Epilogue (2)

Same way I did in 2010, I was planning on writing a short epilogue to conclude the Asia trip. However, after reaching Los Angeles, I was swamped with work and had no time to acquire writing inspiration for one month. After that, I was unwilling to blog since doing so would have made me sad for being stuck in the same city with no real prospect of returning to adventure for months/years.

Fortunately, today we are once again travelling, and I am in the mood to blog!

Stats:

Palomina carried us 25,070km
We used other two wheelers to ride another 800km
We rode 3,350km in train (Lao Cai -> Hanoi, Calcutta -> Bombay, Yazd -> Bandar Abbas)
Flew 4,590km (Bangkok -> Kathmandu, Delhi -> Shiraz)
Roughly 1,000km by bus here and there
——————————–
Total over 34,800km in 7.5 months

Top countries:

Radu:

1. Iran – best people ever, unique architecture, best food ever
2. India – ancient sites, train rides
3. Turkey – Istanbul, Roman ruins, people, mountains, food, people

Laura:

1. Iran – hospitable people, architecture, food
2. Turkey – scenic country overall, Roman sites, hospitable people
3. Vietnam – cheap but very interesting tours widely available

Top sites:

Radu:
1. Angkor – most impressive think I have ever seen
2. Ellora caves – simply amazing
3. train rides in the Himalayas (1, 2)

Laura:
1. Angkor – looks like we have similar opinions
2. Ephesus – well preserved, large Roman city
3. Ellora Caves – what was I saying?

While this trip was far less than the Latin American 2010 trip in terms of adventure and scenery, it was way better on a cultural level. So many traditions! Such a wide variety of religions, life styles, languages. So different architectural marvels! Too much to absorb in only 7 months, but enough to remember the rest of our lives!

In Bucharest we sold Palomina 🙁 we had to part ways with our great companion because it was unfeasible economically to ship it back to USA. Furthermore, having it registered in Romania would have been costly so, unfortunately, she ended up being parted out and we got 1250EUR for it, 80% of what I paid 3 years before 🙂

We sold it thinking of the new F800GS of course, a fresh bike with better capabilities for the upcoming Africa adventure (I hope!).

That being said, we decided to change the mean of locomotion for the next few trips. No matter how great motorcycle riding might be, it is still worth trying boat, train, bicycle, aircraft touring and so on. So, I will continue updating this blog with trip reports from random destinations in the seven continents!

Special thanks go to:
1. my wife – Laura – for being such a great companion
2. my sister – Irina – for her strategic support by taking good care of my business for such a long time
3. my father – Cristian – for tactical support
4. all great people of Asia who helped us in so many ways

Thanks for reading!

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Warsaw

After Krakow we returned to Romania where we packed and prepared for the flight back to California. En route we had a layover in Warsaw. Even though the few hours weren’t enough for properly visiting the city, we decided to take the bus and check out the city center. From what we’ve seen, we think Warsaw is a lucky combination of older, communist and modern styles, definitely a place to come back to whenever practicable.

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Krakow

I must say there are only a few cities that we enjoyed more than Krakow. With a vivid and colorful appearance, many parks and – most important – amazing architecture, this city came as a big surprise, especially since we knew it was heavily damaged during WW2. Unfortunately, we only had half day to check it out.

This is the house where Pope John Paul II used to live (before becoming a Pope).

Despite the dull appearance, this is a famous building: Oskar Schindler’s enamel factory, featured in the Schindler’s list movie. As we arrived after the closing time, we only had the chance to peak through the windows…

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Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II – Birkenau

Heading North we arrived in Poland. We visited Oświęcim, better known under it’s former name – Auschwitz. This is where 3 main extermination camps used to function, out of which only Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II – Birkenau can be visited today. They host artifacts, photographic evidence and documents relating to the mission carried out there during the second world war.

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Slovakia Ring

My old Romanian motorcycle friends informed me there was a track event in Slovakia, near Bratislava, so we decided to extend the trip beyond it’s original destination. Despite the fact I haven’t been racing since 2008, I managed to qualify 11th in the Hobby Racer class after the first day. The second day, during the race, I finished 13th.

Racing is, definitely, one of the things I’ve been missing. In the US, amateur racing is very uncommon. The track events are more of a time trial, mostly focused on safety and less on fun.

I’m proud to accomplish two days of racing on the fastest machine I ever maneuvered (Kawasaki Ninja ZX10R, ~180hp) without crashing (as I did before).

In the meantime I updated the video collection page, adding 19 files to the index.

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