October 26, 2014

First Ride out with ScooterBob

It didn't take long to convince our 'guest' ScooterBob to come along for a ride on the famous Black Forest High Road. It hopped into my Vespa topcase, and off we went on the touristy mountain rim road. This stretch of federal highway B500 going from Baden-Baden to Freudenstadt is very popular with the two-wheeled crowds. But that distinctive chill in the air which reminded us of season's ending, had the fair weather riders already talked into mothballing their bikes. We were welcomed with next to zero traffic and a wide open road.

At Zuflucht we stopped to admire the view. Looking west, in the far we spotted the silhouette of the Vosges Mountains in France. This is usually a popular take-off point for hang gliders but the place looked abandoned this afternoon.

Finally I introduced ScooterBob to my absolute favourite spot in the area: All Saints' Abbey. We had visited many times before, at different seasons, with different guests, and this historic site never failed to impress.


By then the cold started creeping into our bones, and we decided it was time to return home for a nice hot cuppa.


Ein erster Ausflug mit ScooterBob
Wir konnten unseren "Gast" ScooterBob schnell davon überzeugen, uns auf einem Ritt entlang der Schwarzwaldhochstraße zu begleiten. Er hüpfte also ins Vespa-Topcase und los ging's. Dieser Teil der Bundesstraße B500 von Baden-Baden nach Freudenstadt ist normalerweise sehr beliebt bei den Zweiradfahrern, aber der kalte Wind muss wohl die meisten bereits dazu überredet haben, Ihre Moppeds einzumotten, denn es gab so gut wie keinen Verkehr. 
In Zuflucht hielten wir an, um die Aussicht zu genießen. Der Blick nach Westen lässt die Silhouette der Vogesen erahnen. Hier tummeln sich im Sommer die Gleitschirmflieger, aber um diese Jahreszeit ist der Ort eher verlassen.
Danach ging es zu meinem Lieblingsort, dem Kloster Allerheiligen. Wir sind hier schon oft gewesen, zu verschiedenen Jahreszeiten, mit verschiedenen Gästen. Dieser Ort nimmt einen doch immer wieder gefangen. Langsam kroch uns die Kälte in die Glieder und so machten wir uns schließlich auf den Heimweg.

October 21, 2014

Seizing it while it lasts.

It's stormy outside, the wind and rain is pounding against the windows, just about right for a review of last weekend's riding pictures. It might have been the last opportunity, so we had to make good use of it. At an unbelievable 26C (79F) we took out Rover and Bella for one lovely spin around the block, no make that two. 

The second ride was participating in an end-of-season ride with my MC Nature Park Chapter, for which I recently took over the secretary duties. Now with the responsibility for the content management of their website, their blog will be bilingual, too. Here's what we did last Sunday.

Yours truly in Club Colours


Wir ergriffen die Gelegenheit beim Schopf
Draußen stürmt es. Der Wind und der Regen peitscht gegen die Fenster. Genau der richtige Moment, sich die Fotos vom vergangenen Wochenende 'reinzuziehen. Es mag die letzte Gelegenheit gewesen sein, also nutzten wir sie. Bei unglaublichen 26 Grad drehten wir mit Rover und Bella eine Runde um den Block, nun, eigentlich waren es zwei.
Der zweite Ausritt war mit meinem Motorrad-Club Nature Park Chapter, für die ich kürzlich den Job der Secretary und damit das Content Management für deren Webseite übernommen habe. Hier gibt es den Bericht vom Sonntagsausflug mit Chapter und Freunden.

October 19, 2014

A little Fall detour, and a little fall...

Roland: every Saturday I go out for a breakfast hunt (Croissants, pretzels, buns), but this time we had the most beautiful fall morning, so I decided to grab Bella and do a short round through the neighborhood. Fog was about to be eaten up by early rays of the sun, the air was fresh and clean, and all colors looked like from a laundry detergent ad. Beautiful!

On my way back I noticed a beautiful cloud of fog over a field right next to the road, so I decided to ride up a little dirt track to get there for a photo. There was a little hill to climb first, and I gave throttle a little more than I usually would. Unfortunately the field behind the hill was still soaking wet from the rainfalls of the last few days, and the ground was slippery like soap. I knew right away that I had no chance: as soon a the wheels started to slip I knew that I would lay Bella down for the first time. Luckily she slipped on a lot of grass; unfortunately there must have been a little stone hidden somewhere in the grass. There is minor damage, but nothing that could not be covered by a little paint job that was on schedule for this winter anyway. Looks like my first sliding ended up quite lucky!

October 14, 2014

Blog Entry #600: The Eagle has landed.

Or more acurately ... Scooterbob has made it to Germany. The wooden scooter left Key West in Florida about two weeks ago, fearlessly crossed the Atlantic on its own, and landed safe and sound in the heart of the Black Forest.

Tonight's evening was mild, and so we sat on the front porch to enjoy the sunset, with a glas of Hugo Rosé cocktail (Prosecco, elderflower syrup, lime juice, fresh mint and soda water). Here's to my late friend, Bob Leong.

I plan on keeping Scooterbob for a about six weeks, to show it some of my favourite places in Germany before I'll ship it to its next destination. Please stay tuned for updates.

October 13, 2014

Pictures of an Exhibition

On likely the last stint of this year our local brother- and sisterhood of Vespista rode to visit the fall event of the Vespa Scooter Club Strasbourg in France, where they had a scooter themed exhibition going. The event was well worth the 4€, there were vintage vehicles galore, 50's and 60's music and lots of scooter fun, such as the slow race. I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Ready, steady, GO!
Vespisti united


Bilder einer Ausstellung
Wahrscheinlich wird es der letzte Ausflug in diesem Jahr mit unseren Vespafreunden gewesen sein. Diesmal besuchten wir den Vespa Scooter Club Strasbourg, wo es eine liebevoll ausgerichtete Ausstellung alter Vespas gab. Die 4€ Eintritt waren wirklich gut angelegt. Es gab viele Ausstellungsstücke, Musik aus den 50ern und 60ern und Rollerspaß, wie z.Bsp. den Langsam-fahrwettbewerb. Aber ich lasse mal die Bilder sprechen.

October 11, 2014

Finding Serenity again

Do you know the feeling when the workplace sucks the life out of you? With the husband regularly away on business trips and myself working late I am asking myself, what the heck are we doing here.

I compared notes from ten years ago when we prepared to leave Germany. The business travels, the late hours. Didn't we want to get away from this? Now it's déjà vu all over again, and I am not amused.

Thankfully I have outlets to temporarily escape and clear my mind, even if it is just for an hour or two between rainfalls. And I remembered something I learned in my time in Canada: Take it, change it or leave it! But don't dare complain, eh!? And so, I cycled on keeping these words in my heart and mind.

Naked Tree
Not good...
Me and the Townie
Finding serenity in a pond.
Egyptian Geese
Bird Watching

Wahrscheinlich kennt jede(e) das Gefühl, dass die Arbeit langsam das Leben übernimmt. Wir sind ja schließlich in Deutschland. Mit dem Gatten permanent auf Reisen und ich selbst Überstunden kloppend, frage ich mich manchmal, was das alles eigentlich soll. Ich denke an die Zeit vor zehn Jahren zurück, als wir mit dem Weggang nach Kanada genau das hinter uns lassen wollten. Überstunden? Endlose Geschäftsreisen? Ich habe gerade ein déjà vu! Aber was habe ich in Kanada gelernt? "Nimm es hin, ändere es oder lass' es sein. Aber beschwere Dich nicht!" Und so radele ich so vor mich hin und bewege diesen Spruch in meinem Herzen...

October 03, 2014

Mecklenburg Switzerland? Come again?

South of Stralsund the landscape is getting a little uneven, and up to about sixty meters elevation. It becomes high enough for the flatlanders to dub the area the 'Switzerland of Mecklenburg'. We are not kidding! Talk about nordic humour.

Given that we live in a highly populated country this area is relatively unspoilt and preserved as a National Park covered by lakes and woodlands.

We drove over hills and through tiny villages, visited another witness of the brick gothic former monastery and palace ruin in Dargun. Built and destroyed in the 12th century the monchs relocated to Eldena, the abbey ruin we had paid a visit two days before.

Some duke converted the ruin into a renaissance castle in the Middle Ages, it was destroyed by a fire during WWII.

The best part of the ruin is a little shop with ceramic artwork, liqueurs, vinegars, oils, jams, mustards, spices and soaps made by local farmers, artists and monks. We left with a plenty of tasty stuff.

We stopped for lunch in Waren, a picturesque small town located at the lake shore of Müritz. the food was nothing to write home about, however an ice cream parlour offered lactose free ice-cream and Sonja could't resist. It had been a long time, and the chocolate flavoured ice-cream was delish!

We felt it was time for some relaxation, and returned to Stralsund for an afternoon nap. The rest of the day was spent (window) shopping in town.

Today's trip was 240km on byways, part of it along the German Avenue Road.

We have seen a lot during our week at the Baltic Sea, and we were lucky with the weather, too (at least it stayed dry most of the time). Now it is time to say goodbye to Stralsund.