Grant and Susan in Europe
After many months of trip preparation, we left Vancouver and rode to San Francisco, where we flew on Lufthansa with the motorcycle to Frankfurt on May 10, 1996. Lufthansa provides a great service for bike travelers - reasonably priced, and no crate required, just drive on and drive off!
We collected the bike from Lufthansa Cargo in Frankfurt, then drove through Cologne, Brussels and Calais, (got lost in Dunkirk) and caught a ferry to Dover. From Dover we drove northwest to Liverpool, where we caught another ferry for the Isle of Man on May 25. The annual TT motorcycle races attracted us and about 10,000+ other motorcyclists to the island (lock up your daughters!), but our bike still got a lot of attention.
Faced with a choice of Ireland or Norway as our next destination, we made our first? impulsive decision - we'd go north to the Arctic Circle. Yet another ferry from Newcastle to Bergen, Norway, this time a beautiful, clean, luxurious one, a huge change from the Isle of Man ferry.
A few days in Bergen, then drove north through fantastically beautiful countryside, lakes, fjords and glaciers.
Upon reaching the Arctic Circle, 24 hours of sunshine addled our brains, and we decided to continue north to the very top of Norway, North Cape. At 71 degrees 10 minutes North, Nordkapp is the most northerly point you can drive to in Europe (possibly on earth).
Bicycle in front of painted wall in Amsterdam
We enjoyed Europe immensely, and spent 9 months there, travelling slowly and enjoying the experience. This portion of the trip was also a re-acclimation to long distance travelling, and good preparation for Africa.