Linlithgow pillion partners go East

Charlie and Carolyn Devlin covered 26000 miles on motorbike to visit Easter Europe.
Charlie and Carolyn Devlin covered 26000 miles on motorbike to visit Easter Europe.

Seasoned bikers Charles and Carolyn Devlin racked up an impressive mileage when they toured Eastern Europe.

It was their fourth long-distance trip but with a newer, more comfortable, BMW RT1200 motorbike they clocked up an impressive 2600 miles.

The first leg took them to the Newcastle to Amsterdam ferry and on to Cologne.

By the third night they reached Wroclaw in Poland and then, using roads off the tourist trail, they headed for Krakow where they visited the Auschwitz-Berkenau concentration camp and the salt mines.

The Linlithgow couple made another early start to reach Zakopane, a Polish ski-ing resort, visiting the mountains by cable car which the Devlins said had ‘spectacular scenery’.

A short day through the Tatra mountains on the Monday took them into Slovakia, to stay at Novy Smokovec.

On a motorbike, the road surface was not made for fast travel.

Charles (58) explained: “This area is in the old eastern part of Europe where the countryside and villages did not appear to have made much progress in the last 20 years.

‘‘Watching people tending patches of land, cutting hay by hand, took you back to a different era.”

‘‘In Stary Smokovec we had a stop to visit Poprad, using the electric train which coped with some of the steepest descents and bends we have seen without any problem.

‘‘The service was very efficient and trains plentiful. Perhaps we need some of their transport integration over here!’’

Added Charles: ‘‘In the afternoon we went up the other side of the Tatra mountains by funicular railway, however, we did not have enough time to take the cable car to the 6000ft plus peak.

“The next day took us the length of Slovakia into the Czech Republic, all the time watching the countryside slowly change.

‘‘After an overnight stop in Brno we travelled to Prague and, while Prague is an interesting city, travelling by motorbike you get a very different view of the country.’’

Charles works in the scaffolding industry while Carolyn is a nurse at Forth Valley Royal Hospital.

They live in Avontoun Park, Linlithgow.