Monday, 28 April 2014


I was thinking the other day how European travel gives endless opportunities to revel in the smutty humour that we English love so much; in Holland for example,every day I pop down to the local village coffee shop for lunch, I have to walk through a small alleyway that has a large sign above -"Winkelpassage" - I can't believe that I still snigger every day.

This past weekend me and LF were in Hannover, Germany, as the taxi drove past the first road sign that said "Ausfahrt" I started giggling, this carried on the more signs I saw. Not forgetting the endless opportunity to start singing in a monotone voice " Bahn Bahn Bahn , on zee Auotobahn".
Authentic Japanese tea house (donated by city of Hiroshima) in Hannover gardens

Then there is the opportunity to confirm the racial stereotypes we have in our (my) head ( by the way I'm old enough to remember pre-PC days when you could say what you thought without fear of being prosecuted) ; I remember fondly the 'Costa wars' of the 1970's fought out at every Spanish hotel where German and English holidaymakers were staying - every morning at 5am the Germans would go down to the swimming pool and 'reserve' all the sun-loungers by placing towels on them,then return to bed.

A couple of hours later would see groups of Brits wandering around cursing as there was nowhere to sit, this would then escalate as the Germans finally turned up at 11am after leisurely breakfast to claim their places. I remember things escalating, voices raised, towels floating in the pool, "" expressions. Oh the fun.

Anyway, this weekend we were at a conference, and sure enough, Saturday morning when we entered the hall just before the start, here were hundreds of empty chairs, all with a little piece of paper placed on them with a hand-written 'reserved' sign. Oh how I laughed at the memory!

German Hi-speed train not going very fast - stopped again somewhere

Oh and by the way, I discovered that German trains don't always run on time, another urban myth exploded. On the positive side, there is nothing finer than relaxing in the town square on a warm spring evening watching leggy blondes weaving their bicycles through traffic, thin summer skirts blowing in the breeze.....

Anyway, this blog is supposed to be about motorcycles, so an update.... as Troubador foresaw, when I turned up at my local Triumph dealer they fell over themselves to give me a test ride on a Tiger 800. I did ride one last year and thought it was OK, if not exciting, but time and my dicky hip now makes it a
more attractive proposition, especially the taller XC version. The dealer also made me a fairly derisory offer for the Thunderbird, but I might just take him up on it to take away the hassle of selling it online. Hopefully, the next post should have some positive news.


  1. EL D:

    can't believe "they" let you reserve chairs when you are not there. That's not right !

    The Tiger 800 is too tall for me. I tried but it is taller than my Vstrom. I would need high heels . . .

    I am dreaming of mini skirts blowing in the wind, we just need to find a town square

    Hope to hear about your good news soon. You deserve it. Just think, you will have all NEW parts with warranty

    A weekend photographer or Riding the Wet Coast

    1. Hey Bob, that's not fair, but it is / has been a very German behaviour on Southern European beaches. The funny thing is though, that the rest of the world seemed to respect the unspoken rule of towel ;-)

  2. El D: I keep my fingers cross that you are going down the path of wisdom (The heck with it, go buy that bike, man!).

  3. Are you sure the leggy blonde not he bicycle wasn't SonjaM? You were in Germany.

    I love your sense of humor. Troubadour and I often snicker at those things other people can't seem to find funny.

    Glad they gave you a test ride at Triumph. Looking forward to see if you do get something more knee and hip friendly.

    1. Damn you auto correct. That was supposed to read : are you sure the leggy blonde on the bicycle wasn't SonjaM.

  4. El D ... now I've got to check back every day to see what happens!

  5. The Thunderbird is a desirable bike, so I can't see it being too difficult to sell privately for a better price than the dealer's meager offer. Best wishes for the next post.