We have met David three years ago in Krakow, while we were visiting Auschwitz during our bike trip from Prague to Vienna. At that time David had been on the road traveling by trains, planes, buses, and what have you for 9 months and thought, he'd be done traveling once he'd be gone for a year. We were curious about his travels and how one could afford such an adventure, so we started talking with him. Actually, we met for dinner that evening and once we found out that we'd be in Budapest around the same time during our travels, we decided to meet up again in Budapest.
We contact three different private insurance brokers, in hopes of finding an affordable private insurance. Its coverage has to be compatible to the government run insurance, but it has to be available to foreigners, who are seeking a long term visa. Again, it sounds like an easy task, the reality looks very different. Every one of the brokers and private insurance sellers tells us, that legally, they are only allowed to sell us another international travel insurance.
While we are waiting for government agencies to make up their minds about visas and insurances, we take a few day-tours around the area. There are several bike paths leading out of town. Most are paved some wind their way through woods and the countryside on dirt and gravel. Either way, they are all fun to ride on, while exploring the area around the house...and it feels soooo good to be back on the bike!
We are on the hunt for insurance. Sounds easy, but it comes with a catch!
After being told that our insurance is not good enough to apply for a permission to stay in Germany, we head out to the local government-run insurance office. We talk to the person behind the desk who is responsible for handling voluntary, self-paid health insurance. We tell him our situation and he looks us up in his computer. To our surprise, we are still in the system from when we had coverage 16 years ago, when we lived and worked here. It's actually a little scary to be reminded how much information is being kept on file! There's still our old German address, our old work addresses etc. We tell him our new address, and our new situation. He hands us an application and since there are a few confusing questions, he helps us fill it out.
For a while now, we have talked about getting a year long visa in Germany. This visa would allow us to travel within Europe and the Schengen zone, without having to worry about the 90 day visa rule. So it only made sense to work on it, while visiting friends and family in my