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:
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    San Jose, CA
    Day 7: Livigno to Thun. Continued...

    For some reason I don't have any pictures from Julier. But here's a video to make up for it.

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    On the way to Oberalp Pass. As if on cue, it started raining as we started climbing.

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    Got stuck behind some cars though, too treacherous to pass.

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    Yes, I was here. No I did not want to stop and take my hands off the grip heaters.

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    I was cold, and wishing for a heated vest at this point.

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    The Oberalpsee.

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    #41
  2. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

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

    Video of Oberalp. The lens was fogging up a bit.


    <iframe width="420" height="345" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/kYOtwQp2_l8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


    Starting the descent to Andermatt.

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    Armen and Sarah off in the distance.

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    Foggy, or cloudy, can't tell which is what.

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    The little village of Andermatt:

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    Almost there.

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    #42
  3. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

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

    Cold and wet, we stopped in Andermatt for a quick lunch before pushing on to Innertkirchen and Interlaken. This was an interesting twisty road. Gotthardstrasse, it wasn't even on my radar, just a road we had to take to get to Susten Pass, but it was a surprise bonus. It would be a blast on a hot day with sticky tires.


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    Susten Pass:

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    Argh. I got a drop of water on my camera.

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    #43
  4. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

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

    Now I thought I was cold back in Bernina Pass and Oberalp Pass. Neither compared to the freezing cold temperatures of Susten Pass. The temperature gauge on my BMW was reading 1,5ºC. That's 34.7ºF. It had been raining the whole afternoon and my gloves and boots were soaked at this point. To say I was freezing was an understatement. We had to tippytoe through Susten because of the very real possibility of black ice.


    <iframe width="420" height="345" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/dbjqRg9VYvI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    In the video you'll see I went in through one end of the tunnel where it was completely clear, and out the other end of the tunnel was pea soup. WTF? :laughing

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    I guess there's a reason why there's a glacier here.

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    In the soup.

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    100 yards later, out of the soup.

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    Beautiful!

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    These guys were like, "duuudddeee, you looooook coooooolllllld." Yes, yes I was.

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    But this view was worth the price.

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    #44
  5. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

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

    My GoPro ran out of battery life in the middle of Susten. So I had to load my spare in.

    <iframe width="420" height="345" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/pa0Nm3zPjvY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    More from Susten Pass and Stein Glacier.

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    #45
  6. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

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

    We had planned on staying at Interlaken for the night. After the fighting the traffic and crowds, and finding out the Best Western was going to charge us 300 Euros ($450) for a room for the night. We decided to push on for Thun even though it was getting pretty late in the day, and we were tired.

    The Brenzersee, looking towards Interlaken.

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    Seeing the burka here was startling. I've had some pretty good exposure to the Muslim culture, so if I found it startling, it's little wonder why there's such a strong backlash against Muslims in Europe.

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    Continuing on towards Thun, this is the Thunersee. Interlaken is basically right in between two humongous lakes.

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    The shoreline was dotted by boathouses. I need to win the lottery, this would be a great place to live.

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    Another group looking like they had just picked up their bikes from Moto Center Thun. I was a little jealous.

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    :thumbup

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    We got to Thun and rode around for a while looking for a hotel with no luck. The GPS was no help whatsoever. We decided to return to Moto Center Thun and see if they could recommend a hotel. Not only did they recommend one, they managed to secure for us the last room in the hotel, and get a discount on top of it. :thumbup for the guys from Moto Center Thun.
    #46
  7. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

    Joined:
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    Epilogue

    Sadly that was pretty much it for us. We had rented the bikes for a total of 8 days. We had spent 7 on the road thus far. I was planning on doing a couple more passes on Day 8, mainly Glaubenberg and Glaubenbuelen, which were highly recommended. However we were already in Thun, just a couple of miles from the Moto Center. We were tired, slept in, and we didn't want to push our luck or our schedule. We regretfully chose to turn in the bikes a few hours earlier than planned. We were flying out the following day and chose instead to spend more time at the chalet in Liechtenstein and do a little shopping.

    This was by far the best vacation I've ever had. I had spent a year stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany with the 1st Infantry Division, but I never really got to experience Europe much. A combination of lack of funds on a soldier's pay and was really too young to appreciate the opportunity. In the two weeks I spent there recently, I felt like I had experienced more than the year I spent in Germany. I guess motorcycling in a foreign country does that, it forces you to be in the element, and force you to interact with the locals.

    With the exception of one sulking waitress whose lunch we inadvertently interrupted, everybody we met were kind and helpful. If there was any resentment or hostility towards us Americans, it was well concealed. I would make an attempt to speak German or Italian, and when they realized I was crap at it they would automatically switch to English to accommodate us. There was only one instance when we were completely stymied by the language barrier. We were in a Doner Kebap restaurant in Thun and the proprietor was trying to communicate something to us. She was Turkish, spoke no English, and for the life of me I could not figure out what she was trying to say. After a while it turned out Sarah was trying to pay with Euros and she was telling us they only take Swiss Francs.

    The week we spent out on the road was by far the best riding of my life, I've been riding for 10 years now, pretty much been all over CA. Some Nevada. Been to Baja. I have never encountered the kind of motorcycle bliss that was offered in Europe. We have some damn good roads here, but everything is so far apart that it takes a lot of slab to get there. Being in Switzerland was like being in the Bay Area, but instead of having 9/35/84/Grizzly/Hamilton/etc as your local roads, you instead have the highest passes and world class roads. Instead of crossing into a different county, you're crossing into a different country.

    I'm already planning and saving for my next trip. It is that good. If you have never been there, you owe it to yourself to at least make the trip once in your life.

    Thanks for reading this Ride Report, I hope you found it entertaining and educational. If you didn't, that's all right too, I'll take solace in the fact that I wasted your time (and screw you!:rofl).
    #47
  8. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

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    Our SPOT track for all 7 days. SPOT worked flawlessly.

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    #48
  9. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

    Joined:
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    [FONT=verdana,arial,helvetica]Saving this space for a gear review. [/FONT]
    #49
  10. Sauerkrautman

    Sauerkrautman Adventurer

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    Sauerkrautland
    You mean this one?
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    I wondered that, too!

    Nice ride report!

    regards,
    Richard
    #50
  11. Edmond Dantès

    Edmond Dantès The Kanto Pain

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    Château d'If
    Off the charts photography:clap
    #51
  12. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

    Joined:
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    That's the one! And I don't see a helipad like I thought. :D



    Thanks!
    #52
  13. squidhunter

    squidhunter suck-squeeze-bang-blow

    Joined:
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    Great report! Europe is on my must do list after talking with you guys the other day. Funny thing, I didnt know sarmen are engaged until I read your report. Although I thought they might have been, I just didn't think to ask.
    #53
  14. canadianstrom

    canadianstrom Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    ontario, Canada
    Great RR and photos. Motivates me to getting to Europe on a Bike. Have been saying for years that I am going to do 6-8 months, gotta hope for early retirement and good health.
    #54
  15. PFFOG

    PFFOG Richard Alps-aholic

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Western NY, further from NYC than 6 entire states

    DO NOT WAIT FOR RETIREMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    EVERYONE, who likes corners, MUST do Europe, best roads in the world for two wheels.
    #55
  16. lvscrvs

    lvscrvs Been here awhile

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    norcal
    superb.... :clap:clap:clap:clap:clap
    #56
  17. RonS

    RonS Out there...

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Dancing with roads
    #57
  18. PFFOG

    PFFOG Richard Alps-aholic

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Western NY, further from NYC than 6 entire states
    My first was in '99 with the wife, a ONCE in a lifetime trip.....................next year will be our 8th trip over. I have spent 22 weeks so far, unbelievable every time, I am a Alps-aholic for sure. Wife also informed me on this years trip that it should be an annual trip...................who am I to argue:wings


    And what most don't realize is the entire Alps range would fit inside the state of North Carolina!!! No better concentration of roads anywhere.
    #58
  19. GiorgioXT

    GiorgioXT Long timer

    Joined:
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    1,437
    Easy ... by foot !
    Looks like a Refuge/mountain hut , most all around the alps are reachable just by foot on mule tracks or trail , some have small material cable car for the supply, but others are supplied just by helicopter (once or twice a season - this costs!) or by "porteurs" , people that hike by foot with 24 wine bottles in the rucksack ... or two cheese forms . In my youth I did it.
    #59
  20. eddie98

    eddie98 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    648
    Location:
    Kennesaw, GA
    We were over there riding about 3 weeks ago. It sucks you guys had crappy weather. For us it was hot down in the valleys but up high was great. Only had 2 days of rain.

    Now have a collection of stickers of most of the passes we did. Best one was of course Stelvio, we hit it late in the day and there was almost no traffic. The other one is Passo Giovo.

    We are also planning on going back in a couple of years. We rented a couple of g650GS out of Milan.
    #60