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Alps and Lakes - June 2014 (CAL 1402)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 | Paul Kustermann | Europe

Welcome to the second Alps & Lakes Tour 2014. We were a colorful mix of travelers this time with tour-members coming from USA, Mexico, Australia, and the Arabian Emirates. Including three German guides we pretty much had the globe encircled with this special melange of five countries. Check out the blog and share the fun!

If you like what you see... join us on the next "ALPS and LAKES."

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That was Riding Day 5: Kaprun to Erding! And to cap it off, a farewell to new friends. Yes... it's time to say goodby and start cherishing the memories -- but as Ursula would say "Guys, it was a great week. We hope to see you again on another Edelweiss tour."

There was so much diversity, so many laughs, so much exchange and opening of new plans and opportinities. Certainly there was something really special about the trip for everyone. Hang on to that, keep rollin' and ride safe.

Signing off... Paul Ursula and Ramon

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Riding Day 4: Großglockner, Staller Sattel, Kitzsteinhorn near Kaprun and some of the group, we're not sure exactly where they went to... but they all got back safe and chipper in the evening... full of smiles and hungry as bears.

Good ole Wade! First time in Europe and straight off he took the prise for the biggest cup of JO in the Alps. Here's the Aussi-Crew on their juant to Staller Sattel. Wade snuck in... and Bob too, to be honest. Looks like everyone wants to be an Australian.

To achieve this we always try and supply our guests with the best materials...!

And this was the Group that did "Groß Glockner" for breakfast and the Kitzsteinhorn for dinner.

A rainbow over the Valley

If you look real close you can see the rainbow that greeted us on the way down. Pretty nice considering we had a complete white-out as we got to the top. From the second middle-station to the top we were totally in the clowds with visibility about as far as you could flip a coin. But a patient wait at the warm café paid off. A beautiful vista revealed itself before our eyes.

Too busy shopping to notice there was a polar-bear on our tail...!

A candid moment of Hal calling home. If I'm not mistaken that's a pretty convincing smile on his face.

A view of Schloss-Kaprun from our window...

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Riding Day 3: We made it to Kaprun on Wednesday and celebrated the day with a tail-gate party at the door to the hotel. And it was just in Time, because in the background a brew of weather was building up. Main thing, we were home and cozy after an eventfull day of cruising the lake-region around Trauensee, after picnicking near Hallstatt, roller-coasing the Dachstein mountain rages and the so-called "Steinerndes Meer" which is home of the majestic peak named respectfully "Hochkönig". Steinerndes Meer means "ocean of stone" in English.

That was how we felt...!

And this is what we saw...

Ursula! Queen of the picnic. Nobody does it quite like her.

One of the "Bobs" in a special moment...

And here some more friends having the time of their life...

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Second Day's Ride: From Salzburg to Gmunden via "Eagle's Nest" (Hitler's famed secluded hide-away near Berchtesgaden high above the "Königssee". To cap the day a cruise down the Postalmstrasse - a secluded streatch of private logging road that vaguely reminds one of the out-backs of Idaho.

Our civil-engineer seems pretty pleased with his catch of helmets. Just put out a bait and wait...!

A sweet and Lovely finish to a perfect day.

Then a tranquil lake and soothing spirits of wine, whiskey and song.

Here we call that the "Alpine Glow" (or in German Alpenglühen)

This bird gave her name to the hotel we stayed at: "Hotel Schwan"

End of thrilling day... a relaxing evening in the lusurios settings of Gmunden. A town square with a court-house that was built in 1573. A mountain-fed lake in the background with swans parading their beauty. An elegand dinner with friends. Who could ask for anything more?!

The benchmark has now been set even higher.

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First Day's Ride: Route 1 took part of the Group to King Ludwigs palace on a romantic island in the Chiemsee -- Crazy King Ludwig's extravagant immitation of Versails. Then it was on to Salzburg where we all would meet for the night.

Route 2 ambled down a woodsy bavarian back-road to one of Germany's most beautiful alpine journeys leading right to Berchtesgaden. After a briliant day of riding, we broke the blistering heat of the afternoon with a cool break in the shade of a tranquil beer garden just at the foot of the infamous "WATZMANN"

To cap the day, we all gathered for dinner at the oldest Restaurant in Europe (first officially noted in journals from travelers in 803 a.d.) right at the foot of Salzuburgs famous fortress, in the middle of the city that was birthplace or home to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Composer Johan Michael Haydn (Joseph Haydn's brother), Christian Doppler (discoverer of the Doppler-Effect), noted writers Stefan Zweig and Thomas Bernhard, musician and conductor Herber von Karajan, base-jumper Felix Baumgarten und Maria von Trapp who's life was documented in the american classic "The Sound of Music".

A stunning mix of cultural highligts and rustig grandeur- all packed together with a good bit of fun! A day which set a mark that was going to be hard to beat.

After "cooking" on the bikes all day, a cooling chill-off in a well near St- Peters Stift in Salzburg brought relief. Outside temp: 35° centigrade. Water temp 12°

Resume of the day: TOP SCORE

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DAY ZERO: Erding Germany

Getting briefed and gearing up for the trip may look like serious business... but actually this was just a an accidental moment of spontaneous sobriety.

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Add a comment Rate this post
Luis Ohara
Friday, June 27, 2014 at 22:45

Even considering my multiple mistakes and goofups, this has been the best experience I've had.
Great mates all, but my special thanks to Kevin & Joyce, and Don.
Skip.. Oban is great.
As for the guides, Ursula, Ramon and Paul, may greatest appreciation for your professionalism, care, attitude and support - you guys are simply the best.
Luis Ohara
Mexico
Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 00:05

Thanks Luis for the great praise. I promise you - next tour, smaller bike and all will be good.
Be save - keep in touch, I enjoyed your company and your leaned back attitude.
Have fun
Ursula
Robert Bent
Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 11:44

Thank you to all the character's that made the week so special to me.
What an experience to enjoy, I hope to see you on the Tuscany Tour 2015!!!!!!
Best regards
Rob Bent
Ursula Peter
Sunday, June 15, 2014 at 20:06

Hi to everybody,
where ever you are in the meantime - Istanbul, Scotland, Zürich , Vienna, Australia, Mexico or the US!
Thanks for your cooperation, the good talks, the fun we had and last not least I enjoyed riding with you.
I promise you it was just a taste of what`s out there on curvy roads, Alpine passes, good food, nice people and interesting cultural thing.
Gary wish you an awesome wedding celebration! Wade - you rock! Keep going!
Stay in touch - all the best
Ursula
Sunday, June 15, 2014 at 08:42

Thank to guides and colleagues for a memorable tour. Andrew and I had great times exploring this part of the world on the best vehicles to really see places and touch lives. Safe travels to all!
Sunday, June 15, 2014 at 11:17

It was a pleasure to have you both with us on the journey. Thanks for all the info you shared with me. Mentally you kept me hopping and even if I had to wait for you sometimes, I knew I could count on you hold your part as my sweeper. All the best to both of you. (Tour Guide Paul)
Monday, June 16, 2014 at 00:06

Here's another cultural nugget:
"But with the throttle screwed on there is only the barest margin, and no room at all for mistakes. It has to be done right ... and that's when the strange music starts, when you stretch your luck so far that fear becomes exhilaration and vibrates along your arms."
- Hunter S. Thompson (1965)
Monday, June 16, 2014 at 06:25

Thanks for the "nugget"... sounds like it could have been from me :0)
Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 21:41

G'day to all the fellow thrill seekers on the Alps & Lakes Tour. It is rare that an event lives up to the advertising and expectation of the participants; this trip excelled on all fronts. We had the best machines, riding, guides and friends with no shortage of scenery, food and most importantly curvy roads. Inspired to do many more. Jim & Lorraine.
P.S. We would ride through the mountains any time with Wade; a real gentleman.
Sunday, June 15, 2014 at 11:15

We're so happy that you trusted us enough to give you the time of your life. Look forward to having you back and seeing you again down the road. Keep riding, keep safe!
Hal Hodes
Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 06:42

What a great trip, what a great experience! I have been motorcycling for over 45 years and thought I had done some great touring...NOT! This trip, the roads, the views and the people set a much higher bar of excellence then I could have imagined. I called this trip one of my bucket list "must do's" because I have been battling Cancer and can't seem to defeat it! Now, I only hope to be able to survive long enough to experience several more of Edelweiss's great tours and people. Thank you Paul, Ursula and Ramone for your tireless work and excellent leadership this past week. Thank you all my fellow riders and new friends for what is at this point, the trip of a lifetime with what I hope is many more to come. Stay safe, helmet up, wheels down and wind in your face . Hal Hodes
Sunday, June 15, 2014 at 08:22

It was great to have you here Hal. Thanks for your moving comment and all the fun you brought to the tour. Wish you all the best... and a long time more for filling and doing your bucket of "must-dos". Sincerest greetings, paul
Robert Bent
Friday, June 13, 2014 at 06:59

Hi Bruce and Karen, Bob Highfill and I have adopted Wade as our new Dad, we have been having a blast with him and he is our hero and the champion of the trip.
Cheers Robert Bent and Bob Highfill.
Karen Walberg
Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 00:50

Hi Dad!!! Wade Brown... I hope you are haviing the time of your life!!!! I love you!!!!
Bruce Walberg
Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 00:49

Looking good pop. Karen and I hope your enjoying yourself. Thanks for the pic's
Bruce Walberg
Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 05:37

I think I see my father in-laws arms in the picture. Wade Brown. Keep an eye on him he's a speedster and has trouble with mountains. ask him about Colorado.
You guys have fun and be safe.
Bruce & Karen Walberg
Sunday, June 15, 2014 at 11:13

We had a great time together, and there is more to see than just his arms. Check it again and give our warmest greetings to your father-in-law. (tour guide paul)

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