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Grand Alps Tour - Why go small, when you can go GRAND? (CGA2302)

Sunday, September 24, 2023 | Wim Doms / Eugen Gebert | Europe

It's time to hit the Alps! 

And just about... all of them  

The Grand Alps Tour, that's 13 riding days, from Austria to Switzerland, through Liechtenstein and France, and Italy just for good measure. Grand, that is. Come join us on our mountain road adventure!

Day 1 - Arrival day

First things first: we need some bikes! And we seem to need a whole lot of 1250 RT's for this tour => the weapon of choice for seven of our 10 guest riders. Add one GS, one Ducati Multistrudl and a shiny Harley Davidson, and what you get is a tasty cocktail of two-wheeled ingredients.
Second things second: we need some info! And that was provided during welcome briefing!
And third things third: we need some... food! Got that checked also, during a cosy welcome dinner (minus our two Steves, sadly, but after lots of airline troubles they did make it for a delicious breakfast the very next morning.

Day 2 - Seefeld to Galtür - Warming up!

Green Alpine meadows and a perfect macchiato... Huwaida has a moment of quiet reflection on the very first morning in stunning Kühtai scenery.
First morning and the views are already... erm... quite grand!
With a few pass roads closed for roadworks, tourguides Eugen and Wim built a little extra into the route to compensate: Kaunertal gletscher road!
Not too shabby for compensation landscapes...
And riding through them is simply amazing! Mind the cow pizzas though...
RT's are big. Alps are bigger.

Day 3 - Galtür to Andermatt - Switzerland, here we come!

Time for our second riding day, and that starts with a morning briefing by Eugen.
What a view at our lunch place at Walensee!
Hasher & Huwaida on their way to Klausenpass with a beautiful scenery around them
The Harley is in very good hands! No other then the Swiss MC legend Urs "Zett" controls that hell of a ride like nobody else
is this real life? no filters needed!
Can't decide whats more beautiful. the scenery or our bikes?? Must be the mix of both!
"Meet the locals", we say. "Gotta practice first", Rob says.

Day 4 - Rest day Andermatt - That Swiss feeling

A restday? After just two days on the road? Well, you'd be surprised how riding these Alpine twisties can wear you out. So a welcome restday in Andermatt it was. 

But does a restday mean "no riding"? Not necessarily! 
Rob, Doug and Mike said: we go hit the passes! So three big 1250 RT's went out for a big loop around the mountain roads surrounding Andermatt. 

Meanwhile, tourguide Eugen took out another part of the group for a shorter, but still pretty awesome loop around Sustenpass, Grimselpass and Furkapass... Not exactly a "lttle" ride either! 

And the rest of the group had a nice and relaxing day just hanging around. 

Options, variation, different things to do: Grand Alps at its best! 

Some of us actually went... to church! And a "Grand" looking one too!
Relaxing stroll around town after breakfast. Wonderful way to spend a sunny morning.
Bob seems to enjoy the glaciers of the alps AND his motorcycle!
Oh! Isn't that a familiar logo on the Sustenpass sign?
After the breathtaking ride we made it to top of the Sustenpass
Bob, the weather after lunch will be just fine!
is that Grimsel?

Day 5 - Andermatt to Chamonix - From German to French

Wim and the gang at the daily briefing. Weatherforecast doesnt look all to well...
Heavy clouds hanging over Furkapass. We barely see anything. We're still going, French Alps are waiting!
We did manage to sneak in a view here and there...
... which Hasher celebrated in his always very bubbly happy way!
Met a bunch of old cars along the way at the bottom of Nufenen pass, and Bob knew straight away which one he preferred. A Lancia it was. Well... the man is riding the Alps on an Italian bike...
On to Chamonix it went! Where some fancy looking food awaited

Day 6 - Chamonix to Briançon - La route des... Grandes Alpes!

Bonjour Mont Blanc! This may well turn out to be an epic day of twisties...
Well... could start a lot worse, right? Espresso time on Col des Saisies. Our first of many mountain roads today!
Don't we look all... well... grand?
A bit further on, Steve wondered for a moment which sign to follow... No worries, he did follow "Col de la Madeleine" in stead of... well... this one.
On top of the Madeleine, some proper local Savoyard ham was found!
And Steve was admiring the local bicycles too! Lighter than the ham, actually.
Many more bicycles would follow on Col du Télégraphe.
Next up? Tour de France heaven! Col du Galibier in all its glory!
Guess those famous road markings everywhere are not really for us... But we imagine the roaring crowds and feel just a little like Eddy Merckx (note: only cycling superstar known by Belgian blog editor)
Urs conquers it, confidently, on his trusty Harley!
Epic skies on top. With impressive vultures in the air!
That view...
Which way now? Urs knows!

Day 7 - Rest day Briançon - Where Vauban meets twisties

Briançon... That city filled with history (and cheese where famous french architect Vauban built one of the monumental fortresses for Louis XIV. 

A couple of our guests went out exploring the old town on foot. Tourguide Eugen took another funky bunch on  a wonderful restday ride towards Col de l'Izoard, while the endurance trio in our group went out to explore some tiny little backroads on their own. 

Different options, many things to do. Sounds like an Edelweiss rest day, that! 

Next to our quirky hotel, some brand new urban street art is born. Such a precise job!
Our hotel, in business since... 1892! Urban street art probably didn't exist back then.
Somewhere out on a restday free ride, perfect coffee was served!
And after coffee, hidden passes were conquered.
The rest days are perfect relaxing days. Here we visited Mont Dauphine
Col d'Izoard here we go!
After a relaxing ride, Urs met some more local wildlife.

Day 8 - Briançon to Aosta - From ham heaven to... erm... ham heaven

Leaving the Savoie region in France, where the "jambon de Savoie" is always so tasty, would make you sad. Not on Grand Alps though, as we head to Val d'Aosta in.Italy. Guess what they make there? Yup! More ham! But also many other tasty things. Let's go find out! 

Briançon sent us off with a wonderful last "au revoir"!
Hello Susa! Thank you for the fine italian espresso!
Let's not stop on Col de L'Izeran! It's just too cold, rainy, windy.
Cary and Cinthi at Col du petit Saint Bernard
What's up, Eric?

Day 9 - Aosta to Lugano - Twisties like nowhere else in the world

First stop: Castel Bard! Very historical place. Some quite historical Steves posing too!
Speaking of history: how's this for a place? The old Roman road which used to be the only way through Val d'Aosta. Over 2000 (!) years old! Pavement today has gotten somewhat better, luckily.
Here's a top tip: when in Italian rural villages, look for the lunch places where there is not a single tourist, but the entire local population...
Because that... is where the ultimate pizza's are!
And, even more importantly: the ul-ti-ma-te espresso. Perfection, in all its glory!
Heading into Italy's famous lake district, our guys didn't really look at the lakes itself that much... But they are very good at spotting the fish in it, apparently...
Oh... and also getting very good at parking. Italian style
Time then to see the Lago Maggiore up close and personal
Hasher: captain of the ferry!
And as the sun starts to set, Eric and Urs reflect on a crazy twisty riding day. Exchanging stories on the lake.
And then, at the end.of it all, how can you end a wonderful riding day better than this?

Day 10 - Lugano to Livigno - Sounds similar. But very different.

Todays riding part was wet, rainy and foggy. Still we had an awesome day riding. First we explorer the smallest italian villages along the lakeside of Lake Lugano and Lake Como. We grabbed a perfect italian espresso, conquered the Maloja Pass, visiting Sankt Moritz and after a completely fogged Bernina Pass we turned left to Levigno, where suddenly the fog disapeared.

Lake Como! You are beautiful!
Hasher & Huweida
Is that.... Edelweiss?!

Day 11 - Livigno to Klobenstein - Into wineland!

Tourguide Eugen explains. Hasher poses
It was always going to be THE highlight of the tour, right? And after leaving a dreary, grey and even rainy Livigno, Stelvio delivered!
Built two centuries ago. Simply mind-boggling!
Cary's dream came true!
In Klobenstein, we were all excited to exchange our stories of the day! Resident dog Max has heard too many Stelvio-stories already.

Day 12 - Restday Klobenstein - Dolomites all over!

Good Mornin Klobenstein! Let's go for a rest day ride!
Huweida relaxing at the coffeestop
Beautiful view from Penegal over the Bolzano Valley
Rest day ride, rest day reward: bootbeer time!

Day 13 - Klobenstein to Kaprun - Our final mountain highlights

Dolomites sunrise... Simply... epic!
We're not leaving the Dolomites without a proper look at them, right? So a little pass riding loop over Passo Delle Erbe (the pass of herbs...) was on!
Scenery turned up to 11!
All the way down to the valley, and there we found this! The best restaurant in town... ran by...
Michelin-starred chef Eugen!
At a picnic... boys will be boys!
No really... they will!
After picnic, time for the final huge mountain.pass highlight of the tour: Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse, the full option version: with the glacier view at Franz Josephs Höhe!
Epic... epic... views. No wait: Grand views! Grand Alps, right?

Day 14 - Kaprun to Mieming - The final... rainy highlights of Grand Alps

The final briefing! We'll miss this the coming mornings...
And off we are! Final leg of Grand Alps!
Whole day was rainy. So there are not a lot of pictures. But there is a beautiful one from our Lunch place at Lake Achen!
Urs got a sweater as a reward for his 10th ride with Edelweiss! Just very few people own one!
After work party with singing Hasher
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Add a comment Rate this post
Mark Zaremba
Friday, September 15, 2023 at 00:32

Guys, very nice blog to read! And even nicer to see Eugen twice riding during our tour. Enjoy guys and see you soon
Dominik Nattkamp
Thursday, September 14, 2023 at 11:43

Hey Wim, hey Eugen have a nice Trip
Claudia - Nicole Wenhart
Wednesday, September 13, 2023 at 23:53

Hey Wim,
have a nice tour and a lot of sunshine hopefully.
Greetings to Huweida and Hasher.
Have fun.


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