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Thread: Germany Austria Slovenia etc.....another view

  1. #81
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    By this time the chimps loading the bikes were too far back to get their attention so we had to make do with what the there was....I carry a releasable cable tie for the brake lever, so was able the stop too much for and aft movement. I use webbing loops to secure the ratchet straps to the bike, but had to put a strap across the seat to immobilise the bike....something I avoid if possible to prevent damage. Getting out was a total assault course, avoiding trip hazards galore and doing our best to avoid damaging other folks machines.

    We always secure our helmets to the bike for the crossing and take one small rucksack for overnight kit, but others were carrying helmets and luggage, boshing into bikes as they tried to negotiate a passage.

    There was a girl by the exit who suddenly forgot English as I tried to remonstrate, so straight up to the desk; the guy there was not able to address my complaints, but we arranged that he would get someone to see me at 6.30.

    In the meantime, into the cabin....a good one overlooking the pointed end of the vessel, shower and up to the Sky Bar to get tuned up.

    At the appointed hour we met the ships Chief Officer. There was no point in anger so a calm and measured discussion took place.
    I explained that the motorcycles on the ship were mostly expensive machines worth into the tens of thousands of pounds, yet he was expecting the owners and passengers to clamber over and through them, something they would never expect car drivers or passengers to do. Why were we treated differently? We had mostly paid handsomely fot the privilege of being treated like second class citizens.
    We were then expected to negotiate a dangerous journey carrying kit through a legion of trip hazards.
    He explained that they did so in order to get everybody on as if they were doing us a favour...I said that the motive was greed, that they were cramming in as many bikes as possible for profit. He said that we could claim if there was any damage; I told him that was hardly the point. I said that they knew how many bikes were booked on; if they didn't have room they should reduce the numbers of bikes they book on.
    There was nothing to be done now, and the issue really was one of Company policy, and I explained that I would be complaining in the strongest terms.
    We parted amicably!

    The usual excess in the Explorers Kitchen, decent nights kip and into a dreary Newcastle.

    For the first time ever the Border tart made us take off helmets, off and away north.

    We usually stop at The Barn at Beal, overlooking Lindisfarne, the sun had come out , all was serene. Decent lunch and carry on, arriving back to find miles of gravillons between Blair and home...back on exactly 2800 miles.

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk

  2. #82
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    Good one Gerard, sounds like a great trip

    There's no wonder they made you take your helmet off though, now is there



    Adventure.GS
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    "If you want the rainbow then you have to put up with a little rain" Dolly Parton

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micky View Post
    Good one Gerard, sounds like a great trip

    There's no wonder they made you take your helmet off though, now is there



    They should have checked to see if he'd left owt on board ...
















    Like his sense of humour!

    Any road ... ta for the report Gerard. Looking forward to the next chapter: grovelling apologies and a fat cheque from DFDS!
    Start every day with a smile ... Get it over with!

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micky View Post
    Good one Gerard, sounds like a great trip

    There's no wonder they made you take your helmet off though, now is there



    One day I'm going to get hold of that effing photo, just to stop you wheeling it out at every opportunity.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by scotboxer View Post
    They should have checked to see if he'd left owt on board ...
















    Like his sense of humour!

    Any road ... ta for the report Gerard. Looking forward to the next chapter: grovelling apologies and a fat cheque from DFDS!
    I didn't but it was sad to see a top box topple gracefully off some orange thing at the top of the ramp.....luckily the superfit Philipino deck hand picked it up and raced after him.

    I know perfectly well that anything I say won't make a jot of difference to their policy, and that they have no doubt heard it all before,.....but I shall still say it......and no doubt be back on their tub next year.....anything to avoid the purgatory of a trip through England.

  6. #86
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    Fecking DFDS, expect no better from them, problem being for us up here it's them of Hull. Done Newcastle quite a few times and haven't experienced what you did, going again end of August so at least I know what to expect.

    Cracking report.

  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cabby View Post
    Fecking DFDS, expect no better from them, problem being for us up here it's them of Hull. Done Newcastle quite a few times and haven't experienced what you did, going again end of August so at least I know what to expect.

    Cracking report.
    They gave us 2 ratchet straps at check in(to keep), so if you want more, park a couple in your luggage.

  8. #88
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    I've still got the brand new ones they gave me last time, still in the packet.

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerarddwatts View Post
    One day I'm going to get hold of that effing photo, just to stop you wheeling it out at every opportunity.
    Joking aside .... not that I Was, you're bang to rights with the ferry company

    I've had ongoing issues with P&O with their North Sea Ferry Crossings. They'll park motorcycles up on a Mezzanine deck, along with cars. Just a narrow lift up ramp kinda thing. Times many have I pulled up behind the bike in front and told in no uncertain terms to ride up alongside it. Tell the guy that if I ride up alongside it I won't be able to get off the 'bike, I'll get off HERE and shove the feckin' motorcycle forward.

    They just don't understand the problems, or don't want to ...

    Two 1200GS's with panniers on and you cannot get past them

    So we're left with car passengers trying to work their way to the exit door over/past/under ropes and straps that cross each other, between handlebars and panniers, struggling with their luggage ... and motorcyclists carrying helmets and overnight baggage, including panniers, ricocheting off Porche's and Merc's

    I've had meetings and discussions with senior staff ... nothing changes

    Adventure.GS
    Tours, training or custom made earplugs ... it's all here.

    "If you want the rainbow then you have to put up with a little rain" Dolly Parton

  10. #90
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    A few random thoughts....

    Love the Pilot Road 5 trails I put on for the trip....handle well and have more grip than I have bottle...lasted well. Bike did well...'15 200GSLC...Sargent seats were comfy for the whole 2800 miles.

    Booking.com is a real boon when planning these trips; I know many will say that it is better to book on the fly, but when you are planning a trip for 4 bods and 2 bikes, it is not so easy to be spontaneous. Better to know where you are going for us anyway. A bit of research through the reviews can throw up issues that may not be obvious, like hotel restaurants that shut on Sundays or whatever. We never ever go to the same place twice, and that's where a bit of home work can pay off. Cesky Krumlov for example is a very old town with narrow streets; some of the hotels do not have parking and it would be very difficult to find safe secure parking if you pick one without.

    I'll have to use the ferry from Newcastle, its the only sensible option for us up here, unless you don't mind the dreary miles through through England. Booking early is always a sensible option, I reckon we saved several hundred quid by doing so; keep an eye out for their early booking discounts. Put an extra couple of straps in; they only give you 2 and there were not dozens hanging like there used to be. I have some short webbing loops to fix the straps to/round the bike, and take a releasable cable tie for the front brake.

    Slovenia and Czech Republic are noticeably cheaper than France and Germany for accommodation and grub.

    Slovenia is a lovely country, but will get busier as time goes on. Bled for example was great a few years ago on a day visit, this time we didn't even bother stopping. Go soon!

    DO pay attention to your mirrors on German motorways...check and double check! They can be going very fast indeed and we are just not used to drivers doing 30/40 mph faster than us at 80....

    Don't try and do too much...I reckon we got it about right with this trip, but if you are not careful you can miss things that shouldn't be missed. The obvious attractions...the Vrsic pass for example, may not be the best: we found alternatives that were just as good, but not infested with kami kazi kraut nutters....take a proper look at a paper map, and resist letting the sat nav dictate ALL the time.

    Slovenian....and Czech languages are impenetrable! How on earth do you get 'exit' from 'izhod'? I can get by and work out many words in French, German and Italian. I can even pass the time of day in Gaelic, but in this part of the world? No chance. 'Hrvatska' equals 'Croatia'....really? But we found that most Slovenians spoke enough English to get what/where you wanted.

    Taxis in Ljubliana anyway are cheap....cheaper than going by public transport. Unless you get shafted by the typical airport type cabby who sees you as his pension...take advice from hotels etc.

    As ever, a simple enquiry on here threw up lots of useful advice.

    Thanks for reading.

  11. #91
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    The only issue with booking ahead I foresee is distance involved and weather. last year we didn't arrive at our digs in Austria til 10.30 at night due to a thunder storm and it ain't no fun up the passes in the dark in a thunder storm.

    Paper maps are brilliant, I have all the Michelin regional maps for the places I go now, they are ace, sat nav really can be a PITA.

    Everyone in Europe speaks English now, well everyone from the age of about 40 and below, couldn't believe how well they spoke it in Bulgaria a few weeks back.

    Must try and find those extra straps for our trip in a few weeks time.

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