Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Few Last Thoughts..

Motorcycles on the way home and we are home...

Dear Family & Friends,

This is my final report for this trip and here are a few final thoughts and observations...
I have said many times where ever I travel I always see things that are done better and worse than the USA. It is a chance to learn..
Here are a few observations I have made during our travels..

-The French are very nice people.. As in any culture, treat them with respect and an open mind and I find all people to be friendly and interesting.

-The country side of France is BEAUTIFUL.  It looks much like northern California wine country Napa/ Sonoma. Now I know why they the California wine industry started there.

-Seven weeks walking around Europe is like 700 hours on a stair master.. There are stairs everywhere so no need to go to a gym..

-The infrastructure of Europe in general is so much better than ours it is embarrassing! The roads are smooth and well maintained. The cities are neat and clean.. There just seems to take more pride in where they live… Education, health care, and training seems to have more of a priority..  In Germany we talked politics with some locals and they said even the far right politicians feel that public health care is a priority
It is amazing what can be done when money is spent on your own country rather than wars…..

-Traffic in Italy is organized chaos! You have to be sharp to survive riding a motorcycle there! In the USA when I am riding if I come to an intersection even if I have the right a way I always look at the faces of cross traffic to make sure the driver sees me.. In Italy if the driver sees me I am not sure if he is going to allow me the right a way or is just taking aim at me…..

-Many places in Europe have smart toilets… Two buttons, a small flush for a #1 and a large flush for a #2.. A smart way to save water and still get a good flush when you need it…

-One day we were riding out in the country side in Europe and we came across a Gypsy camp… It was ramshackle tents, campers, and clapped out cars but right in the middle of the camp was a bright red brand new Ferrari! Which just shows no matter what your trade or occupation there is always some one who does it better than anyone else...

-Italians have so much style and passion..

-One thing that Europe and the UK desperately need is to standardize their shower controls… We have stayed in over 35 hotels and no two have the same controls!! How difficult is it to make a common set of control valves??? One place I could not only not figure out how to adjust the water flow and temp but when I was done I struggled to figure out how to turn it off!!

-Did I mention it rains a lot in Scotland??

-The Germans use way to many letters and syllables in their language… If a name has more than four syllables why not abbreviate it or rename it????

-Northern Englanders don't use enough syllables. They contract their words so much it is very hard to understand them!

-Women in Italy don't seem to like wearing bras… Very dangerous for motorcyclest..

-I like trying different foods but after 7 weeks I am longing for some good Mexican food or good BBQ!

-As far as I can tell there is no good reason for Haggis, Tatties, and neeps.

-If you have a chance to eat Black Pudding,,,,, don't(it is gelled blood sausage)… If you have a chance to eat Spotted Dick do it..(it is a delicious desert with currents)  You can't judge food by its name here.

-They drive very fast in Europe… 

-After 7 weeks on a motorcycle I am looking forward to driving a car!

-Funny how Europe is not gun crazy and it feels much safer??

-Toll freeways in Italy are a giant pain.. I can't believe it pays to build all the infrastructure to collect tolls and tickets every time you get on and off a highway… Why not just raise fuel tax a bit and be done with it??

-Switzerland is so perfect it does not seem real.

-I like talking politics and I am always asking questions about how different systems work where ever I go… No system is perfect (we are all human) but in Europe there is not the large sums of money involved..  In Switzerland the legislature meets twice a year, does not get paid and there is no retirement or health care benefits.. The politicians are expected to go home after they meet and hold a full time NON government job!!

-Germany is very nice.. Well organized and clean and the people are very nice.

-People all over the world are wonderful to meet. The friends we made on this trip are the best part of the adventure..

-In Europe you don't see to many Harley Davidson's or the dirty biker look… except in Germany.. There you see lots of Harleys and the men look and dress just like the "Dirty Bikers" in the USA. We talked to a couple and of course it was very funny to hear the German accent coming out of them..

-It is scary how much of the world learns about the USA from TV!! We should be more careful about what kind of junk we put out because so many people all over think this is reality!!

-In France one afternoon on the highways we were riding with the flow of traffic, about 85mph.. Suddenly we were passed by a guy on a sport bike so fast I couldn't even see what kind of bike it was.. He was weaving in and out of traffic and had to be doing 130mph+!! About 15 second later a policeman on a full dress police bike chasing him.. He could not go as fast, probably only doing about 115mph but he was passing and weaving through gaps at that speed that I wouldn't walk through!!

-It has been a great trip. Duane is a great guy to travel with. I don't think I have ever spent this much continuous time with anyone! In the evening we have had many interesting discussions. He is very intelligent and well read…  But I do have to say one last time…. he is directionally challenged!

-In the USA we have no concept of age.. Our country is barley 235 years old.  That is nothing, in Europe there are pubs we went to that were more than twice that old!

-Duane really really does not like riding in cities and traffic….!!

-Some one needs to inform the British that breakfast does not have to include beans….

-The words British Weather Report are an oxymoron.. There is no such thing…No one has any idea what the weather will be minute to minute.. It is either raining, going to rain, or just stopped raining.. Wait ten minutes and it will change.

-Europe and England are far more computerized than we are yet somehow take twice as long to do things like check into a hotel or pay a dinner bill. The fastest easiest check in we had was in a small town in Scotland where everything was done by hand in a ledger!

-Speaking of age I must be getting old.. Only 7 weeks riding a motorcycle and I am tired!

-Riding across London in the rain in traffic is actually fun…. in a perverse sort of way.

-Friends have asked me if I worry about riding a motorcycle so far in strange countries… I tell them it is not half as dangerous to my health as British food...

-Some of you may or may not know that my Blog is part of Google Adsense… Google actually pays me to advertise on my blog depending on how much traffic my blog generates.. Well I am now officially a paid writer… I made almost $20 in advertising from my Blog this trip, more than enough to buy one bottle of wine….. I am ready to become a professional traveler, all I have to do is learn how to travel on 75 cents a day….

-I have to send out a special thanks for my old friend Aubrey Finburgh who helped us with motorcycle logistics and let us use his house as a home base.. A great friend!!

-I have to let everyone know what a terrific wife I have that wold be so supportive of this crazy trip! Love you Bonnie!!

-Now it is time to start planning the next big adventure… ;)

1 comment:

  1. Ha Jason - I reckon you are about 100% right - it is interesting that for folks that do much shorter trips than you did, do not get half the insights. I also reckon that doing a motorcycle trip brings you in closer contact with people, you meet all sorts! (even me!)
    P.S. You don't have to have beans with every breakfast!
    P.P.S. My 2 favourite things when i go to the US are hotel and rental checkins/outs. Why we can't do it is a source of constant frustration to me!


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