352km Total: 873km 19km 679km
Somewhere along the way towards Hamburg I notice that my left indicator isn't looking quite a perky as I'm used to.
I don't know how or when it happened but the indicator stem is broken and the indicator is just hanging by the wiring.
I probably could have done a bodgejob but I'll need to get a new one sooner or later and I have plenty of time as the train doesn't depart until 9.30PM.
The plan was to spend the time at Louis Gigashop and/or Touratech but instead I google the largest Triumph dealer in Hamburg which turns out to be Triumph Flagship Store.
I park outside the shop at about 3.30PM and explain that I need an indicator, new or used doesn't matter but I need it replaced asap since this is just the second day of a three week trip.
One of the salesmen went out to check the stock and I got my ass parked in the "lounge" with a steaming cup of coffee.
While I'm sitting there enjoying the elixir of life I notice they actually have Triumphs LED-indicators hanging on the wall which is a bit "bling" compared to original but hey, beggars can't be choosers.
I go up to the counter and offer to buy the pair if they don't stock the standard.
It does require changing the relay as well and to make a long story short she very politely assures me that it'll probably work out fine and she thinks I should enjoy the coffee while I wait.
I think I pretty much got the German version of sit the f**k down and chill the f**k out.
At most fifteen minutes later Marvin, the salesman who was just checking the stock comes up to me and asks me to turn on the ignition real quick to check that the new indicator he's just fitted is working.
He not only found an indicator, he also fitted it without me noticing and politely and regrets that it took him so long because after all he is a salesman and not a mechanic.
Obviously the indicator is working just fine and when I reach for my wallet and ask how much I owe him he just reaches out his hand and wishes me a nice trip! A firm handshake was payment in full.
I can hardly believe it, these thing don't happen in real life.
I feel like I've just experienced a bike-version of a dear Penthouse letter.
I mean I liked Hamburg and the Germans even before this but now I love each and every one of them and if I wasn't a Triumph fanatic before, now I'm both saved and born again.
I still have plenty of time to spare until the train so I still manage a stop at Louis, a better place for a biker to spend a bit of time you'll be hard pressed to find.
And by some skewed logic I had saved a bundle of cash by not needing to pay for the new indicator.
I wander around in the shop until closing and leave with an arm full of much needed stuff which I didn't really need at all.
I continue to Altona, check in to the Autozug and park up at the usual place.
While I'm waiting to board I stock up in Lidl and get some dinner at Subway.
On board the train I'm sharing the compartment with a Danish middle aged pair whos names I've unfortunately forgot but just to keep the stereotypes alive I'll call them Solveig and Preben.
The fourth man in our compartment I do remember the name of, his name was Arman and had a very strange job.
He was on the crew of RV Polarstern, a research polar icebreaker.
At most he'd been out 15 months straight, staying through the winter at the north pole.
Now he had taken his BMW motorcycle to Nordkap and had ridden down through Finland, Sweden and Norway.
This was his first ride on the Autozug even though he didn't live more than 60kms from the terminal at Lörrach.
The Danish couple had it a bit more figured out as this was the 11:th time riding the Autozug and their plan was to setup base camps at different strategic places throughout the alps and do day trips.
They both rode sports bikes so they where somewhat limited when it came to hauling gear around.
Between the Dane and the German I became witness to a very amusing sales pitch.
Arman at one point said that the Polarnstern was close to giving up the ghost.
I can fix that, said Preben who works for the Danish defence forces which apparently are about to sell all their icebreakers.
It seems that the Danish government have decided that there won't be any more cold winters thus eliminating the need for icebreakers.
I'm not a gambling man myself but even if I where I wouldn't like those odds.
Well soon enough all our planned vacation routes are on the table and Arman who's been touring on motorbikes for the last 30 odd years gives me a very honest and spontaneous opinion of my route, especially tomorrows which is about 400kms through three alp passes.
That opinion was very short and to the point: FUCK!
He then in more diplomatic terms gives a big thumbs down to my entire route which he describes as rather overly ambitious and then proceeds to point out that when I realise that my original route isn't doable then instead I might...
The whole discussion went over a few beers he'd ran out to get before departure so it was all in good spirits.
We were expecting the wake up call around 6AM so after a couple of beers it was time to hit the sack.
Rödby ferry crossing.
Biker daycare, Louis Gigashop Hamburg.
Autozug-terminal at Hamburg-Altona.
With up to five people sharing a compartment you'd better not suffer from claustrophobia.