Friday, December 20, 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Back on the 1st of September HB and I were sitting on a ferry heading to the Continent with the GS for a ten day visit, the plan being to visit a few friends on the way.
We took an easy run down through Scotland and into the north of England, stopping to visit Bob on the way. We were among the first bikes to arrive and the DFDS folk quickly got us on the ferry where we found our cabin and got a few beers in, before stuffing our faces in the buffet. Food eaten we enjoyed the entertainment with a few more beers. The guy doing the music was a shit hot guitarist and did a fuking awesome rendition of Sultans Of Swing by Dire Straights.

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Ahoy!


HB is excited to be on the ferry.

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
He don't give a damn about any trumpet playing band.

After a pretty shite sleep I got up and headed to the buffet for round two. Not long after that we were arriving at Ijmuiden, the port just outside Amsterdam. We fired the GS up and headed south, destination Vianden in Luxembourg. This was my first trip abroad on the new bike (apart from a wee jaunt into England with Aidan and McNally) and it was going well. The 1200 Adventure has a much bigger tank than the old 1150 so we were able to batter along for ages before we needed fuel. The first stop we had was somewhere in Belgium and it wasn't for fuel. I was bursting on a pish! We pulled into a rest area where the only convenience was a fucking horrible, smelly portaloo. I had to bare my nob to the Everest of shit piles. Not the best.

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
The portaloo. Rank.

Bladder emptied we carried on. Once off the motorway we were on some seriously twisty roads. I was wondering what the hell was going on with the super low 60 kph speed limit until we hit our first hairpin.
Riding through Luxembourg was great fun once I dialed my brain into going around tight corners rather than blasting along the motorway. It's a really forresty green place, mostly rural where we were. We were riding along when over the valley on a hill there was this awesome big castle, HB was pretty pleased to find out that it was Vianden castle. We'd be camping in the wee town for the next couple of nights.

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Vianden Castle
Vianden Castle.

Vianden Castle
   
vianden castle pano 1
The castle from Vianden.

After a wee bit farting about we found the campsite. There's a couple to choose from but we got the wee site on the bank of the river and just a short walk to the town centre. 
I had been worried about the weather being a bit chilly on the continent in September, but it wasn't the case. It had been getting steadily warmer the further south we went (funny that) and I was sweating my balls off putting the tent up while HB went to the shop for supplies, mostly being water and bog roll. If you have never been camping on the continent before make sure that you TAKE SOME FUCKING TOILET PAPER. This is really important, as you don't want to find yourself holding back a jedi late on when you've got nothing to wipe your arse with. Believe me.
We chilled out on the campsite for a wee while before heading into town. Most of the pubs had a great selection of beer. We tried some of the local stuff while watching guys fishing the river with these big poles. They never had reels or anything, just a big pole with a short bit of line on the end. We waited a bit but they caught fuck all, so we wandered around a bit more before choosing somewhere to eat.

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Vianden campsite.

A wee video of the campsite.


Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013


Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Local beer.

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Vianden is popular with bikers.

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Dinner time!

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
That where we watched the fishermen from.

We got up quite early the next day. I took the GS a spin up through the town to find a bakery and get some breakfast. I got a few more photos of the town too. There was two things we had planned to do today. One was go up the chairlift which would give us a great view of the area and the other was to have a look around the castle. Rolling tourist style for sure. 

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Feeding the ducks their breakfast.

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013


A short unedited video of a ride through Vianden.


Because I had thought the weather wouldn't be as good as it was I never brought and sun tan lotion with me and I was beginning to get sunburnt. There was only one pharmacy in Vianden and they must have seen me coming as I was shafted 21 euro for sunblock.
We took the wee tourist train bus thingy up to a viewpoint of the castle. It was sort of a waste of time as we thought it would be quite a good wee run, but it only went about half a mile. On the train though we met Cheryl, who was visiting Vianden with her friend. Her friend wasn't fussed for seeing around the castle so she came along with HB and me. If you're in Vianden go and visit the castle. It's well worth it.

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Cheryl and the daft train thing.

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Vianden from the Castle.

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013


We said our goodbyes to Cheryl and headed to the chairlift. The views from the top were awesome. I took loads of photos but none of them really do the view justice. We got some lunch and a beer at the top before we headed back down. We had another beer once we were back down in the town. While we were sitting there a couple arrived on their Triumph Explorer. They were staying in the hotel we were sitting outside and joined us for a few beers. They were from Wales/Liverpool but I can't remember their names. We chatted bikes for ages before heading our separate ways for dinner.


Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

A holiday message for Aidan.


Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Had a good laugh with these guys.


We packed up the next morning and headed over the border into Germany. Our friends Rick and Andrea moved to Germany a few months before we left so we had arranged to meet them on our trip.
We followed similar twisty roads to those of Luxembourg before a long blast down the Autobahn to Wehr, the temperature getting hotter and hotter. One last thing about Luxembourg, it has some of the cheapest fuel in Europe so brim your tank.
Into Wehr we followed the old sat nav up some nice twisty roads to our campsite at Rüttehof. Rüttehof is a tiny village in the Rickenbach area, right down the bottom of the Black Forest, nearly on the border with Switzerland. If you are ever looking for a nice campsite in the middle of some awesome scenery, surrounded by amazing roads then check out Camping Rüttehof-Rickenback (http://www.camping-rickenbach.de/index.html) As far as I could see it's the only campsite in the area. The owner Marcel and his family are very friendly and made us really welcome. Marcel even has a Pub room with a fridge full of beer, games to play and tables and chairs for the campers to use. They also have chickens on the campsite which means we had eggs and rolls for breakfast in the mornings and they had a really friendly cat who hung around with us all the time.

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Breakfast at the bakers in Vianden before we left for Germany.


Camping Ruttehof pano
The campsite. You can just see my tent and the GS between the orange tent and the polytunnel.


Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Sheila the Campsite Cat in the tent.

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
"For when you need to take a piss."

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

That evening Rick and Andrea came up to visit for a few beers. We made a plan to visit Todtnau, a town in the Black Forest that is a Mecca for motorbikes and mountain bikes. Rick and Andrea also told me of the one man roller coaster come bobsleigh thing that they had at the mountain bike tracks. This sounded fucking awesome to me!
We met Rick at Andrea and his for coffee the next day. Unfortunately Andrea was working so she couldn't join us for our wee road trip. Before we set off for Todtnau, Rick introduced us to their cats and showed me his Tranny.


Yep. His Tranny.



Luckily a Tranny is a carbon fibre framed mountain bike, not some bloke in a dress. I also seen Rick's mighty Kawasaki ZZR1100. Rick's done something like 94000 miles on the bike including a lap of the Nurburgring and a trip from East Lothian to the Black Forest in one day. That was 1004 miles. Hardcore.
I was sort of glad that Rick had offered to drive. Up at the campsite the temperature was around 30 degrees. Down the hill at ricks it was up at 35! The air conditioning in the car felt great. 
The road from Rickenbach to Todtnau is a cracker. Being in the car we were definitely in the minority. There were bikes EVERYWHERE. Harleys, old BM's, GS's and KTMs, maxi scooters, suports bikes, but the weapon of choice seemed to be middleweight 600's like the wee Triumph Street Triple or a Supermoto. Some of these guys were riding proper balls out. Rick told us that bikes are verboten (forbidden) on some roads at the weekends as there have been so many accidents. Mental.
In Todtnau we had a wander about. Rick needed parts for his Tranny so we went to a bike shop. I war trying to stick to the shade as much as possible. I hadn't brought any short with me and I was sweating my balls off. Todtnau is ace. Everywhere you look there's bikes. We wandered over to the bikepark, mountain bike trails like Glentress here in Scotland. They have a chairlift so folk don't have to cycle up the hill. The chairlift also gives you access to the rollercoaster! Up at the top there was a pub so we got ourselves some currywurst and a wiessbier and watched some parascenders take off from the hillside. We all got alcohol free beer. Rick was driving and it was a bit too early in the day for HB and me. The alcohol free weissbier was really nice! Much nicer than the pish they have over here in Scotland. It was really nice just shooting the shit on top of the hill for a while. Then...... TIME FOR THE ROLLERCOASTER!!
To say I was excited was an understatement. 
I really wanted to make a video of going down it but like many things in Germany, using a camera on the rollercoaster was verboten. Luckily for you lot I didn't give two fucks and whipped the Gopro out of my pocket as soon as I was rolling. It was brilliant! Great fun! I had three runs all together! The wee sledge thingy has brakes but you don't need them. I tried to go as fast as I could on my second and third shot but kept catching folk up. Everywhere that has a chairlift should have one of these things. 
Eventually after I had spent way to much on the rollercoaster we headed back. We chilled out on the campsite for a bit before meeting Rick and Andrea for dinner at a wee restaurant beside a gliding school and runway, just a few minutes walk over the hill from the campsite. Andrea is from the area and having a fluent German speaker was really good when ordering our food and drinks. We actually knew what we were ordering instead of bumbling our way into a culinary lucky dip. I had a lovely steak with chips and some spatzle, a German dish sort of similar to pasta. All this was washed down with some ace local beer and some nice schnapps.  
A great end to a great day. Cheers Rick and Andrea.

Me, Andrea, Rick and HB in the campsite Pub room.


Eggs for breakfast?

Rick's ZZR1100


The Rhine. That's Switzerland over there.

Todtnau


Chairlift


Lunch at the top.


Parascenders.

Todtnau from the top.


going down the rollercoaster!




A proper fatbike. Look closely.



Walking up to the restaurant. That's gliders in the field in front.





Fast Swiss Porsche at the restaurant. Andrea told us how some Swiss fold nip over to Germany to hoon their cars and bikes as the speeding fines in Switzerland as extortionate being means tested.



Andrea and Rick enjoying some braw schnapps.

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013


We awoke to another cracking day and packed the tent up before it got too hot we were still going to be in the Black Forest but just slightly further north. Our destination was Breitnau where we'd be staying with big Wolfgang.
We first met Wolfgang back in 2009 on a trip to Orkney. He'd been back to see the Massif since, sadly shortly after GHC passed away. He was always at us to get our arses over to Germany and visit him so here we were. Faithir and Maw were also on their way over too.
HB and I took the Todtnau road, the same route we had done with Rick the day before, then carried on to Titisee. I had stayed in Titisee a few years back when I was on a solo Europe tour and after a fair bit fucking around I managed to get us into the town. It had changed a fair bit since I'd last been there and the sat nav was playing silly buggers. I knew roughly where Breitnau was in relation to Titisee from looking on the map, so once I got to a bit I recognised I followed a narrow single track road over the hills.
After a wee while we came to a small town that wasn't on the sat nav or my map. We decided to stop for lunch as we thought we were about half an hour to an hour from Breitnau. We finished our lunch and just as we were getting back on the bike a familiar face appeared. Wolfgang! He had stopped in to the bakery just beside the pub we had our lunch at for some cakes for us. What are the chances eh? Wolfgang was a bit confused why we had stopped for lunch so close to Breitnau, it was only ten minutes away!
We followed Wolfgang in his Jeep to his house. It was just outside Breitnau beside a dairy farm. The house was amazing! Some of it was 300 or 400 years old while the other half was modern and had been restored. We unpacked the bike and Wolfgang made us a coffee to go with the giant pastries he'd bought us. HB and I had them and chilled out for a bit while Wolfgang sorted stuff out around the house. HB then decided to go for a kip, so Wolfgang and I walked around the area. Wolfgang had been coming up here since he was young and showed me the House he used to visit and where he'd rip around on old bikes and his jeep. When we got back to the house we jumped in the Jeep and headed up to the farm to get some milk. Claus, the farmer, and Wolfgang both told me to go and have a look at the cows, they thought it was hilarious I was a bit scared of going near them. You can't blame me though, they're huge and some amount of shite sprays out them when they lift their tails.
Once back we waited for Faithir and Maw to arrive over a few. They were riding the down from the ferry at Ijmuiden. We passed the time sampling some of the beers Wolfgang had got in for us. Eventually Faithir and Maw turned up. There had been a fair amount of roadworks in Strasbourg that we had hit on the way down and they had got caught in the same traffic. We all sat down to an amazing slow cooked pork dish Wolfgang had made and some more beers and wine.

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Wolfgang's place.

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

 Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Wolfgang's GS.

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
German bakery.

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
A tiny wee Church that was moved here from the village.

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Coo's!

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Wolfgang pours me a weissbeir.


Here at last.

Wolfgang had loads of things he wanted to show us including a trip to a restaurant in France. First up was a trip into Freiburg. We wanted to get some stuff in so we didn't eat/drink all Wolfgang's supplies and Faithir wanted to get some sheet music for one of his pals. Wolfgang is in a brass band so knew of a music shop. That was our first stop, then on to the supermarket before heading into Freiburg centre for a look around.
Freiburg is a really nice city. The day we visited there was a market on which we looked around, eating bratwurst and buying wee bits and pieces. There is a huge cathedral in the centre of Frieburg and being the cultural people we are we had a look around and climbed the tower. It took a few goes to get up the tower. The stairs to the very top bit are really thin and the place was fucking heaving. I had pretty much written off the idea of going up when I realised there was no one on the stairs and ran up them. Much better than my earlier attempt where I got myself wedged among some poor bastards while I was half falling down the stairs. The wheat beer was wrecking havoc with my guts and I accidentally farted in a poor woman's face a couple of times. Oh well.
After our day out I was pretty knackered. We'd met one of Wolfgang's friends for some coffee and more big cakes but by the time we were home I was ready for dinner. Barbecue was on the menu tonight. We were cooking on the barbecue Wolfgang's Dad had made, out the front of the house. As were were cooking it started to rain a little bit and cooled off to Scottish summer temperatures. Braw
The rain brought in some mental thunder and lightning. We got Wolfgang to put all the lights out so we could look at it out the windows. It's pretty normal to get lightning like that in Breitnau but I loved watching it.

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
At the music shop.

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Shopping. Wolfgang wouldn't let us pay for anything!

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
In the Cathedral.

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Faithir flicks me the vees in the cathedral.

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Up the tower.

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Faithir and Wolfgang head up to see Claus for more milk.

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

The rain was off the following day, but it was still pretty damp and misty on the higher roads. Despite this Wolfgang was fair chucking his GS around. When he's over in Scotland Wolfgang rides quite conservatively so he can look around as see the sights. He's obviously seen the sights here in Germany before as we were belting up the twisty roads in the hills. We stopped  in at a small town to look around and there was a pushbike race on. We were standing at a wee chicane just along from the finish line and this group of guys came flying through. One of them must have really had the competitive juices flowing because he tried to chuck his pushbike into the corners like it was a supermoto. WHAMMO! Doon he went, skiting across the deck on his arse! Quality. He managed to burn a hole clean through his lycra shorts but got back on his bike and wobbled over the line.
We carried on, stopping to look around a clock museum (Faithir likes a timepiece) and then on to a proper German Beer Festival. Germans have beer festivals nearly every weekend. I think this one was celebrating the horse. Because we had the bikes we never had any beer, but I did have some more currywurst. Braw.
We headed home over some more nice roads for another one of Wolfgang's brilliant home cooked meals and some beers. We were joined by Wolfgang's son Robin and his girlfriend Danni who were just back from their holiday. It was another great night in Germany.

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
The guy just after this pair took the corner on his arse.

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

The past couple of days Wolfgang had been going out each morning to get fresh bread from the bakery to go along with the selection of meat and cheese he had bought in. Our last morning was no different except Wolfgang insisted we ate as much as we could so it didn't go to waste.
Stomachs full, we said our goodbyes to Wolfgang. He had been an incredible host and had made us all really welcome. Thank's Wolfgang. We'll be back! Meanwhile get your arse back over to Scotland.
We set off heading north back through Strasbourg. Our destination was Bouillon, just over the French border in Belgium. Bouillon is a nice wee place that I've stopped off at every time I've been abroad. It's only a couple of hundred miles from Ijmuiden so it's ideal for the ferry home. The ride up was a mix of rain and warmish sun. On one of our fuel stops we bumped into a bunch of guys from the UK in supercars.
Once in Bouillon we all went out for a nice meal (I had some braw mussels in a dijon sauce) and had some Belgian beers. The next day HB and I went for a walk around the river and had a look in the best beer shop on Earth, before a great pizza cooked in a wood fired oven. Maw and HB wanted an early night so Faithir and myself headed out for more Belgian beers. There is a wee pub/restaurant called La Vieille Ardenne that has an awesome collection of Belgian beer and we battered through a fair amount of it.




Antisocial bastards.

Much nicer than it looks.

Beers

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Bouillon

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
Bouillon cats.

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013
it's a good place.

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013

Winton Massif - Black Forest 2013



A quick blast back into Holland and we were at the ferry terminal. A fucking brilliant 9 days for HB and I. Big thanks to Wolfgang, Rick and Andrea.


Mike

4 comments:

  1. Awesome! Sounds like a great time with friends and family.

    Thanks for sharing the pics and making me chuckle with your sense of humor.

    On a side note, you two are looking skinny, have you been losing weight? All that bike riding?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good write up and photos -Wull

    ReplyDelete
  3. Enjoyed that thanks ! Tinytim

    ReplyDelete
  4. camels in Luxembourg.....??
    i think Freiburg looks a bit like Prague

    ReplyDelete