Waking up in a hotel room roadside the Autobahn in Germany is, very likely, among the less adventurous experiences I’ve had. Still, I felt fine after a reasonably good nights sleep, and ready for the next leg(s).
The hotel building itself had no restaurant, lobby or services of any kind. One had to walk over to the shop, slash gas station, slash cafè, slash restaurant and eat there. A setup designed for cost efficiency, serving a breakfast there’s really no need to describe in granular details.
Suffice to say, I got my coffee and had my food, without throwing up or getting giddy. If you’re traveling along the Autobahn, and simply need a place to crash well, it does the job.
North towards Schleswig Holstein
Due to the marathon leg the day before I would have no difficulties reaching the next destination, in good time before the appointment. One thing I’ve learned, but still learn new things about, is that it’s not always easy to estimate the time spent. Plan for buffer time! Even if you’re hurrying along the freeways of Germany!
But the distance up to the destination in Schleswig Holstein was now something I could do, with ease, at a lower pace.
Having left the devilish monsoon system behind I was, at least for now, free of any weather challenges.
Ouversee, in good time
Not too late in the afternoon, after some (minor) navigational issues (self inflicted pain) I rode into the “town” (more like a village) of Ouversee. It’s about 20-25 minutes south of Flensburg, where I had stayed on the way down.
Coming into Ouversee I made a swing down the main road to check out the location of the place for the bike’s service. G. Wilhelmsen Motorradtechnik is an authorized BMW/KTM dealer. They have a workshop with an excellent track record, regarded as one of the better in Germany. Many Norwegians go here annually for service (almost half the price compared to home).
I’ll definitely consider them for bigger services on my bikes in the future. Short distance to the Danish border and mainland, 45-50 minutes ride from Kiel, a major ferry hub and harbor city.
A cheap solution in North Germany
I’d checked out accommodation prior and knew there was one place just down the road from the BMW dealer. Salz und Pfeffer is a family driven hotel or guesthouse. The sort that makes you feel at home, very quickly. Clean and good standard, friendly forthcoming staff, very good food and ditto rooms.
They had vacancies in plenty and the price was much lower than in Flensburg, a wee over EUR50 for a big room, plus breakfast. One can’t say no to that.
The hotel is split up in several buildings which I am sure has its practical aspects. I am sure they get quite a bit of business from the Motorbike business down the road.
Service and north
The next day I delivered the bike for service and wafted about for a couple of hours. Lots to see in their showroom, of new and used bikes. I could have gone into Flensburg which is only a 20-25 minutes taxi or bus ride. But I wanted to be off quickly so decided to hang around. There was plenty to see, from vintage classics…
.. to more modern rides.
2-3 hours later my ride was done, got back on the road and basically rode through Denmark with only one stop. Still in the dry the temp had dropped and it was very windy.
Sweden & interesting accommodation
Coming up through Sweden it was getting into evening, so it was time to start looking for a place to stay. During the entire adventure I had not booked anything in advance. Only once in Füssen did it not work out, on first chosen hotel. Found vacancies just down the road.
Sweden in mid/late July is a different cup of tea. I should have known, it’s the same in Norway.
Several places I stopped were, full. An entire city was closed for a huge summer party, and everything was fully booked. The GPS then suggested to take off from the main road, to a small village. Here I found a cute summer hotel, but it too was fully booked.
Asked the innkeeper if she knew of any other options. She did! Someone ran a partial B&B nearby.She made a phonecall, done deal! Got the address and rode off in the darkness. Now I was really glad I had a GPS! 10 minutes later, made a turn into what seemed to be a farm but turned out to be a riding school.
For SEK500 I got an apartment, plus breakfast. Proves to show that sometimes, it’s wise to not give up. Ask questions, things just may work out.
Last leg, weather haunted & home
Next morning I began on the last leg. The only important thing was to try to avoid Gothenburg. if you ever ride through Swede, and it nears rush-hour time, do yourself a favor and avoid Gothenburg. Or else, be stuck. I headed east, things looked promising but then, the flood gates of heaven opened up again.
For the second time during the adventure I rode into what was the worst rain in ages, for the region. The intensity was even worse than down in Germany! Could it be possible…. yeah.. it was. Without tail light on a car in front I’d see nothing.
Finally, it died out, as I crossed the border between Norway and Sweden sun shone again. Enough for my suit to dry up before making it home.
In a period of 13 days I clocked around 5.500 kilometers, and only had one mishap, besides the weather.
This blog post series, if you care to read it from the beginning, starts here 🙂