Welcome to the Modultour 2023,
The prospective tour guides Christoph, Julian, Nicolas and Lars take you with them on their last and most intensive training week with Edelweiss. Here you can read first-hand and daily about the everyday situations the newcomers may have to master on a "normal" tour day in order to be able to start their first year as Edelweiss tour guides in the best possible way.
After loading the motorcycles at the Edelweiss headquarters in Mieming and traveling with two vans to Bolzano the day before, the first ride was now on the agenda. At 7 o'clock in the morning, the first still somewhat sleepy tour guides sat at the breakfast table. This changed quickly, however, when at 8 o'clock it already went to work. The motorcycles had been prepared the night before and were now eager to finally be let loose on South Tyrol's roads.
In glorious weather, we set off into the South Tyrolean world of mountains and curves with greedily revving engines and highly motivated coaches and trainees.
Two tour guides and one coach each formed one of four groups that skied the previously worked out routes. The aim was to give the new and still inexperienced tour guides a feel for the new motorcycles and to familiarize them with the routes, which they will spend a day riding over the next four days like tour guides with "real" customers. In the process, the coaches already incorporated the first small challenges that can actually occur on customer tours, such as closed roads, dead ends or closed break cafés. Then it was up to us to spontaneously find new solutions in order to successfully implement the tour, which we all managed to do.
In the evening Eugen ("Judschien") and Julian ("Dschulien") were already in charge of the welcome letter. We other tour guides "played" the participants from Germany and the USA. In the course of the next few days, we all get our turn in pairs with daily briefings, loading luggage, driving the escort vehicle, preparing the picnic, tour guiding, etc., just to have practiced all the tasks of a booked tour.
After a delicious restaurant visit in a pizzeria in Bolzano, there was a small feedback round, which is a must. But this was not the end of the official part of the day for everyone at 10:30 pm. Some "night owls" prepared their briefings for the next day or worked on the changed routes or write a blog !
We are very much looking forward to the next days and the intensive experiences we will gather to ultimately help our customers make their motorcycle dream come true !
A long, intense, but also very instructive first tour guide driving day comes to an end.
After the first delicacies of Italian cuisine were eaten at breakfast, the daily briefing was on the agenda. Here the tour participants were briefly and concisely given all the important information for the day. Afterwards, the tour finally got underway.
The start in Bolzano was surprisingly good, despite the heavy traffic. After leaving the capital of South Tyrol, the group continued towards the first photo stop with a fantastic view of the Rosengarten - a breathtaking mountain massif in the Dolomites.
The next highlight was not long in coming. St. Helena, a small chapel from the 14th century, idyllically located at just under 1500 m above sea level with not too few old snow fields in the surrounding areas, which give an idea of what temperatures can still be here at this time of year. It was therefore important to heed the first "safety tips" of the tour guides and to take slippery roads covered with frost seriously.
The noon approached and thus one already looked forward to the famous Edelweiss picnic, in great Athmospähre in the nature park Truden. The second part of the day led after one or the other delicacy in the Cembre valley known for its wine and apple growing. Gentle, long curves stretch here for kilometers through beautiful mountain villages.
A last "coffee stop" was at the Lago della Serreia, where the group could enjoy a great view over the lake your espresso as well as desserts of the pastry shop of confidence.
Despite some hurdles and "accidental" technical problems, the tour ended on schedule at the hotel in Levico Terme. There, before the joint dinner, there was again a small feeback round and the handover for the tour guides of the next day.
We will see what exciting surprises and hidden beauties the north of Italy brings us the next few days so.
After the feedback and the handover, the next tour guide team starts their day already the evening before with the welcome briefing before dinner to simulate the arrival day of the guests. However, we still did not know what all would await us on Tuesday.
In the morning after breakfast, the first tests already started, which delayed our departure from the hotel on the shores of Lago di Levico for the time being. Finally arrived on the road, tour guide Bernhard led his guests from the hotel in Levico Terme through the morning traffic around Trento to the Monte Bondone, the local mountain of Trento. Fortunately, with the first hairpin turns and right-left combinations, the excitement of the morning was quickly forgotten.
From there we headed towards our first coffee stop at Castel Toblino on the lake of the same name. Over a scoop of ice cream and café, optionally in the form of an affogato, we listened to the never-ending stories of "Berni" before the engines hummed again and we set off for Lago di Molveno. Shortly before lunch, a photo stop was planned there at the northern tip of the green-blue shimmering lake in front of breathtaking mountain scenery. Lake Molveno, which covers an area of about 3.3 square kilometers, is simply a highlight of Trentino.
After another tasty Edelweiss picnic, Nico took over for the afternoon. With him on our shared tour guide motorcycle, a BMW F850GS, the group tackled the second half of the day. Due to the unforeseen events in the morning, improvisation was now the order of the day. Good time management and local knowledge facilitate the tour guide everyday life enormously. Because every now and then it can happen that due to time constraints the daily planning has to be adjusted spontaneously. But still it was possible to at least scratch the remaining highlights of the day. But luckily our group was keen on driving today anyway, instead of visiting the old Saint Romedio in his pilgrimage church in the blazing afternoon sun.
Therefore, the real highlight of the day was also the Mendel Pass just before Bolzano. The ascent from the south may not be particularly appealing to real #PassCollector, but without traffic still makes for a big grin. Quickly a second Affogato as a quick energy kick and off on the last kilometers down to Bolzano. First Dolce Vita the Italian way and then a few really fine curves. That's what makes work fun. Wonderful!
After the descent, the actual pass route, the evening rush hour traffic in Bolzano stretched like an expander around the pack roll. All the more we were looking forward to a delicious dinner and exchanging experiences with each other.
By the way, part of the Daily Briefing on each driving day is also a "Theme of the day". In the simulated driving day, the motto was "Lakes and passes". For us tour guides and the operations team in the background, however, it would be better to say "Expect the Unexpected" - because in addition to the planned training tasks, the day had a few real surprises in store that had to be solved together and provided plenty to talk about in the evening.
The tour guides in charge took over before dinner to do their welcome briefing briefing And prepare the group for what they had planned for the next day.
The briefing was followed by a Dinner with overly eager Tourguides tending to every need of their guests.
When the guests arrived at the van to hand over their luggage, they were greeted by the bikes standing outside, shining in the sunlight, waiting for the beautiful day.
Because of this beautiful weather, We had the briefing outside. Besides the tour guide risking his life next to the sharp pointy stairs, this was a very welcome way to start our riding day in the fresh air.
Whilst leaving the town of Bozen in the morning, tour guide Tom took the time to show us another Roundabout that wasn’t on the route, must have been a very special roundabout..
Apparently this was the only special roundabout in Bozen that was worth the detour, so after this, we got on our normal way again and made our way towards the kaserer bild kapelle.
Some of the guests needed a toilet break, and the surrounding nature toilet was not suitable to their need. One of the guests was kind enough to guide the other two back on the road we came from, to a restaurant where they could use the toilet. They also took the liberty to have some coffee, and took a long time to get back to the group.
After they had regrouped, It turned out there was a beautiful little outhouse next to the chapel, where they could have taken care of their business.
On our way form the chapel towards the picknick, we encountered some construction sites with a traffic Ligt, that split the group when it turned red. The guests that fell behind had some time on a parking spot in town, waiting for tour guide to pick them up, after the group had distanced themselves a bit more from them than was planned.
During the Tourguides rescue mission the rest of the group had the opportunity to drive up the passo di lavaze by themselves and waited at the coffee stop at the top of the pass.
The pass took us op a beautiful windy road to great is with a beautiful snowy landscape at the top.
After the coffee stop, the stomachers were rumbling and hungry for the picknick, so we took of with rumbling engines towards our midday break.
The van team had already prepared Bernhards special Edelweiss Tickets, better known as the picknick.
Some of the guests were a bit overwhelmed after the lovely lunch and started to lose their keys in other peoples pockets, causing some problems with starting the bikes.
A quick check of the area and the problems with the keys were solved, so we thought..
Once we got the coffee stop, on of the guests came to the conclusion that you have the think about where you put the key for the Harley Davidson.
The spare key wasn’t working properly, but luckily you can start the Harley with a code and don’t need the key. This did however mean that the Harley was screaming for attention every time the bike would be moved without putting the code in on time.
After this drama we were in desperate need of some coffee, but multiple coffee stops we drove past were closed and couldn’t help us. Finally we arrived at a small cafe that wasn’t open yet, but was willing to open earlier especially for us, so we could have some coffee and some ice-cream.
Fueled by the sugar from the ice cream we drove back in time towards our Highlight at the Filzerhof, a beautiful restored farm dating back to the 13. Century to have a look at traditional living in this area.
Us going back in time resulted in the tour guides navigation and phone disappearing, so he had to find his way without technology back to the Hotel. This in combination with multiple bikes running low on fuel, meant for an interesting ride down to Levico. Luckily for us the road was almost exclusively down hill, so we all made it to the gas station, filled up and safely made it back to the hotel. Here we were lucky enough the one of the guests had received the Harley Davidson key from a bicycle rider that happened to pass by the group when the Harley driver had lost his key in the middle of the road, that we would have never found without the help of this passer by.
After four wonderful and sunny days with temperatures around 20° C, rain was announced. And indeed, a sleepy look out of the hotel window confirmed the weather change not thought possible. It started to rain during the night and the mood was a bit dampened, except for Michael who was excited about being able to bring in special "rain adventures" for us rookie tour guides. In the daily briefing, today's tour guides Christoph and Sebastian therefore pointed out the situation again in particular.
Until everyone had their rain gear on, we started with some delay to a new adventure under the daily motto "Swinging in the rain". Today a new tour participant joined us. Her name is Florence, she comes from America and looks just like "our" Florence. Coincidences do exist !!!
The first meters we started very cautiously, because of the so far unfamiliar weather situation. However, the first insecurity was soon overcome, and Christoph gradually loosened up a bit on the gas hand. The first kilometers were pure rock'n'roll. Rhythm and grip were right! Passing the imposing Castel Pergine from the 13th century, we quickly hit the bushes and quickly reached, on a lonely and narrow little road the Lago di Santa Colomba, the first photo stop. More interesting than the magnificent photo motif seemed the discussion about frogs, which probably encouraged them to reach the lake from the wooded area opposite the road, after barrier films were discovered by the tour participants. There was an incredible amount of head-scratching going on.
We satisfied the desire for a coffee stop in Albiano, a small, quaint, typical Italian village with cobblestones and lots of local color. While TG Christoph phoned Eugen, one of the two van drivers, to clarify the right time for the planned picnic, the Americans in particular "escaped" and scattered around the marketplace not far from our café. After all had been laboriously collected again, we finally set off, freshly strengthened, for the last section of the route to our picnic site in Ai Piani near Mezzolombardo.
The deeply cut Avisio valley offered magnificent wide and deep views with gigantic, vertically towering rock towers. The weather had cleared up wonderfully in the meantime with sunny sections and above all dry road. Therefore, we were able to enjoy the winding and spectacular descent to the fullest. After crossing the Avisio bridge, the road was just as winding and partly through lonely villages with narrow and winding roads on the other side of the slope back up. Behind Mezzolombardo, at the last junction, we unfortunately lost our "sweaper" Michael. This was not a surprise, because this happened almost on every tour at least 1x with Michael. However, he could be quickly "caught" again by Christoph, so that finally all could participate in the wonderful chicken picnic prepared by Eugen and Julian.
The afternoon began punctually with the first raindrops. After manoeuvring assistance, we then headed down towards Lago St. Giustina. At a steady pace, everyone got used to the adverse weather conditions. Small stops ensured that the group stayed together and no one got lost. In Cagnò we made our first photo stop which unfortunately did not offer much visibility. Instead, we had a delicious cappuccino in the bar and were all able to warm up and dry off a bit. Due to the weather, we changed our route and took the Mendel Pass instead of the longer Gampen Pass in order to get back to the hotel on time. Fog banks, heavy rain and mystical cloud formations accompanied us down into the valley. Breathtaking atmosphere! Happy that we had all mastered it together, we actually arrived reasonably on time for dinner. What a day!