Mittwoch, 23. Mai 2018

5.750 km in five weeks - from Munich to Granada and back with my motorbike :)

let's get started! :)

Leaving the winter in Germany

After my (probably last ones ever) exams and a short trip to my grandparents and visiting Renske in Haarlem, I packed my cases and my camping chair and was ready to go :)
Unfortunately, I first had to shift my plans for a few days because of snowy weather and minus degrees. Then on Tuesday, the 20th of March the weather forecast predicted +1 degrees and no rain / snowfall so I was preparing myself and starting to my first destination - just 1.5 hours of driving to Jonas close to Lake Konstanz (Bodensee) :)
It was more freezing and hurting than I had expected, and I was SO glad to have a hot bath and a cup of tea when I arrived :D
Next day same temperatures again but a bit more sun - and again just a short distance to Freiburg to visit Judith and having +6 degrees during the day in the warm valley in the Black Forest:)

After these two days of not so much fun driving and more taking care of not losing my hands or feet due to the frost, I started more or less early from Freiburg to Lyon, which was a 7 hours drive and the first time of crossing a border - and following the outer bounds of the Alpes down to warmer regions :)

visiting a cave with my host Claire and a friend of her, just equipped with torches and absolutely no lights inside, a walk combined with climbing for about 4km into the mountain :)
last kilometers before Claire's house in a small villages, beautiful roads and perfect spot to see the sunset :)

first time touching the sea and having a coffee at the beach for this trip (many more to follow :) )

 International Dub Gathering in Alicante

My main goal and destination for this trip was to go to the International Dub Gathering festival close to Alicante, so after eight days of driving, in total a little more than 2000km and having two days of break in Moncofa and meeting up with Martha, Silja, Sophia, Nik, I arrived at the festival ground (right on time to meet Grissy there :D )
First thing we saw when queueing up, was O.B.F. coming out of the festival area and posing with some people and doing Inst*gram or so :D
beautiful outside area with a smaller soundsystem and more roots music :)
typical reaction of Grissy for one of my (almost always funny) jokes.
 During the festival we also met some other friends coming from Munich and had a good time there, but after three days of music and good vibes the festival was over and I continued towards Granada :)


On Sunday after the last festival night, I started towards Granada - achieved the 50.000km mark of my motorbike and arrived in the evening at Granada. My GPS led me into a traffic restricted zone close to the Alhambra where I parked my motorbike close to the Alhambra and waited for Tanja to pick me up. She was basically living in a cave, a little bit up the hill, which she was renovating with a friend and living there for a few weeks :)
Had a shower and were cleaning our clothes in a waterfall - and then drying and getting warm again in the last glance of the sun on our way back to the cave :)
Good morning coffee in front of the cave with a view over the valley and the other caves.
Alhambra at night
Sleeping cave & entrance of the cave - still a construction site ;-)
After having five really cool days in Granada, I travelled again up in the north - visited the house in Moncofa for two nights, drove to the mountains - got caught in hail on my birthday, cleaned all my clothes and maintained my bike - and made me and my bike ready for another 2000km until coming home to Munich again.

enjoying the beauties of the small house in Moncofa

Leaving Spain going to France the second time :)
On my way back up in the North I visited again Xana in Reus, where I had already stopped by on my way from Munich towards South - had another nice evening together and doing some sightseeing in the city - talking about travelling, Couchsurfing and our past trips and future plans :)
Next day I met with Paul (from my residence) in Barcelona, where we had some beers and I spent my first paid night on the trip in a hostel. Next stop then was at Jérémies place close to Perpignan where I was staying again in his house together with his dog - playing some FIFA having also some good conversations, did a trip to the seaside due to his recommendation and went to a cool Bigband Jam Session with him and a friend and had some chats with a roup in the bar later (where you could get a different kind of beer at each table and tab it yourself) :) 

On me peux comprendre encore

 So after more two weeks of having difficulties in daily life to talk to people, I was really happy to come back to France and being able to have normal conversations at gas stations for example :)
My next step was then at David's place who is running a guest house close to Orange, and after a long day of driving we had some Pizza and a bottle of wine and some nice talks about the philosophy of life and how to treat your friends and people you meet during this journey of life :)

The next day I started my day with walking around in Vaison-la-Romaine (thanks for the tip David!) and had then a beautiful ride over the Alpes including some snow on the mountain passes to Grasses, where I stopped for a short visit and a coffee in the place I was usually having a coffee, when I was living in Mougins :)


didn't expect to see snow that day

Meeting friends in Nice

In the evening I was arriving at Trifonas place (a friend from Erasmus in Sophia-Antipolis) who now lives in Nice with a nice balcony and view to the sea. Unfortunately I was a bit late so I just saw Lorenzo and Placido for a quick chat and was having later a nice and relaxed evening with Trifonas and Emanuele.
It's just a beautiful thing to wake up in a dry and warm place and be able to go up grab a coffee and sit on the balcony in the sun watching the sea! :)
I really hope you guys will come to Munich sooner or later :)

Driving in Italy 

The drive from Nice to Italy was pretty nice along the coastside with beautiful roads. Unfortunately, I was driving with all the day- and weekendtourists back to Italy on Sunday evening so the roads where pretty stuck with cabrios and expensive cars..
Crossing the border was again not an active thing to do - I just slowed down a bit and went straight through. This should be also a short anthem to the beautiful thing called Europe we live in (among of other advantages we enjoy practical things as: stressfree travelling, crossing boarders, no roaming charges, the same currency, license everywhere, no need for a Carnet de Passage, etc)

My last Couchsurfing Stay was at Albertos place in Savona. He welcomed me as a Emergency Couchsurfer so we made the first contact just a few hours before we met. Even though he had a long day of work, we went out for an evening walk through the city and did a little bit of sightseeing :)
He recommended me to go to the city castle (Priamàr) where I was sitting the next morning on the roof in the sun, watching the sea and finally finishing my book, which I have been reading since forever.
I then stayed (the last time :( ) on a beach close to Genua enjoying the sea and already missing it, before heading north, now on a straight line towards Munich (as far as Google Maps can calculate a straight line .. )

Lago di Garda
View from the Balcony

For the first time during all my journey, I did not find any friend (or friend of a friend), Couchsurfer or anyone else who could host me, so I stayed my second night out in my tent and was then ready to go up early the next morning & start driving, which is not a bad thing as well ;-)
 After crossing the boring part of the Po Plain, I had a nice Pizza close to the Lago di Garda and spent the day driving along the beautiful lake, taking a lot of breaks for ice-cream, coffee or just the view and a sip of water - and then continuing forward in the Alpes towards Germany to meet Max, a friend from home, in a hotel (luxury life, including a breakfast buffet, 3 beds for 2 persons :p), close to Drau and stayed there on the balcony enjoying the view for the evening.

 Crossing the Alpes

The first time for more than 5.000 km I was not driving alone, and had a friend to follow and just enjoying the drive without having to think to much about navigation etc. Furthermore it is a lot of fun to drive together and have a quick chat at the gas station and spending time together. The mountain passes back where partly covered in snow and sometimes small water streams where crossing the streets every now and then. Thanks to really nice weather and good conditions we were beating the expected arrival time of Google Maps quite a lot and passing on the way back some of the beautiful places in our close neighbourhood like the Walchensee :)
(More or less our planned route)


After an hour of driving over the motorway and through the Munich traffic, it was a crazy but nice feeling to drive again up the driveway of our student residence - and within an hour being caught again by the daily life of our place.


In general I had a great time during my trip, including good and bad days, experiences and situations. I can truly recommend to everyone, as far as it is possible, to go travelling alone, trying to be with just yourself for a few hours or days and discover how your habits and attitudes change and develop when leaving the normal conditions of everyday life.

This is the easy part of writing this article. Thanks to everyone who made this trip possible! I had so many great experiences and met new people I usually would never have met. This is also a contribute to Couchsurfing which makes it possible to discover so many places & different people, and made this an irreplaceable and very special journey for me!
This is again an invitation back to all of you to come to visit me in Munich and let me give you back some of the generosity and good vibes you shared with me :)
One thing that defintely changed this trip for myself is that I really want to try to welcome more people from abroad to support a culture of easy travelling and making it affordable for low budget travellers as well :)

My Couchsurfing Profile

Some impressions

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