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1Back to top Go down    Les voyages de TacKleur on Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:07 pm

TacKler

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Well, as some of you may know I recently spent three weeks riding around Europe on a K75T.  During that time I travelled some 5,500kms and experienced most weather types known to man. 

I last travelled to Europe in 1991, where I collected my K75S brand new from the factory.  After looking at all my photos and reading various posts on this and other forums, I felt an urge that eventually became unbearable and decided it was time to return to some of the best bike roads and scenery in the world. 

A lot can change in twenty odd years, including governments falling, single common currency and more modern motorbikes.  One thing that has not changed are the roads and scenery.  My memory had dulled the awesomeness of some of the breathtaking scenery and many times I just stopped and lapped up what was in front of me. 

I took many, many photographs and one of problems encountering in writing a story like this is trying to portray in words my recent experiences.  Something not easily done, as I have been agonising at trying to show it all in just a few photos. 

So hang on and bear with me as I try and convey the condensed version of recent experiences .............


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2Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:01 pm

TacKler

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So firstly I'll get the boring bits out of the way. 

Jumped on an aeroplane on 1 May and ended up in Frankfurt, Germany the next day.  Just under 24 hours of air travel.  Caught the shuttle bus to Heidelberg where I was to begin my journey.  The rental bike came from Stefan at knopftours.com and was a 1990 K75T, with the large screen.  This was to prove invaluable in some of the colder/wetter weather to follow. 

The source of my itinerary was from past experience and the Alpineroads.com website.  There is also another impressive one bestbikingroads.com.

I spent two nights in Heidelberg before departing to France, to rest up and adjust to the time zone difference.  Stefan runs an amazing place with people coming and going all the time.  Most of his customers are from Canada and the US.  He has being doing this for quite a while so it runs like a well oiled machine.  He definitely gets the TacKleur thumbs up approval.  Although he did send me two French letters after I left.  Apparently I went a bit faster than allowed on a couple of French roads  scratch .

So the first photo is of the red beast.


The next day I went on a local ride with a chap visiting from Florida.  He has a R1100GS that he keeps in storage at Stefan's.  As do quite a few other people.  Some just ship their bike over for a single trip, which is organised by Stefan.

This was a bit of a shake down ride for me through the Neckar Valley where we visited a town called Mosbach, and it just happened to be market day.  I needed this ride just to get my head around the fact that I was riding on the wrong side of the road and to get my confidence up for the trip ahead. 





Then back on the boring old Aotobahn and home for the evening.


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3Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:14 pm

TacKler

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Well Sunday 4 May was the big day for me as I set off for adventures unknown.  A little nervous as I was worried about ending up on the wrong side of the road, so using a grease pencil I wrote RIGHT on the inside of the screen and the mirror to remind me each time I jumped on the bike.  The plan was to head into the Vosges mountains in northern France and start riding some of these roads.  Stefan suggested I visit an old fort on the Maginot Line from WW2.  I like my military history, so that sounded like a plan. 

I head down the B3 to RASTATT paralleling the Autobahn, where I turn right and headed into France.  Well that's where I thought I was going until I was navigationally challenged circumventing the town and eventually missing my turn off .... and to cut a long story short I did cross the RHINE and end up in France.  Even though I was navigating by map only, some of them don't quite have the detail I needed.  I used some of the excellent ADAC maps provided by Stefan and with a mixture of my own "managed" to get where I was going. 

Shortly after crossing into France and through one of what seemed to be endless villages, I came across this:



An old Maginot Line fort at HATTEN, which I believe ze Germans tried to visit in 1940 but were not welcome.  So having their feelings hurt, they decided to share them with the French. 

For a  couple of Euros I was made welcome and the interior contained quite a collection of wartime relics, uniforms and information regarding the history of the fort. 

I headed further into France and towards WISSEMBOURG to visit another fort at SCHOENENBOURG.  This was a little bigger and housed a few artillery pieces and about 600 soldiers of France during hostilities.  Ze Germans had a similar welcome here and repeated their previous performance of disapproval.  Unfortunately for them the French held out until after the Armistice.



This is one of two rear entrances, as all the casemates and turrets are located on the other side of the hill.  A self guided tour involves a couple of hours and lots of walking.  The main tunnel to the turrets involves a walk of a kilometre underground.  It contains its own electric railway for carting all the ammo around. Further info at linemaginot.com

One of the guns;



And this is where I ended up for the night:



This is at a village called SAALES on the N1420 on the western side of the Vosges mountains.  I decided to stay in hotels during the trip as against camping as it meant less hassle and less gear.  After all this trip was a sort of exploration to see what was required for a future trip. 

At this hotel, they did not speak English so it was all French.  With a bit of school boy French residing in the catacombs of my brain I had no real dramas in communicating.  Generally there was someone who spoke some English and a guide book gave me the words I did not know. 

However, one thing needs to be explained regarding motorbikes in France.  They love motorbikes and there are various organisations that put out lists of hotels that want to attract motorcycle riders.  Consequently I bumped into various groups of riders staying at hotels.  The owner here, who spoke no French but probably German, gave me a motorbike map that advertised all the friendly bike hotels in the Vosges mountains, with suggested best biking roads.  Brilliant ... but it was in German.  I used it and still have it.  As a result I have a huge collection of maps from the trip.

So ended my first day.  I rode a few of the passes as well and more the day after.  Generally speaking navigating was not a real problem.  I saw lots of stunning scenery through here but as it is a forest and heavily wooded, the photos are not that great but the roads are.  There was not a lot of traffic around but it was cold. 

My confidence had increased and my initial fears about riding were disappearing.  The language was not really a problem and the roads were all I expected them to be and more.


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4Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:40 pm

TacKler

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Monday 5 May was sunny but still cold. 

I headed down to the lower Vosges mountains area where I rode the Route des Cretes from St MARIE aux MINES to Col d'HANENBRUNNEN on the D148.  This quite a scenic area and was developed by the French to hide their military movements from ze Germans before WW1. 

Most people in this area are bilingual French/German because depending on which madman was running which country, depended on who was invading who.  Yes, I can sympathise with ze Germans as it is a pretty area with loads of vineyards. 



This is the run up from St MARIE aux MINES to the Col de BONHOMME. 

After Col d'HAHNENBRUNNEN I headed north on the D10 to MUNSTER, then back up to the Col de la SCHLUCT (D417) and down through FRAIZE on the D23 before turning south to GERARDMER and onto my hotel for the night. 



Lots of villages and lots of churches around here. Probably in FRAIZE. A further look at the map indicates it is a village before here, Le VALTIN.  A couple of hairpin turns, then into the village. 



And this was my home for the night at Le THOLY.  It is another motorcycle friendly hotel and is listed under the French motorcycle Relais Motards group.  I ended staying here on my return journey as well.  relais-motards.com  They even produce their own motorcycle magazine, listing all the hotels which was just short of 400. 

A really good day as there was minimal traffic which meant I could do what I wanted.  The road was in pretty good nick and the climb up and down includes a few decent hairpin turns.



Last edited by TacKler on Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:51 pm; edited 1 time in total


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5Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:13 am

Crazy Frog

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Thanks for sharing your story. I am very familiar with this area of France and rode quite a lot there when I was in my 20s. 6 years ago I did a similar tour but with a rental car  Sad .
Funny to see the picture of the Fraize's church... My family have a burial plot in this cemetery.

TacKler wrote:Most people in this area are bilingual French/German because depending on which madman was running which country, depended on who was invading who.  
For the history and the explanation:
When my father was 10 years old, the German annexed the Alsace/Lorraine region and the first thing that they did was to replace all the French teachers with German ones. One morning the new teacher arrived and from then you had to learn the language. No more French education until the end of the war.

I will be in the east of France again in few weeks, and I will be traveling these roads too (4 wheels again).
Waiting for the report on the next leg of your tour.

CF


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6Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:31 pm

charlie99

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nice trip mate ....would have loved to tag along ...

some stunning scenery


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7Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:38 am

k-rider

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wow, great reading ,looking forward to your next post  Very Happy 

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8Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:27 pm

TacKler

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Tuesday 6 May.

The day started of with clouds and a bit of a chill.  Today I was leaving France and heading to Austria for the Alps. 

As I left the hotel the road was dry and the run down past the lake at GERARDMER showed a bit of wind about.  No real dramas as I headed up towards the Vosges mountains again, as the woodland protected me from the wind.  My first stop was at La ROCHE de DIABLE from which I had a view back towards the small LAC de LONGEMER. 



From here I turned south at Col De La SCHLUCT and headed south on the D430. This road continued into the D431 where after a number of hairpins I arrived in CERNAY and the start of the plain that would see me through to Germany and the Black Forest.  I crossed the Rhine at CHALAMPE/NEUENBURG after stopping for lunch at BANTZENHEIM.  After passing through MULLHEIM, I had left the weather of France behind and was enjoying the warmth of the sun again. 

The road headed uphill along the 378 which turned out to be a cracker of a road, forested and with enough turns to keep me interested in keeping the power on.  A quick break as I broke out of the forest into an area with a number of walking trails.  On the side of the hill was a single ski lift which started to appear everywhere from here on.  (Apart from K bikes, snow skiing is another passion of mine. Roll on August.) 



Turning onto the 317 at SCHONAU (yes Sean, I know the O is missing the umlat) I passed through TODTNAU, with its twin towered church finally intersecting the 31 for the run towards the BODENSEE and LINDAU.  This section of road was uneventful except for some motorway, a fuel stop and the afternoon traffic as I tried to hit Austria before it was too late in the day.  I found that keeping off the motorways and travelling on the A & B roads was really slowing down my average speed as I negotiated village life.  But that was they way I had planned things and would pay off later in the less populated regions. 

Entering Austria, I ended up on the motorway having disregarded the sign at the border regarding the purchase of an Autobahnpickerl (roll toll).  Trying to keep a low profile from the authorities I managed to find the correct turn for my route and headed off to into the Breganz Forest on the B200 towards AU, my destination for the night. 



This is where I hid in the forest after neglecting to pay for the road toll.

As I headed into the valley I was surrounded by rocky outcrops and snow on distant peaks.  The area was unexpectedly quite heavily populated and although there were a few narrow roads, appeared to be a busy route into Austria.  Eventually reaching AU I found a room at Hotel SCHIFF which appeared to be the only one open.  As I was travelling between the winter and summer seasons I found that throughout the Alpine areas, the majority of hotels were closed.



The valley coming into AU.

I covered around 400km today which was eight hours of riding.  A long day but worth it for the roads travelled.


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9Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:36 pm

ReneZ

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Great report, enjoying it with you!


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Greetings from Florida! Having a 'new' K  :cyclops:    Surprised-o: 

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10Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:24 am

TacKler

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Wednesday 7 May.

Well today turned out to be a miserable day as I awoke to the sound of vehicles on a wet road.  Breakfast provided a glimmer of hope as blue sky appeared between the clouds.  Alas it was just the rain gods teasing me.

As I loaded the bike and dressed in the Michelin Man suit, I had visions of the crash bars having a work out today.  Wet roads and I are not a good combination.  Away and into the gloom, my first stop was WARTH.  The Vorarlberg region was the playground of the wealthy during the ski season and promised stunning scenery.  Or so the tourist brochures said.  It did not stop raining all day. 



First stop of the day was HOCHTANNBERGPASS at 1,679m.  The road was steep with lots of curves, so at least some compensation against the rain.  I only came across one other vehicle on the road.  An elderly couple in a campervan.  Sensible option. 



It must have been cold.  I've got the warm gloves out. 

As I headed into WARTH, I stopped under cover and contemplated the rest of the day.  My feet were wet and hopefully it might clear. 

I took the road south towards LECH and ZUR and passing through these two pretty Alpine villages, I held out hope for a view from FLEXENPASS.  Although good road and wide hairpins were on offer, the view was not there as my next obstacle approached.  Fog. 

Now it became scary as my visibility was restricted to 20 - 30 metres.  Crawling along I found the turnoff east towards INNSBRUCK and approached a couple more charming villages.  Once I saw a gap in the fog and admired the drop over the side and snow below for what it was worth.  Riding with the visor up I found relief in the tunnels along the way and fortunately I did not encounter any traffic. 

As I moved east the fog cleared and rain became my companion for the rest of the day.  It was slow going and I passed numerous villages which during better weather would have been more enjoyable. 

So it was until about 1:30 when I stopped for fuel and a coffee.  Ignoring my cold wet feet, one of the locals decided to have a chat.  With his limited English and my limited German we passed the time discussing the joys of motorcycling. 

By this time I realised that the back roads would just prolong the miserable day.  So working on the theory that only a Krazy Kopper would want to stop me in the rain and check my Autobahnpickerl I headed off on the motorway, cranking along at 110km/hr in the wet.  The only highlight was an Audi pulling alongside me with a couple of curious teenage kids with mum wanting to checkout the Krazy rain sodden K rider. 

With no interest in running around a historic city such as INNSBRUCK, I kept on the highway heading east till I came to the Zillertal turn off, the valley of the Ziller River.  I planned to stay in ZELL am ZILLER for a couple of nights but as I wanted to be flexible in my travels I had not booked a hotel.  As I passed a few expensive looking hotels I found the tourist office and enquired about hotels.  All were closed  affraid  but a Gasthaus was found offering food and a bed for the night.  So with no other options I found a delightful little place where the kids were the only ones who spoke English.  They had a restaurant, warm beds and beer, so I was a happy little vegemite once again. 



The rain sodden valley from my room. 

The bathroom heater had a work out drying all my gear during the night and as I was staying for two nights, I was able to have my laundry done.  Happy days. 

I had travelled 225 km in just under eight hours and the following day was looking promising as the chance of rain decreased.  And what a day it was going to be.


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11Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:26 am

TacKler

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Thanks for all the kind words.  It really is an effort as I go through my travel diary and agonise over which photos to post. 

Dave.


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12Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:28 am

92KK 84WW Olaf

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Dave

Its a great series of posts. Keep the photos coming too. But it has bought back the memories of naked bike riding, something the full fairing of the RT and L T has kept at bay. I can feel the cold rain as much as enjoying the photos and the stories. 

Looking forward to the next episode.

Olaf



Last edited by 92KK K100LT 193214 on Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:55 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Typos)


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13Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:46 am

Born Again Eccentric

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Dave,

Enjoying the read - really appreciate the effort that goes into writing up such a road trip and feel your pain of sifting through the hundreds of photos (uploading them) and getting them in some semblance of order.

Alas, it does rain from time to time and we either weather it (literally!) or don't go out at all. Of course, the odd miserable day does help make the nice days even nicer and more enjoyable.

Keep up the good work - cracking photos and great account.


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"Gretel" K100LT 1989 (Silver Grey) (VIN 0177324 Engine No. 104EA 2789 2211) - 4th+ owner. September 2015 (58,500miles and counting....). Cat C Insurance write-off rebuild Feb 17
"Donor" K100LT 1990 (Red)  (VIN 0178091 Engine No. 4489 2024) - 6th & final owner (crash write-off now donor bike).   June 2012 (73,000 miles) to November 2013 (89,500 miles)
    

14Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:20 am

Sagi

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Thank you for the nice report and pictures, good to see some pictures from Austria.
I'm from the East, but I've been to Tirol and Vorarlberg quite a lot, it's a really beautiful part of Austria, too bad it was presenting itself in rain and fog. Hope you had better weather going on.

    

15Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:29 pm

88

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Cracking travel blog Tackler, really a pity we didn't manage to hook up. The mountains and valleys of the east coast look like both great riding  and scenery although I don't fancy snow in May!


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16Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:48 pm

Peter_Skov

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Enjoying the read, and the pictures

Keep up the good work, you write the journal very good.


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17Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:15 pm

TacKler

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Thursday 8 May.

Well the day presented itself better than yesterday.  A clearing blue sky and dry road which looked promising. 

So after a nice leisurely breakfast, I threw the rain suit in the pannier, packed the tank bag and was away.  The day called for two Alpine passes before returning home.  As I departed Z.am ZILLER the road east had me climbing out of the valley.  Stopping briefly to grab a quick photo, the valley was alive to sunlight and spring flowers. 

It was a steady climb as I headed towards GERLOSPASS (1,507m) and the start of what was to be a stunning day.  GERLOSPASS is a private road and the cost was E5.50.  From here it was down hill towards the valley floor and a view of the KRIMMLERWASSERFALLE. 



One pass down and as I transited via the valley floor the admiring the stunning scenery surrounding me I happened to pass a couple of the local Koppers conducting radar in one of the villages.  By the looks of things, they either ignored me or were not interested in K riders.  As you do you just happen to check the speedo, to be sure but I had no worries as captivated as I was by the scenery I was below the limit 50 limit anyway. 

It was a fairly straight forward ride from here, as I headed towards MITTERSILL and BRUCH on the 165 and 168 roads.  Turning south on the 107 I headed towards GROSSGLOCKNERHOCHALPENSTRASSE (GG).  As it is a private road through the HOHE TAUERN National Park, an entry fee of E24 is required at FERLEITEN.  By this stage I was getting glimpses of what lay ahead, and only one word describes what confronted me for the day.  IMPRESSIVE. 

So, let the fun begin.  The GG appeared to have opened about a week before, so there was just about NO traffic.  Last time I visited here in the height of summer it was crowded.  I'll let the photos do the talking from here. 



The road towards the first stop at FUSCHER TORL. 



Still climbing. 



This is looking south from EDELWEISSSPITZE (2,577m).  Down on the right is FUSCHER TORL (2,428m) and in the distance is HOCHTOR TUNNEL (2,505m).  If you look closely you can see that this section of road is cobble stone. 



There is a shop and café at EDELWEISSSPITZE and you can see the altitude marker on the sign.  Sort of explains why the bike was running a bit lean and did not want to idle.  I stopped for a coffee here, sat outside in the sun and soaked up the atmosphere. 



I have a selfie of myself and 75S from my last trip here at HOCHTOR TUNNEL.  For that photo I sat the camera on a guide post but they all seem to be covered in snow this time.   :suspect:   There was a temperature gauge at the other end of the tunnel indicating it was +5.3 C degrees. 



Well, if I had to select one photograph from the 2,000+ from the trip, then this is it.  This is the reason I returned to the Alps.

There may be tighter, twistier, faster roads and better scenery elsewhere.  I know there is because I have ridden them, but this epitomises what the Alps are to me and is pretty close to K bike heaven.


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18Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:03 pm

TacKler

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Part 2 of the GG trip. 

I took the Glacier Road that leads up the FRANZ-JOSEPHS HOHE and a view of the Glacier itself. It is well set up for the tourist traffic during summer. 



A beautiful sunny day with very few people around. 



Ah, and this is what I enjoy about Europe.  Preferential treatment for K riders. 



The road down. 



As you head south out of the GG Park, you pass through the village of HEILIGENBLUT and it's 15th century church.  The tourist books talk about it so here it is.  Just about every village I passed through has its own church and this is one of the more impressive ones. 

As I wanted a different route home I left the Park through the southern entrance and headed towards LIENZ, then turned north on the 108 back towards MITTERSILL and Z.am ZILLER.



The approach into the valley of LIENZ.



My hotel in ZELL am ZILLER.  The weather was so much better I dined outside.  At this time of year dusk is around 9:30pm.


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19Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:24 pm

ReneZ

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Great report! BTW what screen have you got on the bike??


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Greetings from Florida! Having a 'new' K  :cyclops:    Surprised-o: 

Rene


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20Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:25 pm

Inge K.

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21Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:42 pm

Inge K.

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Great tour report, did visit most of the same places in the last half of the trip so far
on my RS 25 years ago.
Been more times to Austria, but only two times over GG.


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22Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:33 am

TacKler

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Friday 9 May

A long day was planned as I was leaving Austria and heading into Switzerland.  The will it rain or not saga started again as a few spots appeared during the day and I managed to avoid wearing the Michelin Man suit again.  First of two fuel stops after I left and feeling guilty I decided to buy the Autobahnpickerl as I would be travelling on the motorway (E8.50 for 10 days).

Heading west I bypassed INNSBRUCK again and turned south just before LANDECK where the road was posted towards Switzerland and Italy.  There is a new tunnel here since my last visit and at 8 kms in length, I thought it would never end.  Heading along the 180 in the OBERINNTAL, I was constantly amazed by the beauty of the place. 



As I approached the border I made a decision to take the road heading to Italy as the road past NAUDERS promised a few hairpin (11) bends before turning into Switzerland.  And I was so glad I did.  As I came out of tunnel I was confronted by an old fort by the side of the road.  I mean right by the side of the road history was staring me in the face.  FESTUNG NAUDERS was built around 1840 and looking at its position there would be no option than to try and get past.






So after I lunched here, then hit the hairpins I approached the border crossing where I spoke with one of the guards.  Asking about the compulsory motorway Vignette in Switzerland, his attitude was not to worry about it unless I wanted to use the motorway.  Fair enough, so I didn't. 

As I headed into Switzerland the scenery was just astounding.  I thought Austria was pretty but this place was just as impressive.  I had a couple of options to which way I travelled here but as the ALBULAPASS was closed I was now headed towards St. MORITZ. 



Continuing on towards St.MORITZ on road 27, I started to see a number of railway stations.  In comparison to Austria, this place had a fairly substantial railway infrastructure which I thought surprising considering the mountainous terrain.  I decided to stop in St.MORITZ by the lake for a leak and to stretch my legs.  The town just looked expensive and I had found what I consider to be the most exclusive public toilet in existence.   Clean, functional, free and built like a bunker. 



MORITZERSEE at St.MORITZ. 

As I departed St.MORITZ, I had a fairly steep climb up towards JULIERPASS (2,284m).  It must have been the local race track as I kept being passed by all these VW Golfs and the like.  It did not bother me as I was just trying to keep warm and enjoy the view. 



I was back in the mountains now compared to Austria where I rode more in the valleys.  It was getting quite cold and overcast but I had good thermals, and with the windscreen of the K75T, it was not really a problem.  Although it was still bloody cold at times!

By now I was just heading west and looking for a hotel for the night.  I travelled through TIEFENCASTEL, THUSIS and MUSTER eventually finding the only hotel still open in ANDERMATT.  As I rode this section the scenery and atmosphere just kept getting better.  After I passed through one piece of spectacular countryside, and thinking "Wow, that was great".  The next was just as good, if not better.  And this was repeated throughout the day. 

Prior to ANDERMATT, I passed over the OBERALPPASS (2046m) which was just another ski village.  So I stopped to stretch my legs and take a few photos.  During the trip I took a fair bit of video footage on my Contour camera mounted to the left mirror.  (I'll probably post some when I finish writing up the trip).  When I left here I ran it down into the village and because I enjoyed it that much, I did a quick run in the morning back up to the pass before I left and continued heading west. 



OBERALPPASS has it own light house for ...?



Looking down into ANDERMATT. 

So, after a long cold day I found a nice warm hotel to relax for a few hours and prepare for the next day.  I had covered 420km in 9 1/2 hours but in that time had experienced some of the most spectacular scenery and roads I had seen in a long time.   Very Happy


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23Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:44 am

Ghost who rides

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Thanks for putting it all up Tackler, you got some stunning pics there mate, more pls.


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24Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:18 am

Ed

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fantastic report , well presented Tackler . I can almost feel the temp dropping as I admire your pics and story.
thanks for taking us on the journey.


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25Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:42 pm

charlie99

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amazing stuff
thanks dave


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26Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:30 am

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Another video of your time in this bit TacKler:

    

27Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:07 am

TacKler

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Saturday 10 May

The day started well, as I went for a walk through the charming village of ANDERMATT.  I bought a map and a genuine Swiss Army knife, so feeling pretty chuffed to have a real Swiss souvenir.  The day was cloudy, cold but dry. 

After loading the bike and paying for the hotel I had a quick run back up the hill to OBERALPPASS.  Took some video as well.  I wanted to have some fun as FURKAPASS was still closed. 

Heading west towards REALP, I had to catch the train under the pass, as the snow was still to be cleared.  So buying a ticket for the bike (E20), I was then told in German that I could not get on with the bike!!  WTF?  No use arguing and my best understanding of the Kraut language was that I would have to wait for the next one.  So coffee'ed my time away and took a few photos. 

No problems this time and I was let loose into the cargo carriage behind the engine.  It turned out to be a twenty minute journey which I though would be my undoing on the bike.  Rattling and bumping underneath the pass I was more concerned that the bike would not survive because if I did not hold onto it in first gear with the front brake jammed on, and my foot on the side stand I am sure it would have landed on top of me.  It would definitely have fallen off the centre stand.  A big relief when we arrived at OBERWALD.  Then it decided it did not want to start. Oh, dear.... 

Pushing the bike of the train it eventually started and I thought "I have come all this way and I am going to miss Furka".  So in an act of defiance, I went for a ride and rode past the road closed signs till I could go no further. 



Now I know why it was closed. 

So on this side of the pass I had a beautiful blue sky and sunshine.  Heading down the GOMS Valley I was met with more stunning scenery and refuelled at BRIG.  Riding through this valley to me was typically what I expected of Switzerland.  Running up the side of valleys with Alpine roads and villages all the way. 

After BRIG I headed up into the side roads instead of heading through the valley floor.  It was more developed and populated than the Alpine regions.  It also gave me a better view of the countryside. 



As I rode the side of the valley through the usual impressive scenery I came across this little hole in wall.  One lane stuff and somewhere you could stop for a while, have a beer, dangle your feet over the edge and watch life go by.



Riding beneath the cliff overhang.  Somewhere between LEUK and MONTANA. 

Heading through MARTIGNY I could see the weather closing in so opted to put the Michelin Man suit on again and encountered a light shower as I was waved through into France.  A fairly steep climb to the Col de la FORCLAZ (1,526m) and then Col des MONTETS(1,461m). 



Col de la FORCLAZ.  Cold and windy. 

Getting cold again and the ride into CHAMONIX was unimpressive.  Leaving here I followed a group of bikes till I turned off at St. GERVAIS les BAINS.  From here I here I turned towards MEGEVE where I planned to stop but nothing really impressed, so I pushed on (N1212) towards ALBERTVILLE.

Coming down into a quaint little village called Le FLUMET, everything looked closed.  Heading out of town I rode past a hotel set off to the side of the road with a couple of cars parked outside and the lights on.  Feeling the effects of the days ride, I thought it worth a look so turned around to enquire if open. 



And what a gem this placed turned out to be.  It was one of the Relais Motard hotels with a young couple running the place.  He spoke English (and French and German) and had two motorbikes parked down stairs.  He wife was the chef and he entertained the patrons. 

I was back in France, where the food was always home cooked and excellent.  I could park the bike down stairs out of the way and I had a warm bed for the night.  Mein host checked the weather and the pass status for me which allowed me to plan my route for the next couple of days.  So I ended up staying two nights. 

So after a cold day on the road, there was nothing better than a hot shower, the bike secured and falling asleep knowing all was well. Sleep


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28Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:01 am

TacKler

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Sunday 11 May

Well another day dawned where the weather was an unknown.  Even though the rain stopped during breakfast it was going to be an interesting day.  As CORMET de ROSELEND was still closed, and with the owners advice the direction was to be north.  This area known as the Rhone-Alpes was just another ski area in eastern France, so there was still a bit of snow around. 

As I departed along the D909, the road was still wet but the curves were tight.  I was heading up through the valleys that ended in ski fields at the top.  This took me through La GIETTAZ, COL de ARAVIS (1,498m) and La CLUSAZ.  Heavily forested and roads that hugged the side of mountains, I encountered mist and creeks originating as snow melt.  There was little traffic which was probably due to it being Sunday and all the smart people were warm and indoors.  But as I was on holidays, what the heck...  go for a ride. 



Heading up and out of La GIETTAZ. 

When I reached St JEAN de SIXT, I turned west towards and followed the D909 towards ANNECY.  My host has suggested visiting the CHATEAU de MENTHON, which was open to the public and had views of LAC d'ANNECY.  As I approached the town of THONES, the rain decided to join me on my ride.  Following the signs to the Chateau, I arrived at midday and found it was not open till 2:00pm.  Oh well, a couple of quick photos over the fence and at least the rain had stopped.

Heading south along the eastern edge of the lake I passed through TALLOIRES and attempted to take some decent photos of the lake.  As this area is populated, forested and most roads are narrow, it was a case of "that looks a good place to stop .... too late again."



This was about the best I could manage. 

From here I headed north into the town of ANNECY and what a delightful place this was.  I managed to park the bike within spitting distance from the lake and by my translation the sign said "Tackler, you're on a bike, so park where you want".  So a quick walk next to the moored tourist boats and I was on my way again. 

The road down the western side of the lake culminated in the COL de LESCHEUX (897m).  I was glad I chose this route as last years Tour de France passed this way and I used that race as part of my inspiration for the trip.  This provided a great view of the lake and a few twisties thrown in for good measure.  I took the D911 here as I headed through LESCHERAINES and ECOLE down into the valley floor at GRESY sur ISERE.   



This is the COL du FRENE (950m) prior to heading down to the ISERE valley. 

Now this is where it got tricky.  I followed the D201 as I ran parallel to the Route 43 north east to ALBERTVILLE.  I decided to head to the east of Le FLUMET and have a crack at the CORMET de ROSELEND which was closed.  The weather had improved and the roads were dry.  After being navigationally challenged for about an hour I eventually found the D925 towards BEAUFORT.  Not a total waste of time as I was to pass this way the next day, so was just familiarising myself with the area. I prefer to call it forward planning. 



The creek through BEAUFORT. 

Arriving at BEAUFORT I found the pass was closed but decided to follow a couple of German GS riders and head up anyway.  The roads up towards LAC de ROSELEND was full of bumps and the signs across the road made the decision for me.  Looking up the mountain side there were the remains of avalanches still covering the road, so took a few photos and turned around.  By this time it was getting very cold and windy while the snowy remains of winter still sat beside the road.



The other side of the lake where the road was closed. 

So from here I headed back to the hotel through the COL des SAISES (1,650m) on the D218.  Arriving, I was cold and after a quick chat with the owner realised I had missed the rain and decided it was time to enjoy a hot shower. 

So after dinner and chatting with my hosts, a group of HD drivers arrived at 9pm.  They were wet through and after coffee a few decided to stay which was the sensible option.  I had a chuckle in the morning before they left because sure enough the support vehicle was parked outside. 

So overall, a bit of a miserable day but the scenery made it worth while.  I rode about 300km and kept thinking how much better it would be on a summers day.  I guess there is always next year.



Last edited by TacKler on Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:41 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Spelling mistake)


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29Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:08 am

92KK 84WW Olaf

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Dave

The posts are fantastic.

Since you mentioned 'next year' more than once it would be a nice thought to make the meet up work next time! Circumstances conspired to keep us apart but I am game for another French trip next year too and maybe a few more might join us. I know a lot of these trips are actually best enjoyed on ones own, free to wander, stop for photos and overnight as you wish.

I am planning a mechanical job on the K over the winter, splines, etc so will be well ready for it.


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30Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:50 am

TacKler

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Monday 12 May

The start of a new week dawned with a bit of cloud still around.  It took me a while before I departed le FLUMET for my next destination of CORPS, on the Route Napolean.  The owner checked the weather and some of the passes I had planned to travel but alas some were still closed.  So we formulated a plan and it turned out to be a long day. I fluffed around in town looking for fuel and buying a decent map of the area in the local Tabac.  I had to retrace my steps back to MEGEVE for fuel where I filled up two days previously.  Whilst in the Tabac I bumped into a family from Sydney, who were using their daughter to speak French and son to speak Italian, as they toured Europe. 

 

Finally heading south on the N212 a diversion took me up into to the hills before heading into UGINE and ALBERTVILLE.  Taking the safe option here I headed along some of the same roads from yesterday and then south on the D1006 alongside the N6 towards MODANE.  It was coolish here and overcast but I managed a fast ride through the villages and eventually up into the hills again as I headed east in the direction of Italy. I was still amazed by the reaction of the average car driver in France with their friendly attitude towards motorbike riders.  The majority of drivers pull over the right of the lane and let you squeeze pass.  In fact, they almost demand it!

As the terrain increased in height and the hills became mountains, the history of the region began to show its face again.  Forts and lots of them.  Although I was still in France, history was there in my face and I wandered if this was were the border once was.  I stopped off at FORT MARIE-THERESE prior to BRAMANS but alas it was not open.  The day was getting on, so after a quick walk around and a few photos, it was back on the road heading towards LANSLEBOURG. 



One of the forts, with a few more on the other side of the creek. 

Turning south after LANSLEBOURG, I had to give one of the great biking roads in France as miss as the pass was still closed.  The Route des Grand Alps took in COL de l'ISERAN (2770m) and the ski fields of VAL d'ISERE and the road through to BOURG St MAURICE.  I was now headed towards COL du Mt CENIS (2083m) and into Italy.  

There was bugger all traffic up here, which was good.  I was back above the snow line by know and freezing was probably a good way to describe the Col.  I popped inside the small café for a quick warm me up espresso, toilet stop and another chance to improve my rapidly increasing confidence of using the French language.  I took quite a few photos as the LAC du MONT CENIS was part of the area.  As part of the mountain range between France and Italy it was part of the feeder for the French hydro-electric scheme. 



I enjoyed a spirited ride up the pass and managed some video along here.  Heading down I took it easy, as the road was in poor shape.



The Lac was actually a dam and below the dam wall was an abandoned village.  After a quick bo peep I kept moving and down into the valley that was Italy.  Surprisingly the quality of the roads improved and the next town was SUSA where I turned west back towards France.  Crossing the border was uneventful as I headed through COL de MONTGENEVRE and into BRIANCON. 

Stopping in BRIANCON next to yet another fort, I rode around the bollards that kept out the non-residents.  I had the choice here of riding through the COL Du LAUTARET (2058m) which was open but decided against it and headed along the main road to save a bit of time.  Stopping for fuel at MONT DAUPHIN, which had yet another fort up in the hills, the road was wide and open and I was able to easily pass the traffic heading towards GAP and then my stop for the night at CORPS on the N85. 

It was 7:00pm when I arrived and still quite light.  The HOTEL du TILLEUL had a reservation for me and just as well, because the restaurant was full.  This hotel was another of the Relais Motard group and also staying were some Belgian HD and Swiss GS riders. 

What I enjoyed most about this hotel was that to me it was so typically French.  It fulfilled all those stereotypes that I knew of the French from the kitchen hand who wandered through the alleys to show me where to park the bike at the annex.  The happy and friendly staff with their Gallic charm.  The front bar and patio, where the locals wandered into for a chat and an aperitif.  A small but charming room.  Located on the side of the hill everything was right next to the road, with not a lot of room for walking.  The residents of the village were mainly elderly and even the dog sleeping on the road in the morning looked like he had old man whiskers and may have had one wine too many the evening before.  But best of all was the food.  It was simply superb. 


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31Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:48 am

92KK 84WW Olaf

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Its such a small world. I was over here with my brother some years back, when he lived in Switzerland. At this very same spot. Lake was frozen over for the winter. We travelled on that network of railways you mentioned and I can tell you that its worth going there for the railway network. The lake is a great spot in winter for landing hang gliders and paragliders.


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32Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:44 am

TacKler

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Tuesday 13 May

Well the day was a bit chilly to start with hovering around 7 deg. C with a combination of sunshine and cloud.  After a walk through this charming village I dragged my tail before finally departing.  As I was leaving the French Alps and heading towards the Massif Central, I was on my way to catch up with Bob and Jude. 

Heading north along the Route Napoleon, I turned off before La MURE and headed towards MENS.  My first run for the day was planned down to the bridge at the bottom which advertised itself as the premier bungee jumping location in Europe.  Stuck behind a small van I decided on a return run up the hill and captured it on video as well.  Deciding that I need a bit of adrenalin to start the day, I bit off more than I bargained for as I approached the top.

As I was probably caught up in the excitement of the road ahead, I must have missed the road works just before the top on the way down.  Unmarked as they were, dabbing the brakes but unable to stop, and ... crunch, as the suspension bottomed out.  It was only a few inches deep but enough to curse the lazy workers who did not bother with the warning signs. 

After a leg stretch and photos at the bridge I headed towards MENS and LALLEY where I hit the main road again.  The run through here was full of twisties and turns following the river Sautet over which the jumpers lunged.  It was good to give the bike a workout running through 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears.



From LALLEY it was north onto CELLES on the E172, where I turned off the main road towards the COL de MENEE.  By this time it was starting to rain and was becoming cold as well.  Stopping at a little shelter which due to its odd shape might have previously been some sort of shrine, I heard a vehicle approach.  Tooting the horn as they passed I was amazed to see a couple of modern day hippies trundling along in their little van, no doubt snug and warm as I shivered on the road side.



Further up the road I arrived at the COL de MENEE (1,457m) which was a tunnel and the high point on the road.  To my surprise it was actually snowing!  No big heavy drops of snow but sleeting.  No wonder it was cold...  I later estimated that it was around 3 deg. C but probably colder. 



Yes folks, starting to snow.

I did not hang around here for long and headed off through the remainder of the twisties and onto DIE.  I stopped here besides one of the numerous war memorials scattered throughout France.



The hills beckon me... in more ways than one, as I was to find out. 

The turn off from the D93 and onto the D518 would take me north towards the COL de ROUSSET which was one of those roads I had been waiting for.  I read that there is a sign here that says, "Twisty roads for 19km" but I don't remember it.  The top was covered in cloud but at least I was out in sunshine again. 

So on I go and very little traffic to annoy me.  It was pure pleasure enjoying the road and videoing most of it.  The rain was holding off and apart from a little water on the road there were no dramas.  I rode some parts hard and others, not so hard.  But as I tired and neared the top, something funny happened.  I was trundling along on a straight section coming up to another hairpin, when someone tapped me on my left shoulder and said "Tackler".  That's all.  Nothing more.  Sorted of scared the crap out of me.  Providence?  Don't know and don't care.  From then on I slowed down and took it easy for the rest of the day.



There was a ski area at the top and I kept heading north to another recommended road.  However as the rain had started and was taking the fun out of riding I decided to change direction and started heading west.  As there was no way I would catch up with Bob and Jude I decided to get as far as I could.

I was now heading towards the main roads again and passed through PONT en ROYANS and crossing the Motorway (A49) the next town was ROMANS sur ISERE.  Here I missed the ring road and ended going through the centre ville which was painful.  Next it was the pretty town of TAIN L'HERMITAGE on the river Rhone.  A bit difficult to stop for photos here and the next place across the river was TOURNON sur RHONE, where I was caught in a huge traffic jam.  Probably that time of afternoon but eventually got around and out headed towards LAMASTRE on the D532.

The road was a combination of straights and twisty bits but as it was rainy and windy was not the most enjoyable.  Continuing onto St. AGREVE, it was more of the same and I was tiring.  Pushing on I eventually reached the regional town of PUY en VELAY.  But just prior to arriving, as I passed through another roundabout (the French invented them looking at the number they have), sure enough the heavens opened up.  Not a refreshing sprinkle but dumping on me.  Combined with a fierce wind I was welcomed into PUY. 

Time was getting on and after riding around town including a few cobblestoned streets, I eventually found a hotel.


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33Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:07 am

88

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Brilliant - must get back to finishing mine. ~Nice to see others have a long finger to put things on too!


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34Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Sat Jul 26, 2014 1:12 pm

92KK 84WW Olaf

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In ireland we have both a Long Finger and a Round Tuit. But they were like leprechauns. Everyone knew about them but had never seen one.

But we have other funnies too. Who can decipher the following ones:

Under the weather.
Three sheets in the wind.
Sucking diesel.
Merry.
Milk in your coffee.
An old man asking for holy water.


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35Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Sat Jul 26, 2014 2:24 pm

charlie99

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amazing is all I can say


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36Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Sat Jul 26, 2014 8:32 pm

RicK G

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How about a headless chook


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37Back to top Go down    Re: Les voyages de TacKleur on Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:12 pm

Maxip2605

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Amazing, I am French and i know most of this place BUT not all of these beautifull place.
You should try go to Italy to Dolomite (Italian Alps called also Tyrol) if you like "twisty" road.
Thanks
Max

    

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