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Grand Alps Tour (June 2012)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 | Paul Kustermann | Europe

Hey friends! For anyone searching for pictures to all those great moments we had... For anyone keen on remembering that mega-trip through the alps... Here you go! I finally got some time to sit and sort the archives and will be posting them over the next couple of days. Wish you happy trails... until we meet again. / Pazlo Paolo

Riding Day 12: Bozen to Kaprun

Among other spectacular sites... here the famous Sella Pass in the Dolomites

What a view... even for cows!

Lee and Laura celebrating their arrival...

Liz & Dave at the top of the world...

Even the skyline of Bolzano offers interesting peaks. A veiw from our Hotel "Luna"

Riding Day 11: So-Called Rest-Day, but we were riding!

And the Karersee made it a day to remember. As clear as a princes' tear, reflecting in a stunning turquise blue that puts even Lake-Louise in Banf Canada to shame.

What a place to fall in love...

In the Evening  in Bolzano the European Soccer Championships were going on.

Here's a good take on how the Italians celebrated the Semi-Final. All were glued to the public viewing screens. And on the right -- the Edelweiss Group looking for an ice-cream parlour. Unfortunately all the shop people are at the public viewing!  Good going guys.

Public Viewing Italian Style

Public Viewing Edelweiss-Style

Riding Day 10: Livigno to Bozen

I'm still waiting on pictures of this undescribable day. Half the troup went over Stelvio with its 48 unforgettable hairpin-curves, while the rest of us explored the remote Swiss Canton of Engadine with its picturesque valleys and one of the smallest language-groups in all of Europe. With such beauty... one knows immediately why they are so keen on preserving their cultural heritage.

Riding Day 9: Lugano to Livigno

After mastering the narrowest switch-backs of our whole trip on the way up to Splugenpass -- so tight in fact, you actually had to "bend" your bike to get it around the corner -- we had a very refrshing lunch-break just at the cusp of the summit. After fortifying ourselves, it was on to the stunning Viamala gorge.

The best mistrone soup any of us had ever had !!!

If that guy would just get out of the way, maybe we could see some of the scenery...

This is a long way in time and feeling from the quaint and romatic shores of Lago di Como where we dallied in the morning over a sip of the best espresso one can find in all of Europe. No wonder the famed and the famous reside there. And speaking of celebrities: Here's a shot of Marylin getting a hug from "George Clowney" (That's an inside joke)


Well, at least one handsome actor was there to greet us...


Riding Day 8: Aosta to Lugano

Lago Maggiore is a challenge on a bike, unless you have pontoons. We conquered it though, with a little help from a ferry.

A wonderful mid-day respite in the town of Varalo

Riding Day 7: Briancon to Aosta

To get there we had to pass Col de l'Iseran at 2770 meters. The highest pass of our journey and auguably a little bit of Colorado right in the middle of the Grand Nation. And right at the top of it (fitting to the notion of la haute cusine) our very own personal chef created a fest to feast one's eyes and teeth upon. Just another one of those "infamous" Edelweiss-Picnics, I guess.

Riding Day 6: Rest-day in Briancon

I don't know what kind of pictures our guests got, who did the ride with Alan on this day. I was in the van on my way back to Chamonix to pick up a piece of luggage that got misplaced by a group of tourist in our hotel as we were packing. Apparantly someone snatched a piece of our luggage by mistake and then sureptisiously returned it (after we had left). Ooops. But the payoff was... I finally got a glimpse of that shy and elusive lady: Mont Blanc!

Riding Day 5: Chamonix to Briancon

The day began for most of us with a gorgeous view of Mont Blanc's glacial ice.

But as chance and bad luck conspired, there was a confusion while tanking up some of the bikes, and a dose of diesel put three rides down for the day. We got it all straightened out though -- with a great big dosis of help from our friends at BMW in Annecy.

Riding Day 4: Andermatt to Chamonix

The day began with a playful pose. Then it was off to see the glacier just beyond the Furka Pass, where stunning views to the west into to Rhone valley and to the east back into the Rhine valley is bound to take one's breath away.

Below, a picture of a few of us just before reaching the top. Way to go... Steve and Steve! Greg and Dave! Lee and Rich and Laura and Lori.

On the way to Furka-Pass

The prize for the climb was a glacial see to make your sensens swim!

A long quaint ride along the swelling Rhone river (one of the lagest in Europe) brought us past the Matterhorn, over the boarder to France, and to cwown the day, waiting for us in Chamonix was a once-a-year all-night festival to celebrate the sommer solstace. What timing! What a bit of luck that we had the longest day of the year to conquere our first bit of french alpinesque grandeur.

Riding Day 3: Rest-Day in Andermatt

Andermatt. Center of an Alpine paradise surrounded by no less that 16 peaks above 3000 meters. And in service to the Gods of bikers, by day three we had already done our share of duping the statistics by pulling off a few miner ding-ups. (If you gotta have an accident - as the statistics say - make it a minor one - that's my theory!) A scratch here, a fall-over in the car-park there, the kind of things that dispell the start-up anxieties by getting that nast word "accident" out of the way right up front.

Our fearless leader - Alan - was quick to buy a new mirror for the Kawasaki 1000 and all was good again. After all... we'ld be looking forward anyway for the rest of the trip.


More to come... have patience


Riding Day 1: Erding Germany to Galtür Austria

It all started off with piles of smiles

If you saw this signature smile coming at you down the road, a smile as wide as the Oklahoma Panhandle, that would be Lee! I did tell him to keep his mug shut if he didn't want his dental work getting fille up with flys and skeeters--but there is just no thing that can keep this man from grinning!


more to come, be patient


That was our trip. Welcome to the blog. Give a comment. Tune in and keep in touch with our "family" of riders and your friends who "did the alps!" It was a GRAND ALP TOUR and we can all be proud to have completed it safely. No little feat and a grand effort by our valourous Guides: Alan and Paul

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Friday, February 22, 2013 at 23:58

Wow! The pictures of this trip has changed my mind, will now be swapping from the Dolomites tour to this one. I was a bit concerned by the number of switchbacks but they look quite good compared to our tight roads at times in Australia
Great pictures and log.
Marilyn s
Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 10:47

Will be doing this trip in 2014 unfortunately, combining with a month to Italy etc.
Jimmy sernesky
Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at 22:08

Wow! Beautiful. The trip of of a lifetime, eh?
Tom Quillin
Saturday, June 23, 2012 at 01:07

Tell Lee and Richard they are really cute! And tell Lee to keep his zipper up!
Friday, June 22, 2012 at 07:19

Looking forward to more info and photos on this trip, which is on my shortlist for next year....whoohoo!!
Susanne Berg
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 17:12

Maybe it's a little bit up to you that Lee can't stop grinning, Paul? I think a tour with you makes fun! I like his nice smile... better grinning all of you all the time than crying... Have a wonderful trip and have fun together! Keep safe! Looking forward to more pictures... Susan
Alan Magnoni
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 17:07

Fünf Schweizer kommen in einem Audi Quattro an die Grenze nach Italien. Der italienische Grenzer sagt: "Es ist illegal, fünf Leute in einem Quattro mitzunehmen."
Fragt der Schweizer: "Äh, was ist daran illegal?"
"Quattro bedeutet vier," sagt der Grenzer.
Beharrt der Schweizer: "Aber Quattro ist doch nur der Name des Autos. Hier, schauen Sie in die Papiere: das Fahrzeug ist für fünf Personen zugelassen."
Beamter: "as können Sie mir nicht weismachen, quattro bedeutet vier! Sie haben fünf Leute in diesem Auto, also haben Sie das Gesetz gebrochen!"
"Sie Idiot", schreit der Schweizer, "holen Sie mir Ihren Vorgesetzten, ich möchte mit jemandem sprechen, der etwas intelligenter ist!"
"Entschuldigen Sie", sagt der Grenzer, "er kann nicht kommen. Er ist beschäftigt mit zwei Typen in einem Fiat Uno!"
Saturday, July 14, 2012 at 20:40


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