I'm writing from Kristiansand, everything happened as planned, yeiii!
Friday I was working as mad and had to pack everything late afternoon in a ridiculously short amount of time... Thanks God the checklist was prepared since a while ago and I think I have all what I will need... :-)
Went to Lörrach (D), checked in and waited patiently until it was time to load the bike on the train. It was really warm! Was sweating a lot! I was also a bit nervous, never had done that before (and specially because Heidi is 'a bit' heavy for me and was not quite sure what I had to do...
I learnt that bikes are loaded in the lower deck of the wagons and I was told to bring Heidi to the start of the train. I had to ride through all the wagons of the train and was a bit claustrophobic → the ceiling it's very low and couldn't sit upright when riding , I had to duck! But everything went well, no issues! The DB guys were securing the bikes so there was nothing else for me to do, so I went to my cabin. Cosy!
This morning we've arrived punctually at 7.15 in Hamburg-Altona. Since Heidi was at the head of the train, I was one of the first ones to leave the station. Great!
Finding my way to motorway A7 has been very easy. Everything was perfectly signalized! Love the Germans!
Weather was sunny. At 8.30h I was already sweating, ugh! Motorway was crowded. Both lanes full. Many kilometres riding at 80Km/h because the motorway couldn't absorb so much traffic. But thanks God, no jams.
The Dänish motorway was not so crowded but most of the people drive very slow. Many of them were overtaking caravans at the 'vertiginous' speed of 80 Km/h... in places where you could ride up to 130! Was getting a bit nervous...
Arrived to Hirtshals much earlier than expected. Check in was due to start at 16h and I was there at 14h... No problem, I always have things to do. Took my boots off, got my flip-flops and went for a short walk. While walking, I found a 'ferret-like' animal. Thought it could be hungry so showed it a croissant I had on my bag. The ferret showed interest so I offered some bits that quickly disapeared in its mouth. Then I remembered that I also had a bit of 'pâte' in the bag. Thought it was much more appropriate for a ferret so there went my lunch... But the ferret was happy, so I was happy, too.
While queueing for the ferry I met some very nice bikers. A Serbian guy heading to North Cape, a Californian guy riding a German BMW and two Norwegian guys riding a couple of almost 'classic' Yamahas FZR...
Mikael, one of the Norwegians was very helpful explaining me how the damned straps with ratchet worked (had no clue - never used ratchets before, only 'normal straps' with knots!).
I've spent the whole ferry trip with the two Norwegians. Great fun! And I also got great advice from them on nice roads and things to visit. Thanks a mil!!!
When leaving the ferry I had a critical moment. All motorbikes were in a low deck, with some slope and while maneuvering the bike to go out, I hit one of the 'bumps' on the floor used to secure the bikes and lost balance towards de right. Ughhhhhhhhhh! That horrible feeling that the bike is falling and you can't do anything to avoid it... But by miracle I managed to keep it standing! Well, not by miracle, all the muscles in my right leg are still aching... It was very close...
Once in town I looked for the room I had booked in advance for spending the night. Very practic 'hotel' next to the harbour (no way that's a hotel, not even a hostel!!!). I got my 'plain clothes' and went for a walk through Kristiansand. Got a Norwegian SIM card in a petrol station, some cash in an ATM, a hamburger and some french fries in a McD and went for a relaxing walk next to the shore. Great end of the day!
And here some pics:
Yesterday in Germany, Heidi loaded in the train!
And now being tempted by the 'pâte'... Even a second one appeared!
Hirtshals harbour. Waiting for the ferry:
Heidi secured in the ferry belly: