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Stau and Bed Hunting

November 5, 2010

Part two of the Splügenpass-day, late afternoon to late evening, we spent first tackling heavy congestion in Bregenz, Austria at the Southern end of Lake Constance. Literally no “green wave” at the traffic lights, and I think I never experienced such a long “Stau” (German for congestion) since the time when I used to ride home in London’s rush hour… And that’s also how the old filtering skills came in very handy… Until a very kind Austrian scooterist  made us aware of the fact that the police station is right around the corner and that there are hefty fines on filtering…

Well, since the Red Lady’s motor was cooking, means it indicated over 130 Celsius motor temperature, we kept going filtering, especially since we almost got out of the Stau and out of Bregenz. That seemed the better alternative than just staying and waiting until the motor cooled off – at about 30 Celsius…

We continued to Lindau, Germany in the hope of finding a bed & breakfast or hotel somewhere in that area. However, that was supposed to be the real challenge of the day.  Splügenpass was almost forgotten while we went bed hunting…

Wherever we stopped and asked, no rooms free, literally all was packed. We went from Lindau to Ravensburg – nothing. In Ravensburg I think a lady at a hotel told us that there was a huge fair about outdoor equipment going on in Friedrichshafen and that therefore everything was booked. Outdoor fair…. Ok, so why don’t they go camping???! It was getting dark already when we followed the advice to go to Wangen where there might be soma place to stay… Might be, might not, whatever. We needed somewhere to stay and followed the advice. Wangen was all the way back we came, we rode a triangle almost – take a look at the map of our detour below and you see what I am talking about…

Wangen was even smaller than Ravensburg, the hotels in town booked, it was by now almost 10pm and pitch black. No youth hostel in sight either. On the way to Wangen we came past some ‘hotels’ with pink lights and where you can book rooms with special service, though. If you know what I mean… Well, that program we mastered, no worries….

Right. So what does one do? Knackered and hungry from the day as we where and no bed in sight? Pulling up at a petrol station and asking there of course. The man behind the counter was not from the area, so he had no clue he said, but there was a customer who could help. Which he did, after first checking me out in my leather suit and almost trying to chat me up. No chance obviously, not in general and certainly not when hungry and tired. Then I live up to the animal of my star sign, a leo. And I made him understood. ‘Do you know a place where to stay or not?’ I asked him directly and almost a bit too impolite. But it had the effect that he all of a sudden remembered this restaurant a couple of kilometres away that rents out rooms. ‘But they are Greek’, he added in an almost warning voice. ‘Oh dear’ I thought about this comment, and ‘Oh marvellous’ about the fact that they actually were Greek. Because that meant that we would finally get a place to sleep, worst case on a bench in their restaurant. They won’t turn us down like some of my country fellows might do if they cannot offer an appropriate room to stay at. And I should be right.

We followed the way description he gave me – seriously, without it we  would never have found the place, that hidden it was! The restaurant was still open (it was now like 10.20pm) and – oh joy – we could even choose between two rooms!!! Trust me, after such a day and such an Odyssey we felt like arriving at paradise. The paradise feeling got stronger when the kitchen chef offered us to make a nice salad with some fried fish – a huge portion of that and a big glass of beer was the perfect finish to this somewhat surreal day, the longest one in terms of riding hours during this journey. Remember, first Splügenpass, then Swiss Motorway, Austria, Germany and hotel hunting… Think we left Olcio at about 9.30am.

We both had this incredibly happy, silly look on our faces... Here the piece of Milka chocolate adds to it 😉

To particularly Swedephotog’s joy there was even a piece of chocolate on the pillows… Is it necessary to mention that we slept like logs? Breakfast next morning was also really good, and so we nominated our Greek to be the motorcyclist saviour – and we’d like to recommend him to anyone who passes!

We also would like to mention that apart from Leipzig and Verona we did not pre-book any places, it was never a problem to find a place to stay at a reasonable price.

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