And we're off on another Battlefield adventure...

May 20, 2006
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#51
Buddy, your trip and this discussion is simply fantastic. One thing I will add, that is 'off the wall' (pun intended) and also historically significant.

You brought up the conditions regarding the GI's in convoys crossing over the Atlantic to enter the war. After the war, the men coming home had to do it again. It was quite the logistic situation, to say the least. My point is, another port that is all-but-forgotten is the Northern one. Thousands of soldiers were shipped to Churchill Manitoba (short route, shipping wise) so that the returning ships could also bring food to Europe.

There are still a few warehouses by the Port of Churchill, where-in there are hundreds and hundreds of signatures on the walls inside, of the soldiers coming through said port and awaiting the train to arrive, to carry them South.

I'm not going to get into describing a train-ride that takes more than a day to get to the next nearest town, and only travels at a top speed of 30 km/h due to the muskeg that the tracks are built upon. (the tracks themselves and the train sways)

I simply bring this up, because of the "going home" aspect of it all,,,, and how much harder, longer, drawn-out'er, frustrating'er, and maddening'er could they make it? And all at the same time, Happy and Thankful that they are there to go home, to begin with.

Enjoy your excoursion, and Thank You for permitting so many of us to do so, vicariously.
 

flyer

Sergeant of the Hide
Apr 25, 2018
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#53
If you make it to Ahrweiler, take a few pictures please. That's the place my grandfather was bombing when he got his Silver Star.

I should get over there to see for myself one of these days.
 

ArmyJerry

Staff Sergeant
Nov 22, 2012
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#55
just wait til we have to bomb it again

If you make it to Ahrweiler, take a few pictures please. That's the place my grandfather was bombing when he got his Silver Star.

I should get over there to see for myself one of these days.
 

W54/XM-388

Online Training Member
Oct 1, 2005
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#56
just wait til we have to bomb it again
I'm not sure we'll need to worry about it again, I think fixing the Europeans mess twice in the last century was more than enough.
Perhaps next go around we just let them work out their own mess and then deal with whoever survives / wins if we want anything, or more likely just not bother with that either.
 

flyer

Sergeant of the Hide
Apr 25, 2018
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#57
I don't think we need to be worried about bombing an Angela Merkel EU Germany, it would look a lot different before it needs bombing again.
 

sirhrmechanic

Command Sgt. Major
Feb 23, 2010
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#64
So the battlefield part is mostly over... now the battle is against the elements. Because it's snowing here in Iceland. And I'm 650 KM from Reykjavic. So far, the North route looks good and I've booked a hotel at the half-way point. Two 4 hour days, not one 8 hour day. Once I get to Reyjkavic, then all is good. But going to be a couple of hairy day from Seydisfjordur to Iceland via rt. 1. Won't leave Seydisfjordur until tomorrow as the ferry won't even start unloading until customs clearance starts at 10. So staying over here and on the road early in the morning.

BTW, anyone else read Red Storm Rising back in the '80s? I must have read it a dozen times. Best battle on iceland... never fought. Just because the only real battles here were Vikings and barfights... does not mean that this place wasn't at the center of the Cold War. And the U.S. had Marines stationed here in WW2.... as it was so strategic.

This place was a pivot point in the Cold War.

Looking forward to getting out on the road... more pictures when I can upload.

Cheers,

Sirhr
 

sirhrmechanic

Command Sgt. Major
Feb 23, 2010
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#66
Tomorrow's going to suck.... rain and snow across the highlands.... where I have to go.

But I've been in snow before. Still major suckage.

Today will be a 'get my land legs' back near the ferry port. And plot my route for tomorrow. If I take a much, much longer coastal route, I can avoid most of the snow. But it turns a 4 hour trip into a whole day...

Working it now.

Cheers,

Sirhr
 

pmclaine

Gunny Sergeant
Nov 6, 2011
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#67
Tomorrow's going to suck.... rain and snow across the highlands.... where I have to go.

But I've been in snow before. Still major suckage.

Today will be a 'get my land legs' back near the ferry port. And plot my route for tomorrow. If I take a much, much longer coastal route, I can avoid most of the snow. But it turns a 4 hour trip into a whole day...

Working it now.

Cheers,

Sirhr
Discretion is the better part of valor.
 
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pmclaine

Gunny Sergeant
Nov 6, 2011
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#69
^^^ And there is a fine line between brave and stupid.

Weather is looking better...

Cheers,

Sirhr

Rode the Road King in lots of cold weather, even a little bit of snow.

Only time I did it with any appreciable accumulation on the ground though I depended on the sidecar and leaving stop lights required a lot of clutch/throttle feather to keep the Dunlop gripping.

Its certainly no fun when you feel your grip going perpendicular to your intended route of travel.
 
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pmclaine

Gunny Sergeant
Nov 6, 2011
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#72
This sidecar may work up there?

Man that looks like a hot mess mash up of a Zundapp, BMW, Volkswagen.

The WWII BMW or the present day Ural (is that an oxymoron) would be ideal as the side car wheel is driven.

As George Orwell used to say "One wheel good, Two wheels better".
 
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PDXGS

Sergeant
May 31, 2009
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#76
Do you have the stock charging system in that PD?
Any eclectic clothing or grips?

See if you can find some of the thermacare-type single-use heating pads at a pharmacy.....I can tell you from personal experience that they work wonders under a rain suit on a PD
 
May 20, 2006
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#84
curious as to how many curves you drifted. As well as how many straight-stretches you drifted, too? I've ridden my trail-bike in the snow whilst hunting elk in the Kooteney's (B.C.) and it is definitely a humbling and educating experience.
 
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sirhrmechanic

Command Sgt. Major
Feb 23, 2010
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#85
So today was the toughest day of riding I've ever done. And a bit of the stupidest. But I had to get out of NE Iceland before the 'real' bad weather. So had a 450km endurance run today on some of the worst roads I've ever seen... car or motorcycle.



This is crossing the Northwest Highlands to try and get down onto coastal Rt. 1. It's the only way.... and was basically closed. 150KM of dirt, mud, snow, ice and not a single vehicle for the duration. Only link was GPS and a SPOT locator with a "Panic Button" on it if I got into a mess.



The best moment of the journey. After over 2 hours in the highlands, cresting the hill and seeing the Fjord... and Rt. 1.... right where they should be. But still 350 KM to go. And weather moving in.



Rare picture with me actually 'in' it. Came out of the highlands and there was an 'adventure tour' in one of those jacked up Mercedes Bog Wagons that they all go Ranulph Fiennes in. The look on their faces when a motorcycle descended into their little adventure... out of the highlands... was quite priceless. I got the tour guide to take a picture. He informed me that "Locals do not ride that road this time of year." No sh%%, Sherlock. Locals are smarter than that! And generally don't have to.



One of the glaciers. Very cool. Literally and figuratively. First time I rode near one was on Stelvio Pass. These were closer and way more impressive!

L1070950.JPG

A picture at a gas station taken by a really cute Icelandic girl. Whose comment was "I want to take a picture for my boyfriend, he loves all that Smokey and Bandit stuff". Well, ok... I don't see a firebird. And I don't have a Burt Reynolds moustache. Or a big truck or a tick-eaten hound. But if you want me to be Smokey and/or Bandit... I am Eastbound and Down with that, cutie pie!

Other than that.... rain. Snow. Gale-force winds (still blowing). More rain. Lots of miles of nothing. And a sucky hotel at the end of it. (service sucked... hotel would be nice if not infested with Icelandic Hipsters with bantu tribal crap in their earlobes.)

And I am about beaten into a coma from this day.... Iceland is a bit like Australia. Beautiful place, but an awful lot of stuff here trying to kill you. The roads, the weather, the mud... probably the taxes, too. Judging by the gas prices.

Anyway... Sean.... yes, I was blown all over the place. The worst sections were on pavement with cross winds out of the North Atlantic at gale speeds. On the icy roads, I was riding at very slow speeds. Sometimes with feet down. The mud helped in some places.

Someone asked why the 'trials' tires. Well, the above pictures should answer that!

Cheers and good night!

Sirhr
 
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sirhrmechanic

Command Sgt. Major
Feb 23, 2010
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#90
You guys hit that nail on the head.... So safe in hotel in Reykjavik. And what started out as a gorgeous day turned to complete crap in the last 20 miles... thought it was a pizza cake..... another trip done. Then... well, find out below.



How the day started. 45 degrees, sunny. 120 miles into the city to end the hardcore travel part of the trip. Maybe a couple of day trips before my flight. But an easy day.... right.



One of the many volcanic towers that are all over the place. This was once the lava tube of a big volcano... now the soft soil has eroded around it and the 'core' is still sticking up. These are all over the place offshore, too. Amazing!



This is a moss field... these are all over the place and are really gorgeous. Thousands.... hundreds of thousands of acres of moss, eating away at the volcanic rock to turn it into soil... then the grass comes in and takes over the moss. The Icelanders are very protective of these moss fields as they are delicate. Apparently that idiot Justin Trudeau... er... Bieber... shot a music video here and trampled tons of Moss and the Icelanders now hate him. Not sure why they waited... all they had to do was listen to him open his pie hole. But apparently moss-trampling gets you PNG'd from Iceland. So, also, does some kind of drunken flight involving Curtis E. LeMay and the then-president of Smith and Wesson... Doug Wesson. I am working on the details. But LeMay got PNG'd from Iceland many years ago. I understand alcohol may have been involved.



Puffins.... I am terrified of puffins. It's a weakness. Terrible birds that smell like Okra. And they bite. Stay away from puffins.



And this is what almost took me down this afternoon coming into the city... the last 20 miles are over the top of a mountain range... that was 6 inches deep in snow. Icy roads. The temps went from 45 and green pastures to 20 degrees, 30 mile an hour cross gusts in about a mile. No place to stop and put on gear. No way to maneuver... Tried to stop and skidded... applied power and got out of skid.... and then went about another 10 miles across this high mountain range before descending into Iceland. Without anywhere near the protective gear I would have used for the cold... had I known it was coming. The road was a sheet of ice. At the bottom on the Reykjavik side were about 40 trucks... lined up and unable to go over the pass. Because they had no chains.

Anyway, all's well that ends well, but this place is seriously trying to kill you all the time.

It is one of the most remarkable places I've ever seen. Amazing scenery, great people. Just an island that is totally alive with cool stuff. I totally recommend this place vs. any of the stupid caribbean islands. This place is amazing. Did you know they have an annual reindeer shooting competition, BTW? Woman has won it several times. She rocks.

Anyway.... from here it is on to some history museums, to read Viking Sagas and drink beer from horns! Pictures of that for sure!

I'm in kind of a cheap, seedy part of Reykjavik... but it beats the expensive "Holiday Inn" part. Which might as well be San Diego.

Waiting to find out what tomorrow dishes. Earthquake? They happen daily here. Volcano? That would be cool. Justin Bieber? The Icelanders will kill him. That will be fun.

The only easy day was yesterday!

Cheers,

Sirhr
 

pmclaine

Gunny Sergeant
Nov 6, 2011
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#91
That bike looks a quite bit too clean for such a trip.

Are you box trailering it.

The Road King seemed to get rained on and mudded up within 15 minutes of departure as waxing paint and polishing chrome is more effective at calling rain than ANY cloud seeding operation.
 
Likes: barneybdb
Jul 28, 2011
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St. Louis, MO
#93
I am also somewhat of an amateur military historian. I got my start growing up next to Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis. Built as a bulwark in the Blackhawk Wars in the 1830s, it was at one point the furthest west outpost of the US. As time went on it was home to a bevy of military heroes including; Robert E. Lee, John Pershing, Leonard Wood, Dwight Eisenhower and many more. My love of history was ignited while running wild in "JB" as we called it, and from there I have toured too many sites and museums to mention.

Enjoy your continuing tour of history.
 
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sirhrmechanic

Command Sgt. Major
Feb 23, 2010
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#95
Maybe we can get people on the hide to come together and do a similar trip.
It will start next spring... Starting point TBD. Either St. Johns, Newfoundland or Portland, Maine. Depends on how my bike shipping goes (more on that later.) The route will travel the Trans-Labrador Highway, possibly a detour up towards Nunavik. Newfoundland, Cape Breton Island, the St. Lawrence to a final Viking feast at either the Main Dining Room of the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City or the Chateau Montebello near Ottawa. Where, like Churchill and Roosevelt, we will divide up the known world and once and for all figure out how to destroy communism. Prawns will be served.

You need a good motorcycle with tires suitable for serious dirtroads... and in perfect tune... a sense of adventure... and an ability to drink Keiths IPA (Shandy form is acceptable). Plus you have to work on your polite skills (it is Canada, after all.) And have to have watched at least 3 seasons of "The Beachcombers" and be able to explain who Nick and Relic are. It's part of blending in. If anyone wants to bring a suitable Jeep, Pickup or Land Rover as a luggage van, we will tip well as long as you refer to the riders as "Bwana" or "Sahib" at all times.

Seriously, Armyjerry and I are already planning. He heard that there is ammo stored at Goose Bay. He plans to buy it.

Cheers,

Sirhr
 

sirhrmechanic

Command Sgt. Major
Feb 23, 2010
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#96
So been several days since I posted an update, in part because I was in a total s*&Thole of a hotel in Reykjavik... and was out seeing the sights. Not a lot of riding after the last day into Reykjavik, simply because the weather totally closed in and after a beautiful day Friday, turned into an Arctic gale... Yes, another one.

When we last left our intrepid traveller, I was just coming into Reykjavik, having left an area between Vik (to the South) and Hofn (to the North.) Right on the Icelandic coast. A gorgeous hotel that was completely uncontaminated by the concept of service. Absentee bartender... and full of Chinese on bus tours. If anyone remembers the Japanese tourists from the '80s and '90's... they got nothing on these invaders. Wow. We know what happened to all the world's selfie sticks. These folks have them. And even when in a group of 10... they all take their pictures with selfie sticks. I guess the instructions are unintelligable to them, too.

Anyhoo...

Thursday was an incredible and beautiful ride down the Icelandic coast. But the last miles into the capital were horrific. High mountains between the coast and the city, icy roads and I had no warning. Went from pleasant and sunny into a snowy gale and a road they closed Saturday... by the time I got into the city, where it was nice, warm and sunny again. I was in early stages of hypothermia. But, not terrible. And checked into the shi%$#le that was to be my hotel for the next 4 days.

The first night was great. I was knocked out tired from riding anyway. Friday was a perfect weather day. Rode all over town seeing several museums and monuments.


Here is one outside the Saga Museum, which was sort of a Wax museum about the Viking Saga's. Very touristy, but also some great stories! The Saga's are the history of the Vikings. Written out in old books, many of which are on display here in Iceland and some in Denmark. They are kind of an Old Testament like set of documents with lots of Begatting and Slewing and wrestling Grendal. But they are also an incredible insight into Scandinavian history. It is a lot more complex, artistic, political, scientific, etc. than we ever learned in elementary school. The Vikings were, above all, traders. And they went as far as Iran and to the Silk Road ports as well as to North America. They plundered not because they wanted silver and gold... but because silver and gold would buy them the trade goods they wanted.

Small history lesson, but the Vikings so plundered France that in the 10th Century, they were given a huge chunk of 'fine land' West of Paris and including a lot of the Channel coast. It was there that the Nord-Men... settled. Thus... Normans and Normandy. And once they had fine land and good wine, they rapidly assimilated, becoming French. In 1066, it was the Normans... who conquered England at Hastings, pulling off the coup that their ancestors had not managed to do in raiding.

[/endboringhistorylesson]

More pictures coming in a moment from Friday's museums. Because there are good ones!

Cheers,

Sirhr
 

sirhrmechanic

Command Sgt. Major
Feb 23, 2010
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#97
So Reykjavik is a kind of cool city. Huge growth since the '90s which has totally changed this once-sleepy capital.

BTW, my introduction to Iceland was, really, Tom Clancy's book Red Storm Rising. Which is an amazing scenario of what would have happened if the Cold War got hot. I should have brought a copy on this trip to read... but never carry books as they are deadweight. And I hate Kindles. So Reykjavik and its sister city Keflavik, where I am now, really are battlefields. Just that they were not hot battlefields. They were Cold War front lines, however. With everything from the GIUK subhunting stations centering here to the important Keflavik airbase. So in a way, the whole city is a bit of a battlefield. I will be exploring Keflavic later. It is a neat town. Throwback to the 1980's when it was a boom town due to the U.S. Defense presence. Very 'american' with diners, a Rock and Roll museum (there was no Rock and Roll in Iceland... only one national station into the late 80's! But kids in Keflavik could use their boom boxes to tape the Armed Forces Radio from the base here... which was all the latest American music... rock, pop, country. These tapes made their way into Reykjavik and then across Iceland. The 'mixtape' I suppose, was born here as it was where I grew up.... You wanted music. You taped it! Beer was also illegal in Iceland until 1986 or so. But it was always readily-available (and people looked the other way) in Keflavik. The base was awash in beer and service people could trade beer for anything! It was gold.

After 2008, the huge amounts of money poured into Iceland by investment bankers... crashed and burned. The country went into serious depression. And all the 'growth' that was going on due to speculative investment just popped in weeks. Ruined a lot of people and a lot of the urban parts. Growth is happening again, in part because of tourism. The big volcano in 2010 was a boom to Iceland as Volcano tourism and adventure tourism have taken off. There are pumped up Land Rovers and Dakar trucks everywhere. In the summer, BMW GS and KTM bikes all over. Tons of tourist money coming in from whalewatching, fly fishing, backpacking, northern lights trips, volcano tours, etc. Right now, though quiet, the city has lots of American Ivy League types weekending on Daddy's credit card and looking like the little leftist weasels they are. The Icelanders hate them. But they love their money.



One of the 'Classic' street views in the city. Old type row houses. Very tall and narrow, to keep in heat.



There are beautiful mountains (fjord walls, really) all around the city. This time of year, covered in fresh snow. It's about 35 and sunny in the city. A lot colder up there. When it rains in the city (it did almost every day after Friday) it's snowing up there. Which cuts off the city from parts of the country in winter. A lot. Everywhere you look, stunning scenery with the ocean right next to you.



A Viking sword at the national museum. Lots of these have turned up. I think the number is 8,000 across Europe and Scandanavia. Just last week, they announced that an American girl found one in Sweden and turned up a burial trove near a lake. Often these were buried with their owners. Shield over his face, sword and knife at his side. Frequently with his horse. Needed in the afterlife. I like their thinking!



Stonecarving and artistic work. Pre-Christian Iceland. Marker stone. Not really a runestone, though they have those, too. More a series of symbols.



Some artifacts including pins for closing clothing. A horse bit. Dagger/sword parts. In the back are incredible 'clasps' that would have been used to keep a cape closed across the chest. These are amazing and show that there was some real artisanship going on in metal, ivory, wood, stone... They have found trade goods from China and India in Viking tombs. They were trading far and wide, with documentation of trips deep into Russia and as far away as Iran, via rivers.



They didn't have horns on their helmets, Monty Python aside. But nothing in Iceland is wasted. This is a formal drinking goblet by a famous Icelandic farmer who supplemented his income by carving. His works are priceless works of national heritage now. Much is known about him. Long winters with little to do... except create amazing art.



Icelandic cabin... which didn't change much right into the early 20th century, at least out in the hinterlands. Everyone slept in the same room. Simple, but comfortable. In Northern Iceland, the winters were long and dark. Only a couple of hours of daylight a day, as they were less than 100 miles South of the Arctic Circle (the line deliniating where sun stops rising and setting during the equinox). In the winter, they would make wool and goods to trade and sell. In the short growing season, farming and rearing sheep, mostly. Fishing for those near the coast.



Icelandic horses are a compact, short, stout animal perfect for cold and rocky terrain. A bit bigger than ponies (in the Shetland sense) they are more robust than American horses. They are revered here. Lots of them out in the country. Pony-rides are a big tourist thing. And you can go on week-long trailrides. This is a monument to the Icelandic Horse downtown.



The Fishing/maritime museum is way cool. And unlike most, which are about warships and navy, this was all about fishing, fish packing and fish marketing... back to the earliest days. Lots of pictures of the 'old' fishermen and recordings. Very, very cool museum about the industry. Again, in an amazing harbor setting... you can see the mountains/fjord walls in the back.



Underground is the Settlement Museum. Which is neat. There is one like it in, I think Cologne, Germany. While excavating, they found the oldest known site of living in Reykjavik... from the earliest settlers. They did an archaeology dig and then built a museum on top of it... preserving the site a couple of stories down. Amazing artifacts. This is the spine of a Dolphin, which is embedded in the foundation of the dwelling. It was thought to have been done for good luck and blessings. The site is just incredible and was actually on the coast, before reclaimed land and dredging moved the port/Ocean a few hundred yards away. Primitive, but also 'cosy.' It would have been a hard, hard life. But I can think of worse...

More to come...

Cheers,

Sirhr
 

sirhrmechanic

Command Sgt. Major
Feb 23, 2010
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#98
So as for the riding... Friday was great. Ran all around Reykjavik and saw a whole bunch of museums and sights.

Decided that I needed to treat myself to some American food and had a wicked good Pizza at a little place run by either swarthy Icelanders or pale Syrians. I could not tell. They spoke English and said "My Man" a lot. I think they learned English from Miami Vice. But it was an awesome pizza! New York style... right out of Famous Ray's of the Village. Perfectly done. Hand tossed. With a Coke... it was comfort food!

Then the fun began....

First, did I mention my hotel, the Egilsborg Guesthouse, was a s&%$hole? It was. Looked great on Hotels.com, where they can make the pictures of Birkenau look like Club Med? Well, that's what these folks did. I am sure that if you are a Lebanese backpacker or a Lithuanian crackhead, this is the Aspen Ritz. But it was a craphole. Shrill and bitchy little woman at the entrance. "Oh, you are early. That will cost extra...." As I stand there hypothermic and shivering from my ride over the mountains. "Towels are extra. Shower on third floor are broken. Use second floor shower." It went on from there. I still have to find out if she double-charged me... as I thought I pre-paid online. But that's TBD.

My room turned out to be next door to some kind of slavic tweaker and his Goth girlfriend. For 36 hours straight, they babbled... except for going outside for either a case of Red Bull... or to smoke Meth. Judging by the smell in the place the next morning.... it wasn't Red Bull. Not a wink of sleep. Taka takka taka taka... never quit. Talked to the owner the next morning... his excuse "We get all kinds of people. Some are not good. Nothing I can do. They are leaving today. " Well, they left... after fighting with the owner... at 2. Owner told them to get out at 10. They stayed in their room tweaking and talking.... until mid-afternoon.

Saturday, they day of their departure, was also a raging gale outside. 50 MPH winds, horizontal rain and sleet. No riding. No chance of going out. Road into the capital closed. I holed up in my room, got sleep (after 2) and later ventured out to find a great dinner and good Bordeaux at a local 'food court' for lack of a better term. Seven or 8 small restaurant stands under a single roof with a common seating area. Amazing food.

Sunday, I went out to go to a Bike Bar/restaurant in the city. The weather had cleared. And... some shitwad had come into the parking lot of the Egilsborg Guesthouse (did I mention it's a sh%$hole???) and stolen the tent off my bike. 20+ countries. Hundreds of parking lots. Urban areas. Campgrounds. Ferries, storage units, museum parking, downtowns... and noone ever touched so much as a thing. Someone stole the tent off my bike. Talk to the owner again.... No, no cameras here (every inch of this city is cameras.) "There are a lot of bad people in this neighborhood. Probably Poles or Lithuanians. And the students, one street over. All drunk and drugs." Well, great. Thanks for the heads-up on the neightborhood that Egilsborg Guesthouse is in (note that I am making sure the name gets in here regularly."

"Ok," says I... "I need to have the police come up so I can do a report. Please phone them for me." '

Well now the song and dance begins... "No police on Sundays... they are closed. Police, there are very few. They have fired most of them. Police here don't do anything. You won't get them to come... No police on Sundays."

Riiiiigggggghhhhhttt... So, flip out the retirement badge and ID... and I am sure he isn't reading the word "Retired" clearly. And I say... "They'll come for me. On the phone, now, please." Which he does with all the enthusiasm of a guy who is about to walk the plank.

So I end up talking to what I assume is the Icelandic equivalent of the desk sergeant. He says he is a bit short, but would I mind coming down to the station. It's only 500 yards away. "Hell no, glad to, brother! Be right there. Will be nice to meet you guys!"

File my report... and, because I carry a pocket full of Thin Blue Line pins to hand out... made sure everyone had one. And they gave me patches and pins and goodies back. And we all talked and had a great time! One has family in Mississippi. Another in Boston and they are over in the U.S. a lot. They are an awesome bunch! Big, Happy Vikings who probably have +Vhlfbhert+ written on their Mondanocks and PR-24's. We talked a lot about the Egilsborg Guesthouse, too. And right now, if (probably) the only bright orange Harley-Davidson-branded tent with a built-in garage for parking your motorcycle under shows up anywhere on this wonderful little island... There are going to be some hard-core fun-loving Viking types on it like Thor on an anvil! I could care less if I get it back at this point. But anyone who will steal the gear off a bike... deserves what they get.

And, besides, the building and hotel codes in Iceland are enforced by... guess who? The Iceland Police! Those awesome, and funloving Viking desendants.

BTW, their motto is awesome

First, the word police is Logregla (there is an Umlat over the O... making them that much tougher!) It is m = Ordade up of two words. Log = Law. Regla = Order. Their motto is Meo Logum Skal Land Byggja, which is a quote from the Saga's. It's from a passage that states "A country shall be built on law, but ruined when no law rules." Words after my own heart!

Anyway, that little side trip prevented the trip to the Bike Cave... and I ended up back at the same restaurant as the night before. Awesome food.

Just because, through the miracle of Google, the Egilsborg Guesthouse will no doubt show up here when people inquire about it (and I will be posting reviews far and wide...) Here are some pictures! BTW, they are listed as a 3.5 Star Hotel. They aren't even a 3.5 Star Dumpster!

The hotel is the white building in the middle of this ghetto, with the burned out neon sign and the additional graffiti on the wall. They are also a car-rental agency. I would not pass one of their 'cars' for inspection. Low bald tires, broken lights. Pathetic all around. BTW, in front is a 3.5 Star dumpster. Better than my room.



The third floor bathroom. Apparently, they are all about fixing that shower. Because it's full of banana boxes. And the pipes have not been touched in years.

The doors to three adjacent rooms. Under the rafters. The walls are a layer of particle board veneer. Fire exits? None. One fire extinguisher at the top of the stairs. Can't get out the windows. And no way down, short of dropping 2 floors.



The 'window... shared with the next room. Foam rubber stuffed between the walls. The 'opening' part is wide enough for an anorexic Somali to squeeze out and drop onto pavement. That's probably their usual clientele at the Egilsborg Guesthouse.



The electrical system in my 'private/premium' room at the Egilsborg Guesthouse. That, of course being Scandinavia, is 220. The carpet is about as thick as a McDonalds napkin. And stained. They don't want any food in rooms. I assume because they don't want people to spill on the carpets and improve them.



And in case you wonder what a premium private room 'really' looks like... it looks like this.

So anyway... I got the hell out of there... minus one tent and more Kroner than I can count. And a night's sleep. And I probably got pants-rabbits from the mattress.

But I have a keyboard and time. And new friends who do hotel inspections. And, of course, if any of you fine lads want to have fun posting reviews.... I am sure some of you have stayed there, world travellers that you all are.

Then it's off to the last stage of the trip... More on that shortly.

Cheers,

Sirhr
 
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So yesterday (and today) were devoted to getting the bike ready to ship out. The plan is for St. Johns Newfoundland, but I can't find anyone there to meet the bike. The local BMW dealer (and the BMW dealers around the world have been nothing short of awesome...) won't respond to calls or e-mails. I should be able to go get them to pick the bike up, bring it up to the shop, do a service... and store it for the winter. Most dealers, especially in cold climates, have those services available for appropriate fees. Nada. Trying Harley Dealer next. If I don't have it sorted today, bike goes to Portland, Maine and the trip next spring on the Trans-Lab starts on a ferry in Portland, not in St. Johns. Just be a 'reverse' route. Fine with me.

I had expected to need all day to deal with the shippers, who are Eimskip Lines out of Iceland.

And if you ever want a company to do business with.... It's Eimskip. These are the most responsive, friendliest, got-their-you-know-what-together-across 2-continents-and-three-countries people ever! From my Canada contact who started the process, to the guard at the gate, to the guy who loaded my (private) container... to the routing folks. These people are the well-oiled-machine of shipping. I had planned two days in case I needed crating, paperwork, major customs clearance, etc. Are you kidding? 45 minutes... in, out, taken care of. In a private container. For about $1500 to either St. Johns or Portland. Total pro's!!! Even their 'dockyard' and port area was as shipshape as it comes. Most U.S. port areas are dumps. This place was like an operating room. Inside and out. How a company should run.

And for those who might think it would be fun to do some kind of overseas riding... remember that once you are on Iceland, you are in the EU. A couple of ferry nights and you are on the tip of Denmark. That opens up the entire world from the tip of Norway to Cape Horn... it opens up Russia, China, Western and Eastern Europe, Italy, Morocco and North Africa... the whole continent, in fact. For the price of a container from the Eastern seaboard to Iceland, the world is yours motorcycle fans! Eimskip Lines!



Bike about to load in container!



And loaded, about to tie down... off to meet my cab (thoughtfully called by the security guard who took me to their HQ building lobby to wait...) Next time I'll see her is in Newfoundland or Portland! And next up is the Trans-Labrador!

Then it was a short cab ride to Keflavik, where I await my flight tomorrow evening in a nice, civilized Radisson with a great bartender and a breakfast buffet that includes scrambled eggs and real bacon! IcelandAir to Montreal, home tomorrow night! BTW, if you never flew that airline, they are great. All flights are single-hops through Keflavik, but the scenery going in and coming out.... makes you want to visit. And for those non-riders, you can rent 4 x 4's here. And go exploring. Though don't come in October. I missed the window by a week. One week earlier and the weather was beautiful. I talked to riders getting off the ferry when I was in Denmark. And they raved about the weather and how perfect and empty it was. But October... could have been perfect. Or I might have had to rent a truck to get my bike down from the Northeast! Instead, I got through by the skin of my teeth... and on the closed Oka road... which was not one of my brighter decisions. But I didn't know it was closed until I got to Route 1 and was informed that it was closed and impassible, so I should not be there. I resisted the urge to ask if they wanted me to go back? Fortunately, was not the popo... but an 'Adventure tour' guy with a big Mercedes van with puffy tires, acting all Ranulph Fiennes. I think he was just miffed that he told all his adventure tourists that they were going to "most-inaccessible and dangerous iceland" in their vehicle... and a crazy American putts out of the snow on a 27-year-old motorcycle going "Howdy folks, what brings you here. Awesome road back there!" Ruined the mystique of the moment for him, I think.

So trip essentially over. Couple of neat questions in Military Jeopardy coming from my visits. And for anyone thinking about doing it.... DO IT!

Iceland was all I hoped it would be and more. And I may have some Keflavik stories this afternoon. I plan to go out exploring here. In fact, I already have a couple.

Cheers,

Sirhr
 
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