Saturday, June 6, 2015

Arcadian May one a day

A frantic May at work for two weeks culminated in a quick trip to Greece to see whether Mrs N's castle in Arcadia still stood - we heard that there had been a heavy winter of snow and the the roof has seen better days....
Panic over as Capuccinno Panda staggers to a halt outside Pussy Palace high on the slopes of Πάρνωνας

Spring has sprung and giant dandelions adorn the vineyard

Swimming for the hardy near Paralio Astros

Gyros at Astros

Άγιος Ιωάννης final resting place

Tunisian spur-thighed tortoise (Testudo graeca nabeulensis) seen at speed on the way to Astros

Motorcycle excursion sizing up the way to Stollos

A visit to good friend Manolis to drink τσίπουρο whilst admiring his washing
 A Sunday interlude in Athens to meet visiting friends.

Prettiness at Glyfada

Athens pavement poltics - grexit much discussed

Capuccinno Panda at the beach

κόκκινο ουρανό το βράδυ, οι ποιμένες απόλαυση

It rained

Where have all the €s gone?

Final day, a brief flick through Athens waiting for the flight home - the National Zoo and Futile Debating Chamber viewed from Monastiraki up Ermou street
8 hours stopover at Copenhagen Airport Hilton Hotel - plane spotter's delight
 I forgot to mention the village cat contingent.....sorry.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Carry On Down the Rhine

It's a fact that public holidays in Germany do not fall on the same days as those of England (or even Scotland which is different too).  I work in England - Mrs Nikos works in Germany ergo I had a lonely day in Wiesbaden for the May Day Bank holiday.

Mrs N on Spock - the springtime in the Taunus on a Saturday pose - note the hi viz cycle clips.
The B42 at Rudesheim was subject to an Bomben Umleitung
Bank holiday in England but business as usual on Rheinstrasse. Spock needed to be run in more before the first oil change - I called Greg and we decided to go for a pootle on the condition that I navigated this time.I enjoy the water so elected a Rhine trip with the destination of Kaub.  The diversion proved to be a bonus.

Wiesbaden - Ready for the "off".

First stop - Greg's workshop to view the restoration of his "Lady"

Greg  is possibly admiring Spock

Triumph Trident and Spock

The Bomben Umleitung took us on the Wispertal, a wonderully scenic route whch descends towards the Rhine at Lorch. On a weekend this road is somewhat frenzied with bikers but on a Monday very pleasant to ride - --> this is the sort of thing but speeded up somewhat -  some stock footage

It's Monday and Bennos Truck Stop - as a Biker Treff  it is mercifully very quiet.

Old Man River - she just keeps padlin' along.

The round tables with cushioned seating are reserved exclusively for regulars at Bennos Truck Stop. I recall Arlo Guthrie - "You can get anything you want at Bennos Truck Stop except decent coffee"

The mounted Police arrived and made good use of the cushions. 
Back ar Schierstein Hafen we enjoy traditional eggs with Grüne Soße and decent cappucinno.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Plane Spotty Cyclist

I don't mind living near an airport.  In fact as a youth I spent most of my time outside on the school playing fields (compulsory games four times per week) gazing into the sky over South East London watching first generation  jets stacking over Biggin Hill and then lining up to land at Heathrow.

And now, in later life seated impotently on my Aldi gel saddle cover, I explored the country lanes of Cheshire headed in the general direction of Manchester Airport.

That sunny morning Mrs Nikos heads to Germany following her guest appearance in ScooterBobs epilogue--->HERE

Later that day, it turns out that I rode 16 miles

One of many "crash gates" to allow the Airport fire service to exit the airport controlled area should the worst happen in Nether Knutsford.

To complement my Aldi gel saddle cover I now sport an Aldi LED helmet

The proverbial wind sock

Nothing beats England on a sunny spring day with the cumulo nimbus clouds strutting their stuff across the Cheshire Plain

Moving on from the crash gate a super vantage point is reached with a nice view of the airport shopping complex spoilt only by aircraft operations.

I appear to be following the Runway 2 Trail complete with Bats

A flymaybe Faster than road or rail buzzes me

A little further along the trail I discover the River Bollin

Quite a cathedral this, passing under the second runway

The scale of this culvert is quite unexpected.

On my way to Frankfurt a few days later, I survey the runway in the direction of the River Bollin from my usual Termianl 1 vantage point with the usual weather front.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Sunday Music and Eclectic Dancing

Sing along but please don't try the dancing at home:


Πώς τον λεν, πώς τον λεν
τον ποταμό;
Ιλισσό, Ιλισσό.
Να σου πω το μικρό μου μυστικό.
Σ’ αγαπώ, σ’ αγαπώ.
Τα μωρά φωνάζουν τη μαμά τους,
μα εγώ είμαι έρμο κι ορφανό.
Τα πουλιά πετούν με τα φτερά τους,
μα εγώ πετώ μες στο χορό.
Πώς τον λεν, πώς τον λεν
τον ποταμό;
Ιλισσό, Ιλισσό.
Να σου πω το μικρό μου μυστικό.
Σ’ αγαπώ, σ’ αγαπώ.
Κάθε κοπέλα θέλει
να `χει φίλο τον όμορφο Τέλη
και να βγαίνει μαζί του τα βράδια,
να `χει χάδια, να `χει χάδια.
Όμως καθ’ ένας γνωρίζει
πως ο Τέλης πολύ συνηθίζει
κάθε βράδυ κορίτσι ν’ αλλάζει,
δε με νοιάζει, δε με νοιάζει.
Πώς τον λεν, πώς τον λεν
τον ποταμό;
Ιλισσό, Ιλισσό.
Να σου πω το μικρό μου μυστικό.
Σ’ αγαπώ, σ’ αγαπώ.
Τα μωρά φωνάζουν τη μαμά τους,
μα εγώ είμαι έρμο κι ορφανό.
Τα πουλιά πετούν με τα φτερά τους,
μα εγώ πετώ μες στο χορό.
Πώς τον λεν, πώς τον λεν
τον ποταμό;
Ιλισσό, Ιλισσό.
Να σου πω το μικρό μου μυστικό.
Σ’ αγαπώ, σ’ αγαπώ.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Cruising to Europe with Spock

Obviously when I booked the overnight pasage from Hull to Rotterdam some months ago I could not predict that winter weather and gales would prevail.  Luckily (used advisedly) the worst of the sleet and driving rain with 50mph north westerly winds encountered on the Woodhead pass petered out on the east of the Pennine hills.  All that remained were biting winds and sunny weather. And the circuit to the electrically heated gloves failed.

A few days before....

How to secure a luggage pack containing essentail gluten free products to Spock - some very useful hooks purchased some years ago and found languishing in my oddments box.

Meet Spock......

Born in Thailand with promise to ergo-fit Mr and Mrs, a Kawasaki Vulcan S waits for the Pride of Hull.
Meet Rowan, an Ozzy on his way to Galipolli with his Tiger  to attend the 100 year commemorations.
Your proverbial on-board selfie
Your proverbial cabin selfie of sorts
The next morning and now firmly on the continent one proceded from scenic Rotterdam at a stately pace due to the breaking in restrictions of 4000rpm:  Never mind holding up the trucks - I don't want to end up with a "broken down" motorcycle after 1000km as the Kawasaki owner's manual points out on page 70. 

This stock picture resembles Rotterdam, located across half of Holland, a mostly desolate country with virtually no motorway service areas but with people displaying themselves in their front rooms ("allegedly").
After some hours at 4000rpm I divert through Venlo by mistake (taking in the sites and roadworks, diversions etc.) and eventually end up in Germany where I hold up traffic on the A61 until Koblenz.

I arrive at Bad Ems - my hands are too cold to operate my camera but suffice it to say the final leg of the journey to Wiesbaden through the Taunus and river valleys was beautiful and memorable.
On arrival in Wiesbaden I unload the cargo of gluten free products and muse that in 100km I can go at 6000rpm.
Hot Tip:  Always keep your hybrid Gernings electric gloves charged up especially when the onboard wiring harness has failed  - there is normally a socket available somewhere or other in a German service area. 

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