. The traffic is mad, it's raining hard and there are a lot of roadworks with a lot of standing water.

    All said I do Ok though.. I get to the Hook of Holland port at just gone 7pm and see the sign pointing to 'Engeland'.



    I completed two Danny Baker shows and a Radio 4 Friday Night Comedy pod which all finished on the final road in to the port. Handy. Very useful, those pod herberts, they certainly help stem the boredom of those motorway miles.
    The check in opens minutes after I draw up. I'm through and on the boat in ten minutes. The biking gods were on my side.. a nice end to a long day.

    The good ol' bike is moored up..



    ..and it definitely needs a wash.

    On the ferry I decide to have something to eat so I go to the posh restaurant. I'm not sure if its not all that, or I just am switched off to food, but I don't really enjoy it. The service is particularly considerate though. I'm definitely a convert to Stena line

    As I'm finishing one of the officers comes in and says to the manager of the restaurant to take all of the glassware off of the tables tonight, it's going to be a rough 'un.

    The bloody headache returns when I get up after dinner. I have already ordered an Afflingem beer, so quaff it. There are two pissed brummies having a dispute with the purser, having claimed they've been diddled in the Casino. That takes my mind off of it a bit.

    And so back to the comfortable cabin and off to sleep.

  11. #75
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    Harwich to Home

    I wake up and we're already moored up. Today's tune to wake you up, courtesy of Stena line, is Bobby McFerrin's 'Don't worry, be happy'. Nice touch that, and not an intrusive way to be woken up.

    I'm slow to get sorted and am the last one off the boat. I follow a coach off who were collecting some late strugglers. I have a chat for few minutes with the passport control chap that rides a Honda.

    I thought that being last off would get me pulled in by Customs and I was right about that. But I wasn't bothered. It is seriously windy, drizzling and still dark. I jollily say hello to the chaps, they're only doing their job of course. We have a quick chat and he asks where I've been. He asks if I'm aware of the rules and I tell him sure. I've got two tins of Czech lager and a bottle of Weissbier and he chuckles at that. We have a good chat for a bit and he's hoping that the boat due in from Denmark won't make it due to the wind so they can all go home early and get in the warm.

    The weather at home really is awful as of course most of you already know. Heavy cross winds keeps me at a max of 50mph. There are the odd tree branches in the road. I see a bird flying backwards (it was attempting to hover) I wish I could have video'd it!

    I stop at the 'Wild Bean Café' opposite the new Colchester United Stadium on the A12. Well, you know what a BP garage looks like, so here's a seasonal picture of hedgehog in a glass instead:



    I pay a visit on the way home and it's darned good to get out of the wind.

    Home again and first phase of bike washing completed later. Deep toothbrush cleaning duty will start at ten hundred hours tomorrow..




  12. #76
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    Cheers

    Quote Originally Posted by 1157 View Post
    Rob that'll be all that dark beer you seem to consume get yourself some migraleve from a chemist or the like ,so homeward bound is it ??
    Have since discovered the virtues of Migraleve. Good stuff

    Yep, home now, but not for long

  13. #77
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    ... and that concludes Ramble 4...


    ... stay tuned for Ramble 5, the Yuletide Ramble

  14. #78
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    hope yer goin somewhere warm

  15. #79
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    nice hope your heads a bit better dude get plenty of adams ale down your neck you could be a bit dehydrated
    Dont Bogart that joint my friend, pass it over to me

  16. #80
    Son of Ah Knah Yee Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hairnet600 View Post
    hope yer goin somewhere warm
    Pfffffft!
    I better turn the heating up.

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