Germany is a country that has only existed since 1871. Since then she has suffered two calamitous wars, the ravages of hyperinflation, the shame of the holocaust and the drain of supporting an impoverished East Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Yet she now sits as the undisputed leading country of Europe whilst the two other great powers of yore, Great Britain and France, with their history of empire, industry and trade, now find themselves slipping back in importance on the world stage, usurped by the new queen of commerce.
Living out on the periphery of the EU and looking into its centre the author ruminated upon two basic questions that arise out of this new situation. The first is how did it happen and the second is does he have any desire to live under Teutonic direction? His response was to get on his bike and go and find out for himself.
The book follows his journey across Britain and onto The Netherlands before his few brief days in Germany and eventful return through France. But this is no mere travelogue for what he encounters raises further questions about the past, present and future for both Ireland and Europe as a whole and it is these questions he attempts to answer in a narrative that combines the joy of travel with the pursuit of fact and reason.
Travelling on a motorcycle provides a different perspective to that by transport any other type. The rider has to be far more aware of his or her immediate surroundings and this in turn can lead to a greater, or at least different, perception of the world generally. Reflection upon the experience of a journey can fuel the curiosity of the traveller and in exploring the origins of Germany the author has created a book that presents many relevant facts that go to make up an easily understood account of this particular nation’s development over the last few centuries. It is a book of history, observations, economics, motorcycles, travel, but most of all, humanity.