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Old 04-12-2012, 02:43 PM   #1
DolphinJohn OP
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September in Europe

I've got the month of September to explore EU. (minus travel to and from, and maybe a day or so in Barcelona to get the bike and get ready).

I've never been. I have a friend I will visit in Poland, other than that I just want to ride great roads and see great sites.

My tentative route has me going through a few major cities which I figure I should see while I'm there. (or am I wrong?)

I'm more interested in small villages really.

Here is my tentative route. Bear in mind I really just put in waypoints and selected "avoid highways".

I would appreciate any advice.

I'll be on an F800GS, I own one here in the states. I'll be renting.

I will be staying in hotels, no camping this trip. 8 hours riding would be about the longest day I'd want to do.

Thanks in advance for any help.

http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Ba...,7,8,10,12&z=5


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Old 04-13-2012, 04:54 AM   #2
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Hey John

First thought is that you're missing the Route des Grandes Alps; great ride:



Probably better routes through the Pyrenees too; I'll check it out later and get back. I'll be heading from UK to Morocco via Munich, Zurich and Lisbon in September; maybe catch you en-route.
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:11 AM   #3
eddie98
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From my experience last year in sept. weather can be iffy. We finished our trip on September 11 in Milan. A week and a half later they got a nice snow storm and most of the passes were closed. I hope you can avoid major cities since they are really busy and they drive like crazy. Are you taking a GPS? That really helped us there and made it easy to navigate. If I was you I would spend more time in the Alps and Dolomites. We rode around that area for 5 days and didn’t get to see it all.
Safe travels.
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:05 AM   #4
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September can be wet, but also beautiful. Dependending on what you want to do there are different things to do here in Europe. If you want to visit cities remember that traffic in Europe is different, the roads are narrower and in more southern countries a lot of people interpret traffic laws as suggestions.
Nice rides.. In Spain the N260 in the Pyrenees. Of course the route des Grandes Alpes, but also Austria, Switzerland and the south of Germany (Schwartz Wald) has nice roads.
I can't see the route you planned for some reason on my IPad.

I have quite a few GPS rides you are welcome to use. Feel free to ask.
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:25 AM   #5
TXjames
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My knowledge is strictly France but here are my thoughts...

I was unimpressed, actually rather disappointed, with Bordeaux. And I wasn't even on a motorcycle. It's a rather grungy city and getting there from Toulouse was unremarkable. However, if you're a wine fanatic then St. Emilion is the place to be. Also, the Pyrenees are gorgeous, have some great roads, and all the Languedoc castles. I would recommend spending some time there.

Some of the more memorable locations from the small slices of France I've experienced:

Southern France:
Rennes le Chateau - Very cool castle with an odd history. And there are places to stay nearby; just ask around at the bar.

Galamus Gorge isn't far from Rennes le Chateau so you might want to take a ride through there. Not huge but very cool.

Carcassone - A little commercial but the castle is truly impressive.

Chateau de Montsegur - Hell of a hike for a small castle but the view is incredible.

Just look up Pays Cathare or Cathar Castles.

I found northwestern France full of things to see as well but it's not on your route and I don't blame you since you'll be travelling all over Europe. But if you end up there, check out Mont St. Michel This place is absolutely breathtaking and the 3 meter tide is quite impressive.

I don't know if they're on your route (since I've never been) but I would personally head straight for all those insanely good Alpen roads that are so often discussed here. Although September may be too late to travel them on a bike.
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:27 AM   #6
RTLover
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DolphinJohn View Post
I've got the month of September to explore EU. (minus travel to and from, and maybe a day or so in Barcelona to get the bike and get ready).

I've never been. I have a friend I will visit in Poland, other than that I just want to ride great roads and see great sites.

My tentative route has me going through a few major cities which I figure I should see while I'm there. (or am I wrong?)

I'm more interested in small villages really.

Here is my tentative route. Bear in mind I really just put in waypoints and selected "avoid highways".

I would appreciate any advice.

I'll be on an F800GS, I own one here in the states. I'll be renting.

I will be staying in hotels, no camping this trip. 8 hours riding would be about the longest day I'd want to do.


Thanks in advance for any help.



.
Well, what a surprise. If you take the route you've outlined, you'll go through the small town I live in. But I don't recommend it.

Speaking only of France for the most part, I'd have a few suggestions. Wildman beat me to it on the Route des Grandes Alpes. If you do the whole route, plan on a modest three days to enjoy the scenery.

After Sete and Aigues Mortes, do a detour in The Camarge to Sainte-Maries-de-la-Mer to see the white horses and black bulls.
As for Cannes, forget the films from the 60s where you see nothing but hot babes, millionaire playboys, etc. It's no longer on the jet-set itinerary, been taken over by tourists looking for the jet-set. Nice, same. I'd head to Castellane and keep going east until you pick up the Route des Grandes Alpes. The N75 Route de Napolean is nice but once your arrive at Grenoble, its all trucks.

For the return, once you get near Orleans south of Paris, take the A20 autoroute (one of the few toll-free in France) and get off at Limoges, head southwest to Perigueux or southeast to Figeac. Both areas are made for bikes. Wander south and then head toward Montauban, then on to st. Gaudens, before going across to Spain. Don't miss the N260 in Spain that will take you back to Barcelona.
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:57 PM   #7
speiche
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Alternative

propose

arriving at

CH - Meiningen

change to

Grimmsel-Pass
Furka-Pass
Andermatt
Klausen-Pass (L)
Walensee change to

Bad Ragaz
Davos
Zernez
Merano
San leonardo
Brenner
Innsbruck (I)



good luck

By the way some remarks
- Looking at the bikes your drive/drove, you are touching some one of the most beautiful areas in the Alps ( French Alps, Liguria, Piemont,.....) for bike riding on and offraod. In every region you could spend easy 1 to 2 weeks!
- You touch the Alps only in CH
- Berlin to Amsterdam is boring roads are flat and straight
- Amsterdam till France the same
- North of the Alps weather in September is mixed and could be rainy
- If you want to focus on "the way is the target" than you should think about to spend more times in the Alps (e.g cross the Alps from West to East to / France to Lake of Garda - 4-5 days, small roads/villages ) and to drive fast to Poland -

Of course if you would see Berlin, Amsterdam it is difficult......

Here see
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=...388bb147&msa=0

one possibilty

speiche screwed with this post 04-14-2012 at 10:53 AM Reason: edit
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:31 PM   #8
Roadpizza
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Got it right the first time.

You made your best suggestion yourself. Avoid the big cities. Hitting the big cities will rob you of at least half a day getting in and then getting out. Since your time is limited, spend it wisely.
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:57 PM   #9
MichaelJ
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Glad to see that you're bypassing the Dolomites entirely.

You wouldn't want to go there.

Heavens, no!

I especially like the Autobahn blitz from Liechtenstein to Poland. Might as well stay home and run up and down I-95.

IMHO - From Vaduz (get your passport stamped - 2 Franc fee - looks cool) I'd head down to Klosters and Davos, over the Fluela Pass towards Santa Maria Val Mustair, over the Umbrail Pass, pick up the last bit of the Stelvio and head down the Trafoi side towards Merano. From there to Bolzano and towards Cortina in the Dolomites.

It's worth booking into either Arabba or Corvara in Badia for 2-3 nights and just riding the local passes.

OTOH - it will absolutely spoil you for the rest of the world.

From Cortina, north to Dobbiaco, back west to the Brenner pass to Innsbruck and continue on.

Check out my links to ADV ride reports and pics.
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:01 PM   #10
DolphinJohn OP
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Thanks for the help and suggestions, even the sarcastic ones.



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Old 04-17-2012, 08:15 AM   #11
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Interesting that I also plan on starting my trip on sept 1 from Barcelona goint kind of the same way. here is the route I planned. I'll have to cut thru Milan cas of time limit, and continue to Innsbruck and Munich from there.
http://g.co/maps/8yc78
http://g.co/maps/29bu6

My goal is to see the countryside as well, but also get a glimps on some cities as Milan, Munich maybe Praga and Vienna, than get down to Balkans. Since we have 24 days we may readjust as we go...
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:34 PM   #12
MichaelJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DolphinJohn View Post
Thanks for the help and suggestions, even the sarcastic ones. .
You might also check out Austouring - one of the inmates - "Glitch" - has done a couple of September rides in the Alps. I'm sorry that I don't have a direct link, but it should be fairly easy to find (he says innocently).

Pete's (Glitch's real name) is a good guy and does a nice write up.
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:47 PM   #13
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Me again - since I knew what to look for: http://www.austouring.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1506

Another advantage - the atmosphere tends to be hazy in the summer - making for lousy scenic photography. The autumn is a lot crisper.
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Old 04-17-2012, 02:12 PM   #14
hadye
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Well, that's an interesting route . Will have a long one like passing through central Europe From UK to end in Faakersee in the first half of it passing through Mannheim

Hope u enjoy theride


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Old 04-17-2012, 02:42 PM   #15
DolphinJohn OP
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I have made some changes thanks to the replies here.

That's exactly what I was looking for, people who know the area to suggest better roads/routes.

I will ride the Route de Grande Alps and also the passes MichaelJ suggested in Italy.

I realize that I will have to sacrifice good riding in order to visit Amsterdam, Paris, etc. but I think it may be worth it.

Actually I'm torn on this issue. I want to see and experience Europe as much as possible and I don't know whether that means I should see those cities or that I should avoid them in favor of small villages.

In the states I tend to enjoy the rural areas and open country more than the cities, but I would hate to be there and regret not seeing the cities.

I may have to decide whether this is a "see Europe" or a "ride Europe" trip.


I will post a link to an updated but still tentative route when I get it done.

Thanks again.....


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