Bolaschs 2014 trip to Italy..as he remembers

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Bolasch, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. Bolasch

    Bolasch Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Oddometer:
    16
    Location:
    London
    HI fellow Riders!

    Welcome to my first ever ride report. I have been reading ADVrider for more than a year without adding any content for others to see, and i think it is time. Also tought it would be great to share some more european content (especially for all of you on the other continents) Apologies if the report doesn`t live up to some expectations, but i will make an effort to remember as many significant details as i can, an i promise there will be pictures to see.

    Shortly about me: I am from Hungary (Budapest), but i have moved to UK (London) in 2009. I got into riding motorcycles about the same time, and quickly grown into a passion. i have done my first tour in 2012 with one of my best friend. But this thread is not about that.

    I always had a soft spot for Italy, i was lucky to spend two weeks in Bibione (+daytrip to Venice) when i was 10, then crossed the north of Italy in 2012 (Stelvio pass, Asti),but i knew i want to see more..
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    #1
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  2. Bolasch

    Bolasch Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Oddometer:
    16
    Location:
    London
    So the idea of discover Italy was there, obviously took some preparation to be ready. I had a 1998 GSXR 600 SRAD, i know many of you think- Oh Gosh! a gixxer rider!!- but please do not quit on me yet.
    I had a pair of saddle bags, i had a passenger seat to be put on instead of a hump, Got a cheap top box from "fleabay" cost me around £30, since an old gixxer is not exactly a touring bike, availabilty of accessories are kind of limited, so i ended up having literally bolts holding the top box to the passenger seat. :)
    What else.. had a GPS with a not very good battery given by a friend, fitted a usb/cigarette lighter socket, under the passenger seat, another usb for gps by the headstock, new tyres, oil and filter change, and a carb balance( as it is very sensible to balancing, i had to sync it pretty much with the change of seasons. Thank you Tony!)
    My landlord gave me a tent, sleeping bag, and inflatable sheet, Thank You Walter!
    I had to get my holiday sorted what was not authorised easily, but a chat to boss, having him saying always wanted to do something similar, got it in the end, so i had 2.5 weeks to spare, starting on my birthday. Took a cheap dslr and a first generation Gopro.
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  3. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,907
    Looking forward to your report! No worries about the gixxer! I love sport bikes! And doesn't Kamchat ride a gixxer up in Scotland, after all?
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  4. Bolasch

    Bolasch Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Oddometer:
    16
    Location:
    London
    The main feature of this trip was, that i did not have a plan, i bought an italy map, and where ever i felt going i went. There was no accommodation reserved, only fix point was that i knew i have two of my friends spending a few day in Rome, and i have got a friend in Paris, and one in Lignano, so it would be great to see all of them.

    Day one has arrived, got out of bed like stone out of trebuchet, and left south west London, took the motorway all the way down to Dover, where stopped for a quick fill up, so i can still pay with english pounds, then entered the port. Quick ticket check, and i got diversed by a man in high visibility jacket to building on the side, where had a security check, that was a sort of a random routine check, where a man pointed out different guns and swords on a printed sheet asking if i carry any of these. of course i did not, so shortly i was in the qeue for the ferry.
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    The white cliffs of Dover as the ferry leaves the port.
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    I know some get excited about these modells, so here is the ferry we are travelling on.

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    The ferry took about an hour and bit before we reached the french shores, road takes us on the motorway straightforward, sorry no pics in here as it is not very exciting and i was recording with camera mainly.
    So French motorway, than crossed the border to belgium, then to Luxemburg. I made sure i fill up before leaving the country as in some reason Fuel is cheaper in Luxemburg,
    then re-entered France went south till city of Nancy and i have decided, i had enough of motorways, searched for the nearest camping, and headed that way. It was a few miles outside the city,
    and found the gate closed, with guest walking around the place, went to the next building what was the diner of the Camping found all the staff were serving dinner and drinks, i have been told a need to wait, and show my passport i paid 10 euros and they opened the gate, found myself on the waterside, setting up my tent it was very peaceful i had a group of biker near me also enjoying the laid back camping.
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    #4
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  5. FromA2B

    FromA2B via a winding route

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2013
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    "Like a stone from a trebuchet" - my new favourite saying


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    #5
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  6. Bolasch

    Bolasch Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Oddometer:
    16
    Location:
    London
    Blader54 You are absolutely right.

    I almost forgot to mention on the first day also i was riding somewhere in France, where i felt something hit me in the back, and sort of stuck there!
    Well, it was my top box lid, obviously you get what you pay for, and under the load of my camping accessories, it deformed enough that it could open,
    and the turbulence stick it to my back. Quick panic, and tried to keep it close with my left hand till i could stop somewhere. Luckily i had one of those elastic net, from that point that was living on my top box, and never happened again.

    Back to the story, when i got up next morning, i had to face the fact that an inflatable sheet could not replace the bed at home, so it was lacking good comfort and it was little cold as well, but hey-ho
    it could not over shadow my excitement. I was watching the first boat turning up on canal, while the already warming sun would dry my tent off. Shortly i was on my way.
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    i stopped at the next village for a couple of pictures and visited the local Patisserie, which is one of the best thing you can do in France.
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    Top tip: you can dry your towel on your top box, under the elastic net, and it is ready to use in no time.

    Okay, so the plan was to get going, i wanted to avoid Switzerland as i have heard about being troublesome if you have noisy exhaust, what i had,
    so i was heading towards Austria, ended up at Bodensee, and found a Camping by the lake in Bregenz. Had some bratwurst, a swim in the lake, and i was super excited about the next day, as i was near Italy now.
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  7. Bolasch

    Bolasch Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Oddometer:
    16
    Location:
    London
    3rd day, as i left Bregenz shortly found myself on motorway, and seen all of those nice mountains around, and thought if i miss this out will regret it, so come off the motorway, checked the map, and found a route that seemed to go towards less important roads, i thought that must be near the top of the mountains. road narrowed down, and gradually climbed upwards, had some lakes and streams alongside the road, eventually i found myself at a toll gate. I was hoping that is a good sign, and it is a mountain pass, and that was my lucky day, and it was only lunch time, i`ll let the pictures tell the rest.
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  8. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,907
    Lovely, lovely! More, please!
    #8
  9. Bolasch

    Bolasch Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Oddometer:
    16
    Location:
    London
    Eventually the road passed the high peaks, and it was flowing in the valley, passing numerous small villages, within half an hour found a petrol station,filled up, checked the map, and setup the fastest road to Bologna (Italy). It was long and continuous descend from the Alps, spent whole afternoon doing motorways, only stopped for petrol. When i got close to Bologna, my GPS was indicated a Camping in the outskirts, paid the fee, quick copy of the passport, i was in. Setup the tent, shower, put the gopro on charger, and it was already dark. I have decided, i will discover the city in the morning, went to sleep...
    Well, i was laying in the tent, but sleeping was impossible, it was such a hot night, it felt like a dry sauna in there. Temperature dropped very slowly, managed to fell asleep probably 2-3am.
    #9
  10. Bolasch

    Bolasch Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Oddometer:
    16
    Location:
    London
    (After a year of not having time to continue this report, having issues with Photobucket, i figured how can i put pictures, now i`m having issues to access some of my pictures.. I will fill the gaps, and replacing picture to better one where applicable as soon as i can.)
    #10
  11. Bolasch

    Bolasch Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Oddometer:
    16
    Location:
    London
    4th Day- Packed up and left to Bologna city centre, i remember i passed through this small bridge/flyover then i had some sort of city wall front of me i knew that must be it, took the first right, and found parking place straight away. That was the first time i have tried to upload some pictures online in a small internet cafe, so my family can see what i was up to so far, and had to realise, internet connection is bloody rubbish in Italy. Well i`m here to discover rather than sit front of the computer, so i went for a walk, they had some very old medieval churches, and houses with arcades where you can walk around protected from weather.
    Its worth to mention as i was walking past a bus stop, a beautiful dark haired girl got off the bus, i mean i have seen many beautiful girls but she had such a presence my mind was wiped, i forgot what direction i was going to, i was in total confusion. I was shy to act straight away, i don`t even speak Italian so probably it is a lost cause, and she disappeared in the crowded street..
    eventually i ended up in a market. I found there was a few restaurants opposite the markets entrance, in between a cobbled street closed off from traffic, with wooden tables and benches scattered around, such as you would find on a beer festival, and you could consume anything you bought in the nearby businesses or in the market. I bought a cheese plate, and asked someone if i could have a seat next to them. Sitting at one large table with a bunch of strangers,was an experience on its own, felt like in here everyone is a big family and you are very welcome. Finished my very fresh local produce and off i went.
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  12. Bolasch

    Bolasch Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Oddometer:
    16
    Location:
    London
    I went towards the east, and the first stop was The race track of Imola. It is a rather interesting track not just, because its history but the fact you can get so close to it, people living around and inside the track, there are cafes and streets and there is a park. In the park the locals pushing their babies in the pram, and elderly people taking their dogs for walk, but that is not the reason i came. The reason is the park is next to that part of the track where Ayrton Senna lost his life in 1994. i have started primary school that year so i didn`t see him racing a lot, but even i can tell he was a very talented racing driver, and it was quite emotional to see, how much love he receives from his fans up to date.
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  13. Bolasch

    Bolasch Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Oddometer:
    16
    Location:
    London
    Next stop is San Marino i have decided, if anyone haven`t heard of San Marino , it is a microstate that spreads out about 24 square miles (61km2) in Italy. I couldn`t miss that. It would have taken about an hour on motorway, but again i want to see stuff, so took the scenery route, a few miles off the motorway and somewhat parallel. It was small villages after small villages, and narrow roads, with hundred of bends and corners, most of them quite slow too. I have to say, i don`t remember if i had so much fun on sports bike before at such a low speed, i was tackling corners after corners, the road surface were better and worse in places, and it felt like never ending. Wasn`t much traffic there, i met one scooterist, it was a maxi scooter, obviously local, because i was struggling to keep up on my 600gsxr, he knew where he was going unlike me and shortly i was defeated..I was following my gps, that is why i know i wasnt just going round and round, after 4 hours of going around bends, i got tired changed to the fastest route to San Marino. I was there in no time.
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  14. Bolasch

    Bolasch Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Oddometer:
    16
    Location:
    London
    From San Marino it was a fairly short ride down to the seaside, found a Camp site right front of the beach in Rimini. Rimini is well known of being a holiday resort kind of place, so it is not the place to go if you want to see medieval buildings or cultural sights, but it is okay, after setup my tent in the quietest corner of the camp furthest from the germans whom were getting ready for a rave as the techno was playing in their Volkswagen, i then went to have evening stroll and an ice cream.
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