Europe - 9 Countries in 10 Days (From England to the Alps and Back)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Krime, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. Krime

    Krime Been here awhile

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    Day 5: The Alps - Bellano, Italy to Davos, Swtizerland

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    It's the fifth day and we wake up to sun for the first time on the trip! :D

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    The morning view during breakfast.

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    Leaving Villa Anita - our favourite stay so far.

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    We spent the morning visiting nearby Varenna - a beautiful spot the pizzeria owners had recommended the night before.

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    Waiting for lunch by the lake.

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    Visiting the beach in 20+ degree weather felt almost surreal coming from the freezing mountains of Switzerland the day before.

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    After filling the tank in Bormio, we start up the mountain towards Stelvio - looking back at the road as it wrapped along the mountainside.

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    Heading higher up, the temperate drops and we change into our rain gear for added wind protection.

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    Looking up at the climb ahead... ears popping constantly with the changing altitude.

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    Joining the many riders as we arrive at Stelvio Pass a short while later.

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    Another GS entering the summit - I've never seen so many GS's in one place before. :D

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    The Stelvio summit.

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    A short while down Stelvio we stop for the view.

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    15 minutes later still heading downhill - hairpin to hairpin - with no sight of the bottom in view.

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    Feeling small in the massive mountains.

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    Riders carving through the pass.

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    A look up at Stelvio towards the summit. We were heading back up the way we came, the sun was getting low and there was lots more riding still ahead. Hours seemed to go by like minutes on days like this.

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    Leaving Stelvio we hit the Umbrail pass, which was now back in Switzerland, just bordering Italy. This section was one of - if not THE - most fun road I've ever ridden (starting at 5:54 in the video below). Set in a beautiful Swiss landscape, these perfect twisties with changing elevations, went on for a good while. The only vehicles I passed in this section of the run was a pack of 8 oncoming GS 1200s.

    From here we would ride many more mountain passes - each one completely different than the next. The sun was setting and before we knew it we'd be riding through the night into Davos - the temperature dropping well below freezing.

    Yesterday and today had been the best two days of riding I'd ever had. We would be leaving the Alps the next morning as we headed for Germany. The days were going by too quickly - I wished I had more time to explore the Alps!


    Day 5 riding video:
    Another incredible ride through Stelvio pass and many other Italian and Swiss mountain passes!

    #41
  2. shay

    shay reading is hard

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    Stunning photo, the best I've seen of the Stelvio pass. Front page candidate?

    I was there in 2004. Great ride report :clap
    #42
  3. pamplonika

    pamplonika Spritfresser

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    #43
  4. chekamus

    chekamus Adventurer

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    Was england now new Zealand!
    looks like your enjoying the trip some great roads to ride on! and some great pictures taken!
    #44
  5. Krime

    Krime Been here awhile

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    Appreciate it! Makes me feel much better after missing the shot from the summit looking down. Don't know how I missed that one... I've been kicking myself ever since. ;)
    #45
  6. Krime

    Krime Been here awhile

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    Wasn't used to it, but somehow I managed. :D
    #46
  7. Frey Bentos

    Frey Bentos Probably doing a drawing. Or scratching my arse.

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    Great report. LOve the photos and vids. Any chance of a playlist for the soundtracks?
    I done the Furka and Grimsall a few years ago. In baking sunshine. Your report makes me want to go back so bad it hurts.
    #47
  8. Dieselpwr

    Dieselpwr Been here awhile

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    Even better than the other days. You should consider placing a watermark on your pics. The one of Stelvio is amazing.
    #48
  9. Import

    Import Been here awhile

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    Great stuff....love the pics and vid, very fond memories........holy crap though....don't miss the mountain rain.
    #49
  10. bajubaru

    bajubaru Adventurer

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    Your photo awesome:clap:clap:clap
    #50
  11. panzerrocket

    panzerrocket Been here awhile

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    Nice report, thank you :thumb
    Can you tell me when in september you rode in the Alps?
    Beginning, middle or late september?
    #51
  12. Krime

    Krime Been here awhile

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    Day 6: Davos, Switzerland to St. Margen, Germany

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    Today we'd be leaving the Alps... this would be as far East as we would go - heading North West towards Germany.

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    Getting ready to leave Davos.

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    A group of riders heading in our direction towards Liechtenstein.

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    The vineyard alongside the road with the last of the Alps in the distance.

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    After passing through Liechtenstein and Austria, we'd arrive at Lake Constance Germany. The road along the lake is more of a highway than anything. Desperate to find a place for lunch, we take a random exit off the highway and end up at a dead end...

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    ...which turns out to be a nice find.

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    Megan getting her shopping fix at the market.

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    Enjoying a fine German Pilsner while waiting for the schnitzel to arrive. :D

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    A slower pace than we were used to.

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    Entering Germany's black forest on our way to St. Margen for the night, we stumble upon Hegaublick - a cafe for riders.

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    Arriving at our stay for the night in the St. Margen countryside (just outside Freiburg).

    We meet the three riders (above) who were also traveling from the UK, and had spent the last 3 days exploring the black forest. Tom on the GS had planned the trip. We'd share notes and GPS routes over dinner. Having no idea what roads to hit, his advice couldn't have come at a better time.

    After spending a good portion of the night reviewing the German riding maps he'd loaned me, tomorrow's route was set - we'd head up through Wolfach and Baden Baden, across the tip of France and back into Germany for the night.


    Day 6 riding video:

    #52
  13. Krime

    Krime Been here awhile

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    Good stuff!

    In terms of the playlist here you go:

    Vid 1: Fragile Bird - City and Colour
    Vid 2: How you Like Me Now - The Heavy
    Vid 3: Ready to Start - Arcade Fire
    Vid 4: Breathe Me (Instrumental) - Sia, Porcelain - Moby, Shot in the Back of the Head - Moby
    Vid 5: Stare into the Sun - Graffiti 6, Beautiful Day - U2, Intro - XX
    #53
  14. Krime

    Krime Been here awhile

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    Thank you! Good idea, I'll need to find the time and get that done. ;)
    #54
  15. Krime

    Krime Been here awhile

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    No problem, we were in the Alps right in the middle of September - sometime around the 13th to the 16th.
    #55
  16. V-Twin-Maniac

    V-Twin-Maniac Been here awhile

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    I like your pictures very much!

    Go ahead with your report! :clap
    #56
  17. advNZer?

    advNZer? Long timer

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    what were some of your daily mileage(or kilomerterages) :D
    #57
  18. Frey Bentos

    Frey Bentos Probably doing a drawing. Or scratching my arse.

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    You must have been very unlucky with the weather. It was around the same time Although in 2008 that I was there last.
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    #58
  19. KnightRider374

    KnightRider374 Adventurer

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    Your ride has inspired me. I live in England right now too and plan to do the trip next summer. Will see how many of my U.S. friends will make it over to go along. Very nice report!!!
    #59
  20. rumpel

    rumpel Been here awhile

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    too much Photoshop :D
    #60