Greg & Michelle's Euro Tour v.2 the 2012 edition

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by g®eg, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. g®eg

    g®eg Canadian living in exile

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Oddometer:
    7,015
    Location:
    41.655984,-71.302657
    Cheers! Fantastic trip so far. Tons of pictures and video. Currently in Schilpario having a glass of excellent Amarone and planning the Alps passes for tomorrow.
    #21
  2. g®eg

    g®eg Canadian living in exile

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Oddometer:
    7,015
    Location:
    41.655984,-71.302657
    OK we're back!
    let the trip reporting commence :clap

    Michelle works pretty damn hard... (although as Kevin may tell you everyone works harder than me...)
    But one nice perk of all that hard work is US Airways treats her pretty good. So it was the Envoy lounge at Philadelphia International for us again this year.

    [​IMG]

    I think the girl is pretty excited for a holiday (please see previous reference to hard work!)

    [​IMG]

    Swiss Rail to Aarau, not too bad for a night in coach

    [​IMG]

    safe arrival at Moto Mader. Tommy grabbed us from the train & had the bikes all ready to go. F 800 R for Michelle in "arrest me" red, and an all black F 800 GS for me.

    [​IMG]

    With a bit of jet lag to deal with, the plan was to take it easy and head south-west towards France. We opted to stay off the autobahn and banged along down the secondary highway.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A stop for a bit of lunch including frites and mayo (I'm actually getting a taste for it..) and a check of the map.

    [​IMG]

    and then off into the mountains

    [​IMG]

    cool waterfalls.... we'd see more too!

    [​IMG]

    camera girl on the fly

    [​IMG]

    first pass: Forclaz

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    looks like buddy laid a trail of diesel to catch out unwary motorcyclists.... :huh

    [​IMG]

    Michelle spies a Multistrada

    [​IMG]


    bienvenue France!

    [​IMG]

    on towards Chamonix.. getting a bit grey

    [​IMG]

    afterfinding a lovely little hotel: Hotel du Clocher, and getting cleaned up, we go for a walk around the downtown. Lovely little village! Must be a mad house during ski season.....

    [​IMG]

    time for a spot of dinner... it's starting to rain pretty hard now, so sitting and eating seems a very good thing to do:

    [​IMG]

    soup course: lovely!

    [​IMG]

    salad with cheese & egg! I am going to really like France!

    [​IMG]

    main course

    [​IMG]

    absolutely stuffed we make our way back to the hotel.. the rain has stopped, but tomorrow's forecast isn't looking great, Oh well, we're on holiday!

    the trip so far:

    [​IMG]

    275 km behind us!
    #22
  3. Mercury264

    Mercury264 Once you go Triple...

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
    Oddometer:
    22,432
    Location:
    Masshole
    :clap

    p.s. my dog works harder than you dood :D
    #23
  4. g®eg

    g®eg Canadian living in exile

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Oddometer:
    7,015
    Location:
    41.655984,-71.302657
    Day 02

    We had a plan.... we were going to hit some of the cols that we have seen on Le Tour. They are all here, the hard passes that guys on bicycles go up and down during the summer. What could be better?

    [​IMG]

    316 km of of fantastic mountains... very twisty, very technical. Col du Petit St-Bernard, Col de l`Iseran, Col du Mont Cenis, Col du Telegraphe, and Col du Gabilier. If you've ever watched Le Tour, even the names conjure up images of steep climbs & hair-raising descents.... perfect!

    except....

    [​IMG]

    So when we got up in the morning & looked outside, we figured it was time for a modification. You have to understand that even though Michelle & I have a "plan", it isn't written in stone. We have places we think we'd like to ride, and a rough route, but no where we have to be, and no schedule to keep. Freestyle.

    We set of in a cold drizzle, and I apologize in advance for the lack of pics from day 02. It was just so crappy and cold that we just wanted to make some tracks south. We opted for a route more along the valley out of Chamonix towards Albertville, avoiding a couple of the climbs early. Our hope was the weather would improve. We stopped in Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne for lunch & warmed up a bit. The waitress asked which way we were headed, and when we told her, she said the Col du Gabilier was ferme. Bummer..... after lunch we decided to have a look up that road, and the sign told us OPEN! Cool! So up over Col du Telegraphe we went. yes, it was chilly, but not bad. Bit of drizzle... but we're troopers :thumb

    Onwards & upwards to Col du Gabilier. We saw signs urging "Thomas" onwards (we guessed Tommy Volker, French cyclist & extraordinary climber), and we pressed on too. It was getting quite cold now. BMW thoughtfully intergrates a temperature gauge on the display.. that flashes when the temp gets down around 3° C. Our displays had been flashing a long time, and were showing about -0.5° C or so with the drizzle turning to slight ice pellets. Onwards & upwards... :pynd

    At the top of the Col there's a tunnel through to the other side. We went through with frozen fingers crossed and were greeted by..... snow. :eek1 Quite a lot of it in fact. We stopped, Michelle popped in some chemical hand warmers so she could feel her fingers, and decided the Col had won this time. :vardy
    We headed back down, and based on altitude & weather reports, decided to head more for Turin in Italy. I managed to find a tunnel that would take us through the mountain.. but they wanted something like €28 each in toll ONE WAY!

    non, merci..... :fyyff

    We turned around and got back on the valley road. We rode for a while & decided that since tomorrow was supposed to be a nicer day anyway, we may as well stop for the night. We spotted a sign off the D 1006 into Bramans saying there was a hotel, so into town we went. We found the very charming Hotel les Glaciers in the center of town. They had rooms, and they would be serving dinner.... SWEET!

    The view from our terrace:

    [​IMG]

    already brightening

    [​IMG]

    A couple from Germany showed up shortly after us... also looking a bit road weary

    [​IMG]

    I didn't understand the conversation they had, but basically it went like:
    him "I'll go see if they have a room"
    her: "sound of teeth chattering"
    him: "seems a bit expensive"
    her: "we'll take it"

    When we got our stuff up to the room, they even had the heat on! Double bonus.

    [​IMG]

    Gear was dry by the A.M.

    more route re-planning:

    [​IMG]

    Yes Kevin.. I use paper maps to supplement the GPS :evil

    And supplies....

    [​IMG]

    They had a fixed menu dinner on offer that night.
    Quiche & salad to start

    [​IMG]

    A home made sausage & potato dish for the main, and a choice of dolce to finish.

    [​IMG]

    All accompanied by an excellent French red. :thumb

    After a dinner like that, and a good night's sleep, day 03 could be nothing but fantastic right?

    So in the end, instead of 316 km of mountain climbing, we did about 230 km of valleys (but we did do half the Col du Gabilier, so that should count for something).

    [​IMG]
    #24
  5. 907Duc

    907Duc ducatisti

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    87
    good report, more work than I could do, though I'm sure I still work harder than Kevin's dog even if I do happen to have today off LOL. Looking fwd to rest of journey.
    #25
  6. g®eg

    g®eg Canadian living in exile

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Oddometer:
    7,015
    Location:
    41.655984,-71.302657
    Day 03

    The day dawns dry, if not exactly warm.... we have a lovely French breakfast that consists mainly of croissants & bread, with very strong coffee & steamed milk.

    getting the bikes out of the hotel garage and packed up

    [​IMG]

    au revoir les Glaciers, you were a nice warm port in our storm :thumb

    [​IMG]

    We head for the Col du Mont Cenis to get into Italy. According to wikipedia we are not the first to come up with this idea:
    Well that's OK, we figure it's a good idea anyway. Invasion of Italy underway! :evil

    At the top it is a bit foggy, and still chilly

    [​IMG]

    but we are in high spirits when we see the sun shining brightly in Italy

    [​IMG]

    Remember the handy thermometer I mentioned? What will those crafty Germans think of next?

    [​IMG]

    After a good stretch of the legs we strike out for Italy. The water in the reservoir looks very cold!

    [​IMG]

    Quite a dam!

    [​IMG]

    Ever downwards off the mountains into Italy

    [​IMG]

    This girl on a red BMW was always in my mirrors...

    [​IMG]

    As we headed south in the lovely sunshine, we had the mountains on our right to keep us company

    [​IMG]

    As we go further south towards Cuneo, we decided to see if Monte Carlo was within range for the day. It was somewhere we both wanted to see, from an F-1 point of view, if for no other reason... The GPS said it was easily doable, so we angled south-west into the hills around Parc National de Mercantour

    Roads cut through steep gashes in the rock

    [​IMG]

    We reached the top of the Col de Brouis in pretty short order. Lovely road with nice sweeping bends. did I mention no snow plus a large helping of sunshine?

    [​IMG]

    Looking over the other side it seems like more of the same good stuff :thumb

    [​IMG]

    We reach the Cote d'Azur in no time at all

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We rode along the top of the cliff over Monaco and then looped down into the city. I have a video, but in essence it is pretty crowded & pretty slow moving traffic... It was also getting just a tad warm in riding gear.

    GoPro

    [​IMG]

    Into the tunnel (from F1 fame) the wrong way though.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Out the other side trying to figure how to get out of town

    [​IMG]

    The water really is that color....

    [​IMG]

    So, after being stuck in the stop & go along the shore we bail out and head north away from the sea. We manage to go back over the Col de brouis (not a bad thing as it was a nice ride), and find our way into the town of Sospel. We grab a hotel get cleaned up, and set off in search of food.

    Sospel's old stone bridge

    [​IMG]

    Better picture here via the web: LINK

    We settle on Le Picoun, order some wine & food... and reflect on our day

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    329 km give-or-take for the day. We seem to be able to hammer along in the valleys without any drama. Not a lot of climbs, but plenty of cool memories. Tomorrow: more Italy! :clap
    #26
  7. g®eg

    g®eg Canadian living in exile

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Oddometer:
    7,015
    Location:
    41.655984,-71.302657
    Day 04

    Much of the suggestion for roads and routes for day 04 comes from inmate Tagesk.

    [​IMG]

    As I mentioned earlier his "riding in Tuscany" thread here on ADV is to Italy as john Hermann's book is to the Alps. A first rate source of information :thumb

    Morning in Sospel. Bikes out of the garage & packed up.

    [​IMG]

    We had checked the map the night before & compared it to where we thought we might be, and where we wanted to be... We aimed for the town (city?) of Alba. That way we would intersect the route Tagesk had suggested.

    Sun's up and we're rollin'

    [​IMG]

    European mountain towns are always lovely (my opinion)

    [​IMG]

    The original guard rail? Tree lined streets.

    [​IMG]

    The girl is on fire this morning.. leading the charge.

    [​IMG]

    Leaving the flat lands the country gets a bit more rolling. We can see mountains in the distance, and that makes us smile. This is wine country (well the whole country seems to be wine country).

    [​IMG]

    Michelle realizes that we are going to pass near to the town of Barolo. This seems to make her very happy.. I can hear it in her voice through the com set. Now... I like a nice glass of wine as much as the next person, but Michelle knows her wine! So she gave me the run-down on the wines etc as we got closer to the town.

    wiki says:
    hmm... sounds good to me :freaky
    Funny enough it was right on our route! Perfect. Tage was reading my mind? hmmm

    I'm happy to stop & have a look around...

    [​IMG]

    Michelle determining how many bottle my BMW topcase will hold....

    [​IMG]

    One of the tasting houses

    [​IMG]

    So many choices.... so little room :cry

    [​IMG]

    We decided on a couple of bottle (for medicinal purposes) and tossed them in the top box as we went for a wander around town.

    I should have brought a bottle of this back for Kevin.... no not Che Guevara

    [​IMG]

    Narrow streets

    [​IMG]

    The corkscrew museum! who knew?

    [​IMG]

    headed out of town again on the road to Alba

    [​IMG]

    Now alba seemed a bit busy.. a lot of hustle & bustle, and while I am sure we could have found a good restaurant & had a lovely lunch, we decided to press on a bit. Instead we stopped in Spigno Monferrato.

    We found a small place where the waiter read us what they had for primo, etc and we ordered up. Fantastic beef carpaccio to start followed by gnochi, and then dolche with cappuccino and truffles. :clap
    I probably should have combed my hair when I took my helmet off.... and shaved... oh well. Holiday.

    [​IMG]

    well fed and ready to ... nap :D

    [​IMG]

    The next little bit is just still pictures courtesy of the GoPro set to capture every 60 seconds. So 2 minutes equals a trip into and through the Parco Nat. Capanne Di Marcarolo. Fantastic roads!

    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/4B-MssQXLS8" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="420"></iframe>

    When we got to the junction of SP 165 and SP 166 to go down to Voltaggio, the road was closed. It was getting late, we needed gas, so we looped back around ending up back in Ovada.

    [​IMG]

    We walked up to the old town and had a nice dinner with mixed seafood & grilled prawns, and then back to the hotel.

    Time to crack a bottle of Barolo? Hmm.. maybe not.. it's been a long day.

    [​IMG]

    The trip so far:

    [​IMG]

    About 310 km on the day, so great roads, a huge plus rolling in to Barolo for a couple bottles of wine, and the ride through the park was fantastic. We really love Italia! [​IMG]
    #27
  8. Mercury264

    Mercury264 Once you go Triple...

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
    Oddometer:
    22,432
    Location:
    Masshole
    :clap Awesome dood...

    I'd have taken the wine BTW :freaky
    #28
  9. g®eg

    g®eg Canadian living in exile

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Oddometer:
    7,015
    Location:
    41.655984,-71.302657
    I just realized.... we were in Monaco 30 years to the day that Princess Grace died.... :yikes

    [​IMG]

    If I would have realized at the time, we would have swung past Cap d'Ail and snapped a picture, and said a prayer.
    #29
  10. travelingman32

    travelingman32 n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    7
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Great report. Looks like a very fun holiday. :D
    #30
  11. g®eg

    g®eg Canadian living in exile

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Oddometer:
    7,015
    Location:
    41.655984,-71.302657
    thanks!! and you're right, it was great

    On to Day 05

    So after a nice breakfast at the hotel in Ovada we hit the road basically retracing our steps in to town with a slight detour to avoid the SP 166 that was closed due to bridge work, and still make it through Voltaggio. Garmin says "no worries" and off we go. Everything is ticking along fine and the roads are SWEET! (thanks Tage) until we get to Crocefieschi.

    The GPS says "turn left"....

    [​IMG]

    hmm OK (realize that there are plenty of pedestrians when we do), and with Michelle slightly in the lead I say "wait a while".. not sure this is right... :lol3 (Kevin has been there plenty of times...)

    Of course Michelle is already committed, a car is coming, there's no room, so I tell her, "well go down & turn around & come back". She disappears for a long time, she's out of range of the comm set, and after a while my phone rings... it's Michelle, at a dead end. So I look at the map & figure well maybe the road comes out the other side... so she gives that a try and climbs to the top of the hill on a goat path overlooking town. :lol3 maybe she was on the via alla rocca?

    [​IMG]

    above is the route the GPS figured we should go. Obviously we just needed to stick to the via Roma and it worked out fine.. live & learn

    that's no good... eventually she gets back to the road she went down & comes back up.. none the worse for wear. My girl is a trooper! :clap

    We continue to crack on. It's an absolutely picture-perfect day.

    [​IMG]

    Churning out the miles

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A bit of the SP 16 near Cassingheno

    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/GnUbUw8UoOY" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="480" width="640"></iframe>

    and the SP 17 near Fontanigorda (just before the lunch stop)

    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/6iMm0HvkTJ8" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="480" width="640"></iframe>

    Eventually the miles lead to hunger. Since we never want to miss our food window, we decide to pop into the next town. We find Trattoria Del Ripa in Fontaigorda is open. Perfecto!

    No melon, but they do have pineapple....lovely
    I think I need to start keeping my hat on.. I look like an escaped mental patient in the lunch shots :lol3

    [​IMG]

    and guess what? motoGP qualifying is on the big screen!

    [​IMG]

    the race is in Misano and the announcers are going mad describing the action.. brilliant. :clap

    [​IMG]

    but it's time to get back on the road... stuffed full (as is usual after an Italian lunch) we saddle back up & head out.

    The SP 17, the SP 586, take us towards Borgonovo Ligure where we find the SP 49. the roads have been narrow, and twisting, the lunch was large, the day has been long.... so when we roll down into Varese Ligure I ping Michelle to see how she's feeling. Time to stop (and I am very happy to agree!). I spot the albergo della posta across the square and walk over to see what the room situation is. Room available :thumb

    While Michelle showers up I decide to chill in the street side bar.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    all showered & good to go (not me tho... one more day til I shave)

    [​IMG]

    just one more beer & we'll go explore the town... :D

    [​IMG]

    typical Italian town, narrow streets, neat shops. lovely

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    While I was sitting having a beer the local Benz convertible club rolled through. While we went for a walk we saw them all garaged up at a hotel around the corner.

    [​IMG]

    Coke machine? nope..... MILK machine!

    [​IMG]

    Church

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    almost time to eat

    [​IMG]

    The town cenotaph. it is always sad to see how many names are from the same family. Fathers, sons, all gone now.

    [​IMG]

    We decide just a pizza tonight. So around the corner we find the perfect place.

    A pie each, some wine & some water frizannte

    [​IMG]

    dolce?

    :rofl

    better not....

    [​IMG]

    The day in maps....

    [​IMG]

    We have only done about 200 km on the day, but it feels further. the roads were fantastic, seemed very technical, and not all that fast. A great day of riding!
    #31
  12. pumpe3

    pumpe3 lazy Swede

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    58
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I think I read in the first post or so that maby you where going to Ducati factory, if you want to the museum you got to book the museum in advance, at least thats was the deal last year.
    #32
  13. g®eg

    g®eg Canadian living in exile

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Oddometer:
    7,015
    Location:
    41.655984,-71.302657
    well that is good to know!
    as it happens, we didn't end up going to the museum this year (it'll be there next year I'm sure, and now I know to book in advance :thumb )

    so, on to Day 06

    it's Sunday.. it's my birthday.. and I am in Italy with my girl on motorbikes.. what could be better? :clap

    the castle in the middle of town looks pretty impressive in the morning sun

    [​IMG]

    quite old by New World standards too

    Ready to rock the little GS!


    [​IMG]


    beautiful, cloudless day. Not too hot, not too cold... just right


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    out into the countryside


    [​IMG]


    Michelle & Greg.. house hunting (within our budget?)

    [​IMG]


    the view speaks for itself


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Time to stop for a cappuccino


    [​IMG]


    which way? we have decided that it is maybe time to head north, rather than further into Tuscany. So we set our navigation to Torbole on Lake Garda.



    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    happy? yup


    [​IMG]


    you? yup!


    [​IMG]


    and some freeky fries! (i'll admit they were pretty good, but not as freeky as advertised)



    [​IMG]



    SS 62... in a word BRILLIANT!


    [​IMG]


    level crossing time


    [​IMG]


    Seems they have been quarrying that hill for quite some time!


    [​IMG]


    Heading north-east


    [​IMG]


    Western shores of Lake Garda


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Have I mentioned the seat on the GS is a bit of a plank? Leg stretching time....


    [​IMG]


    We decide to try Hotel Santoni (we stayed there last year, and they have fantastic breakfasts!


    [​IMG]


    sadly... no room at the inn :cry but they call a couple of places & hook us up at Hotel Piccolo Mondo. Four **** wow... lux. We pull in & they are expecting us as the Santoni staff has already called. :thumb



    We have a room w/ a terrace, and since it is my birthday, then a bottle of the excellent Barolo I have been toting seems to be in order!


    [​IMG]


    Later we walk down to the lake for dinner.


    [​IMG]


    More wine, Amarone of course since we are so close to the region (and Michelle & I love Amarone)


    [​IMG]


    A gelato on the walk back to the hotel seals the day perfectly.


    The day in maps:


    [​IMG]


    About 300 km on the day. A perfect day weather-wise, every sort of road, and fantastic vistas. Topped by a great dinner on the side of the lake. A very memorable birthday for sure!
    #33
  14. Mercury264

    Mercury264 Once you go Triple...

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
    Oddometer:
    22,432
    Location:
    Masshole
    You really do suck (not you though Michelle, just Greg) :D
    #34
  15. g®eg

    g®eg Canadian living in exile

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Oddometer:
    7,015
    Location:
    41.655984,-71.302657
    yeah yeah..... this coming from the guy who went to the Isle of Man (no ride report or pics I see..... ) :D

    onwards & upwards
    day 07.... a bit dusty (couldn't be all that wine the night before?)

    Michelle snapped this pic in the lobby of our hotel. Her dad loves to collect elephants.. i think he would be very pleased to add a few of these to his collection

    [​IMG]

    good breakfast in us helped a lot, so all packed & ready to rock

    [​IMG]

    After getting gas in Riva we set our sights on Passo Durone, just to the north. Nice sweeping turns & a smooth road. A great wake-up call in the morning! Initially we had a two possibility plan.

    Plan A: was to just hit the valley roads north after Durone & head in to Schilpario from the south. A round-about route, but it isn't that far, it avoids the narrow mountains roads we went over in the rain last year, and we have all day.

    [​IMG]

    Plan B: takes the high roads west. This means crossing Croce Domini and then Passo del Vivione (both of which we crossed in a downpour last year)

    [​IMG]

    At the bottom of Durone the call was made... high road! :clap

    to be continued.....
    #35
  16. enduro0125

    enduro0125 Sticks and Stones™..

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    15,145
    Location:
    Orchard Park,NY
    Sweet!!
    #36
  17. g®eg

    g®eg Canadian living in exile

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Oddometer:
    7,015
    Location:
    41.655984,-71.302657
    thanks!
    We don't get to go as long as you guys do, but we go a bit more often. The trick would be to combine both (long trips... every year or more) :D

    anyway... more day 07

    We get to the bottom of the approaches to Croce Domini & fire up the GoPro. The video is a bit compressed. i think actual climb time is around 30 minutes or so, this is only 9 and change.

    <iframe width="853" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/0dpmzPvlQ6w" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Once we get to the top... coffee!

    [​IMG]

    The sun feels great

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    snapped this for my Guzzi buddies

    [​IMG]

    Looks a lot nicer than last year (when it was pissing down & freezing...)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Pic to send back to the chaps at work....

    [​IMG]

    Popular bike spot on a sunny day

    [​IMG]

    Just sit for five more minutes.....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and then we set off down towards Breno....
    #37
  18. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,230
    Location:
    Tuscany, Italy
    A day that can't salvaged by a proper gelato is a very bad one indeed.

    [TaSK]
    #38
  19. g®eg

    g®eg Canadian living in exile

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Oddometer:
    7,015
    Location:
    41.655984,-71.302657
    day 07 finishes. for a short day, it seems to have taken a while to write up :hmmmmm

    We head down Croce Domini (I have a video, but not uploaded... suffice to say it is a little more civilized on the descent)

    [​IMG]

    We get into Breno & the GPS seems to know the way.. who am I to argue?

    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/sf66eO3-myk" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="480" width="853"></iframe>

    Of course after all that, I turned the wrong way.... oh well

    We head north towards Forno Allione and the bottom of Passo del Vivione. I have a video of the climb of Vivione, but it isn't processed yet. To me it is cool to watch... to you? probably like watching someone else's home movies :D <edit> {edit} here's the climb, compressed to a tolerable 11 minutes

    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/X8BDb0xLS5M" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="480" width="853"></iframe>

    Here's a snip of the descent though. It gets interesting because you now ride on the cliff side.

    <iframe width="853" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Ca02dZS7nKo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    We roll in to Schilpario.

    [​IMG]

    And head over to Albergo Edelweiss. This is the hotel we found last year in the downpour. They have rooms (I think we are their only guest again)

    [​IMG]

    our view

    [​IMG]

    so we drop the gear & go for a walk.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    beautiful little town

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    the heritage of the region (before skiing) was lumber & mining

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I imagine myself having a coffee by the stream...

    [​IMG]

    or a coffee in the piazza

    [​IMG]

    very true!

    [​IMG]

    and of course (pardon our cups...)

    [​IMG]

    time to plan the next day... Alps! and altitude.

    [​IMG]</edit>
    #39
  20. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,230
    Location:
    Tuscany, Italy
    I once learned that Amarone is simply too much. It is so powerful, in all dimensions, that there is only one situation where it can be enjoyed to it's full potential.

    Assume that you arrange lunch on the terrace for your extended family; parents, a couple of aunts and uncles, children, grandchildren, some neighbors and a few good old friends. You sit under the pergola and have antipasti, primi, secondo and dolce. Noise, laughter, children blooming from being at ease with adults, good wines and too much food and 30 C in the shadow. You know, that dense and calming heat, full of Tuscan scents.

    As things calm down, the elders move inside to take a nap, the children run down the streets to play with friends, then you sit down in the shade under a tree in the garden with a good friend. In a good chairs. You know, the hour which starts with OK, how are things really going?. That moment, which in Italian is called Il conversazione dopo pranzo is the only time where an Amarone really get to show what it can do.

    I recommend it.

    And now back to our regular program!

    [TaSK]
    #40