Road trip to the UK - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 6 Old Jun 27th, 2012, 4:24 am Thread Starter
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Road trip to the UK

Home at last, or at least back to the 300 Chuff a month hovel in Basel that I call a roof over my head, nice place with all the trimmings, it even comes complete with it’s own entertainment, the quite batty, missing a few Rappen to the Chuff, landlady.
I had just finished a five hour run down from Rotterdam and I was fuming after crossing the border into Switzerland and getting shot at for speeding.
It's crazy. Germany is the only useful country in the world without a speed limit on the Autobahnen, the only speed limit is how fast your vehicle can give common sense the finger, the only other country is Nepal, but good luck doing anything over 50 on the goat tracks there.
Imagine, you are bubbling down the A5, relaxed, at a nice and easy two-hundred-and-odd Kmh, then you hit the Swiss border and get totally de-speeded, the moment you see that Swiss cross time dilates and things get reeeeeal slooooow, liiiikkke ruuuunnninnng iiiiinn tttrreaccccleee.

I was overheating and sweaty in my rags and hot enough to register as a heat-bloom on Infrared satellites.
Slammer tries to come over as a badassed biker (badassed bikers may disagree though) the fumes from unzipping my IXS jacket was opening the gates to the pits of foulest Acheron, removing underpants like stripping Velcro and my socks were for want of a better word “crunchy,” I showered and relaxed on the couch with a cuppa.
“Knock, Knock”
“Herrrrr Slaaammmmer”
Ah! A thin, quavery whiny voice. Enter on stage, the bane of my Basel life, the mad landlady..
“..A little boy shot me with a bee from his blowgun and it stung me.”
I really do not want to know where this is heading.
“Look, right here”
She says opening her blouse with both hands.
Arrrrgh! Even after days I still have nightmares about the dugs from hell dingdangalanging in my face.
It has been a funny 2012 up to now, sadly, or knowing what I know now, maybe a mix of emotions, the gig in Antwerp fell through, the company showed it’s self pretty much advice resistant and I had spent two months picking my nose, finger up my arse and my brain running in neutral, totally ignored by pretty much everybody, now in retrospect seeing how they are floundering I must admit feeling a tad smug
HA! HA!
April 27th I packed the bike gave the company the finger and headed of to the ports and a ferry to the UK and my mom. A few days of drinking her whiskey and getting tucked in at night would do me a world of good.


A last run round town then off to the ports.

The time in Belgium was not all bad though, I quite like Antwerpen and the Bollekes, I like the art decor style and that everything is not clinically sterile and squeaky clean as is in CH, people are a bit more relaxed and don't runaround with a pinched look and broomstick up their arses.


Things as simple as a drainpipe, of course some bugger just had to stick wrapper in it. Philistine.

I found and immensely enjoyed the Anna tunnel, a footpath under the Shelde, with its humongous massive wooden escalators that worked with a bumpy, clunky, wooden sound from the time when radios worked with little glass bottles.


Clunka, clinka, cunkeddy do. Don't that sound like lotsa wood.

Also I met another brother from the BMW LT Forum, "Sleuth" we had gotten on like a house on fire and I had immensely enjoyed his company.
Did the usual things, went drinkies, went to the (brilliant) air museum in Brussels, rode out, did all the man thingies that interest us y-chromosomers.
On the last run we had ridden along the Schelde river on a day studded with patchy rain, a quiet, subdued run, back in Antwerp after the Waaslandtunnel he rode to the left and I turned right.


Sleuth and Slammer at the memorial to the WW2 flak gunners along the Shelde. Here is a Interesting bit of trivia
For much of the four months of December 1944 to March 1945, nearly every 90mm anti-aircraft gun barrel produced was sent to Antwerp.
All to shoot down the V1 Flying bombs, I wonder how many bombs are still in the mud of the Shelde.

We also rode through the creepy abandoned village of Doel, right next to the Nuke plant.

If any white haired golden eyes kids ask me to come and play with them I am so opening the taps.

Late afternoon the handful of bikes on the ferry disembarked and each went their separate ways. Driving on the wrong side of the road is quite a challenge until you re-callibrate yourself. I turned a corner and came face to face with a French car driving on my side of the road, old bugger gave me a French potty-mouthing and I gave some choice lessons in German. Behind me a police car whooped and I thought: "good, gonna give them daft froggies what for"
"Oi, You on the motorbike.. GIT over to the other side of the road"
Ooops!
I spent a few restful days in Blackburn and did my usual run to Glasson dock and the best bacon butties on the planet. sadly the jolly green giant, a huge green caravan that had been the home of butties since I was a kid was gone, replaced by a more modern caravan, when I asked what happened the girl behind the counter told me it had:
"Gone to the great caravan site in the sky"

Bacon butties are the same though, All hail the buttie!
I also met up with IanK and Owd Nick for a beer or four, or was it six or seven, memory get's kinda fuzzy.


IanK on the Iron Pig II, great guy and good friend, kinda into male nesting in his flat, and his attempt to match up wallpaper patterns hint to a new kind of Dyslexia, the nails holding the paper to the wall was a nice touch though, I would have used a stapler.

All to soon it was time to leave, besides Mum was running out of whiskey, I headed back cross country to Hull and the ferry to Rotterdam.


Iron Pig II under the Humber bridge.

Without men civilization would last untill the oil needs changing.

Last edited by Slammer; Jun 27th, 2012 at 6:16 am.
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post #2 of 6 Old Jun 27th, 2012, 6:31 am
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Re: Road trip to the UK

very descriptive, a good fun read!
cheers Slammer

Chris
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post #3 of 6 Old Jul 9th, 2012, 6:50 am Thread Starter
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Re: Road trip to the UK

I have just been sorting out a few pictures, being unemployed means that you don't really have a lot of time for such frivolities. You have a lot of things to do. Make sure that your shoe laces are exactly the same length. Watch back to back Ashes to Ashes over the internet. Wait until the sun is over the yard arm. Repeat next day. Occasionally going to they gym, at the moment the only thing keeping me from getting wicker chair spread and cabin fever in my under the roof cubby-hole.
I still have one or two picture from the last trip, so here they are.
The last time I rode the Bike over to Blackburn just after Dover and still trying to get to grips with riding on the wrong side of the road, It just feels sooo wrong, I noticed a brown sign announcing the battle of britain memorial, at the time I just made a mental note to check it out- next time- well here was my chance. I left the motorway and headed (almost going on the wrong side again) to the memorial.
A gravel car park, the usual tea-room selling plastic model spitfires and hurricanes and the Me 109 of the baddies and all the other tat designed to empty dad's wallets and keep hyperactive kids amused for a second or two.
It's a park, a very serene park in beautiful Kent, overlooking the bluey-green waters of the channel and onto France, quite peaceful now that the only merlins now are heard on memorial days.
http://www.battleofbritainmemorial.org/


The concrete effigy of a fighter pilot in the middle of the memorial looking out to sea.
Replica Spitfire and a replica Hurricane, recently along with Sleuth I had the pleasure to see the real thing in Brussels. The replica's themselves are made of glass fiber and very accurate, a bit weathered though.

Note the high-tech all-seeing cameras on the post, a sign of the times I am afraid.
A trip to Blackburn always turns into a navel searching, My father was a avid motorcyclist and I like to re-run the runs we did on the back of his Norton, generally starting a Lythem St Annes and working my way past Blackpool and Morcombe up to Fleetwood, not the Mac one the Fishermans friend one.
My father would be found frequently in Fleetwood working on the engines of the Fishing boats, one of his better tricks was to marinize any old lorry engine and knowing dad some of these engines could well have been happily chugging away in a truck just the day before being parked up for the weekend.
I like to stop at the fishmongers and get me some sour whelks and dressed crab, the whelks so sour that your nose actually falls into your face like when the planet Vulcan got eaten by the black hole.


Blackpool tower, the one in France is just a scratty cheap Froggy knock-off copy you must know.

Blackpool beach, they have done a lot of cleaning up and re-doing the seawall in the last years, for me, returning every few years it has been like watching time-lapse photography.
The beach donkey haven't changed much, still looking like something from the '60ties, just like me.
Past Fleetwood you go past Skippool, the road is tiny and easy to miss, however if you go down the narrow lane you really return to the 60ties, my father would repair the boat engines and I would spend many a Saturday bored out of my skull in a boats cabin trying to teach maggots used for fishing to race, (don't ask, some got away.) whilst dad banged and hammered away in the bilge.
Skippool really is creepy in it's own way, the tides have gouged deep ravines into the land and access to the boats is only over long rickety, raised boardwalks.

Next stop, of course the bacon butties and tea of Glasson Dock.
http://www.glassondock.co.uk/

High water and a spring tide and the water comes over the ledge, normally it is a meter or so lower.

The river Lune, as a kid I learnt how to catch Place by standing on them in the water, that takes some will power since you stand on something squishy and organic in muddy water and your normal first reaction is to jump 5 meters out of the water and run screaming like a girl for the shore.
I learnt what kind of seashore plant was edible, Samphire as I now know how it is called and how to dig for clams.
I also learnt how to extract myself out of quicksand and how to read the tides, thankfully I have always been a good swimmer.
Dad's comment of: "did you fall in?" got him a withering glance every time I came back dripping.

Without men civilization would last untill the oil needs changing.
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post #4 of 6 Old Jul 9th, 2012, 6:39 pm
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Re: Road trip to the UK

Reading this is like watching an episode of Hairy Bikers... love the wit!

Chris
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post #5 of 6 Old Jul 15th, 2012, 10:25 am
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Re: Road trip to the UK

Slammer's wit is just as good in real life.

Sorry it has taken a while to respond - things got a bit loopy since you left!

The short run, was fantastic and the museum trip what can I say?

Due to the vandalism, there is now greater restricted access to Doel, but I think it is worth a visit if anyone gets a chance. It is not quite abandoned (yet) but sooner or later it will become part of the expanded Port of Antwerp.

If you are in the neighbourhood, please give me a call (preferably a few days notice so arrangements can be made!)

Loved the pictures (except the weirdo on the right of the War monument!)

Hope life takes a turn up soon.

Sleuth

Best regards
Sleuth

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post #6 of 6 Old Jul 16th, 2012, 6:37 am
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Re: Road trip to the UK

Love the pictures and the humor; excellent trip report.

May have to take this trip if for no other then to try the bacon butties


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