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Thread: Euro Jaunt Sept 17

  1. #1
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    Euro Jaunt Sept 17

    A belated ride report of a trip we did early September 2017, my grey matter is not what it was so I may have forgotten some of the details but hopefully the pics and the info contained within should paint a picture of the great trip we enjoyed, our numbers were down on previous years as not everyone could make the dates we eventually arrived by trial and error or maybe we were just using the wrong deodorant.........
    All hotels were booked via booking dot com except for the one in Austria, all mileages shown are approximate and don't allow for U turns and multiple laps of roundabouts in order to re-group, one Sat Nav was harmed in the making of this trip
    Day 0 Sat Sept 2nd
    Dave and I arranged to meet at Portsmouth for an overnight crossing to Le Havre, we would meeting up with others over the next day or two so it was just me and he sharing a cosy cabin for 2 on the "truck driver's special" ferry
    Dave was "fashionably late" having had a bolt snap in the head of his new Rallye whilst fitting Machine Art X head cylinder head guards in the early hours, apparently the bolts are made out of "f***ing monkey metal", I took a pic of my Rallye in it's new "touring mode".


    Day 1 Sun Sept 3rd
    Garmin suggests a distance of 452 miles to our overnight stop in Frieburg, the day dawned bright and the weather gods appeared to be smiling on us (but for how long?) as we prepared to disembark at Le Havre.


    With full tanks and empty bladders we set off and made good progress, this was the first time I had experienced a regular GS on a European tour having always had the Adventure variant with the larger fuel capacity in the past, as we were both riding identical machines fuel range proved not be an issue as we were getting over 200 miles between fill ups. We stopped briefly at Reims and had a look around and took a few pics......









    We pressed on in the direction of Nancy then followed a route toward the Vosges in the hope that a few twisty roads would erase the memory of miles and miles of less interesting roads we had endured during the day, after a brief lunch stop the sky grew darker and it looked like we might get a bit wet........we pressed on making good progress and appeared to be bettering the arrival time on the Sat Nav's, then it started hail stoning, then it really started hail stoning properly with lumps of ice the size of 50p's falling, soon the dual carriageway we were on was carpeted in ice, we thought about seeking shelter under a bridge or underpass but there was no space as the sheltered areas were taken up by cars WTF We paused at a service station for the hail to stop then pressed on at a pace, the wind helping to dry our outer layers, we were soon at the Vosges and enjoyed the ride once more, it was good to be off the main roads





    After riding the Col Le Bonhomme we were soon crossing the Rhine into Germany and heading for Frieburg



    We were due to meet Johnny here, we knew from his texts he was already in residence and he met us in the car park when we arrived he seemed full of praise for our Hotel for the night which was the Hotel Bierhousle



    https://www.booking.com/hotel/de/bie...91e5655a242de8

    The rooms were clean and spacious, the hotel had an excellent bar and restaurant, secure undercover parking was a bonus
    We enjoyed a beer or four and a superb meal-possibly the best meal of the trip.

    Day 2 Mon Sept 4th
    Garmin suggested a route of 298 miles to Vipiteno in Italy via several passes along the way finishing with The Timmelsjoch as we neared our destination, It was going to be another long day in the saddle so were up and packed and breakfasted early and on the road at a reasonable hour, we were due to meet Oscar either this afternoon on the road or tonight at the hotel depending on his progress from Northern Germany and ours on the mountain roads.
    Our route took us North of Lake Konstanz via Ravensberg we stopped once or twice for pics;





    We rode The Oberjoch and Tanheim passes and paused briefly for fuel and a snack then pressed on to Oetzal and maintained a good pace and enjoyed traffic free roads, the theme continued and we rode the 2509 metre Timmelsjoch, again we stopped for a few pics, our schedule didn't allow us as much time in the museum as it obviously warranted and we had heard via text that Oscar's progress had been slow so we would be meeting at the hotel that night.
    More pics from the Timmelsjoch;





    The snow was early this year





    Could that be JB's 1150 in this pic? A rare sight indeed



    Looks fabulous doesn't it and traffic free but this was late afternoon and the temperatures were already in single digit celsius

    A couple more.......



    Nearing journey's end for today and not too far from our hotel for the night.



    We were staying at Hotel Monschein in Vipiteno, finding it wasn't straightforward as some of the local streets had been closed for a cycle race the following day, the Hotel was fine the rooms were clean and spacious, the hotel restaurant was ok and was very reasonably priced, no secure parking though-if that matters to you.
    https://www.booking.com/hotel/it/mon...91e5655a242de8

    The town itself was a charming medieval town with cobbled streets, Johnny had to attend a poetry recital or prayer meeting after dinner so Oscar Dave and I went and found a beer cellar and bagged bar side seats





    Looking through my pics and I don't think I have any food shots

    Day 3 Tues Sept 5th
    Our route today was a somewhat less ambitious 229 miles with a suggested journey time of 6.5 hours which says a lot about the type of terrain we would be travelling, our route to Malta in Austria took in numerous passes in an area awash with fantastic roads and great passes obviously we couldn't do them all so our route followed a path that was mostly "new to us" or the passes we had ridden the least when we have passed this way before, "so many roads so little time" as JB is fond of saying, among the highlights on our route today; passes Sellajoch, Pordoi, Campolongo, Valparola, Falzarego, Passo Giau, Passo de Tre Croci.

    Let's start with a few pics to whet your appetite





    This was the day when one or two ailments along with a total failure of his ageing phone started to mess with Johnny's head, he was with us in person for part of the day but his quest to resolve these issues would become all enveloping and he left us part way through the day to seek a solution on his own.

    Before the sun came up the temps were low and there was a light dusting of snow, again the scenery was dramatic and the roads were virtually empty, that this was a weekday possibly helped with the latter,





    we stopped for a coffee and went for a little stroll, possibly Passo Sella

    We pressed on to the Valparola and Falzarego where we stopped for an excellent lunch-dozens of queueing cyclists can't be wrong the food was excellent

    Still no food shot

    Dave; "Is Steve's Go-Pro switched on Oscar?"
    Oscar; "It's flashing....doesn't he have a remote control for it? "



    The 3 amigo's continued via twists and turns, tunnels and avalanche shelters for pass after glorious empty pass;




    We crossed the border into Austria and nearing our destination and with the light failing stopped for 1 more pic near Seeboden



    Our hotel for the next 2 nights was the rather excellent Gasthof Hochalspitze https://www.gasthofhochalmspitze.com/
    it is run by an English couple both of whom are totally hospitable and helpful, both have a wealth of knowledge of the area and are keen bikers and can offer assistance with route planning and "must see" attractions in the area, the rooms are clean and comfortable, they serve excellent food, have draught beer, secure parking is a given as is a well stocked tool cabinet which can be made use of if required, paradise in Malta



    More to follow............
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  2. #2
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    Enjoying this mate. Good pics as well

  3. #3
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    Nice report Steve, keeping it coming, helpsme get through the winter!

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    Good stuff, fine tale.

  7. #7
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    Day 4 Weds Sept 6th
    Following a great meal and an evening talking bollucks and drinking beer at our new temporary residence I awoke to the realisation that when I'd let my NAV 4 slip from my fingers when we arrived the previous afternoon it was now neither use nor ornament, it only fell from the height of the bike's seat but now made a rattling sound when shook and would not get a fix on satellites, never mind it was time for someone else to take a turn at leading anyway
    Our host Willem suggested we follow the Nockalmstrasse road today and showed us a loop on a map of about 120 miles he thought we might enjoy, by presenting the Karten or Card he hands out to guests we got to ride this Toll Road Free in addition card holders get a useful discount or Free admission to dozens of other attractions on the area.
    Malta, Carinthia, dead centre of town........apparently when a local dies they ring the bells for 30 minutes, if 2 people die on the same day it's 30 minutes apiece, nice spire


    The forecast was changeable and there was plenty of cloud cover so we expected showers throughout the day, Oscar took up the lead position and we were away,





    We stopped for a coffee and to admire the views, there were a lot of bikes on the road mostly Harley's, we had learned from Willem that there had been a Harley Rally the previous weekend attended tens of thousands it seems many had decided to stay on and take advantage of the mountain roads, some of them certainly opened my eyes as to how well or not a Harley can corner, some of those guys were bloody quick Those not in a hurry were happy to let others past with a wave or a foot wag.

    We spent an enjoyable day riding the Nockalmstrasse we timed our lunch stop to coincide with a downpour and enjoyed a dry ride back to Malta, for whatever reason we didn't take too many pics on this day, Johnny's niggling health issues and his dead phone continued to trouble him and seemed to hang over him like a dark cloud, we talked through possible solutions to the problems but failed to arrive at a solution he seemed happy with.

    Still, the weather brightened up and we enjoyed our ride back to Malta





    Another night of excellent food, great hospitality, beer and bollucks ensued, Johnny had an early one and seemed to have found a solution to his problems..........

    Day 5 Thurs Sept 7th
    Johnny had decided to cut his holiday short and head for home, I was up and about early so caught him before he left to wish him bon voyage.
    So now there were 3
    Willem once again suggested a route we might enjoy up the Hochalmstrasse to the Dam and the Hydro/electric facility, it was around 25 miles each way, it was a great ride tight and technical in places with some wider open sections offering great views





    About half way up there is light controlled one way system in place with some 20 minutes between changes to allow traffic to pass through our timing wasn't too bad and we didn't have to wait too long, further up the valley the Dam came into view



    And there was a viewing platform, not for the feint hearted





    The the valley from the viewing platform.



    A few more pics on the way back down towards Malta from the Dam





    Oscar




    This pleasant little excursion brought us back to what would be our intended start point for today's route to Bovec Slovenia which Garmin reckoned was a mere 136 miles, so with Oscar and Dave alternating the leading duties we set off, our route once again took us over the Nockalmstrasse followed some passes we'd never heard of before; Windisch he and the Predl Pass and finally if we had time and we'd been advised "only if the weather is good" Mangart Road, the route seemed to take longer than anticipated and involved some Motorway and dual carriageway but the surface was good, the traffic light and the weather bright and clear, we paused briefly for lunch then crossed into Slovenia



    The weather appeared clear so we followed the signs for the Mangart road, Wow!
    What a treat As we climbed the road narrowed, the crumbling make shift crash barriers all but disappeared.......







    The views from the peak were amazing, 5 minutes after these pics were taken the mist descended and we had to ride back down barely able to see further than 5 metres, a truly amazing road







    We arrived at our next temporary home for the next 2 nights in Bovec, Hotel Alp
    https://www.booking.com/hotel/si/alp...e59e48acab7f63

    It's a modern business type hotel, ideally situated in the town centre, it has excellent facilities and secure off street parking, the town has a choice of restaurants, bars and when we were there a pop up micro brewery.
    After checking in we took a tour of the town then visited a bar or three and enjoyed a great meal, a good day
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  8. #8
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    Excellent as always

  9. #9
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    Day 5 Thursday Sept 7th
    Still no food pics........sincere apologies
    Our route today (for those who's Sat Navs were still functioning was a loop from Bovec and back via the Vrsic pass totalling some 189 miles with a duration of around 6.5 hours, we knew over breakfast we would be cutting it short at a convenient place and having an early finish in readiness for the next couple of days which would involve some more big mile days to get home by Saturday night
    We were up and about quite early, had breakfast and with no kit to pack up on the road soon after, more amazing roads and stunning vistas



    Our route was a clockwise loop through the National Park the weather was clear and the traffic light although there were some bikes around, the Vrsic pass snaked up into the clouds along a single track with passing places type of road, at lower altitudes there were some crash barriers but for much of it there was nothing, most of the hairpin bends were of cobblestone construction, these were surprisingly good to ride on and seemed to offer plenty of grip and no nasty surprises even when wet with the morning dew.



    Many of the corners had these rock sculptures all around them and far into the woodland.


    There were some reminders of war.......




    And the machines of war......





    On a lighter note.........


    Our loop almost complete we were almost back in Bovec



    It's a nice little town and a great place to base yourself to explore the National Park and surrounding area





    Another great night of walkabout, micro breweries and good food rounded off the day and almost the trip, one more night to go.........
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  10. #10
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    Excellent stuff

    Note to self: Must get back to Slovenia pronto..

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    Quote Originally Posted by russ996duke View Post
    Nice report Steve, keeping it coming, helpsme get through the winter!
    And me . . . Next time you're down on numbers give us a shout!

  12. #12
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    Day 6 Friday Sept 8th
    Today's little jaunt is a trip of around 300 miles or so to Vienna, still no Sat Nav for me and reliant on my friends to lead me and my back up plan of my phone in a holder on the handlebars with maps on and a USB live feed to the phone with one or two important waypoints saved in case we got split up, the route was on a mixture of roads with a pass or two near the Austrian border (Seebergastel pass) from there on mostly major roads to get the miles done efficiently and quickly, we have a train to catch after all

    At a rest/fuel stop somewhere in Austria we spotted this beast of burden complete with 4 panniers and two top boxes, a tank bag, crash bar bags a handlebar bag and a pillion (not in shot) the art of travelling light


    We arrived in downtown Vienna a couple of hours early so followed the example of fellow travellers and went to the supermarket for sustenance for the overnight journey to Dusseldorf whilst in our luxurious sleeper car

    Eventually it was time to board the train this was not a pleasant experience, I had to ride with my head down so as to avoid hitting my head on the carriage roof whilst craning my neck sideways to see where I was going, where the trains carriages join the smooth (and in this case wet) deck slopes up to a point then once over the crest slopes down again through successive carriages, I don't remember how many but we had to ride through a lot of them

    The a swarm of workers tied the bikes down very thoroughly whilst we were trying to get off the carriage carrying our overnight supplies, Dave inspecting the load restraints.


    Headroom is tight


    We boarded our carriage (at the other end of the half mile long train.....) and located our sleeping quarters, we took turns to shower and get changed then settled in for a cosy night, we started laying out our supplies in the spacious 3 berth cabin.........


    It's party time


    3 of us have to sleep in there


    We had a great night and a fitting end to a great trip, the train journey saved us just over 600 miles and we slept for most of the journey, unbeknown to any of us the train had stopped during the night and passengers and cars had got off/been unloaded and the order of the carriages had changed when we arrived in Dusseldorf the next morning, this was the view from our end of carriage door and should give an idea as to how restricted the space when riding a tall motor bike



    Day 7 Sat Sept 9th
    Dusseldorf to Calais....300 ish miles
    Rain, heavy rain......
    Then it stopped.....
    More heavy rain.......
    Wind, gusty wind......
    Rain lots of rain.......
    Then it stopped.......
    Calais Eurotunnel.......
    4 hour delays.......
    Cheat our way to the front of the queue after an hour and Motorway, 250 miles of Motorway

    2700 miles, no breakdowns no punctures no bike issues, no oil used, trip computer average mpg 54
    Visit our web shop for stickers/graphics/pannier wrap kits for your GS/Adventure bike
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    And no arguments
    Looking forward for the next one.
    Thanks guys

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traffic893 View Post
    Enjoying this mate. Good pics as well
    Thanks it was a great trip

    Quote Originally Posted by russ996duke View Post
    Nice report Steve, keeping it coming, helpsme get through the winter!
    A winter warmer, I know what you mean

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaybe View Post
    Good stuff, fine tale.
    Cheers

    Quote Originally Posted by oie View Post
    Excellent as always
    You're too kind

    Quote Originally Posted by Roberto View Post
    Excellent stuff

    Note to self: Must get back to Slovenia pronto..
    It is beautiful I want to go back again at some point

    Quote Originally Posted by timeandtide View Post
    And me . . . Next time you're down on numbers give us a shout!
    I have pm'd you

    Quote Originally Posted by oie View Post
    And no arguments
    Looking forward for the next one.
    Thanks guys
    Indeed, we crammed a lot into that week, roll on September
    Visit our web shop for stickers/graphics/pannier wrap kits for your GS/Adventure bike
    web shop; www.humvee-graphics.com The originals and the best
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  15. #15
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    Nice write up, thanks

    Following a recommendation on here from The Grey One I've visited Mangart 3 times & this year was the first time I've made it all the way up due to snow & rock falls.
    But boy was it worth it. Cracking ride up & what views !

    Untitled

    Untitled

    Vrsic Pass ain't bad either
    Just 'cos you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you !

    Remember, experience only means that you screw-up less often.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for posting,a most enjoyable read. Some of Our favourites there. We aim to revisit for my 60th birthday, Visric again and hopefully Magnart. The Dolomites too is a special place for both of us. Once again thanks for the write up and pictures,reminds us what we are missing.

    Andrew

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