Today’s post will be divided into two parts – our travel story as usual and thoughts about so popular subject in last weeks – soccer. Unfortunately, we cannot stay oblivious to the international European craze that consumes minds of almost all people. It affects us more than we would want. If you want to read just the ranting, go to the bottom of the page. Before, first things first – let’s ride!
After our stay in Poland we decided to go and travel to Cologne to visit our friends – Beata and Paweł. They are an incredible couple who, like us, is passionate about travels, motorcycles and an alternative way of living. Our story with them, however, goes a bit further in history. I will recall it here, also for us to remember.
Few years ago we travelled with a car to England. On our way back, somewhere close to Brussels it started to act weird. First, t he fifth gear stopped working. Then, several kilometres later – fourth one. We were terrified as we were in Belgium then and we didn’t know how to deal with Belgian mechanics so our decision – drive to Aachen and find a workshop there was only natural.. After some search we ended up next to a second-hand-junky-yardy-weird small Werkstatt (or Schrott, to be exact) where we asked for help. One look at our car told the mechanics everything – our Red Arrow wasn’t about to go anywhere as the gearbox fell apart and it needed to be replaced. Good news? They had last one that fit. Bad news? 500 EUR cost hit us like a high five. In the face. With a hammer.
It was a time we were earning our living only with soap bubbles so our income wasn’t that great. And we needed to drive around a lot as people were getting used to them way too fast. Anyway, after short discussion we gave 70EUR of small instalment to book the part and also we asked about possible camping places around. Unfortunately for us, there were no good spots so we had to stay in a car overnight.
Interesting enough, one of people working there, Paweł, turned out to be Polish, making our negotiations way easier. When we were talking about staying in a car for the night everybody looked at us with this weird expression, like, “yeeeeeeah, sureeeeee”. You can imagine the surprise on Paweł’s face when he actually saw us in the morning at 8 o’clock fast asleep in the car. He even knocked on the window and said startled: “You really slept in the car, didn’t you?” to which we replied: “Of course, we said so.” After short thinking he said we could camp in his backyard later on when he was finished with his job. We were more than grateful for this opportunity so after the whole day of working with soap bubbles we were to drive with him to his place which was located several kilometres outside Aachen. On our way there he said that he has talked to his partner and it is okay for us to stay in their guest room. We were more than thrilled to hear that – we were really tired and not fresh after spending the night in the our small VW.
But the biggest surprise happened when we entered the house. Beata, Paweł’s partner, welcomed us with arms wide open. She said she was so happy we accepted their invitation and she lead us to the already set up table with four plates. This energetic woman insisted that we start eating now, because we must be hungry; she also wasn’t sure if we were vegetarians, so she prepared both options… We were speechless. It’s been a while since we’ve met such warm and generous people. During the meal we found out that they both also love to travel and they do it with a style we admire the most – on motorcycles! We shared stories about adventures we had on our way and from this day on, whenever we meet, we simply cannot stop talking. There is always so much to chat about!
So we keep in touch, we visit them whenever possible and this time we also decided to go to the West of Germany earlier than planned to spend one evening in their company. The next day all of us were to go to the Polish Motorcycle Convention in Germany – us to make Fire Shows there and them to visit friends from all over the place. When we arrived at our biker friends’ place we were greeted again with salt and bread, as Polish people say, which translates very easily – warm as always. :) Still, they were a bit surprised as we hadn’t told them that we had a new motorcycle. Anyway, we spent entire evening talking, eating delicious food, comparing reliability of the bikes, laughing, complaining about the weather, laughing again and in the end going to sleep to get some rest before trip to the event.
Unfortunately, the plans we had for the next day were almost ruined as Nick got a massive migraine. He spent several hours on a couch, sleeping, vomiting and moaning from pain, so in the end he didn’t do anything for hours, lazy bum.
Luckily, Beata is a former nurse so when she got home she took care of us like a champ. Several gigantic doses of painkillers, water and other magical stuff as well as spending time on talks with Niki, and we both were as good as new in the evening to drive and enjoy ourselves with other motorcyclists.
When we arrived the party was already going on and lots of people recognised us from the previous year. Funny, as we couldn’t recall a single face. :) However, the show was great and despite grim weather forecast we managed to perform and make people happy again with our improved show. And we got kickass t-shirts! :)
The weather hadn’t forgotten about us, though, oh no. You know, little bastard waiting for the proper moment. We were lucky with no rain during the Fire Show so the downpour started the very next morning. And the whole Saturday, when we were supposed to train, do some workshops for kids, have fun and enjoy the day with other people passionate about motorcycles we spent in our tent watching series. The most boring day we had in a long time. The second evening of the convention was also not rainy but since the water scared many of potential attendants our second show wasn’t as spectacular and as huge as the first one. Shame.
You know how it is, all things must come to an end and so does the weekend. We decided to leave on Sunday to visit Niki’s cousin in Cologne but since we went to sleep quite late we wanted to get up around 10 o’clock AM… Wishful thinking. Starting 6 AM there were people already leaving and some idiots driving around with their power cruisers causing enormous ruckus and shouting “Geddap, kurwa!”. After fruitless attempts to fall asleep again we left our tent around 7 o’clock hoping those jackasses will slip on the mud and fall from their precious machines. Wishful thinking again.
We said our goodbyes and we left, finally. In the end it was fun and no fun. It was good to see all the familiar faces (two of them, at least) but lack of sleep was pretty overwhelming. Luckily, we managed to get some decent rest at Agata’s place.
Agata is Niki’s cousin who has Polish roots but has lived in Germany since she was 2. Now she is a dog trainer and she owns two of those lovely creatures. Nick was immediately on cloud nine and even Niki after our stay said she could consider wanting to have a canine friend.
We were served delicious meal, comfortable bed and warm shower as well as interesting chats, lots of laughs and tons of fun with really well trained and well behaving dogs. We took Nick and dogs for a walk so they would sleep peacefully over the night, we had ice cream in the evening, pancakes in the morning and the time passed too fast again.
My little Niki is a lovely creature with spirits as big as our dreams but with foul health so we had to drive back. Again. We did 900 km in one day setting a new record for her bum endurance but the doctor told us to come back on Monday next week.
We decided that sitting in one place for the weekend is out of question, especially that this place would be Poland. Our city of choice was Erfurt again, mid stop in Berlin. We drove there on Thursday and we wanted to do some performing and guess what? Poland was playing against Portugal and Germans thought it was equally important to watch. Because Euro Football Cup. So we got full terraces, empty streets and crowds watching green screen for 120 minutes. You know why not 90? Because nobody scored and there was extra time! Goddammit. In the end we didn’t manage to make a single show but then we thought that Erfurt might be better.
We left on Friday afternoon after a lunch with Niki’s Mum and her husband. Not surprisingly, Nick got lost on the way and they drove 460 km instead of 300 what made Niki pretty upset. We managed to find a decent spot to sleep, though, with a stunning sunset and a bit post apocalyptic scenery. With determination in our heads we rushed to the city centre with people whom we hoped would compensate us the previous Berlin failure. Well, we were wrong. I mean, there were people but not too many and the audiences were… I don’t know… Sleepy. Not responsive. In the end we managed to barely earn something between pocket money and starvation wages.
Why Erfurt was so empty on Friday night? Well, we were soon to find out. The next evening was way colder than the previous one but it didn’t discourage people from going out anyway – it was evening when Germany played against Italy. And you know what? Yup. No shows either. We waited 90 long minutes. Then 30 more. And then penalties. And… people after football went celebrating or home, definitely not outside. Hard to blame them as it was already below 12 degrees or something. Which also makes us furious – why the Hell is it so cold in JULY?!
We compensated it earlier in the day. We went to the climbing wall in Erfurt with really cool people and we had a perfect training session. Climbing, acrobatics and strength conditioning are all we need to be perfectly happy with our day. And travel, of course. So we trained, we trained hard to improve our stamina, strength and flexibility to entertain people and to feel better.
And so we are getting ready for our new trip. Doctors in Poland again, few errands and a sincere hope that after EURO is gone people will regain their sanity and be able to enjoy more sophisticated entertainment. Fingers crossed!
And here, our EURO 2016 ranting begins.
This is ridiculous. During soccer championships we have literally no place to go. France hosts EURO, Spain sucks with earnings, Portugal still plays for the Cup, Germans are crazy about this sport and so on… Millions of people going into an international craze for a weird sport. I never understood watching sports. Doing, yes, but watching? What is so fascinating about 22 guys running after one ball and making more fuss and drama than all prisoners inside torture chamber? TV screens are literally everywhere, in bars, pubs, restaurant, elite clubs and brothels. It’s like people forget how to think individually, they drink massive amounts of beer, watch football and deny the existence of the world until the final match is over.
Right now I honestly hate EURO, TV and colour green.
Panem et circenses
Bread and Circuses, as Romans used to say. Ciao.