|Leaving Copenhagen on my new bike|
Several people emailed me and wanted me to add more about my motorcycle trip through
in 1969. Trying to remember that far
back in time is a challenge, so I’ll just hit on a couple of things briefly in this blog.
As I said, the plan was to meet a friend in
but he met a German girl and was busy making the “beast with two backs.” Needless to say, he didn’t show up. So after drinking 150 gallons of beer and
waiting for him for many hours in the famous Hofbrauhous, I left and began the
journey on my own. I had no plan and
chose my course as I went along.
|Two Austrian children|
I had landed in Frankfurt then went to
to buy the bike. While waiting for some modifications for the U.S., I went to Sweden. Then I came back from Sweden to Denmark,
where I picked up the bike, then through northern Germany
down to Munich. This trip was an adventure in itself. I may talk about that in another blog. My idea was to go south because of cold weather.
I mentioned the contrast between
previously, so I’ve attached a couple of photos. The beautiful colors and typical dress of the
two Austrian children were in contrast to the drab environment when I crossed
into Yugoslavia. Ox carts were common, as were women working
|Typical scene upon entering Yugoslavia|
We have friends from the former
say that this wasn’t typical of where they lived. But our friend Mike Mesaros was a very famous
soccer player and lived like a king, so they may have been isolated from the
rural areas I traveled. He is close to
eighty now, but is immediately recognize and interviewed on TV when he and his
wife travel in Europe even today. Mike was literally the Joe DiMaggio of Yugoslavia.
Yugoslavia and Austria were my
two favorite places. The rolling, green
hills of Salzburg, where they made “The Sound of
Music,” were in contrast to the rugged beauty of the coastline in Yugoslavia.
There’s an island off the coast of
called Krk. I have no idea how to
pronounce that, but it was a German nudist resort that my curious nature drove
me to visit. It was all for research,
you understand. I was going to study how long I could keep my pants on.
|Taking a break|
The only way to get to the island was by boat. I’m basically modest and really did try to get away with keeping my pants on until the stares from the mostly college-age nudists became embarrassing. “When in
do as the Romans do.” So I did as the
nudists do and no one stared anymore.
I’m not sure if that’s good or bad.
The thing I remember most about that weekend is the pain when I left the island and began my ten hour ride around the coast of the Adriatic on my way to
somewhere. Every bump in the road and the impact on my sunburned
rear end reminded me of my folly.
I have to say that each country had its own personality in those days. Along with the tribulations there was much to be enjoyed and experienced. I’ll admit that I was happy to get home. I was married within weeks of my return.
That trip was an interesting adventure, but it was more of a “problem-solving” exercise than a pleasure trip. There were a lot of challenges, but a real adventure isn’t all fun. I treasure the memories of those many weeks of rumbling through the beautiful countryside, riding through the Alps in Switzerland, bouncing over coble-stone roads, fighting traffic in
drinking Slivovitz in Zagreb. It was well worth the effort.