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Thread: New Member in Germany

  1. #1
    Tretnine Tretnine's Avatar
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    New Member in Germany

    Hello around the world,

    My name is Brady. I'm an American living in Germany - just north of Munich in a town called Garching bei Munchen. It's a little suburb, the coffee, bread, and beer are all fantastic.

    I was born in Minnesota, spent a good number of years living in Virginia, and followed my wife to Germany where she does physics as a PhD for the Max Plank Institute. I am a full-time writer with aspirations of global domination (or at least earning some form of living by way of the written word.)

    I have a blog Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life that deals with motorcycle stories and reflections. My 2006 BMW F650GS is often featured, as are my '78 Honda 550 and '09 Kawasaki Concours. (Apparently, the Kool-Aid never took complete control of my mind)

    My blog this week is about the original owner of the BMW F650GS that I currently ride. He was a madman and good friend who I lost to suicide a couple of years back.

    I'm a brand new member, and happy to be a part of the community. I plan to attend rallies when I make it back to the states.

    Brady Steffl

  2. #2
    Registered User womanridge's Avatar
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    Welcome to the family, Brady. Stop by often.
    On a personal note, are you familiar with a village called Wolnzach? It's 37 mi./60 km north of Munich. Some of my ancestors are from there.
    Karen Jacobs
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    2012 R 1200 RT
    MOA-133005, RA32109, IBA #37923

  3. #3
    dmclemore
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    Welcome, Brady. I'm pretty new myself.

    I lived in Germany in the Frankfurt-am Main area of Hessen for 12 years from '95 to '07 and currently live in the desert. Literally in the desert. As in "in a shack in the desert in the Middle East".

    I miss Germany.

    Oh well, things you want to see while you're there:

    1) BMW museum

    2) Olympic Park - right across the street from BMW HQs. Back when I was dating a tour promoter (fine woman!) I went to many a concert there.

    3) Oktoberfest, if you haven't been already.

    4) Hitler's Eagle Nest (Kehlsteinhaus) down in Berchtesgaden.

    5) Ski the friggin' Alps already!

    6) ICE train to Paris so you can find out why most American's hate Parisians. When they give you lip or an attitude, ask them if they speak German. When they say "No" tell them "You're Welcome!"

    7) Normandy in France. Nice folks live there.

    8) Bitburg drag strip in Bitburg at the former U.S. airbase there. I practically lived there one weekend a month during the summer. Lots of Americans race there.

    9) Schloss Neuschwanstein - yup, the "Cinderella Castle". Saw it when a Polish girl I dated came up with an idea to see just about every famous schloss (castle) in Germany, staying in cheap B&Bs along the way. Had a great time.

    10) Auschwitz in Poland - depressing place but I consider it a "reminder" trip. Similar things have happened before in the Balkans. I know. I was there just a little too late to stop it. Do NOT drive striaght through the Czech Republic unless you stop at the border and buy a silly autobahn sticker or you WILL get pulled over and fined when you get on the E53 and are about 100 kms inside the CR.

    11) ICE train to Amsterdam for Queen's Day. This I consider a "do not miss" event solely for personal reasons that are mostly debaucherous.

    12) ICE train to Frankfurt-am-Main for a weekend. Spend most of that time partying in Sachsenhausen in the loads of bars there. Stop by Klapper 33 on the Klappergasse and tell the bartender Ollie (or Rolf or anyone working there really) that "American Alex" sent you. Same goes for the Apfel Galerie and The Anglo-Irish. Stay away from the Steinen Haus unless you're me or a football hooligan. ("Frankfurt! Uber alles!")
    Because everyone remembers the sociopath that lived in their midst for 12 years.
    If you see a fine looking blonde cop in there, that would be Beate - tell her I'm sorry but I had to leave suddenly to go to the desert and will be back....eventually.
    There are bars there that my Grandfather got drunk in after WWII, my Father got drunk in during the Vietnam years, and well...I proudly carried on the family tradition much longer than they did.

    13) Venice - because everyone should see what's going to eventually happen to Manhattan when it floods and starts sinking under it's own weight.

    14) Prague. it's unique. Stay out of the alleys at night unless you feel like honing your knife fighting skills.

    15) Budapest, Hungary! Or should I say "Booty-pest!" I got to find out what happens when you dump a couple hundred American GIs in downtown Budapest on a Friday night. After WWII it was "wine, women, and song" - at that time in the 90s it was "beer, whores, and karaoke." In. That. Order. Fine city though the roads are hell.

    16) Find the only town in the world called "Assmannshausen" and take a pic of your bike parked in front of the city sign. True story!

    17) Ride the A6 from Frankfurt to Kaiserslautern (Americans call it "K-town") - good ride through beautiful German wine country.

    18) Ride alongside the river from Mainz to Koblenz. (note: you'll pass through Assmannshausen)

    If you have time, substitute "ICE train" for "ride the BMW". Be forewarned - the 650 does NOT - repeat DOES NOT - really have the juice to handle the autobahns. Sure, it's good for 60-70mph but on the autobahn you'll see BMW R & K bikes doing 100+ with the riders eating a sandwich and having a drink. Once you've spent a few years driving on the autobahns you'll learn the proper way to drive and discover that the packs of cars on the bahns tend to move as a single unit with a single mind. Moving 100+mph in a pack of 10 cars is actually very safe there. The roads there are designed for high speeds. The roads in America are NOT designed for high speeds. Honestly, Americans do not have any idea how to build a modern high-speed road and refuse to learn how to or spend the money to build them.

    I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting at the moment. Have fun!

    Come to think of it, I could probably lead a frickin' motorcycle tour there myself...does Edelweiss need another translator?

    And remember: the big B is an SS!

  4. #4
    Tretnine Tretnine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by womanridge View Post
    Welcome to the family, Brady. Stop by often.
    On a personal note, are you familiar with a village called Wolnzach? It's 37 mi./60 km north of Munich. Some of my ancestors are from there.
    Sorry, Womanridge, I've never heard of it. I could basically get on the road just outside my door and head straight there. Is there anybody you know there, or the typical oldworld family? I wish I knew more about my family and origins, but the keepers of that information in my family are somewhat... well, the kinds of people who accumulate piles of ancestry sometimes have social deficits. At least this is the case with my uncle. I can't speak for anyone else.

  5. #5
    Tretnine Tretnine's Avatar
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    Dmclemore,

    Wow, thanks for the information. I had better not lose my link to this page. There are a lot of things to see and do in this country, but I haven't had anyone give me such a comprehensive list.

    As to safety on the Autobahn - I've never been, and can't speak from experience, but with such speeds come inherent risks. Are they greater than say, driving 70 on a rough patch of interstate? Couldn't say. I just know that a couple of tiles out of place on the space shuttle can make it blow up. The faster you go the faster it's over if something happens. I think I'll make it there just for the experience, and not on the F650. That thing will hit 100, but it feels like it's trying to pass through the space time barrier when you get there with all the vibration and noise. I'd rather take that thing through the hills like Steve McQueen at the end of the Great Escape - though without all the Nazis and death.

    Thanks for the info. It'll be put to good use- though I don't know if I could ever make it to all of the sites.

  6. #6
    dmclemore
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tretnine View Post
    I'd rather take that thing through the hills like Steve McQueen at the end of the Great Escape - though without all the Nazis and death.
    Yeah....umm....ah....now we come to the most important thing about living in Germany: do NOT mention "Hitler" or "Nazis" to "Zee Germans".

  7. #7
    moenko
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    ^^^ Good advice right there!!!

    Welcome from a German in the States. Hope you enjoy the Vaterland, even if Bavaria to us Germans is what Texas is to Americans ... people talk differently, dress differently, eat different things and are usually ultra-conservative. They do make good cars there, though, the bikes are made in Berlin hehe.

    Long live the German-American Friendship

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