Days 1-2 - Glasgow to Black Forest
- 4.300 miles / 7.000 km
- 11 days (17 – 28 May 2017)
- 1 girl (21 years old at the time)
- 1 bike (Honda Fireblade 900rr)
- mostly camping
UK (Glasgow) – Dover – Germany – Austria – Slovenia – Croatia – Montenegro – Bosnia – Croatia – Slovenia – Austria – Germany – France – UK
When setting off on my previous trips, I was usually using Dover ferry. It is 500 miles from Glasgow – at least 7-8 hours ride but this ferry is frequent – every hour or so, meaning that I can just turn up without booking at any time.
I decided to use Newcastle – Amsterdam overnight ferry this time. This ferry is less frequent, only once a day at 5pm most days of the week (or every day, can’t remember). Newcastle is much closer to Glasgow though, only 150 miles away (3 hours ride). You need to get there before 4pm to check in. For this ferry I can’t just leave whenever I want and turn up. It’s more expensive and I need to book a cabin. Also because there is only 1 ferry a day, I can’t just leave from Glasgow in the evening after work. I either need to take extra day off or half day and finish work at 12.
I decided to take Newcastle ferry this time but only on the way there, as I never know when exactly I’m going to come back.
On Wednesday 17th May I took half day off work. Finished at 12 and went home to quickly load the luggage on the bike. About an hour later I was ready to set off.
About half way to Newcastle I stopped at a petrol station to fill up. Went to pay, reached to my pocket and.. Where is my bank card?? Where is my driving licence?? Reached to another pocket.. I found the bank card. Wait, this is not my bank card. It was my mum’s credit card. She asked me couple weeks before the trip if I want to take her card just in case, and I said no as I didn’t want want to loose it. But a day before I set off I said ok, I will take it.
I was making photocopies of my documents the previous night. Made a photocopy of my passport first, and then of my bank card, driving licence and European Health Insurance card – all three at once. I took the photocopies but left the actual cards in the printer. What an idiot!
So I had my passport with me and my mum’s credit card. I should be ok without my bank card, I can just pay with my mum’s credit card. I had my passport – that’s the most important. Driving licence.. If police doesn’t stop me and nobody asks for it, I should be ok. Health card – I never needed to use it, and as long as I don’t need it this time either, I should be ok. I had two options – continue like this, or turn back which would mean loosing over £100 that I paid for the ferry. I would then need to ride 500 miles to Dover and use short ferry. That way I would also loose a lot of time.
I decided to continue. At least I had my passport this time, unlike when I was about to set off on my trip to Pyrenees and Alps in 2016. When packing a night before, I found out that my passport expired. I had to cancel my holidays and did this trip a month later than planned.
Back to this trip though. So I was at the petrol station with my mum’s credit card in hand. I didn’t have the pin number as I was only going to use it in an emergency. I phoned my mum and she gave me the pin number. Then I continued to Newcastle.
Traffic started getting bad in Newcastle, but finally made it to the ferry port:
Boarded the ferry not long later.
I went to find my cabin. It was the cheapest cabin I could get, but even then it felt like luxury to me! It was a two-person cabin with two single beds. There was also small bathroom with a shower.
Left my stuff in the cabin and went to get something to eat. Prices on the ferry were not the cheapest so I went for the cheapest option. There was a sandwich shop and I ordered a panini. Actually it was so big that I couldn’t finish it.
Went back to my cabin and sat down. I wanted to go on my phone and find out about any good roads that I should do on my trip, since I never really had time to do any route planning. But not long later I got text message that I reached my monthly spending limit of £80. My phone bill normally is about £40/month. It was costing me a lot to use data on the ferry. I can use my phone free of charge abroad, but I only just realised that it doesn’t work on the ferries.
There was no wi-fi in the cabin but I found some near the food shops. Wi-fi was very slow though so eventually I gave up and went back to my cabin. Had a shower and went to sleep early as I had nothing else to do.
Woke up about 8am. Ferry was to arrive in Amsterdam about 9am. Got ready and went to get quick breakfast.
The plan was to get through Germany during the day and ride around Black Forest in the afternoon/evening, then find place to camp.
It took me most of the day to get through Germany. Finally got to Baden-Baden around 5pm. Stopped at the service station to get something quick to eat (Burger King).
Then I continued to Black Forest. It wasn’t as amazing as I thought it would be. There were some nice and twisty roads, but views were not any special.
Here’s the video:
After 2 or 3 hours of riding around Black Forest it started getting dark and I had to find some place to camp.
I found a campsite at Lake Constance (Obersee Bodensee). It was near the border with Austria which meant that I could head into Austrian Alps the next day.
And here’s the trailer of the whole trip: