Austria & Switzerland 2016
Having missed the Austria & Switzerland tour the last two times I was determined to make it this year.
Yes I can still hear you sniggering at me missing the tour due to losing my passport from my tank bag on the way to the ferry, and then last time things were a little more serious with me having to miss the tour for medical tests. Fortunately all was well and with gleaming new passport in my hand I was determined to make this year.
My faithful tail-end Charlie John abandoned me for a Rhone cruise, so I drafted Keith Lovett in to help out. Keith has done this tour so many times now his bike is probably on automatic. With his new bright green Z1000Sx and yellow jacket he was easy to spot, bit like the grasshopper that landed on Liz (see picture gallery)
With an excellent forecast I threw caution to the wind and set off with my lightweight jacket. My trusty Shoei helmet cast aside in favour of a new BMW flip up complete with blue tooth – I am slowly moving to the dark side – just did not realise it cost so much to do so !
Had a good ride to Austria, clocking up 5 countries along the way – some even managed a 6th – but we will say no more about that. Weather was fair, with sunshine and beautiful blue skies to accompany us as we entered Austria via the Fluela pass.
Our stay in the Kaunertal was excellent; everyone went off in different directions to tick off the pass of their choice from the bucket list. Surprisingly (or perhaps not) everyone enjoyed spending a few hours going up to the Kaunertal Glacier, I guess with a glacier, great views, good restaurant and some cracking roads it has everything wants .
As usual for me, the highlight was the Furkha and Grimsel passes as we rode from Austria to Grindelwald in Switzerland. I remember being blown away by the view the first time I ever saw them and my opinion has not changed. We passed the Rhone Glacier, source of the river and wondered if Uncle John would be sailing on any of the water that was cascading down the mountain side.
Think just one bike went out during our stay in Grindelwald, everyone grabbed the last of the good weather to go up the Jungfrau by train before the clouds rolled in that evening and the rain began.
Our next day to the final night in France was wet ! Some escaped better than others but the generally opinion was that it was definitely wet…….
That was our allocated rain and the run to the ferry stayed dull but dry. The only excitement that day was that my alarm (despite assurances from Datatool) was effected by the radio mast in Zeebrugge and I had to ride onto the ferry with alarm blaring. Actually I don’t really think it should really have let me start the bike – anyway it is now fixed and still gurgling away at the bottom of the dustbin..