Journey to the East 2013
Marco Polos fabulous journey to the East left wild dreams in my mind since I was reading it as a child. Herrmann Hesses "Journey to the East" did so some years later, as well a a picture book about the Himalayan - the roof of the world. And finally after a long winter the snow melts. Now Kathrin and I are ready to venture out to a long bike journey - to hopefully meet a lot of friendly people and face incredible landscapes and colorful cities from here to the Himalayan.
- Category: Journey to the East 2013
April 15th, 2013: finally the roads out of our winter asylum in Tabarz, Thuringia are free of ice. The piles of snow are melting - time to take off again. At the first junction our ways divide: Kathrin chooses the cultural trail through Erfurt, Weimar and Dresden towards Prague while I take hilly hillbilly route. First granny gets our used laptop, then I visit daddy. Sunny days on the road. Spring boosts. First night camping. I meet Georg in Bavaria, work on his webshop while he brings my bike in shape again. The programming project takes longer than expected, but Georg is happy with the solution found, and I have new handmade wheels and parts. The joint training rides every second day bring me back in cycling shape after the long winter break. Meanwhile Kathrins seatpost and saddle gets stolen in Dresden, out of the backyard of a youth hostel, including some emergency cash and passport copies. She gets a replacement, and enjoys hiking in the rocky Elbsandsteingebirge.
Two more cycling days along the bike trails along the Moldau, then Kathrin meets friends from Switzerland in Prague. Being busy on the new cyclocross-store.de till the last minute, I arrive two days later by train. We stay in a fancy hotel, enjoy great food and a marvelous night walk along the golden city. We look forward to cycle on towards Bratislava. My blood freezes when I see Freddy (Kathrins bike) alone in the backyard, and my lock cut in pieces in the grass. Apparently someone fancied my bike a lot despite the worn look. Video streams of the hotel cameras are checked without success. Police comes by in the evening to file a report, without further investigations. We put flyers with rewards on the neighboring entrances and hope. Luckily we can stay in the hotel for three more nights. One day I rent a bicycle, and we tour the cities doggy districts, visit the "bazars". No trace of my bike but big eyes for the reward.
Weary of the city and the situation I convince Kathrin to do something else. We apply on a Wwoofing farm nearby Prague and get an immediate response. Frantiska, the owner, painter, healer, runs the farm after living for decades in France. Finally Spring in our minds - cherry blossom and birds singing everywhere out here in the tiny village. With Lucy there is another Wwoofer here for the weekend. Weading, shreddings last years shrubs, incredible how much progress is visible day by day. We put new flyers out in Prague with an increased reward for my bike, but still no success. Three long journeys, 20 something countries, bye bye Mono: I wish your new rider cycles with you to Karakorum Highway. :-)
Franztiska travels to Prague for a couple of days, lets Kathrin and me stay on the farm. We quit the faggs, weed the weed, think about our future plans - and decide to move on towards Istanbul. Manually handling four paneers and a tent bag is no fun without bike, so a new bike would be desirable. I'm haggling with the hotel owner to have him cover a part of the damage, and stupid me forgot about the travel insurance, which I actually wanted to do this time.