A Little Taste of the Alps. (CH,FL,A,DE,ITA)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ScorpioVI, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    496
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Day 4: Austria. Continued


    There were a couple of dammed lakes up on Silvrettastrasse. I'm sure they were beautiful, I couldn't see them. Things started looking up on the other side though in one of Austria's National Parks.
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    Oh yes! It was amazing watching the fog roll down one side of the valley and roll back up the other side.
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    This would've been a nice picnic site if the weather was better.
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    Complete with wild horses frolicking in the fields.
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    A little further on.
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    #21
  2. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    496
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Day 4: Austria. Continued...

    Once again, everything is so green. Too bad the Alps are dying though and all of this will be parched and barren in the next few tens of thousands of years. So go see it now! :laughing
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    Trisanna Brücke
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    Heading north for Lech and Warth.
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    For the last leg of this day it was raining solidly for the last 2 hours, we decided to call it quits at Warth instead of pushing for Garmisch.
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    The best hotel we stayed at on this trip. It was pretty luxurious for €80 per person.
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    The view from the balcony of my room.
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    There were ski lifts and ski resorts everywhere. This place must be very popular in the winter months. During the summer it seems they mostly cater to motorcyclists and hikers.
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    #22
  3. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    496
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Day 5: Austria, Germany

    Passes Bagged:
    Hahntennjoch 1,894 metres (6,213 ft)
    Fern Pass 1,212 metres (3,976 ft)

    After a scrumptious dinner and a good night's sleep. We were back in the game. Still cloudy and rainy, but oh well. Our route today was gonna take us north to Germany, and then using the Deutschalpenstrasse to head back west to Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

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    Look, a KTM! KTMs were strangely a rare sighting during our trip. BMWs must've easily comprised 60%+ of the motorcycles we encountered on the road. Even in Austria we hardly saw KTMs. I saw maybe half-a-dozen 950/990 Adventures, and handful of other KTM models (Dukes, 640s, etc.).
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    Snow on some of the mountain tops.
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    One of the detours sent us cutting through the middle of a farmer's field.
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    Slippery when wet.
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    A little video between Warth and Elmen.
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    It was cold.
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    The fog layer was so dense it just cuts mountains in half.
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    #23
  4. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Day 5: Austria, Germany. Continued...


    Hahntennjoch between Elmen and Imst.
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    Fern Pass
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    Some of the roads we took were very narrow and overgrown.
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    Lermoos, Austria
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    Plansee in Germany. This was one of the longer lakes we saw on the trip.
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    Seemed to stretch on forever. And it was so green.
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    We got a little lost...
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    Schloss Neuschwanstein, which served as the inspiration to Disney's castle...
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    #24
  5. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    496
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Day 5: Austria, Germany. Continued


    The Deutschalpenstrasse. Boring. Seriously. It was fast, fairly traffic free, but it was in the foothills of Bavaria and there wasn't much to see after all the excitement of Switzerland and Austria. I guess it's better than the autobahn, but I'm sure there are some better roads in the area. It served our need to get from east to west in a hurry however.

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    So boring it lulls a passenger to sleep. (OK, not really, just looks like it, I think.)
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    So boring I was trying over my shoulder shots. I need to work on it. :rofl
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    Go solar!
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    After 10 hours in the saddle we finally made it back into Austria, then jumped on the autobahn back to Switzerland and home to Liechtenstein. No more pictures at that point since we were all busy trying to see how fast the BMWs can go. :evil
    #25
  6. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    496
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Day 6: Stelvio Pass and Italy

    Passes Bagged:
    Wolfgang Pass 1,631 metres (5,351 ft)
    Fluela Pass 2,383 metres (7,818 ft)
    Ofen Pass 2,149 metres (7,051 ft)
    Umbrail Pass 2,501 metres (8,205 ft)
    Stelvio Pass 2,757 metres (9,045 ft)
    Terzo/Primo Cantoniera
    Passo di Foscagno 2,291 metres (7,516 ft)
    Passo d' Eira 2,209 metres (7,247 ft)

    Today's destination was south from Liechtenstein and headed towards Stelvio Pass and Italy.

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    The little Swiss town of Maienfeld, supposedly the setting for Heidi, the fictional Swiss book. I had never heard of it until I came here, but everybody references it when referring to the region.
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    I felt a little Isle-of-Mannish speeding through these Swiss vineyards.
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    More over the shoulder shots.
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    Wolfgang Pass.
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    The beginning of Fluela Pass.
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    Gloomy pictures suck.
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    Looks inviting, but probably freezing.
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    #26
  7. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    Day 6: Stelvio Pass and Italy. Continued...

    A couple of videos from Fluela Pass:


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    Confused by these "boobs ahead" signs. Never found the boobs.
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    Fluela was pretty damn fun. All kinds of fun turns.
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    Beautiful country.
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    Really.
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    #27
  8. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    496
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Day 6: Stelvio Pass and Italy. Continued...


    Ofen Pass on video.

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    Umbrail Pass was an unexpected delight. It's just a little squiggle on the map that leads to Stelvio Pass. It was a series of switchbacks and hairpins going up and over the mountain, with a little dirt section up top. It was fun!

    Couldn't take too many pictures though, too busy tackling the hairpins. :laughing
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    The dirty part.
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    Narrow lanes with over-engineered safety barriers.
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    More barriers.
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    This place is probably fun in the winter too.
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    Sarah hated hairpins before this trip. She became an expert in 7-days flat. :laughing
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    #28
  9. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    496
    Location:
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    Day 6: Stelvio Pass and Italy. Continued...

    Umbrail Pass on video.

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    More from Umbrail Pass.
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    More over-the-shoulder shots. I'm getting worse...
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    Nearing the top.
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    This bus would later annoy us on Stelvio. :laughing
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    A brief stop to change out batteries and SD cards for Stelvio.
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    The border between Switzerland and Italy. Really, you're looking at it.
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    #29
  10. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    Day 6: Stelvio Pass and Italy. Continued...

    From the top of Stelvio Pass, looking north.
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    Finally, a KTM!
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    The first glimpse of this little unknown road called Stelvio Pass. It's almost as good as Mt. Hamilton road. :laughing I think there was a Starbucks up top because of the copious amounts of Ducati riders. :laughing
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    #30
  11. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    Day 6: Stelvio Pass and Italy. Continued...

    GoPro on Stelvio going halfway down. You'll see why we only went halfway down. BTW, when you hear me talking in the video, I'm not talking to myself, all 3 of us are equipped with Scala Rider G4s.

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    Can't stop taking pictures. Armen just below me.
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    I was glad these walls were everywhere.
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    The bus. On the video you can hear me laughing while I was waiting for the bus to make a turn on a hairpin. The bus is full of little old ladies and about half of them were having heart attacks when the bus felt like it was going over the side. :laughing
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    I was going so slow because I kept busting out the camera to take pictures.
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    There's a house in almost the dead center of this picture. How he gets up there, I have no clue...
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    #31
  12. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
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    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Day 6: Stelvio Pass and Italy. Continued...

    Video going back up Stelvio.

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    As you can see in the first video. Sarah had a little tip-over on Stelvio when a car was doing something retarded (backing up the hairpin). She was unhurt, but with her nerves spooked and the weather turning bad, it was time to go back up and try to make it back to Switzerland for the night.

    Looking at Stelvio, going back up.
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    Really gives you an idea of the work that went into making this road. Or even just maintaining it.
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    Getting more foggy by the minute though.
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    Back over to the other side to Cantoniera.
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    Heading to Bormio.
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    #32
  13. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    Day 6: Stelvio Pass and Italy. Continued...

    The backside of Stelvio (north side) heading towards Bormio was a blast. If anything it was way better than Stelvio. Less traffic more awesome turns. I don't know if it's a pass road, they only have it labeled on Google Maps as "Terzo Cantoniera/Primo Cantoniera". It was awesome, whatever it was.

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    Probably my most favorite picture from the trip.
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    Screenshot from my GoPro.
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    Heading down.
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    Seriously, how awesome is this?
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    Complete with waterfalls.
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    A little further down.
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    Looking back at it.
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    #33
  14. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    496
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Day 6: Stelvio Pass and Italy. Continued...

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    And then the tunnels. These were some of the scariest tunnels of the trip. Dark as hell, no lights inside, completely blind turns, and then a lot of dripping water making the road slimy.
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    Yea.
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    Coming out on the other side of the tunnels.
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    The weather was definitely turning on us.
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    Going up Passo de Foscagno, looking down on Bormio.
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    Snow.
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    Mountains Gandalf! Mountains!
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    #34
  15. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Day 6: Stelvio Pass and Italy. Continued...

    Passo d' Eira
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    It was sprinkling at this point.
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    Sarah getting down. Not bad for a noob who only had 6 months/1000 miles of experience before coming on this trip. Ended up having to teach her how to hang off a little further down the road because I wasn't liking how close her pegs were getting to the ground. :laughing
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    Approaching Livigno.
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    Livigno, the phrase for today is "non parlo italiano". Good thing the locals had fairly good command of English.
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    Livigno is a ski town, and a tax-free/duty-free haven.
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    Snowing up top. It was raining and getting pretty cold down in the valley floor so we decided to grab a hotel room in Livigno instead of pushing on towards St. Moritz as we originally planned.
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    #35
  16. on2wheels52

    on2wheels52 Long timer

    Joined:
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    You take great photos Scorpio. I may not even take a camera when I'm there next month, I'll just copy yours for my rr:rofl
    Will be riding a lot of your routes. Thanks for sharing.
    Jim
    #36
  17. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

    Joined:
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    Thanks Jim. Actually I take a lot of pictures, 90% of them are crap. I subscribe to the spray-and-pray school of photography, I'm bound to get lucky every so often. :rofl
    #37
  18. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Day 7: Livigno to Thun

    Passes Bagged:
    Forcola di Livigno 2,315 metres (7,595 ft)
    Bernina Pass 2,328 metres (7,638 ft)
    Julier Pass 2,284 metres (7,493 ft)
    Oberalp Pass 2,044 metres (6,706 ft)
    Susten Pass 2,224 metres (7,297 ft)

    This was going to turn out to be one of our more taxing days due to the mileage and weather. Our SPOT track for the day.

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    Heading out from Livigno:

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    We got a pretty good dusting of snow overnight.

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    I loved these scenic open stretches.

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    It's blurry, but I think they're grinning. :teeth

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    Hard to tell where the snow ends and the clouds begin.

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    Whee!

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    It's more stunning in person.

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    #38
  19. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

    Joined:
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    Day 7: Livigno to Thun Continued...

    Video from Forcola di Livigno. Out of all the "borders" that we passed, this was the only one that was manned. And manned by the meekest most mild-mannered border guard ever. Armen was in the lead, he stops, guard looks at his plate, motions him to pass. Sarah stops and the guard asks her questions. Sarah can't hear a word he's saying through the helmet and the earplugs, I don't fare any better. Frustrated he motions us to pull over and take our helmets off. After asking what country we're from, and asking us why we had Swiss license plates (they're rentals you dolt!), and checking out our passports, he lets us go.


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    Not far from the border is the start of Bernina Pass.

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    It was cold! The little lake is called Lagh de la Cruseta.

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    The mountain tops above Ospizio Bernina.

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    Just spectacular. The lake is called Lago Bianco.

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    Track-quality surface on these roads.

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    I think this is called the Engadin Valley but not 100% sure.

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    #39
  20. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

    Joined:
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    Video from Bernina Pass:

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    St. Moritz. Everybody told us to stay away from this place, too ritzy, too expensive they said. It sure looked it.

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    We didn't stop, we were determined to make it at least to Andermatt. So we set our sights for Julier Pass.

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    Lej de Champer

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    Even here we get stuck behind a Prius. Actually I think this Prius was being driven by an Formula 1 driver, he was hauling.

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    #40