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-   -   Europe 2012 Maritime Alps ans Vosges (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=828859)

PFFOG 09-24-2012 09:22 AM

Europe 2012 Maritime Alps ans Vosges
 
Well another adventure in the books. Two+ weeks playing in the Maritime Alps, the Vosges, with a little of the Black forest thrown in for good Measure. This year we were back on a tour with Beach’s Motorcycle Adventures http://www.beachs-mca.com/ , on their Alpine West tour.


We arrived in Zurich a couple days early, and spent some time wandering around town, We were going to get some early riding in, but persistent rain would have taken some of the fun out of the corners, so we laid low, and spent some time wandering around the old town.

We stayed in the old town, so lots of shops and variety of restaurants to keep us occupied.


View from our room.




http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard..._2_3_fused.jpg

http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...8_1478x979.jpg


Saturday Night on the square
http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...2/DSC_3104.jpg




Weekends saw a lot of partying, and as almost no hotels have AC, windows stay open, so earplugs were handy for a good night’s sleep.

Altstadt (Old Town) Zurich, like many of the European Old town is just amazing, building that were built before Columbus sailed to America! And churches with Majestic clock towers everywhere.





http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard..._4_5_fused.jpg


http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...8_1478x979.jpg





http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard..._2_3_fused.jpg


A 2 wheel culture for sure, it is great because most drivers started on 2 wheels so they have a respect for them, that you don’t get in North America.





http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...8_1478x979.jpg


http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...2/P1020210.jpg


http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...2/P1020213.jpg


http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...2/P1020215.jpg
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PFFOG 09-24-2012 01:07 PM

On to the riding part of the trip.

Here is my GPS tracks and elevation profile from the trip. Rode most of the high passes in the Alps, included the Assietta Kammstrasse, a 30 km dirt trail that follows a ridge and traverses several Cols. I have to say it is the most beautiful ride in the Alps, everywhere you turn, gorgeous scenery.



Also found a little road with 30 switchbacks in less than 5km! 2/3 of the Stelvio without traffic and the rough pavement!

GPS tracks


http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...a%20tracks.jpg

Elevation Profile in Feet


http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...ofile%20ft.jpg
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PFFOG 09-25-2012 07:02 AM

Monday was time to ride, and mother nature cooperated, it was overcast an hazy, but the moisture stayed in the sky. First day is a loop day, returning to Zurich.



The wife and I decided to take the long route, meandering small roads and up and over a small pass in Switzerland.



I know watching videos can sometimes be as exciting as watching paint dry, but they do show the roads better than still pics do so I will link them as I go along.



<iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/iptJzE8qY3c" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe>




My steed for the next 2 weeks, not often you call a R1200GS pretty, but I kind of like the looks of this one. Gave it back with about twice the mileage it had when I got it.



http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...6_1478x979.jpg



Did I say small roads? They offer great views, almost non-existent traffic, and an up close and personal view of the countryside.


http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...5_1478x979.jpg

http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...4_1478x979.jpg




Lunch was on the Pragel pass, my first of many bowls of goulash zuppa, a lunch time staple in the Alps. It is a little different in every place, my theory is it is the leftovers, thrown in a tomato base, with some spices, and served with bread. Just right for a light lunch.



http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...0_1478x979.jpg


http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...5_1478x979.jpg




Our view from our table on the patio




http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...2_1478x979.jpg



The low clouds hanging over the eastern side of the pass




http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...9_1478x979.jpg



As well as some gravel washed on the road, the numerous waterfalls were running from the recent rains.


http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...4_1478x979.jpg
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g®eg 09-25-2012 07:52 AM

cool!
we were there almost the same time?
similar routes too (well the first part anyway).

Motopumps 09-25-2012 08:52 AM

More!
 
:lurk

enduro0125 09-29-2012 05:48 PM

Great photos.

:lurk

PFFOG 10-03-2012 06:23 AM

Tuesday 9/4
Time to hit the road. One of the Advantages of a tour, is no real packing, just leave the suitcase in the lobby, and it magically appears in your room at the next hotel! Saddle bags never came off, all we had to carry was helmets, and the tank bag at night.



We were headed to Kaysersburg for the night, via the Schwarzwald (Black Forest). Weather was again cool, hazy and overcast, but dry.



We headed out of Zurich and were soon into Germany and the Schwarzwald. We rode along taking all the small roads we could find, even though traffic was non-existent on the bigger roads, you just see more, and the small roads have a way of slowing things down, have a more relaxed feel, and that is what vacations are all about .





Just a taste of a small road.



<iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/vvI26ZsPmP8" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe>



We wandered along, extending the trip to catch as many good roads as we could find.


http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...%20Zur-Kay.jpg




Stopped for a nice lunch at a place with a lakeside view.



http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...9_1478x979.jpg




We resumed traveling on, yup more small back roads. We stopped along, check that in the road for a bottle of water and to soak in the countryside. In ½ hour or so we relaxed we had maybe 4 other vehicles go by.





http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...5_1478x979.jpg


http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...1_1478x979.jpg


http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...3_1478x979.jpg


http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...4_1478x979.jpg




We arrived in Kaysersberg, which is one of our favorite towns in the area, we passed through in ’07, and when we went back to the area in ’09, we spent 5 nights here. Touristy, yes and no, It is small enough that you don’t get the feel of a tourist town, but you do get the variety of shops restaurants, lodging etc. Luckily, for the charge card, we did not get to town until after the shops were closed, so the wife did not have the opportunity to shop :D


Those that are fans of the Tour De France and historians, we stayed in a Hotel that was run by Roger Hassenforder, a professional cyclist in the 50’s and 60’s and won several stages of the race, and wore the yellow shirt for a few days in his career.



Rooms were typical small town Europe, well-appointed but small.



http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...1_1478x979.jpg


A morning walk through town, where I had the streets to myself for the most part. A very picturesque town.



http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...8_1478x979.jpg


http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...0_1478x979.jpg


http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...3_1478x979.jpg
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PFFOG 10-04-2012 09:26 AM

Wednesday 9/5

The route now heads south towards the highest peaks in the Alps, but it will take a few days of playing on some great roads to get there. Today’s route took us up the highest peak in the Vosges in France, at 4672 feet, and once part of the Tour De France.

The Vosges are very similar to the Smoky’s in topography, the roads are plentiful and as good as the best NC roads, with one BIG difference, other vehicles pull over to let you by, and you can pass almost everywhere, with no fear of a ticket. The Europeans assume if you are smart enough to drive, you are smart enough to figure out where it is safe to overtake


The ride on the way up the Grand Ballon.


<iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/E3eo3YwEux8" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe>

The GOPRO is a great little camera, but next time I would find a different way to mount it, on rough roads it bounces too much, on a helmet the movement can be distracting, and the sound is not as good, too much wind noise, or if you use the closed back, just muted sound. Music overdubs take away some of the sense of the road.



Col du Bagenelles


http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...4_1478x979.jpg


Not a lot of pic’s this day, as it stayed overcast, but stayed dry. This area of France has numerous cemetery’s, full of French, German and American’s as the area switched hands numerous times through the years, as recent as WWII. Also some Museums, which we visited, back in ’07 and ’09, so we did not stop this trip.



At a late morning stop for Cappuccino on top of one of the peaks we arrived as this was leaving.


http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...1_1478x979.jpg


It would not be my color of choice. There is a lot of strange auto colors in the area, on some very expensive cars, a bunch of flat black, flat OD green and flat browns. They look like they forgot to put the color coat on, after applying primer! Don’t get it myself, but to each his own.

Arrived at our next hotel a little late, and had a great view from our room, that is Switzerland on the other side of the valley.



http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...2_1478x979.jpg



http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...1_1478x979.jpg
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PFFOG 10-05-2012 11:25 AM

Thursday 9/6
Still under a cool hazy sky, but dry. We started out riding some very small local roads that meandered through wooded areas and pastures. Although the roads can be rough and are not really conducive to spirited riding, they do offer a real view of the region and life off the beaten path.

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The wife and I were joined by another rider, I meet in ’07, on an Alps tour, and this was his 3<sup>rd</sup> MC trip in Europe. After stopping to fuel up, I hear the other bike popping and spitting. Immediately I suspected a big Oops, I suspected he filled with Diesel!!



Now this may seem silly and stupid, but in Europe, where most of the cars are diesel, almost all pumps dispense both “sans plumb” and “gasoil” there is no color coding, and unlike the US, the nozzles are the same size, names like Shell V-Power, apply to both too. It must be fairly common, because many stations have a BIG metal plate on the back of the handle that says DIESEL!



So I keep moving until I spot a garage, as I know if he stopped, it would by iffy if his bike restarted. We pulled in and looked in the tank, sure enough it smelled a little like diesel, I took out my siphon hose and dipped it in the tank, then put a drop on the warm valve cover where it did NOT evaporate instantly…..sure enough “gasoil”. He was greeted by a young mechanic and communicated his problem, they had him roll the bike up to one of the bays and the kid showed up with a bucket and 12v pump to drain the tank. He refilled with “sans plumb” and after grinding the starter for a bit, the bike sputtered spit, popped and finally fired. He asked what he owed them, and they said nothing! He pitched the kid some cash, which he seemed surprised to get, but accepted. All in all just a 45 minute delay and back on the road.


We stopped for a nice lunch along a lake, the fish and soup was good!


http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphoto...22019872_n.jpg




Still plagued by overcast and hazy skies that would do the Blue Ridge proud, no picks of the day. I promise I will make up for it as we move along.



Our Hotel was on Lac d’Annecy, purported to be the cleanest lake in the Alps.



Sunset at the Hotel.


http://www.easy-clan.com/ski/richard...4_1478x979.jpg
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moto rrad 10-06-2012 04:07 AM

Great photography, great roads! :clap

Can I ask.. appears you are using HDR photography.. true? Just curious as to your camera, and what "HDR program" you are using? Thank you!

cheers,
Stu

bonzodg 10-06-2012 01:32 PM

Thankyou MASSIVELY for giving the viewer the option of hearing the real time sounds.
Riding's absolutely about being in the atmos of where you are.
I'm enjoying the videos SO much without some lamebrain's idea of 'music' to have to mute!

(I'd like to know specifics about the camera too please)

Wonderful stuff altogether,
good luck!

Wildman 10-06-2012 01:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PFFOG (Post 19745318)
...It would not be my color of choice. There is a lot of strange auto colors in the area, on some very expensive cars, a bunch of flat black, flat OD green and flat browns. They look like they forgot to put the color coat on, after applying primer! Don’t get it myself, but to each his own...

Probably one of the Lindt family. Get it now?

Oh, and nice pics.

MikJogg 10-06-2012 02:12 PM

Great report and pics.

I like the vosges too (just an hour from my home),more than the blackforest-because of the nice small roads and less traffic than here.

Oh,and i like the brown bugatti,it looks like my favorite chocolat :tb

PFFOG 10-06-2012 07:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by moto rrad (Post 19759649)
Great photography, great roads! :clap

Can I ask.. appears you are using HDR photography.. true? Just curious as to your camera, and what "HDR program" you are using? Thank you!

cheers,
Stu

Just a few have been HDR, using photomatix, All have been run through Lightroom, in bulk, to enhance clarity. The profile is best for scenery, but personally I am not thrilled with the results on some, but I haven't had time to do the 900 photos individually.

Stay tuned, some simply breathtaking scenery to come.

BTW, most were from a Nikon 5100, using a 18-250 sigma lens, some are using a 10-20 sigma.

PFFOG 10-06-2012 07:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikJogg (Post 19762084)
Great report and pics.

I like the vosges too (just an hour from my home),more than the blackforest-because of the nice small roads and less traffic than here.

Oh,and i like the brown bugatti,it looks like my favorite chocolat :tb

I love chocolate too, but not for a car color. You are lucky to have the great roads on the area, that close, I would move to Europe in a minute if it were not for family


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