Day One: Amsterdam to Sassnitz

Departure: Prins Hendrikkade 510, Amsterdam
Time: 09:30

Arrival: Sassnitz, Germany
Time: 19:10

(in progress)

Hard riding today, the autobahn makes a person crazy – we were going between 130 and 160 kph all the way through northern germany. 10 hours on the road today, counting gas breaks. We had hoped to drop in to Hamburg around lunchtime or early afternoon to see Sumi and Frances (Michi’s sister and mom), but we didn’t make good enough time and the traffic jams as we neared Hamburg became insane.

I was loving my new TomTom Rider v2 today – I wanted so badly for someone to call me so that I could answer the phone while riding my motorcycle. Alas, everyone knew that today was the first day of the trip, so left me alone.

We learned some of our riding quirks today. Dick avoided passing any cars when in the lead, worried that he would lose me and Matt. Matt was always riding really close on whoever he was behind. I was in love with passing everyone, and didn’t wait for the boys when I was in the lead. Matt sometimes didn’t look before following, so this was especially dangerous. We will all get better at riding together, but there was a lot of irritation building all day.

At one of the rest stops, a horde of German tourists from a tour bus gathered around us. At first we just ignored them, as they were really only talking amongst themselves even though they were so closely crowded around us that I felt claustrophobic. Eventually they tried to talk to us, but it didn’t go over very smoothly.

we got into sassnitz, found our hotel, and walked through the woods for dinner at a friendly if terrible german version of an italian place. great homemade schnapps, though, and the waitress was extremely gifted at pantomime. We were a little skeptical of the trip through the woods. It wasn’t much of a path, and we shared lots of "jokes" about missing bikers.

everyone we met in sassnitz was tremendously friendly…

Hotel Staphel

This was kind of a camping hotel.  Friendly, meant for family vacations, cheap but comfortable.  We had asked for a triple room, and got in fact a mini-suite.  It was two rooms, the first had 2 beds pushed together to make a double, and the second had bunkbeds and the bathroom attached.  It was reasonably cheap, and in the summer probably makes a really nice seaside vacation place.  They have a deal with a nearby hotel for use of the sauna, but we didn’t bother.  They were accommodating to our extra needs:  gave us a private garage for our motorcycles (free of charge!!), and arranged to have the breakfast out earlier than normal so that we could catch our ferries.

An interesting thing about road trips as a biker:  you suddenly become one of the morning crowd!  For this breakfast, we were beaten to the dining room by the construction crew, and followed by a family with a small child, then an elderly couple.  I don’t know how many people were staying there, but there were more cars in the lot.