Day 9 - Train & bus with the MFU

Saturday 5th July 2014
Mick's on the MFU bus
It's Saturday, Fladungen Classics Day. We're taking a leisurely breakfast at the central cafe when a grand old bus pulls up across the road and close behind there is Charly Kaller. I first met Charly at a biker hotel in Törwang, high in the Bavarian Alps, back in 2008. He hails from Austria way over on the Czech/Slovak border beyond Vienna, but has lived in Heilbronn near Stuttgart for many years.

Old train
Charly is a member of the MFU club (Motorradfreunde Unterheimbach) and is here with 25 of the MFU many of whom I know from previous tours with Charly. It's lovely to meet up with so many old friends here in the heart of Deutschland.
 The MFU has organised a bus and train tour around the Rhön countryside and Mick and I have been invited to accompany them.

Charly, Mick and me on the train


All aboard and we trundle off up hill and down dale. The old motor struggles to make it over some of the higher summits and we have soon collected a crocodile of following cars. On the microphone the tour guide must be quite funny judging by the frequent laughter but I can only catch the odd phrase.
 
Bus to train transfer

We alight at Mellrichstadt and transfer to a train of obscure vintage. It's an old diesel and the wooden carriages probably date from before the war. The old boy stewarding the carriages hands round a bottle of schnapps and the party gets going.

A welcome from the band
When we finally chuff back into Fladungen the local Oompah band is waiting on the platform to greet us.


flea market
Thus serenaded we set off through a gate into the walled town. Now it's full of flea market stalls. Old cars, bikes, tractors (real ones, not Harleys),scooters and mopeds stand on every street and alleyway. Many revellers dressed in period costumes from the fifties and sixties throng the streets. The beer and sausage stalls are doing a roaring trade.


Cool car

Bijou motorhome



Even the fire brigade is represented

In the evening the main square develops into a massive Biergarten. Rows of benches and tables fill the street and retro crooners and rock and roll bands belt it out from the stage. Pils and weißen beers, cocktails, Bratwurst and Currywurst and much merriment. Being in Germany no fights break out despite the awesome alcohol consumption. 



Beer and skittles German style

We sit at the MFU table and lap it all up. The main attraction is Bill Ramsey, an American jazz crooner now 73 years old and hugely popular in Germany. With such massive hits as "Yes Fanny, Ich tu das" and "Wumba-Tumba Schokoladeneisverkaüfer"

Bill Ramsey (photo lifted from wikipedia)


Later there is a good rockabilly band playing some interesting takes on classic rock and roll songs.
I have the opportunity to discuss our upcoming trip to Mount Ararat with Charly and Karl Heinz. K-H had booked our ferry tickets from Ancona in Italy to Igoumenitsa in Greece on 14th September (insert puff for next blog here - ed).

Weary and wasted we bid farewell to our MFU mates and stagger off to bed. Tomorrow we head south to the Bavarian Alps and a rendezvous with Hitler's ghost.

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