Saturday, July 04, 2015

The European Trip, Day 27 - Fourth of July Riding on Four Passes

Happy Birthday to my adoptive country!  Today I spent it showing the flag (little one on the left shoulder of my riding jacket) around four very nice mountain passes in Switzerland.

Today I woke early and was on the road by 5:35AM heading towards Furka Pass to get the mountain peaks visible from there with the early morning sunlight if possible.

No cow stau this early in the morning so no problem getting up there in time to see the sun begin to paint the top portion of the mountain peaks with light.

The town of Realp, Switzerland

On the way up to Furka Pass Summit from Realp

Same spot, as last night's pictures

Another view of the peaks from further west of the 
Furka Pass Summit area.

Once you twist and turn your way down on the western side of Furka Pass Road, you can get a look at what's awaiting you to climb up to the summit of Grimsel Pass.

Road to Grimsel Pass

Besides shops, there wasn't much else to take pictures of
at the Grimsel Pass Summit, but the scenery got better
as I headed now east towards Sustenpass.

The other side of Grimsel Pass

Following pictures are taken after Grimsel Pass and before Sustenpass.  The many short rock tunnels along the way gave me an idea.

The view from the eastern side of Sustenpass Road

After Sustenpass, it was steady riding with still some twists and turns thrown in along with a few small towns, until I arrived once again in Andermatt, just south of my starting point in the town of Goschenen.  Took me just shy of two hours, but as you know, I stop a lot and when moving was moving at URAL speed.  

Andermatt, Switzerland

From Andermatt, it was cruising on the road to Chur heading towards Lichstenstein.

There was one more pass to bag, the Oberalpass:

I almost blinked and missed the summit of Overalppass, 
it wasn't too twisty or difficult of pass.

Looking back towards the summit of Oberalppass

Made it to Liechtenstein with no issues in terms of riding.  Did have some trouble finding internet access as I didn't have an data sim that would "roam" within Austria.  I had booked a hotel in the town of Amermulen but no wifi, so no route.  I don't have a dedicated GPS, using an app on the iphone which supposedly works when offline but not to do the inital route planning; and if you deviate, it doesn't re-route without internet access.  Kind of dissapointing.

I overheard a local man talking in English to his little daughter and I asked him for help.  His English was very good and he told me that once you go into the Zentrum or City Center (we were in Feldkirch, which I knew was "close" to the hotel) that the city provides free wifi.  Score!

He also looked up the route on Googlemaps and gave me some directions as well.

I thanked the man and after waving to his little daughter (who kept eyeing me suspiciously),  I motored over a few blocks and found the free wifi.  Got the route downloaded to my phone and off I went.

Found the hotel at the top of a big hill, quite steep that driveway, you must maintain momentum or you'll smoke the clutch on the rig!

The hotel reception desk wasn't manned, heck the front doors were locked.  There was a number to call but again, no data/cellphone sim for Austria.  I took a chance and guessed at what the hotel wifi password would be and guessed correctly!

Now with Internet access, made a VOIP (voice over IP) call to the hotel's manager Anton, he came over in under ten minutes and got me checked in.  I am waiting out the heat of the afternoon as I craft this posting.  All the locals are saying it's been one heck of a summer so far in terms of heat and humidity!  Just my luck.

Oh, I did ride a few miles within the confines of Liechtenstein, it looked he same as Austria or Italy to my eyes!  So I decided to stay in a hotel in Austria instead of worrying about exchanging money and such.  I don't know if I'll do any touristy things in the morning before continuing my way east.

Am debating, Garmish-Partenkirchen or Bolzano?


redlegsrides said...

Oh! Forgot to mention....on the way to Sustenpass, I think, I saw another black URAL rig! We waved at each other excitedly but were going in opposite directions!

RichardM said...

I really like the sunrise photo and the framing with the tunnels. Nice effect.

So now into hacking wi-fi...

redlegsrides said...

Well, the password was the name of the hotel....go figure. I think I would like to learn to hack the passwords for wifi access points. Hmmmm.

SonjaM said...

Dom, it is in fact fairly common that hotels use their hotel name for passwords, however in Germany you usually have to be a checked in guest and will get a user password that is often quite complicated...

Great you had the opportunity to do rule of three by mountain passes. We enjoyed it very much.

I would go towards Bolzano, however, be aware that summer vacation time has started in Italy and France, and accommodation might become a bit more challenging.

redlegsrides said...

SonjaM, so not Garmisch? I fear vacation has started in all countries by now.....I see more and more families packed into cars and campers now on the road.

Bolzano intrigues me, and google earth shows it near many mountains.

SonjaM said...

Dom, not too much into Garmisch as summer destination. It is rather well known for winter activities. And yes, you are right, vacation has started in most states of Germany, too, and lots of places will be even more crowded.

Rockweiller99 said...

Incredible pictures Dom, can't wait until I get to ride the Alps!!

redlegsrides said...

Yep it'll be more crowded but we shall see

redlegsrides said...

Thank you Rockweiller99.

ToadMama said...

Ah, lovely. Your tunnel pictures are very cool. I like that idea of yours. :-)