25 days and over 5000ks later now on home straight!
Mannheim Travel Blog› entry 29 of 29 › view all entries
This is likely to be our last blog entry of this trip. We hope youâ€™ve enjoyed it and thanks for readingâ€¦
Weâ€™ll we are now on the home straight. Today we head to Luxemburg or northern
Since our last blog we have driven south west from
Around 6:30 the weather closed in. Weâ€™d lost each other on the road (some how CM had over taken JP without either of them realising). CM was speeding up trying to catch JP, JP was slowing down waiting for CM. Eventually after an hour or so of very soggy road side texting and missed phone calls we finally found each other at a road house outside Frankfurt. By the time we finally arrived in
The real bright spot on otherwise a long and hard day was Marko and Lisaâ€™s wonderful hospitality. Great to catch up and see them in their new apartment, an oasis of calm!
Next day went to the nearest bike shop. By some twist of beautiful luck (that only usually seems to happen when travelling) we stumbled across the 3rd biggest Honda bike shop in
With that we continued the day of mechanics and technical wizardary by driving down to Stuggart to the home of the Mercedes factory, where we were very lucky to get on a factory tour. The tour deserves much more than a few lines but we saw the E class and the SLK class on the factory line. This plant directly employees 40 thousand people and needless to say is ridiculously massive. The robot can insert a pre-pared dash board in under minute, by carefully scanning the exact profile of the car and back of dash before gently lifting it up and skilfully manoeuvring it in to place. Each car is different and there is phenomenal number of combinations of features that each car must be equipped with. The real skill of the assembly line is takes this array of options manage the process so that each part is ready and waiting to be added to the chassis when the time comes with minimum time lag. Apparently in a dash board alone there is over 4000 combinations! More trivia: a car comes rolling off the assembly line every 30 seconds.
JP would like to say: Itâ€™s been a great trip. We must have smiled and waved to hundreds if not thousands of people along the way (most of whom didnâ€™t respond BTW, but not the point!). Thereâ€™s a lot more to Europe that the big countries of the south,
CM would like to add a special thanks to all those who helped us along the way to get us to Moscow and home. It has been a great ride even if we did miss the warm weather by about a week. We can be pleased that it has been fairly dry for us. The transition from west to east and back has been one hell of a journey with plenty of stories to tell. To add on safety of travelling thru Europe to Russia, i have left things in my bike for the entire tripped unlocked and everything is still there (including Keys). It would be ironic if my bike is being stolen right now. Just checked still there. So with sensible parking and a little luck in general people in europe are pretty considerate. Road conditions across the continent to St Petersburg have been very manageable with no real dangerous hazards. Poland could do with a few more motorways but I certainly enjoyed the smaller winding roads around the Lakes district. Till the next adventure but lets finish this one first.
Adios and adieu. JP and CM.