The two-day stay in Anchorage was eventless (another big city). The staff at the local BMW dealership was helpful, trying to give travellers a special treatment, whenever possible. Equipped with a new set of tires I continued to move north towards Fairbanks, the start of the “real” adventure, the Dalton Highway, a 800 kilometre (500 mile) gravel road along the Alaskan gas pipeline, to the oilfields near Prudhoe Bay on the shores of the Arctic ocean (“Beaufort Sea”).
July 09, 2004 GMT - The Alaska Highway
Dawson Creek – the beginning of the Alaska Highway. Built in 1942, this road 2,450 km highway through the northern territories of Canada and Alaska was completed in just 8 months and provided an essential transportation link to the northwest of North Armerica during WW II, and has since remained a major transportation artery.
June 22, 2004 GMT - Turning North Towards Canada
It was with the best intentions that I left Bozeman, Montana for Missoula. I had seen a website for an campground in St. Ignatius, Montana, some 60 kilometres or so north of Missoula. St. Ignatius, in particular is nothing spectacular: a little provincial place in northern Montana, with a supermarket a hardware store, a bar and a gas station.
June 15, 2004 GMT - Still Going West
An on we go. Following my very positive experience with the Miller Family in Pierre, South Dakota, I move on towards the Black Hills, to see Mount Rushmore. On the way there, on a lonely gas station on one of these straight secondary highways, which don’t seem to end, I met with a group of bikers (I believe from Minneapolis) who were on their annual trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota.
May 30, 2004 GMT - Going West
I have made it – to Chicago and on. The trip across the Atlantic was smooth. Even immigration in Chicago was such that within under 1 ½ hours after touchdown, I was in the hotel near O’Hare airport (an that included certain disorientation problems of the taxi driver). The hotel (Best Western in Des Plaines) even offered free internet access. Everything up to that point had gone surprisingly smooth – what did I miss?
May 15, 2004 GMT - The Experiment Continues
I am about ready to leave again. Having completed my trip around Europe last September, I am in the process of starting Stage Two of my experiment: the tour across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
May 11, 2004 GMT - Offroad in Romania
Once a year, my friend Klaus Schrader (second from right below) in cooperation with Tiberius (“Tibi”) Erdelyi (far left) arranges an enduro offroad adventure in Romania. One week of gravel roads, trial sections, mud patches and a glas of vodka to complement breakfast (an old Romanian tradition I am told). – Tiberius has a Romanian background and owns a small farmhouse in a village near Arad, close to the Hungarian-Romanian border.
May 09, 2004 GMT - The Cotswolds & London
On August 10, after 5 days in motorcycle heaven, it was time to leave. Since the ferry for Liverpool was leaving at 6:30h IT meant a very early rise. Packing your camping gear before dawn with rain clouds looming overhead is not really fun. Fortunately, boarding the ferry and the 3 hour or so boat ride was okay. But the following ride from Liverpool south via Birmingham to Gloucestershire was less fun. For the first hour or two it was heavy rain, in combination with heavy weekend/holiday traffic. Reading the GPS was not really possible, and I spent over an hour finding my way out of Liverpool.
May 09, 2004 GMT - The Isle of Man
The ferry crossing from Heysham to Douglas (the capital of the isle) took just under four hours. I left the ferry at around 7:00 pm and began looking for accommodation. Douglas struck me as being moderately touristy, with a number of rather expensive-looking hotel on the promenade. I did not see any signs for B&Bs or for campgrounds or for that matter a tourist information office. Consequently, decided to try my luck in the countryside – without success. A friendly attendant in a gas station, with the help of some customers, suggest that I try Douglas again. As far as he knew, there should be a large camping facility near the grand stand and pit land on the TT course. Okay – back to the city.
May 09, 2004 GMT - Scotland
So I arrived in the U.K. -
It sounds a little like a stereotype but somehow I was not surprised to see it raining when I arrived in Newcastle, on July 25. Grey skies, hard rain, late in the evening, traffic on the left side of the road, tires with minimal thread left…..I was not really feeling happy.....
May 09, 2004 GMT - Norway - Part 2
From Kiruna, Sweden I followed the route along the railway which is used to transport the iron ore or pellets to the sea. In Narvik the product is loaded onto freight ships to be delivered to mainly European ports. Originally I had intended to spend a day or two in the City. Upon arrival, however, it struck me as yet another busy harbor town, I also was not overly impressed with the accommodation options. Since I arrived relatively early, shortly after noon, I decided to move on, towards the Lofoten Islands. If what I had read about it in preparation, then this should be a highlight of this trip.
July 22, 2003 GMT - Norway (Sweden) - Part 1
The reception at Kirkenes was somewhat cold and wet. The city is a gray town with a small industrial harbor. The tourist information says that the area around the city is a melting pot where one can hear people speaking Finnish, Russian, or Sami, the language of the indigenous people.
July 22, 2003 GMT - Finland - Part 2
Following the "pit stop" for the BMW in Oulu, my next stop was Kuusamo, some 250 kilometers north-east of Oulu. Kuusamo. I arrived in late afternoon and felt immediately at home. The city has a very nice info center, right at the city limits. Even on a Sunday afternoon it was open to the public, offering advice of accommodation and... free internet access.
July 01, 2003 GMT - Finland - Part 1
I have to start with somewhat of a confession: I really "zoomed" through the Baltic States. Ideally I should have spent some more time there, but I wanted to meet up with my friends in Helsinki. Going forward, I shall slow down a bit. Hence, I shall split my report on Finland in two. So here is the report on "Finland - Part 1".
June 24, 2003 GMT - Touring The Baltic States
To be perfectly honest - it was with a strange feeling that I approached the Baltic States. I had not met anybody who had been there and somehow the fact that these countries became independent from the former Soviet Union in 1990/91 had not really registered with me.
June 17, 2003 GMT - School kids and other reminders of the past.....
Just over 2 years ago I had already been to Poland (more in the northern part, in the Gdansk region) and I had a certain idea of what to expect - and.... I was not disappointed. There were some pleasant surprises along the way.
June 06, 2003 GMT - Love At Second Sight
Slovakia made it difficult for me to start liking it. Okay it may be a matter of the language. In the Czech Republic, virtually anywhere, I got by speaking either German or English. - No such luck in Slovakia.
May 28, 2003 GMT - Better Luck Second Time Around
More luck second time ‘round. Left Frankfurt following a very quick repair job of my BMW. It rained - but that was okay after everything that had happened thus far. In the meantime I have been to the Czech Republic, Austria and am currently travelling in Slovakia
May 15, 2003 GMT - Going.....Going.....CRASH!
“Adventure” starts right after leaving my home. Requirement to revert to “Plan B” following low speed accident after less than 10 minutes on the road.
April 27, 2003 GMT - The Countdown
My decision to venture forward with this experiment really started about a year ago. I was just one of those job-related things that happened which brought it all about. In retrospect, I should be very grateful for the circumstances which...
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