Thursday, September 22, 2022 | Thomas Ritt | Europe
There's a reason why we call the Ultimate Alps Tour the Ultimate Alps Tour: it's because we dive right in, head over heels. No fewer than seven mountain passes, five of them over 2,000 meters high, are on the agenda of Day One! One of them is the famous Stelvio, a bucket list ride for every motorcyclist. We did it today, in bright sunshine, along with a few thousand other people on bikes and bicycles and in cars and campervans. Check!!!
The second day we tackle high passes as well, two of them to be precise. The Albula and Oberalp Passes offer riding pleasure at its best! In between, bend after bend, nestled in the beautiful landscape of central Switzerland. Our hotel in Brunnen then tops it all off!
After a rainy, stormy night, the sky cleared up just in time for our departure from Brunnen. We took the ferry across the lake and headed south towards the mighty Grimsel Pass. It was cold up there and foggy, but as we rode down, the sun came out and invited us to visit the famous Rhone Glacier.
Two hours later we arrived in Zermatt at the foot of Switzerland's most iconic mountain, the Matterhorn. What an amazing place!
The early morning trip to the Gornergrat and an afternoon roadblock made this day of riding the longest of the tour so far. We arrived in Lugano only after half past six. But at least we now know that the famous "Road of Death" is not in South America, but near Lake Maggiore...
Six passes were on our agenda today. None of them has a big name, but they offer a lot of riding fun and great scenery. First and foremost, the Passo del Vivione, which literally took our breath away with its ultra-narrow roadway and numerous blind curves.
Day 6 brought us around the Brenta Dolomites to Molveno Lake, to a wonderful picnic lunch and on to a picturesque and interesting pilgrimage site. For motorcycle pilgrims, the route had countless curves in store, on Passo Daone, on the Paganella road, and on Mendola Pass.
Today's destination was Klobenstein, just outside of Bolzano, where we stay in a beautiful hotel for two nights.
A typical Edelweiss rest day is not for resting, of course, but for riding. Sleep a little longer than usual, then we hop on our bikes and head off into the Dolomites. Four big passes, fresh snow at higher altitudes, a bright blue sky above. If there is a motorcyclist's paradise, then it looks like this!
On the last day of riding, the Alps once again pulled out all the stops: bright blue skies, mountain peaks freshly covered in snow, beautiful roads without traffic - it was tremendous! And as icing on the cake, we got to admire a few hundred historic motorcycles.
And no, we didn't get wet!