Alpine Adventure - 8 Days, 5 Countries/MAY2011

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by GT George, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. GT George

    GT George Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
    79
    Location:
    "The Birthplace of Speed"
    I have enjoyed reading the adventures that many of you have posted. They are an inspiration for myself and others and they provide us with good entertainment and travel information. It is always easier to learn from those that have been down the road before. This forum is precisely where I got the idea for this two wheeled adventure that I was about to undertake. I was particularly inspired by fellow member Haroon and his report. Although my route is quite different, I gained valuable information and insight from his post. My planning was a bit rushed as I completed all preparations in little more than a week before departure. I would have enjoyed at least three months of careful planning, but that luxury was not available. My vacation time was rapidly approaching and unmovable. OK, we decided to take the plunge and make the trip. I'll be riding two up with my wife, and this will be our first trip of this length and first one in Europe on a motorcycle. We have taken some small trips, but mostly on the flatter terrain of the Atlantic coast of the USA.

    The commentary and photos that follow will be of our eight day trip that begins in Munich, Germany and then travels through Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Italy. So bear with me as I try to keep the mistakes and misspellings a minimum as this is also my first post.

    DAY 1....Our late morning flight carries us from London, where we spent a few days of our vacation, to Munich. At the Munich airport we exchanged $$ for Euros. I will tell you now that you have to be careful when exchanging currency as the service charge varies widely. After checking several kiosks and one bank, we got the best rate at the lowest service charge of about $6 vs. a $48 service charge. Euros in hand, we collect our luggage, and hail a taxi to Karl Maier's BMW located southwest of the airport in a little town named NEUFINSING. The taxi ride takes about :40 mins at a cost of 40 Euros. That's about $56.80 as one Euro = $1.42 on 02MAY11.

    We meet up with Karl and his staff to pick up our motorrad rental. Karl has set aside a 2011 BMW R1200RT for us with only 311km's on the odometer. This is a beautiful bike and I am looking forward to riding it as I haven't any experience with the BMW's.

    Attached Files:

    #1
  2. Dillard

    Dillard Seeker

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    72
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    'Bama
    gt george,

    i have a similar plan for this time next year so i'm looking forward to this RR. enjoy yourself on the bm, and do keep us informed on your adventure.
    #2
  3. GT George

    GT George Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
    79
    Location:
    "The Birthplace of Speed"
    The BMW is well equipped with seat and hand grip warmer's, audio/stereo system, ABS, electric trim windscreen and cruise control. I don't plan on using the cruise control as most of our time will be spent on the back roads and very little time on the autobahn. No GPS, but I can read a map. BTW I will be using Michelin maps #546 Southeast Germany with a scale of 1:375,000 and map #730 Austria with a scale of 1:400,000. These maps have good detail and are sufficient for cross country travel. You will need a more detailed map for navigating within the larger cities. We used our i-pad and Google maps that we downloaded whenever sightseeing in the city. I never got lost. Only temporarily disoriented! Almost all cities have a tourist office that will provide you with lots of info on the area and can assist with finding accommodations. This is especially useful if you're challenged by the local language.

    After signing my life away and putting considerable stress on my credit card we are underway. Below, L to R is Karl Maier, my wife and myself.

    Attached Files:

    #3
  4. GT George

    GT George Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    "The Birthplace of Speed"
    It's late in the afternoon and we leave Neufinsing for our first layover hotel on the west side of Munich. We decided to use A99 to A8 where we will exit for our first layover at Hotel Neuner. A99 circles the city of Munich and helps us miss the afternoon rush hour traffic. Traffic on A99 is busy but moving at a good pace. The BMW is purring with delight as we hit 140 kmh on an open stretch of road. I have found the roads in most of the EU to be well marked, well maintained, and easy to navigate.

    We have chosen this hotel and it's location for a variety of reasons. First, it's conveniently located off the autobahn. Second, it's places us near our route that we will intercept for the next days travel. Third, we will be meeting three of our friends that are traveling from Stuttgart on motorcycles. A8 runs directly from Stuttgart and will allow them direct access to the hotel without having to navigate through the city of Munich. And lastly, we made reservations and have already paid for it. BTW we only made reservations for hotels on our first night and last nights stay. Other times we stopped when we got tired and looked for hotels wherever we were. This was not a problem as the tourist summer season will not start until late MAY and hotels were readily available in most areas.

    Attached Files:

    #4
  5. Bazi

    Bazi n00b

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Bavaria Germany
    Hi George, hope you and your wife enjoy the trip. I, am sorry for the bad weather here in Bavaria. I am not responsible for it.:cry

    Bazi
    #5
  6. Haroon

    Haroon RIDE for PASSION

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Jeddah, Saudi Arabia/ Bangalore, INDIA
    Wow George. Very excited to see your trip report & teaser pics. Thanks again for the appreciation:D. I am tuned in...

    I have sent you a PM.
    #6
  7. helmik

    helmik Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    On a motorway near you!!
    Pretty much the same trip we are planning to do in September, me and the wife on a Vee Strom.
    So i'm in.

    Mick.
    #7
  8. GT George

    GT George Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
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    Location:
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    Danke Bazi!! The weather in Bavaria was very good from May 2nd to May 9th, 2011. Only one day of rain on May 3rd and the rest of the trip, we had absolutely beautiful weather. Hope the weather clears soon for you!:nod

    More of my report to come soon...as time permits.

    George
    #8
  9. GT George

    GT George Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    Hey Haroon!

    Great to see you onboard.:clap Thanks to your post, our trip became a reality. Your PM was spot on!! A big help!!
    More to come as time permits.

    Many thanks,
    George
    #9
  10. GT George

    GT George Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Great MIck! You'll love the scenery and the ride. It would be pretty hard not to enjoy your trip regardless of the route you plan to take. My trip only scratched the surface and has me yearning for more.:thumb:thumb
    #10
  11. GT George

    GT George Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    We have checked in at the hotel and changed into more comfortable garb. Within about an hour of our check in, our friends arrive on their BMW’s from Stuttgart. They have rented their mounts from Stefan Knopf in Heidelberg. Our friends are brothers and have traveled to Europe for the purpose of participating in the V-E Day celebration in Pilsen (Plzen), CZ on 08MAY. Actually, it is more of a celebration of the liberation of Pilsen. After our ritual of back slapping, hand shaking, and some ribbing, we park our motorrads in the secure and enclosed garden behind the hotel.
    L to R…Yours truly, Geary, Brian, and Scott.
    [​IMG]
    The brothers are soon checked in and we’re off to find some food and beverage. The choices are few as we are looking for something within walking distance. The weather has been beautiful all day and this evening is no different. Anna, our gracious host at the hotel points us in the right direction to the Weichandhof restaurant. Located in the suburb of OBERMENZING, this farmhouse converted to a restaurant is a favorite among the locals. Perhaps it’s the good Bavarian dishes served here and the vine covered terrace that makes this biergarten so inviting.
    [​IMG]
    We had a nice dinner and some of the beverage that Munich is famous for. This crew loves laughter and there was plenty of that. Since we live some distance from each other, it was nice to have the opportunity to get together again.
    Before calling it a night, we reviewed our plans for the next day of travel.

    End of day one for Kori and I. Stay tuned for more.
    #11
  12. UltiCOW

    UltiCOW UltiCOW

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    25
    Location:
    Berlin and Munich, Germany
    Looks great!
    Cant wait to hear and see more :) :ear
    I too am fairly new to being active on advrider - and my first ride report will also be about embarking on pretty much the same sort of journey. Leaving on the 7th July!

    If you dont mind me asking - what sort of rates were you paying for the bike? I have a friend flying in from America and thought it would be cheaper to rent in Berlin (even considering the boring journey up and down the autobahn..).

    Im feeling goosebumps already!

    -Ollie
    #12
  13. GT George

    GT George Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
    79
    Location:
    "The Birthplace of Speed"
    If you dont mind me asking - what sort of rates were you paying for the bike? I have a friend flying in from America and thought it would be cheaper to rent in Berlin (even considering the boring journey up and down the autobahn..).

    Im feeling goosebumps already!

    -Ollie[/QUOTE]

    Hello Ollie,

    The cost of rental was 835 euros for the eight days and includes 1500km's. This was a brand new 2011 BMW R1200RT and I was happy with the service I received Karl Maier BMW. Have a safe trip and I hope you will have perfect weather....George
    #13
  14. GT George

    GT George Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
    79
    Location:
    "The Birthplace of Speed"
    Here is an overall view of our route. This route is the actual route and not the planned route as changes were made during the trip due to weather or a change in our plans.
    [​IMG]


    Today we begin day two. I look out the window as soon as I get out of bed. My suspicion of hearing rain is confirmed. It is raining!! Not a hard rain, but a steady continuous rain and it is much cooler than the day before. Perhaps by the time we get dressed, have breakfast, and get the bikes loaded up, the rain will have stopped. Unfortunately that was not the case. Today we get to test our raingear, a test that we are not looking forward to. My wife is not happy about this at all and the rest of us know that this is just part of touring on two wheels. During breakfast, the weather is a major topic. We’re hoping that as we ride south to Fussen that the weather will clear up. Our plan is to go south on St2063, riding along the west side of Starnberger See and then continue to Oberammergau. From here we’ll motor on to Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain, and then to Fussen for the night. We get all suited up, load up our mounts, check out of the hotel, and head for the nearest petro station to top off the bikes. Gas is a lot more expensive than we are accustomed to in the U.S. at about $9.50 per gallon. We complete our servicing, get on our BMW’s, and with four thumbs up we begin our journey. It’s doesn’t take long for us to be happy about taking the secondary roads today in this weather. The autobahn could have been a hazardous undertaking when you consider the speed that the cages travel at and also the heavy truck traffic and the water spray created by their tires. Not a good day for picture taking, but we enjoy the scenery nonetheless. After about ninety minutes of travel, we spot a Mickey D’s. We stop for a hot cup of coffee, to stretch, and warm up a little. WOW, this is a nice McDonalds!! It even has a fireplace! We find a table near the fireplace and we drink our coffee and try to warm up.
    [​IMG]

    The rain is not as bad now but we know our plans to visit Oberammergau and Zugspitze are nixed. The rain and low visibility in the higher elevations could be a problem especially if it turned to snow or ice. We alter our plans and decide to take a more direct route toward Fussen. We eventually get on route 17 and the weather has improved a little, but not great. This day would be better spent inside somewhere. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany’s number one tourist destination, is our next stop. You can see in the photos below the kind of weather we were in.
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    The weather improved a little late in the afternoon. Touring the castle was informative and it has a very interesting history.
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    View of Hohenschwangau Castle from Neuschwanstein. Our mc’s are in the parking lot below.
    [​IMG]

    After the castle tour, we are ready to find a place to stay for the night. We made the short trip to Fussen to look for a hotel. After checking several hotels, we decide on Motel Fussen run by the very nice Milankovic family. We were more than satisfied with our rooms as they had just been renovated and are very spacious. We checked in and later had dinner in the restaurant. The family took very good care of us with great food and service. The night was complete with complimentary lemoncello for the crew from the owner. BTW, Fussen is over 700 years old and is at the southern end of The Romantic Road that begins in Wurzburg. A route worth taking if you like castles mixed with some of Germany’s best culture. End of day two. The really good scenic photos are coming soon.
    #14
  15. Bazi

    Bazi n00b

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Bavaria Germany
    Still nice too follow you. In Germany we call Gas, liquid Gold. :eek1
    #15
  16. Haroon

    Haroon RIDE for PASSION

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    556
    Location:
    Jeddah, Saudi Arabia/ Bangalore, INDIA
    Nice start to the trip and eagerly waiting for more photos. Good you avoided the autobahn. My first riding in Europe was straight on the autobahn, which was a scary affair as the cars were zipping at insane speeds few feet from my left elbow and it was also drizzling!!

    So you have a clone of the Neuschwantein castle closer to your home since Walt Disney is believed to have got the inspiration for the castle structure in Orlando from Neuschwanstein Castle.

    Keep it coming.
    #16
  17. GT George

    GT George Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
    79
    Location:
    "The Birthplace of Speed"
    So you have a clone of the Neuschwantein castle closer to your home since Walt Disney is believed to have got the inspiration for the castle structure in Orlando from Neuschwanstein Castle.

    Haroon,
    You're right...only 90 miles down Interstate 4. The Neuschwanstein tour guide told us that there are lots of tourist that think the Mouse Haus was constructed first.:rofl

    ***********

    And Bazi,
    I treated the petrol like "liquid gold" and tried not to spill a drop.

    Thanks to all for your kind words.
    #17
  18. GT George

    GT George Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
    79
    Location:
    "The Birthplace of Speed"
    After a good night of sleep, we convene in the restaurant for the breakfast that’s included with our stay. There is a good spread of meat, cheese, cereal, bread, juice and coffee. So much so, that by the time we return to check out, there is so much food left over that the owners that had served us the night before, insist that we make sandwiches for the road. We gladly did and thanked them for their generosity and hospitality. By now it is mid-morning, the weather has improved, and we’re eager to get on the road. This is where our group will split up.:cry Our friends will be heading south to Innsbruck and then making their way toward Pilsen. My wife and I will be heading west toward Lindau. We topoff the bikes at the petro station JET-Tankstelle that’s across from the hotel and bid our farewells. We plan to keep in touch via e-mails and skype on the remainder of our time in Europe.

    The view from our hotel window and our bikes waiting below.
    [​IMG]

    The weather is much better as we pick up route 310 and 308 to Lindau.
    [​IMG]

    This route takes us through rolling hills and scenic farmland. There is a stretch of road on 308 between Oberjoch and Bad Oberdorf that has some fun twisties.:wink:
    [​IMG]

    Lindau is situated near the German, Austrian, and Swiss borders. It is a small island that is less than one-half square mile in area. Located on the Bodensee or Lake Constance, it also has the only Bavarian lighthouse seen here with the Pfander Mountains in the background. The island was spared during WWII.
    [​IMG]

    This was a nice place to relax, have lunch, and do a little sightseeing. Notice how the weather has improved. This is the type of weather we will have for the next five days.:clap
    [​IMG]
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    After lunch and our sightseeing, we walked back to the parking lot where we are parked. Parking is free for the first two hours. I failed to notice that little caveat on the ticket and we were well passed our free time.:huh We try to exit the parking lot, but the machine with the gate keeps rejecting our ticket. We like Lindau but don’t particularly want to be held captive. I briefly thought about driving around the barrier, but between all the cameras and those extra large numbers on the license plate, commonsense prevailed. After some effort of trying to find someone that could speak enough English to help us out of our predicament, we have lost about an hour. The Casino (that was out of our sight) owned and controlled the parking lot. The Casino manager politely issued us another valid ticket and we were free to go as long as we exit the lot within two hours. We enter the roundabout and take the bridge to the mainland.
    [​IMG]

    We ride along the coastline and within a few minutes we are in Austria. Due to our delay in Lindau, we find ourselves caught in the rush hour traffic of Bregenz. We eventually get free from the gridlock and intercept Rt190 south and make our way to Feldkirch. From here we cross the border into Liechtenstein and pick up Rt28.
    [​IMG]

    Liechtenstein is a very small country (< 62 sq mi) but scenic. The Kunstmuseum in Vaduz opened in 2000 and houses some the country’s most important works of art.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Crossing into Switzerland
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    Vineyard and mountains in St. Luzisteig... between Balzers, LI and Maienfeld, SW.
    [​IMG]

    Closing in on Chur, Switzerland
    [​IMG]
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    The mountains and Lenzerheidepass that we will soon be climbing.
    [​IMG]

    The sun is fading fast behind the mountains and we need to find a place to stay soon.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Chur is surrounded by the Alps. It is possibly the oldest city in Switzerland and has been continuously populated for more than 5000 years. The city was a gateway to the Alpine trade routes and strategically sits beside the Rhein River. We have made our transit through Chur and now on our way to the ski resort town of Lenzerheide where we call it a day. End of day three.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #18
  19. SOILMAN

    SOILMAN DIRT-HOG

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
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    479
    Location:
    Naxera, Virginia
    Man, That bearded guy sure looks suave:D :clapHey George. Good to see you on ADVrider. Great site for connecting, ride reporting, bike info, product info etc. George.. upload an avitar.
    #19
  20. on2wheels52

    on2wheels52 Long timer

    Joined:
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    2,519
    Location:
    northern Arkansas
    Always great to see rr's from the Alps, expect to be going back in September.
    I guess the weather is a crapshoot wherever you go, I only had significant rain the last day there.
    Jim
    #20