(The text below was written before we left in March, '06.)
Based on our research of others who have taken their motorcycles from the west coast
of North America we will probably land in Frankfurt, Germany. That city is a huge
airfreight terminal. We will shop for the tickets in January and will know for sure
after we pick a shipper. We want to fly on or near March 1st.
Assuming we start in Frankfurt, we will spend a few days there to take care of paperwork
and get over any jet lag. Then we will head south toward Valencia, Spain. We want
to attend the Las Fallas celebration there starting on March 15th. We will have
enough time to spend some days in Barcelona along the way. After Las Fallas we will
head toward Gibraltar and the ferries to Morocco.
We want to be on the edge of the Sahara for the eclipse on March 29th. The eclipse
will cross Africa from the Gold Coast toward Turkey. We will not be under the totality
but still should have a good show.
After a couple of weeks in Morocco we will cross back to Spain and head for Lisbon,
Portugal where we will catch a plane to the Azores Islands and visit some friends
for a few days. After exploring Portugal we want to run back to Spain for the Feria
Abril (April Fair) in Seville.
It is now the start of May. We plan to work our way north thru western France, Belgium,
Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. If things work out right we will be in
Nordkapp, Norway for the Summer Solstice, and watch the sun go around in a circle. Nordkapp
is a far north as one drive in this world on a paved road.
Next is south (the only way we can go!) thru Finland to Helsinki. We want to take
a train tour to St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia, leaving the bike in Helsinki. Upon
returning to Helsinki we will take the ferry to Estonia and work our way south thru
the Baltic States, Poland, Czech Republic and on to the British Isles for the month
In early September we will cross back to the mainland and head for Munich, Germany. We
will base there for day trips into the Alps, Austria, Switzerland and southern Germany,
as well as Oktoberfest (which is held in the end of September). At the start of
October we will head for Cologne and Intermot with a stop for a boat trip and fireworks
on the Rhine River.
We have decided not to sell our house to pay for this, we are taking it out of our
investments and saving the house for later. A relative will be babysitting the house
while we are gone to keep it from appearing abandoned. If we really like this traveling
style we may well sell at a later date and continue on around the world, South Africa,
Australia, New Zealand and South and Central America before returning to the USA
after 3-5 years. (Right now that sounds like fun to us, but we have never traveled
for more than one month at a time and don't know how we will feel after long term
travel.) We'll know a lot more by this time next year (in December, 2006).