After being invited to ride down to Varese to attend the Memorial Day for Claudio Castiglioni at the MV Agusta factory a few weeks ago, the day had finally arrived, and the adventure began! I met up with Paul at 6.30am, and we rode to Folkestone to catch our train to Calais. We managed to stay dry on the ride to the train, but that would all change once we got to Calais.:blast Half an hour or so later, and the trip had officially begun. After a quick lunch stop at Reims after a boring ride down the motorway, we hit the decent roads. We made our way through the Vosges, before arriving at our B&B for the night - Chez Morel http://www.chezmorel.com/ If you're in the area, and looking for a bike friendly place to stay, this place is run by a biker, he'll store the bike inside overnight, and will ply you with food and drink until you can't take any more! He'll even take you on a ride out of the local area if he's not too busy. The next day, we left the Vosges, then made our way through Switzerland before arriving in Cannobio, Italy for the night. We discovered that evening that we both enjoyed a drink or seven, so the next morning, we were feeling a little delicate! A reasonably gentle ride in the morning, while I sorted my hangover, we stayed in the local area, the pictures can explain more than me! Paul mentioned a nice restaurant at the top of Cascata del Toce for lunch, but the further we went, the less cars there were, and the restaurant was shut, as the pass had only just reopened. So, after a ride back down, we stopped for lunch at this place After a quick sandwich, we then rode back to the lake, to catch the ferry across, so we could get to Varese for dinner. After hustling through the Saturday afternoon traffic, we arrived at Vecchia Riva, our hotel for two nights. The next day, after a quick breakfast (I still found ham sandwiches and cake for breakfast rather odd, but its what they do on the continent), we went to the factory, for the days festivities, including a ride out with a few hundred bikes. One for the Harley fans Spot the GS's Anyone fancy a new bike? The event finished at about 3pm, so I left Paul in the hotel to plan our route home, and ventured over to Lake Como for a joy ride. Racing through the towns with the scooters was fun (even with panniers), and out on the road, the new GS got some admiring looks, and thumbs up from the Ducati guys! The next day, we had to make our way through Switzerland, but managed to ride up San Bernadino pass on the way. The higher we went, the colder it got, and as the road had just reopened after being closed all weekend, it was on the "must do" list. Other than a couple of cyclists, we were the only ones up there. We then carried on, into Germany and the Black Forest. Before going back into France, we had a go on the Autobahn, where I got to see what the GS is capable of, with panniers and soft luggage, the bike went off the clock (over 150mph indicated, GPS verified 144mph on the Nav). No instability on the bike, it was rock solid, and with more road, less traffic and no luggage, would be good for 150mph on the GPS. Impressive. We then arrived at our not so impressive hotel for the night in Strasbourg, so after a bit of dinner, we retired early. A quick breakfast, then we hit the road, staying on motorway all the way back to Calais. About 50kms from Calais, the heavens opened, so we were keen to get back home as soon as possible. We got there a couple of hours early, so got an earlier train, before arriving home just in time for dinner, where my wife had a roast chicken cooking in the oven, and a king size vodka waiting for me. So, that's it. The bike didn't miss a beat, didn't use a drop of oil, and with 3500miles now on the clock, is running brilliantly.