Or as I call it ...... My Transapline trip.
Trans-Alpine - London to Campania and Back - September 2007
I had lived in the UK for about a year and half when Sherry decided that she need to go home to Texas. After a year in Chicago and 18 months in the UK without a bike.......something had to give!!! So with the girlfriend gone I bought a brand new BMW R1200GS (just like Charlie McGregor :-)) and moved from Basingstoke to London Proper. Two things that I always wanted to do...and I mean ALWAYS from being like 2 years old!!!.....was SCUBA dive in the Aegean and ride through the ALPS. The first was satisfied when Sherry and I visited Santorini (Thera), but that's a story for another day. I had this trip planned from mid summer, little did I know that this would be my last hurrah while I was living n Europe. I accepted a job in Canada on the day I returned. Anyway, I decided to combine my lust for riding in the Alps with my lifelong facination with all things Roman and make Pompeii my end destination. So...a route planned and I was off.
On the First day I did the typical early morning Channel crossing and blasted through France & Belgium into Germany where I made my first tourist stop in Cologne (Koln). I didn't stop long...and those of you who have ridden with me can sympathize.....but I did check out the Cathedral. I am fascinated by Gothic architecture, but it is always intriguing to see something different. This thing is massive.
I continued on to spend the night in Wurzberg. I had a good meal and was up-n-atem early in the morning for my trip through Bavaria and into Austria. On the way I made a protracted stop in Rothenburg. This is nice German walled city and is often describe as the quintessential medieval walled town. I snacked on Brezel (pretzel) and climbed the walls and such. I have lots of pix, but for this post, here's the central market.
Continuing on, I passed by Schloss Neuschawnstein in the Bavarian Alps. It was a hazy day but you can easily see how this was the inspiration for Cinderella's castle.
I crossed into Austria and made my way to Innsbruck for the evening. I only knew this town from hosting the winter Olympics when I was a kid, but MAN! what beautiful place. I still haven't made it to Vienna, but since I was in Austria, I dined on Wiener Schnitzel and beer....it was good. Here's a shot of the famous Golden Roof of the Ducal palace with the Alps in the background.
The next day gets interesting.
As I got into Alps to cross into Italy, my favorite riding finally began. Here's a shot of the pass heading down into Italy. HeeHeeHee...............................
Passing though Riva on my though Trento, I had my "incident". While I don't claim to be blameless, my insurance company insists that I am. I won't tell the entire story because...frankly..it is my best motorcycling story and really needs the Italian accents to make it work...many of you have heard it. Suffice it to say that another motorcycle crashed into me and the rider suffered a severely fractured tibia from when it hit my Tourtech cylinder guards (ouch). My BMW suffered minor damage, but I was able to continue on the remaining 2000 miles of the trip with no problems.
I continued on from there to Verona for the evening. I had a great meal...no idea what it was, but I find that I'm pretty good at letting the locals pick me something good :-) ...... Nice town
It was raining the next morning...the only rain on the trip...as I headed out through the fairly industrial North East coast to one of my minor, but necessary, goals...crossing the Rubicon. It's funny, when my nephew graduated high school in 2005, I was working on my plans for my assignment in Europe and I remember during his graduation dinner telling the table that one the things I really wanted to do was to cross the Rubicon. I got a few blank stares, but my 18 year old nephew came back with "the die is cast"....I knew he'd be alright :-) So here it is...me and the mighty GS crossed the Rubicon...just like Caesar (well, maybe not :-))
Here's a close up of the road sign "via Rubicone". It parallels the river.
I crossed through Umbria...beautiful country side. I didn't stop in, but Assisi from a distance is impressive
I continued on to Perugia for the evening....wonderful walled city in the mountains. It was Porcini mushroom season....need I say more? yum! Here's a shot of one of the narrow medieval alley's
I was near the apogee (incorrect usage..but you get it) of my trip and settled into my hotel in Naples the next day and dined on pizza Margherita as originally intended.
I spent a couple of days in Naples. All I can say is this place is nuts. I rode my bike through the city and felt like I was driving in ShenZehn. The only rule is that you are responsible for what is in front of you...not what for what is behind you. It is an experience....If you have driven in Naples..let's share experiences.......
I went on a day trip to Pompeii...WOW fucking WOW! I took about a million pictures and I won't bore you with them all, but I can't believe how much of real Roman life has been captured. I could go back, that's for sure. I also visited Herculaneum. If you can only visit one, do Pompeii, but do NOT miss Herculaneum unless you have to.
I told you that I won't bore you with tons of pictures of ruins, but here is one of the city with Vesuvius in the background. The clouds make it look ominous.
And I couldn't leave you without a shot of one of the castings that haunted me from when I was a kid and saw them in National Geographic
While in Naples, I couldn't pass up the museum which now houses most of the treasures unearthed in Pompeii and Herculaneum. OK, I'll admit it....I have a thing for Roman Mosaics....I seek them out. Here's one of the better known ones.
...and since this is going to be posted on ADVRider.....They have section of erotic art.....and yes....this is Pan havin' relations with a goat :-)