As you can imagine the flight from Sydney to Frankfurt with a 4 ½ hour stopover in Shanghai was not really a pleasure. But we survived; arriving at 6 am and being on the “road” for 38 hours now we were facing the next challenge: getting the motorbike out of customs. It took us 2 hours to figure out where the Thai Cargo is located at the airport and another ½ hour to drive there with a bus. When we told the guy at the counter what we are coming for he said: “Yes, the bike arrived yesterday, but it is not through the security check yet.” Hmmm we were asking when this will probably happen and he said “maybe today”. Hmmmpf, we explained to him the situation: no transport, no car, we need to take the bike with us and that we will wait in front of him till it´s done. He reacted really kind and promised to check what he can do. So we said “FINE! We will sit down here and wait for it”. He looked at us with disbelieve. “You want to wait for it HERE?” “Yes,” we said, “there is nothing else to do, you have coffee and we are used to wait for things like that.” We got a coffee out of the wending machine and sat down with all our things spread around… sometimes feeling funny but who cares (in Asia and even Australia you get used to wait for such things; in Australia we had to wait for 3 weeks!). In the end it took no longer than 90 minutes and the paper was ready. We run over to customs to collect our last stamp in the Carnet de Passage and back again to pay some fees (56€ ;). Now we walked around the corner, where they wanted to deliver our bike! Still we had not seen it; curious we were waiting and chatting to the warehouse guys. The forklift came around the corner and the package looked exactly the same as we left it behind in Sydney – GREAT! We unpacked and fitted the main things on it. The rest we packed and fitted outside in the shade after thanking everybody for their great help! At 1 pm we were ready to leave and on the road again.
Our journey went on. The next destination was Niedereschach in the Black Forest about 300 km south of Frankfurt. Touratech was having his yearly Travel Event together with the new BMW presentation and the GS Challenge. The place was already pretty busy when we arrived around 6pm – around 50 hours travelling in total. We squeezed our tent somewhere between the others, went for a shower and had a walk around. We enjoyed strolling around, having a chat here and there, but when we were sitting down for the Madagascar presentation with our first weiss-beer we soon realized the jetlag and we went straight to bed after it. The whole event was a real pleasure; we met interesting people and as it is located in a beautiful landscape we explored the surroundings at some of the BMW rally locations with our Africa Twin. As it wasn’t a problem to stay a day longer we decided to leave on Monday instead Sunday. Sunday afternoon we were nearly alone and we adored the tranquility… and recognizing we are in Germany.
Everything felt still completely unreal… surreal. On Monday morning we drove nearly 700 km north, to find shelter in the old horse stall which our friends Anne and Olli rebuilt. This is the place where we found a temporary home. Of course we went around visiting friends and family. But this little wooden shack with a fireplace in front and surrounded by sheep, dogs, chicken and ducks was just perfect for us. Everything different would have been probably too extreme, too real, to constricting at that moment. There were many things to do, many things to organize, but mostly many things to think about.
Thanks to our good friends, Anne and Olli, we had a place to acclimatize and to look for a new job and a new home in Germany – and we spent a great time together and had a lot of fun. At one point it turned too cold to stay in the shack and we moved into a restored construction trailer which was equipped with an oven inside.
In November Sascha agreed for a job up from January 2014 and now it was clear: our new home will be the “Free Hanseatic City of Hamburg”. We have been fortunate once more and found a nice affordable flat only 17 metro minutes from the main station; with a terrace and a biotope in the backyard where you can watch the deer, squirrels, pheasant, all kind of birds and a hedgehog… It´s time for us to put down roots again… at least for a spell ;-) And of course we have to take good care of our “Big Lady” – unfortunately it looks like the engine is on the verge to give up… but about this story you will hear in a while.
We had an incredible gorgeous time all this 22 month (if you sum-up the time we were “homeless” it is 28 month in total) on the road and we met so extreme lovely people. There are many many impressions; thousands of moments, about 70.000 photos and videos and it will take some time to recap.
For the time being we want to say THANK YOU to everyone who supported us to realize our dream and of course to every person we met on the road!!! This journey wouldn’t have been what it was/is to us without YOU! It was a treasured time… Still we are a little sentimental at the moment… We hope we will keep in touch with everybody of you and see you again one day – and never hesitate to come and visit us if you are around!!!