Days off means ride on!!!
Where to? Germany!
Why? New bike...new BMW...so need to see BMW Museum. But first, let's stop and say hi!
On the 10th of October started my 4 days riding journey. The dashboard showed me 18034 miles. Let's start!
The beemer is ready, the backpack is in position, strapped, full tank, full gear, and nice weather forecast.
But a journey can't start without little "surprises" made by my GPS, as usual. This time was my fault. I've forgotten the "Avoid motorways " settings on and I've figured it out too late.
So my ride to Dover was a one only on A&B's roads. Nice houses and areas, didn't want to see them now and I was lateeee!!!!
I was looking at the time and I was:"OH NOOO, not again!!! I've managed to miss my DFDS ferry booking at 10 AM!" ( you need to be at least 40 min earlier for the boarding on the ferry)
Arrived at the check-in desk around 10 AM, spoken with a gentleman from DFDS and he was sooo kind to help me with the crossing. I needed to choose between 10:40 AM Dover- Calais ferry or 12 PM Dover- Dunkirk ferry. So I've told him that I never traveled to Calais so let's try it. Were my first time to take DFDS ferry Dover- Calais and I don't regret it.
The boarding started and on the deck, you need to follow the team instructions where to park so everything and everybody is safe. Total professionals, but clumsy me, on the wet deck when I put my foot down, slipped and managed to drop my bike :D all the team came to help me. No scratches on the plastics, I was fine so I was happy to park the bike in the designated parking spaces for the motorcycles, with the help of the DFDS team. Now I know why I like to travel with them. Every time, awesome experience and very helpful!
OK, now let's have a coffee and enjoy the crossing.
On the upper deck, I've remembered that I don't have any cash and no euros in case I will need cash, so again the solution was in front of me thanks to all the facilities provided by the DFDS: cash machine, exchange office, cafes, restaurants, gift shop.
Looking around, I've found out that they support the motorcycle community as well. How? The team members seeing my gear, approached me and advise me what I need to do when I travel to Europe and as well you have leaflets with this information and crash cards available everywhere on the ferry for free, you just need to take them and fit the crash card in your helmet.
Much appreciated! Is good to be informed!
This is them! Don't miss the amazing offers https://www.dfdsseaways.co.uk/
FB page https://www.facebook.com/dfdsuk/
Now, let's have that coffee!
The sun is up and the crossing was smooth. DFDS see you in a couple of days!
The ride to Frankfurt was nice, the weather was sunny so was a fun ride. Aaa, except the thing that I've broken my charging cable and needed to buy one for 20E! A bit tooo much, i think!
The next day was about family, playing with my nephew, visiting, shopping, walking around and enjoying a dinner at a Moroccan pub/restaurant in Frankfurt with my brother, my sister-in-law and my sweet nephew.
Oh, did I've told you that I will be again an auntie? She has a lil' baby in there- second kid in a couple of months ;) me happyyyy!!!
On the next day, I'm up in the saddle again. Next stop: Munich- Hotel Laimer Hof- Laimer Straße 40.
The ride was an amazing one! Why? Because it was the 3rd day in a row, of my rushed city break, with sun!!! Imagine sunny weather, no rain!!! Imagine that since spring and during summer when I was riding, even for a short ride, rain was present! But, this time, no rainnnn!!! This little, but important aspect made the ride Frankfurt-Munich one full of relaxation, just enjoying the amazing autumn colours, the ride and had a big smile on my face!!!
Arriving at the hotel, I was amazed at how joyful was the staff. Usually the hotel staff you can see that they are struggling to have a happy face but, not here.
Once you set foot on the hotel ground you feel very comfortable and you can feel the warm atmosphere of the hotel. It looks like a little castle, in a very quiet neighborhood and near the Nymphenburg Palace, Botanical Gardens, and Hirschgarten. Yes, this hotel is right near and near Europe’s largest beer garden.
For booking see https://laimerhof.de/
TripAdvisor page https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g187309-d279562-Reviews-Hotel_Laimer_Hof-Munich_Upper_Bavaria_Bavaria.html
At the reception, the staff is very polite, but you can feel that they are genuinely polite and kind! Had the opportunity to be greeted by the manager, Sebastian and his lovely wife Alexandra. The couple assumed operation of the hotel with its long-standing tradition in the year 2003, and since then has operated the hotel with love and great respect for its founders.
Originally was built in the late 19th century, now has 23 hotel rooms including the one where I stayed. Importantly, the hotel maintains many historic touches while still being modern with amenities like free Wi-Fi and cable TV.
Is situated in a quiet neighborhood but also near public transport for quick, easy access to downtown (about 10 min plus 5 min walk). They are extremely hospitable and helpful with any questions you may have. The hotel is very charming, with very warm rooms as it was cooler outside.
What sets this hotel apart is the quality of the staff. Sebastian greets you like an old family friend and he and the staff guide you to a map of Munich and lets you know how to get to the key points of the town and what you have near this amazing hotel- sightseeing, shops, museums and much more. This makes your Munich experience at its greatest.
They provide secure motorcycle underground parking( yeyyyyy!!!!) and is a motorcycle friendly hotel!
The hotel’s hospitality didn’t end with nice greetings. Touches like bags of gummy bears on my bed made me feel welcome for my entire stay. The more I travel, the more I appreciate good service at hotels. And good service is exactly what Hotel Laimer Hof Munich provided.
I think that until now this was the best hotel/accommodation experience ever. And I do believe that in an era of globalization, we need to support the family business because these ones make us feel human, really welcome and connected to the place we visit.
Everybody, meet Sebastian and Alexandra Rösch !!!
After I was blown away by the hotel staff kindness, I decided to change my gear and to follow Sebastian advice and go ride around Munich and go visit a couple of the main attractions.
First stop...of course BMW Museum and meeting a biker friend from back home who moved in Munich not so long ago.
From outside, the BMW buildings look impressive, but, unfortunately, in my opinion, the BMW Museum isn't worth the time and the money to visit. A couple of years ago I've visited Mercedes Museum in Stuttgart...That one is worth your time!!!! But, is just my opinion.
Next stop Marienplatz. Absolutely loved that area! It's a masterpiece and great square in Munich and if you are visiting the platz between 11 AM and 3 PM you will be treated to the sights and sounds of the Glockenspiel. This is a charming square with beautiful buildings and amazing architecture. Many restaurants and shops around. Beautiful fountain and monuments.
And of course, you can't walk around and not have a pretzel :D
As much as I like walking around and visiting everything, now I don't have the time because in the morning I need to ride back to London. With that thought in mind, I'm heading back to my lovely castle-hotel. But, this short ride will be one that I will remember. Why?
Because I've managed to crash my beemer. A car just braked suddenly in front of me and my reaction was not to crash into the car, I've braked as well and blocked my front wheel. What does that mean? A bruised, swollen, hardly can walk knee and Thank God only damaged plastics for my beemer. The guy from the car seen the scene and tried to help me. But, oh well, after (I think 8 years since my last crash) I needed a reminder that no matter where we go, never ever ride in something else than the gear- I was riding in my jeans because I've said that I'm going visiting things and I want to be a bit comfy...last time I'm doing that!
Checked myself up...nothing broken, the bike is working, I'm heading to the hotel.
There, the manager was still in the hotel (was around 9 PM and helped me with frozen gel packs and offered his help if I needed something, anything, just let him know.
All I needed was a good night sleep. With my packed swollen knee I've just crashed the bed, I need sleep!
The next morning, my knee was a bit better, not that swollen- all night I've tried to have ice on it, but still aching a lot.
Packed my bag, geared up and going down to reception. There was Alexandra, Sebastian's wife who was very nice as well and she knew about my crash and you can tell that she was genuinely concerned if I can ride back to London.
I wasn't in a good state of mind, didn't want to have breakfast, but she wanted, at least, to give me a coffee to go, but...yeah...helmet, gear on, motorcycle...not your proper enjoy a coffee to go situation :)
That day I was facing a 1156 km ride Laimer Hof Hotel Munich- Dunkirk-Dover-home in London.
But let's have a bit of fun.
I was lucky because the ride was one straightforward, stopping only to fuel up and to eat. I was so lucky because the weather was sunny. In the morning were 6 degrees C but during the day were 16 degreed C.
When I left Munich, the GPS showed me that I will be in Dunkirk around 4:30 PM, just in time not to miss my 6 PM ferry booking. Never- ever rely on the estimated time from the GPS/ Google Maps. Towards Dunkirk were a lot of road work, blocked motorways due to accidents, car ques so bye bye my ferry booking.
Managed to arrive at the DFDS check-in desk in Dunkirk around 8 PM. Once again the team was sooo helpful. They booked me at the 10 PM ferry.
Outside the temperature started to drop and was very windy but was good that the boarding on the ferry started on time and didn't take me long to be on the deck, with the crew members helping me to strap my bike.
Bye, bye beemer, see you in 2 h!
Going on the upper deck, I see the gift shop. Entered to buy something for my friends and when I was at the tilt, a DFDS crew member was looking for me because I've forgotten the light on my motorcycle and that didn't want me to run out of battery.
Yep, nice to see that they look at this kind of details!!!
Once again, thumbs up for the DFDS team!
Gone down, cut the light, gone up!
This time, I'm spoiled: Premium Lounge! I was tired!
Entered and I was greeted by a nice lady that welcomed me and showed me around (was my first time traveling at DFDS Premium Lounge).
Made myself comfortable and enjoyed relaxed lounge atmosphere.
And I need to cut the caffeine down. Too many in one day so I needed something sweet because if I will order food I will just fall asleep on my bike. And for that, you have an open buffet with fruits, natural juices, coffee, teas, water, a selection of pastry making you feel more comfortable so the crossing will be a real relaxation.
Can I go home with the ferry? I don't wanna ride anymore!
The crossing comes to an end and I was in Dover. My friends were expecting me in Dover so at least I will not ride alone. They come to save me from myself!
I was so tired, hardly manage to concentrate, my knee was aching more but, my boyfriend surprised me. While I was riding towards London he called me and told me to stop in a parking. Arrived there. Guess what? He had in his backpack, on his motorcycle, flowers for me. Made my night much brighter!
Was his appreciation because that day I've broken my personal riding record! A couple of years ago I was riding in one day 990 km. Now I had made 1156 km in one day! So next will be an Iron Butt Challenge :))
Let's go home, enough excitements and riding for one day, even for me ;)
Pointless to say that I was in bed around 2 AM and at 5:20 AM I was up because I needed to be at work at 6:40 AM! But, this time, without motorcycle until I will have my knee checked by a doctor.
What a trip!!!! New things happened to me, new places to visit, new record crashed and my new BMW crashed!
Yep, I'm crazy!
*Many thanks to Laimer Hof Hotel for hosting me in Munich and many thanks to DFDS for all the help provided with the ferry crossings.*
All opinions are my own.