Welcome to the GRAND ALPS TOUR 2015
We've been preparing for you for over 30 years; picking the best roads, nicest hotels, sorting out the highlights that will thrill you and keep you coming back for more!
Here a glance at our comfortable accomadations at the start of the tour...
Innsbruck City Tour / a trip to the origins of Tirol's capital
Before starting our motorcycle tour, one member of the group and I made a jaunt to Innsbruck. We visited one of Europe's most renouned Bell-Foundries, the old-town, the ancient City Tour - last remains of a medieaval castle, the Hofburgkirche and took the cable-car ride to the top of Innsbruck's famed and noted North-Face-Ridge.
First Riding Day: Seefeld to Galtür
A small but lively group is raring to go, and already the OOOOOOHs und AAAAAAAAs were rumbling through the ranks as we arrived at Hahntenjoch. "If this is just the start, how can it get any better" they asked as we reached the first pass of a tour that hardly sees a day with less than a half a dozen pinacles of this or grander quality? / "It will get even better..." I promise them." Here a few shots of our first impressions.
Monday morning in Seefeld
This is how we got our orientation for the day's ride....
Alan posing, Paul's artwork!
A pastry that's world famous in Kühtai. Strudel to babble about!
Dorfstadl is the name of this magical spot for fortifying the spirits and putting some caleries under our belts...
Arriving at Hahntenjoch just east of the mountain village WART....
By evening we were approaching Galtür
Time for some picture-posing...
And that's our destination for the day: Galtür near Arlberg and the famed and beautiful Silvretta Road.
The tell-tale retention wall halmarks the tragic avalance that cost dozens of lives some years back.
Riding Day 2 / Galtür Austria to Andermatt Switzerland
Cruising the Silvretta Road past a string of 10.000 foot peaks (including the famous Piz Bruin) we wind our way to Feldkirch, Lichtenstein, Wallensee, Altdorf und eventually reach the place where the Rhine and Rhone rivers find their humble start.
Getting wet at fountain on the way to Wallensee @ 40° in the shade
A soaked Jacket helps to beat the heat...
On our way to Wallensee..., Klausenpass and eventually Andermatt
Goofing in Altdorf at the statue of Wilhelm Tell...
Here the "evils Bridge" just before we arrived at Göschenen.
And a great spot for one of those famous Edelweiss-Picnics...
Riding Day 3 / A loop of 3 impressive passes and a 20 year anniversary
In Andermatt we are surrounded by towering peaks, challenging passes, and a deep long history of travelers stopping here; a realization that takes us all the way back to Roman times. The trick is picking what to do in this mountain playground...
The Furka Glacier
A deep glimps into the Rhoen Valley
Grimsel-Pass / a reservoir from all the snow and melting glacial ice.
In the middle of all our riding, a moment of respite to enjoy the perspective: Göschenen and a chance to celebrate the 20th anniversary of two of our guests.
Alan the "cheff" busy creating a masterpiece picnic !
Topless takes the cake...!
There they are... 20 years to the day and right in the middle of paradise!
And in the evening we celebrated propper..., with wine and all the trimmings.
Riding Day 4 / Andermatt to Chamonix
To start the day we saved the anniversary flowers to the van for a smoother ride to our next destination, for the group is planning to take the old coblestone road over the Gotthard Pass. Then the day will bring them to Zermatt, the Matterhorn, cruise through the Rhone valley and finally to the base of the imposing Mont Blanc.
Alan leads the group today
Bruce in the curves of the Gotthard Pass...
Rick and Linda in the curves of the Gotthard Pass...
Cameron in the curves of the Gotthard Pass...
The Matterhorn as seen from the town of Zermatt.
Murray in the curves of the Gotthard Pass...
Here a bird's-eye view of the old St. Bernhard road...
Lovely quarters Chamonix
Our photograph at the peak of his ambitions...
Murray at Col d'Izoard just south of Briancon
Riding Day 7 / Briancon to Aosta
We leave the tour-de-France region for the north-west region of Italy know as Aosta-Valley. Here is some of Europe's most famous skiing in Val d'Isere. The pass near there, Col de l'Iseran, is one of the highest in the Alps.
Naturally... another famous picnic
Riding Day 8 / Aosta to Lugano
Traversing the Aosta Valley we glimps a whole string of castles and fortifications dating all the way back to the middle ages. To the south of us the bread-basket of northern Italy, the river Po and its surounding fertile valley. With a jot across the water we are back into Switzerland and that pleasant city on the lake - Lugano
The Bard castle
Sacro Monte di Varallo
Riding Day 9 / Lugano to Livigno
Three highlights today: Splugen Pass, Via Male, Albula Pass
Riding Day 5 / Chamonix to Briancon in the south of France
This is the Tour-de-France part of the trip through the French "Alps Maritim" where we share the roads with aspiring bicylist traing for competitions grand and small. Col de Madelaine, Col de Telegraf, Col de Galibier. Infamous routes that ring of champions and searing athletic feats.
Riding Day 6 / Around Briancon in the south of France
A short run through the mountains to visit some of the famous fortresses conceived and build by that 18th century genious - Vauban
a way-stop at the Krimml Falls
Enjoying the view from Zillertaler High Alpine Road
here a view from Hochtor an the majestic Großglockner
The group at Hochtor
The Großglockner stripped of snow...
Paul leading us off on our last morning ride
And once again, we arrive home safe in Seefeld. The sun is setting. And the dreams begin, remembering all the adventure.... hoping for another Edelweiss tour to come!