Friday, October 14, 2011


Did you have fun? We did...and didn't.

Before even setting eyes on the Zundapp the thought crossed our minds that we might never get out of Germany. That would be because our choice of transport is 70 years old.
We could have no idea as to how true that was to become!

People ask us "why do we do it?" We asked ourselves the same question every day! We haven't come up with an answer yet! But, what if our plan worked? How cool would that have been.

Having no specific plans when holidaying is a great thing, especially when it all goes pear-shaped. However, as a consequence of problems we did and saw some great things, therefor there can be no complaints.

We are proud to own such a piece of motorcycling history. And because of our choice of bike we have met some great characters in our travels. She's like a magnet to young and old.

When Brunhilda was running, she was great. And she'll be great again when she comes home. We have plans to do many miles with her and she'll serve us well - eventually.

The highlights of our trip include the Sidecar Rally, the MV Meeting, Guzzi's 90th, Catweazle, everything in England, Bruxelles, the ancient villages in Germany (such as Rothenburg ob ter Tauber and Dinkelsbuhl), the big cities, Veterama, Sinsheim & Speyer and of course all the people we met along the way. We wouldn't want to have missed any of these.

Would we do it again - NOPE. But the mind is already thinking "what about this" and "what about that"? All terrible ideas with great possibility.

See you on the flip side - P&K

Friday, October 7, 2011

WEDNESDAY 12th OCTOBER 2011 (Homeward bound)

It was an early start for us ... we had a plane to catch and there was no way we were going to miss it.
Our time was up and we are ready to go home.
We caught a bus to the airport arriving well ahead of time. It's necessary to be at the airport three hours prior to flight departure in Europe.

Here's Paul at the airport eager to unload the bags and go to the lounge area.

We had to catch the skybus (seen here reflected in the building windows) from Terminal A to Terminal B where we'll depart.
Frankfurt Airport almost seemed as big as Melbourne City. It took forever to get from one end to the other.

We were set, or so we thought, until we got our bags scanned. Paul had two bottles of special wine to take home (you are allowed to take two litres) but because it wasn't in our luggage or sealed in plastic we weren't allowed to take it. He was told to take it back to the luggage section but before he even got there he was urgently told they are "closing the doors of your plane". He bolted. Meanwhile, I'm standing around the corner from the plane's entry, unable to carry our bags, waiting for Paul. A lady came up all panicky and said we must board NOW. At that point Paul returned, minus wine, and we casually sauntered on to the plane. We weren't the last to board. So much for being early to the airport!

We had a stopover in Honk Kong (13th) for a few hours. We'd got there two hours ahead of schedule thanks to a 100kph tail wind.

Arrived in Melbourne very late in the night and stayed over.

We were greeted by this beautiful sunrise the next morning (14th).

Travelling time was exactly 48 hours from Frankfurt Aiport to Hobart Airport.

It's a l-o-n-g way.

TUESDAY 11th OCTOBER 2011 (Speyer Museum)

As if the last three days weren't grueling enough we'd planned another BIG day today.

Here's the Hotel we stayed at the last two nights with the 'Guldener Becher' restaurant next door.

It was a good move staying an extra night as it made it very easy to go visit Siegfried & Libby at their work.

Siegfried runs and services LARGE printing machines. He was flat out preparing a machine, which took up the length of the factory, and getting it ready to be shipped to Russia.

Paul loved visiting and poked his head in among all the nuts'n'bolts.

We stayed much longer than planned (easy to do in Siegfried & Libby's company) but we eventually left and made our way to SPEYER.
SPEYER MUSEUM is an extension of the SINSHEIM MUSEUM we visited yesterday. Again, another HUGE museum with sooooo much to see.

We knew what to expect today, or thought we did, but were still blown away by the contents on display.

Upon entry we had to walk under this 'Noratlas', part of the standard equipment of the French Airforce since 1951. The fuselage tail opens for loading and unloading.

We got our tickets and Paul bounded ahead and went through the rotating gate. He spotted this 1924 Mars 956cc and away he went, then he saw another and another. I was left standing at the gate, my entry ticket in Paul's pocket!
One of the employees came to my aid and offered to let me through the gate. I explained that my husband has the ticket but let's wait and see how long it takes before he realises he's left his wife behind...!!! She roared laughing and we were both left standing for quite a while before Paul came back wondering what on earth I'm doing at the gate!

This was a pretty interesting cycle. It's a 1928 Mauser Monotrace car. Mauser made military weapons and after WW1 they were not allowed to produce weapons any more. So they tried building cars and this is an example. In reality this car is a motorcycle with two lateral supporting wheels. When the car was started it stood on four wheels. Once sufficient speed was gained the supporting wheels could be moved up with the help of a lever.

Here's one of the classic Mercedes Benz's on display. They were many classic German cars as you'd expect.

What, not another Junkers...!!!

There is a huge collection of large Orchestrions, all pumping out their signature tunes, as well as this classic merry-go-round. Would have loved to sit on one of the horses and go round...!!! That's the kid still in me!

Here's one of the many Opel's on display.

Planes, orchestrions, bikes, fire engines, cars, didn't matter what direction you looked there was always something of interest.

Here's a 1988 Mil-Mi-24P. It's a combined transport and combat helicopter which could accommodate eight soldiers in full equipment and four stretchers.

Standing high over all the exhibits is the Boeing 747 Lufthansa jumbo jet (on the left) with the Antonov cargo plane on the right.

The Antonov was the most interesting aircraft on sight...I thought so anyway. To be able to go inside and look down the 33 meter hold and out the 'hole in the back' where cargo is dropped was fascinating.

The sign said "U-BOOT" and so we figured we better see that. And here it is. This U9 went in to active service in 1967 and worked till 1993. She covered 174,850 nautical miles which equals eight circumnavigations of the globe.

One of the 'must sees' we heard about was a collection of 26 Munch Mammoths. We weren't disappointed - all 26 looked fantastic. We knew a fellow 25 years ago who had one so have followed these bikes with a bit interest ever since.

The entire Friedel-Munch-Museum-Walldorf inventory was permanently taken over by the Speyer Museum.

There were only a few hundred examples ever produced, custom built to the customers requirements.

Not only were the Munch's beautifully displayed, there were also heaps of Munch paraphernalia, more than you would expect considering it's not a mass produced motorcycle.

We both thought this great. Wonder how she rides?

The BIG draw-card was the Russian space shuttle BURAN. WOW, to see it in the flesh and knowing where it's been was quite extraordinary.

They also had space exhibits covering 2,500 square metres documenting the history of manned space flights from the early 1960's right up to today.

I thought I'd give it a fleeting look but ended up spending a few hours covering all there was to see. It was really interesting.

I was particularly taken with a speed limit sign on board one of the shuttles saying "Speed Limit 28,000 kp/h".

Hall-2 was dominated by the Space Shuttle but there were also many other things to see.

And many vantage points from which to see it.

The old Antonov deserved one more look. She's a big graceful old bird.

After many hours of looking, looking and more looking it was time to leave.

We had a look around the town of SPEYER, on the banks of the Rhein, as we thought we might stay the night. We are only 2 hours from Frankfurt where we have to be tomorrow.

BUT...we decided to head north and found a place to stay near the airport.

So this is our last view of rural Germany.

It really is a beautiful country ... if you can stay off the autobahns!

MONDAY 10th OCTOBER 2011 (Sinsheim Museum)

We stayed at a small country hotel in OSTRINGEN last night which perfectly positioned us for a visit to SINSHEIM MUSEUM today.

Before we even got to Germany we'd planned to visit this museum but breakdowns conspired against us. The frustrating thing is, we'd driven past the captivating Concorde & Tupolev displayed on the roof of the museum E-I-G-H-T times...!!!

So...we were quite delighted to be finally visiting this well-known museum.

We were fortunate enough to meet the President of the museum as we had a very special book to give him - a gift from one of the Aussie contenders on the 2005 'Peking to Paris' adventure. Herman was quite chuffed having completed the trip a number of times himself.

We were gob-smacked when we entered the museum. We had no idea how HUGE it was and the quality of the displays are second to none.

First we were transported back to the 1950's with an incredible display of b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l cars. Alongside were mannequin's dressed in period costume, smaller displays such as cafes or hair-dressing salon's of the era and periodically music from that era was played. I wanted to stay there!

Here's a 1958 Ford Thunderbird, one of only 62 left in existence. Her name, Pink Bird.

This FUNKENBLITZ took part in the 1997 Peking to Paris. Can you imagine?

The motorcycles on display were amazing. Most we'd never seen or heard of before.

This NSU took three years to build. "To accommodate the gigantic 146mm borehole, it was expanded horizontally and vertically by 66mm. The crankshaft alone weighs 34kgs and the total weight of the bike is 305kgs."

There were four or five other examples of NSU Bison's, all equally impressive. They all had that great big WOW factor.

A huge section of the museum is dedicated to all things military...and I mean ALL things. It was amazing.

Here is a destroyed Panther tank, deployed in 1944 in the fierce battle between German troops and Soviet Union at Tscherkassy. We have previously visited the site of this battle and the displays on site are vividly gruesome.
We watched a film about the uncovering of this tank which was buried deep in mud.

We were so engrossed at everything on ground level that often we'd forget to look up. Every bit of roof space was also utilized and its here many fascinating planes were hung. They really did look like they were flying AT you!

Here's a Junkers Ju-52. These planes date back to the early 30's.
A beautiful thing to look at but not sure I'd want to fly in something that looks like it's made out of corrugated tin!

We could step inside this Canadair which was used for fighting forest fires mainly in the Mediterranean area. Two tanks can carry almost five-and-a-half thousand litres of water.

We were greeted by this IMPERATOR mobile when we entered Hall-2. It's the funniest thing I've ever seen and along with the appropriate circus-like music it bumped and squeeked and dinged and donged when fed a Euro coin.

We were dwarfed when standing next to this contraption.
No idea what it is...I wasn't listening when Paul was explaining it to me...but it was impressive none-the-less.

Now here's a vehicle that's known around the world...BRUTUS.

It's a fire breathing dragon dating back to the First World War. Many aircraft engines were available since Germany was not allowed to own aircraft and these engines were installed on old undercarriages and used to race. It's worth Googling 'Brutus' and watch the film clips of her race. You'll never see anything else like it.

Many so-called 'new' concepts have been around before and forgotten over time. Here's a classic example of a 1910 mono-wheel motorcycle... AND IT'S FULLY OPERATIONAL.

There were many vantage points in both halls of the museum which gave an impressive over-view of what we were looking at.

We were transported through time from vehicles from the early 1900's, a large 1920's display and everything right through to race cars and land speed record holders.

There were cars and bikes and buses and fire engines and boats and trains and every other oddity known to man.

As impressed as we were with the cars it was still the bikes that drew our main attention. Especially when we found this display of Italian desirables - SFC Laverda's, MHR, MV Sport and various other beauties. It appears all of these bikes, except possibly the MHR (because it was new) are well used.

We nearly flipped when we set eyes on this Bohmerland, dating back to the mid-20's. We never in our wildest dreams ever expected to set eyes on the real thing.

This 'long version' bike is 3.2 meters long. It can seat three people on the drivers seat (!) and one on the pillion.
The 'long' version never really took of (can't imagine why?) but it is estimated that seventy-five are still in existence.

Now this is hilarious (if it wasn't so close to the bone!). And I quote..."This motorcycle with driven sidecar originated from World War 2. After the war many of these bikes went to Greece where they were remodeled. The differential gear was replaced by a cardan shaft which drives an axle taken from a Willie's Jeep. This was a typical utilization of parts taken from war vehicles immediately after the end of the war. Fortunately the motorcycle was never restored. Surprisingly, in spite of the many damages the bike drives very well." Looking at this you'd think our bike would go wouldn't you...!!!

Once we'd completed the two main halls it was outside to check out the captivating aeroplanes, the British-French Concorde and the Russian Tupolev. Both these planes competed to be the first supersonic passenger plane in the air. They are beautiful planes and look more modern than their 1960's heritage.

Here's Paul standing in the doorway of the Russian Tupolev. We are so, so lucky to have experienced these planes inside and out (unfortunately not in the air).

Here's the Concorde displayed in 'take-off' position.

We then could climb up into the Concorde and compare the two planes. Concorde definitely had the edge.

After admiring the Junkers in Hall-1 we were able to get up close and personal with this example. Now I know I definitely would NOT fly in one.

The interior of the Junkers Ju-52.

Of course there were many other planes on display but how can they compete with the Concorde and Junkers!

I do like planes though and they are all fascinating.

The museum is a fascinating place and I was impressed with the facilities provided for children...ably demonstrated here by Paul.

Only problem was he wouldn't get off...!!!

We spent MANY hours at the museum and it was closing time (6.00pm) when we left.

Our parting view was colourful with the sun shining on the planes accentuated by the dark sky behind.

What a fantastic place. Highly recommended for anyone passing. Although, unlike us, if you did pass this place you wouldn't keep driving. You would stop and visit right then and there.

We decided to drive back to OSTRINGEN and stay at the same Hotel we stayed at last night. 'Twas a good move.

Here's a photo of Paul Veterama'd and Museum'd out...!!!

We did, later on, go next door to one of the best Italian restuarant's we've ever had the pleasure of eating at - GULDENER BECHER.

A great day out.