Epic ride through Dolomites and Alps - part 1

By John Harden, 23/12/2013 14:07:47
Well, this ride report is a few years late, but spare me the bitchin' as I've been busy!!!
Well, this ride report is a few years late, but spare me the bitchin' as I've been busy!!!

Right up front, it needs to be said that the love of my life allowed her husband to take 2+ weeks off from home/wife/children to travel to Europe for work/fun (mostly fun). 

A few days of work was followed by about 10 days of motorcycling Nirvana through Germany, Austria, then on into Italy and the Dolomite's, followed by a run over to Switzerland to visit their Alps.

Very unlike me, but I kept a detailed diary of my trip. So far this is all from memory. Eventually, I'll need to pull out the diary to make more sense of the dates and place names. 

In any event... I arranged for the bike in advance. It was delivered to my hotel in Karlsruhe, Germany by the rental agency. Bike was brand new with only 22 kilometers on the odometer. That would change...

First order of business was to put gas in the darn thing and head out of town. This wasn't as easy as you'd think. I had a stroke of luck in that the rental place arranged for a Zumo 550 to be installed for me, which is exactly the same unit I have on my GS Adv here at home. Nevertheless, even after changing out languages, kilo's for miles, etc., I was still having problems navigating through the busy city streets.

Didn't take long too figure out that I should just ignore the pronunciations of the streets and not try to frantically figure out which sign matched the audio cues, as this only resulted in me making multiple loops through traffic circles. All I really needed to do was listen for Karen (Aussie lady pre-programmed by Garmin) to say turn "NOW" and immediately lean and trust in her wisdom.

I'm married, so doing what I'm told was easy....

In any event, once I learned to trust Karen, I made my way out of Karlsruhe and headed South towards the Italian Dolomites by way of Austria.

Nice, long ride with great tunes in my ear phones to keep me entertained. Had a little bit of rain, but kept the speed up high to make time. Stopped for lunch, gas and 4 or 5 hours or so later, I arrived here.

After a brief stop for a few Austrian souvenirs, it was back on the road headed to Italy. 

My wife and I spent two nights in Modena on our honeymoon years before and this sign brought back memories, so I had to pull over and take a pic.

My immediate destination was Corvara, Italy. Very quaint little Alpine village that caters to motorcyclists. It was late in the season and getting cold at altitude, so motorcycle traffic and tourists was getting pretty thin. 

This was perfect for me as I don't like crowds or guided tours. My goal was to be on my own and to simply have the time of my life....


Food in Italy is wonderful, cheap, and plentiful. Mountain towns are the best for this as they don't see nearly the tourist traffic that the bigger cities do. 

Obligatory food pic:

The Italians have a wonderful sense of humor....

They also make beatiful scenery. Given that it was so late in the season, it was easy to pull over and frame a nice shot.

Still, it was getting late in the day and cold. Notice the temp gauge on the bike. 0.0C Brrrrrr!!!!!

Corvara is a beautiful little mountain villiage high in the Dolomites with all the modern amenities.

Hotel Posta Zirm was gorgeous, warm and very inviting.

The room was large, warm, clean and comfortable.

View from my hotel balcony wasn't bad either.....






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