A Travellerspoint blog

CORTINA d'AMPREZZO to IMOLA : JUNE 21 & 22

Toscano = Fantastico !!!

Yesterday (Sunday) we rode from Cortina to Imola - not very exciting trip. (no photos)
Leaving Cortina we were diverted up through the mountains for about 60kms to Belluno, back on the Autostrada for the rest of the trip.
We stopped at a Service station for fuel where another couple on a GS fuelled up as well, joining us shortly after they stayed with us for about 100kms, passing when we did, dropping in behind again, until they turned off at Bologna. They must have really enjoyed the ride as they tooted and waved happily, thumbs up, when they departed.
The Autostrada might be a quick way to travel across country but it is very expensive - our trip cost Euro - 41.20 (approx. $62) 2 Bikes cost double, and we did cover about 250kms.
We arrived at Imola early afternoon, our Hotel is very nice but Imola is not a very exciting town. Great value Hotel and close to great roads is the advantage here.

Today we went for a ride up over the passes. Lovely day for a ride Under The Tuscan Sun !!

From Bologna to Florence is the SS65 - Ducati allegedly developed the Multistrada Motorbike with this pass in mind.
I can understand why. Lovely long sweeping bends, good road condition, great views if you can take your eyes of the road, only disadvantage is the small villages where you have to slow down, most of the locals don't bother. BMW F700GS also handles this road very well, I would love to do it on a sport bike like the R1200RS !!

The scenery was stunning all day.
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Nougat enjoyed his day in Tuscany.
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We stopped at the Passo-della Raticosa "Chalet" for a break.
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Spotted the new BMW XR 1000 - quite sure it would be a lot of fun on this road.

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Spot the Aussie Sticker -
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Continuing on down to Borgo S Lorenzo we then turned back up toward Faenza, the first part was not all that exciting but after Marradi we let the GPS loose with instructions to take us home - and she did.

Taking a "short cut" across through Riolo Terme the scenery was stunning, lots of vineyards, olive plantations, apricots and lovely fruity aromas, mostly on a very narrow road - great trip.
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Back at Imola we could not miss a visit to the Autodromo.
This is where 3 time Formula One World Champion Ayerton Senna crashed into the concrete barrier during an event on May 1st 1994. He died at the scene.
There is a Bronze statue in the parkland beside the Autodromo, amazingly people still come regularly to pay their respects and leave tributes.

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"I think I'm very far from a way of life that I would like" is engraved on a plaque on his statue.

This afternoon we walked into Imola and were pleasantly surprised, the town square is nice, and very relaxing place to sit "people watching"

Tomorrow is another day in Tuscany.

Posted by MKaye 12:24 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

CORTINA - JUNE 20th

Mad Cows and horizontal snow

Just a short ride today up to Tre Croci - 1809m and then on to Tre Cime di Lava (Drei Zinnen)

Of course I had to put an Aussie sticker on the sign

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always a "photo bomber" in the way

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Shortly before we got to Lago di Misurina I had a chat with a local

Ciao Bella Maria - how are you ?
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and so we chatted for a while - catching up on the local news - she was quite interested - bi-lingual cows here apparently

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The Dolimites are always stunning

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Peter and Dale arrived - Dale hanging off the back madly taking photos -
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At the top was the most exciting - I love snow - and it was snowing - freezing cold - but snow - yayyy

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Snow is coming down heavier now - time to leave

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and here's a photo that got missed from last night - Nougat & Blinky joined in the birthday celebrations - not sure what the people at the other tables thought - oh well, we all had fun.
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Posted by MKaye 07:34 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

CORTINA - JUNE 19th

Just "Passing" time today

Happy birthday Jo - what a fantastic place to enjoy being chauffeured around on your birthday.

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(taken at Passio Giau later in the day - my favourite photo of the day)
First stop was the stunning Passo Falzarego - always different and well worth doing again, and again !

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Next stop was the Passo Lagazuoi - stunning rocks

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Then lunch at the Passo di Gardena -
Couldn't resist one more photo of the switch-backs
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Next stop at Passo di Sella, Aitch placed his GS in position for the perfect photo, along came Steve and "photo bombed"
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Then across through Passo di Fedaia and the stunning Lake below Marmolada
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Just below Passo Giau - 2233m we stopped for another photo shot - Aitch & Myself are quite happy to spend time just wandering around looking and taking photos of the stunning scenery -
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but after a while we get the feeling we are getting the "hurry up" look -
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yep - time to move on.

At the top of the Pass we only had a few minutes as the weather was starting to close in on us - just enough time for a few quick shots

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Home time now - we have a birthday party tonight !
Peter and Dale had arrived at hour hotel shortly before we got back.
We all sat around enjoying a few birthday drinks and lots of laughter.
Eventually we went in to dinner - delicious yet again !! And a little bit of mucking around -
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Later (should have done this much earlier) we had a group shot to record the event
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Posted by MKaye 07:05 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

MARREBE ENNEBERG to CORTINA d AMPREZZO - JUNE 18th

Werner & Harald : True Blue Aussie Mates !

Along the way it is so easy to make friends : more on that later.
The Dolimiti Passes are our absolute favourites, today in glorious sunshine was no exception - stunning day!!

After leaving the Hotel Condor at Marrebe Enneberg we headed toward Cortina, with a few passes in between.
First was the Passo di Gardena 2137m (Grodner Joch) Absolutely stunning and fantastic riding, very gently sweeping hair-pin bends. Yes, we are doing them again - but these are great with fantastic views.
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and the bikes kept coming in their dozens -
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At the top of the pass we stopped for a quick break and were immediately pounced upon by two Austrians. - Have you got any Aussie stickers, we would love some ?? Well of course we did and they are right at the bottom of the bag so Steve obliged and got them out.

How to make an Austrian happy - give him stickers for his bike.
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Breathe in Werner - gotta look trim for this photo !
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Then because we are now the best of friends we went into the Restaurant for coffee. What a hilarious experience.

First we are trying to explain to Werner and Harald (yes spelling is correct) where we have been - apparently they speak English !!! Not so sure about that. We kept repeating ourselves - in the end Werner asked - "so are you still speaking English"? Yes mate we are ! After repeating ourselves several more times we resorted to writing it down. Finally sorted that out.
Next question was about Miles and Kilometres - 'oh do you really use kilometres in Australia"? Yes mate, we're not that backyward you know !
So do you also have electricity actually in the house - yes mate !
What about the toilet, is that in the house as well - "what the Dunny Mate - yes of course its in the house"
Now we have to explain what a Dunny is - you can see this conversation went on for a very long time.
I think he was taking the Mickey out of us a bit - (in case you are reading this Werner and Harald : that means you were teasing us)
Now its time to go so as I said goodbye I also said we might bump into you down the road a bit.
Shock Horror : you are going to do what - I thought we were friends. No no, Werner that means we might see each other again, not actually crash into each other. Aussie slang is hard work sometimes.
Safe travels guys it was lovely having a chat today - enjoy those stickers.

Next was Passo Sella 2240m, another stunning one
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and those hair pin bends just keep coming - lots of buses today too - I met one right on the corner - much to my horror - bus driver thought my facial expression was rather funny - apparently !!

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and the final one for the day Passo Falzarego 2117m
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Late afternoon we arrived at Cortina and the Hotel Pontechiesa, our home for the next 3 nights.
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Harold and Jo arrived just after us so we unpacked and went for a walk around the lovely town.
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Typical tourist has to put his big paw out and spoil my photo -
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Guess who ??IMG_3481__683x1024_.jpg

Posted by MKaye 13:36 Archived in Italy Comments (1)

RAUTH to MAREBBE-ENNEBERG

Passed over Passes

Achievement day - more on that later !!
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Last night we were transported by mini-bus to Hotel Mondschein for dinner. After so much time on the bikes being in a motor vehicle, with the driver on the wrong side, driving on the wrong side, was a very weird experience. We have no problem riding on the right hand side. Zooming through twisty roads to the Hotel was a whole different experience !!!

Dinner was fantastic, unbelievable food considering we are in the middle of nowhere.
Leaving Hotel Rider (at Rauth) we decided it was time to tackle the Timmelsjoch Pass. For those who followed our trip in 2013 you may recall this as the Pass we went over in total white out - we had absolutely no idea where we were. Could not see anything except the white line on the side of the road which seemed to go on forever.

Thanks to a map we found at Rider Hotel we found a great little road to wind our way to Merano. Views were amazing !!

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Today was totally different on the Timmelsjoch Pass (2474m) - it is a stunning pass.

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Visibility was not good at the top - but at least we could see where we were.
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Steve pretending to be a Snow Man -
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A GS will go anywhere -

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Hard to believe this Cyclist is actually stripping off right here - it is "freezing" beyond belief -
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3 degrees - time to get out of here -
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Going back down we got a very clear view of the road - and those edges - even more scarey now I can see where we actually were back in 2013
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and a few more hair-pins just when I thought I was done !!
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the sun is shining and it is much warmer now
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Next stop was the Jaupenpass (2094m) and lunch - Goulash, my new favourite soup !!

Bikes were coming and going constantly and stopping for a quick look.

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We arrived at the Hotel Condor late afternoon, had a swim in the lovely pool followed by a Multi spray shower (7 nozzles) - time to relax and enjoy dinner. Again a set Menu - Tirolean specialty of the region - amazing food.

Tomorrow we go to Cortina d'Amprezzo to catch up with the others.

Note : Just had a chat with a fellow traveller, it seems we are famous, they all know there is a group of Australians touring around, catching up here and there. Everybody knows about us......it's those Number plates and stickers giving us away.

Posted by MKaye 00:00 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

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