This morning, we left ba noi's house bright and early, heading in the direction of the car dealership. This was it! We were about to get a car! It is hard to believe that this entire chain of events stemmed from a seemingly innocuous comment made by my brother when my family visited us in Italy.
We grabbed a quick pastry as we walked, Tyler urging me to move faster as we ate our breakfast en route. Arriving, we recieved the keys to our car, as well as our insurance papers, car title and export license plate. Everything taken care of (shockingly) smoothly, we drove out of the dealership and into Berlin!
We were ecstatic, grinning and laughing as we drove, when Tyler thought of something that made him even more giddy. "We're in Berlin! We're driving in Berlin!" …*gasp*… "I am Jason Bourne!", he exclaimed. It was so much fun to be embarking on a new adventure!
Our first stop? The gas station.
With a gulp, I filled the tank half full, and forked over thirty euros. Oy vey! Oh well. We're curious to see how much driving costs versus cycling, per kilometer traveled.
Tank filled, we drove back to ba noi's and parked in front of the big blue door to her place. Then, we unlocked our bikes and took them out of the storage area. Goodbye for now, bicycles! Tyler began disassembling them while I ran across the street to a shop, buying some rags to clean them with. Ba noi lent us one of her plastic buckets, which I filled with soapy water.
Together we cleaned and took everything apart, stopping now and then to test pack the pieces in the hatchback trunk of our new car. People walked by and stared at the bomb-explosion of a packing job. One guy, his eyes avoiding the mess and focusing instead on our little red car, asked to buy it. Tyler offered to sell it to him, but only if he'd meet us in Mongolia in a month or so!
As we worked, it became more and more apparent that we'd need to take the bikes apart completely in order to fit them in our car. Unfortunately, we sent a small crescent wrench home a few months ago, forgetting that it was our pedal wrench. So, Tyler went off in search of a bike shop to see if he could get a new one. In Germany, this isn't very hard; there is one on practically every block! A few minutes later, he returned saying they didn't have a tool we could buy, but they did have a tool we could use.
Tyler returned to the bike shop, this time with frames in tow, and came back shortly with the pedals removed. We'll have to pick up a crescent wrench sometime before Mongolia.
While Tyler tirelessly continued disassembling our steeds, I began ferrying out our panniers. We stuffed the contents of most of them into every nook and cranny of the trunk, between bike parts. The things we'd need every day, we fit in the back seat, trying in vain to make our car as unobtrusive as possible. It would have been nice to squeeze everything into the trunk, making it look like we weren't carrying our whole lives with us, but alas, that was not possible. Oh well!
But the important thing was that the bikes fit. Here it is, our new trunk!
We are officially roadtrip ready.