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Old 10-14-2010, 01:50 AM   #1
BigMark OP
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Tiger Tracks (Euro Trip) UK - Alps - Balkans & Back

This is my first ride report, not sure I can hold an audience actually, so be gentle

The route we have just come back from started in the UK then France – Switzerland – Italy – Croatia – Bosnia – Montenegro – Albania – Macedonia – Serbia and then back

The roads were variable

















I made notes each day as we went and this will be written as such.
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Old 10-14-2010, 01:56 AM   #2
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The Night Before.

Emma has taken the reigns and took on the responsibility of packing the essentials, a direct testament to my past failures undertaking the same task. Apparently two pairs of pants and a toothbrush doesn’t meet the requirements of a multi week trip!
Looking on the plus side it is I that sit here annoying the cat and writing our very first update while Emma is downstairs with the bike convinced we are forgetting some miscellaneous essential.
We are only packing for three days; the plan is to do laundry this often even if in a Hotel bath tub. Emma has been shopping and has brought a whole bunch of outdoor terrain clothing which is for hiking, easily washable and quick drying. A great idea for such a trip! Although none of it is particularly fashionable, it is very practical “Well done Emma”. This bright idea has saved us a mass of space and we can get all we need inside the stock panniers and a tank bag which contains just paperwork and a camera for easy access.

We are going to be staying in Hotels, Pensions, B&B or whatever we can find for what we think is a reasonable budget of £100 per night in the EU and £60 per night outside of the EU (that’s for both of us and including breakfast).
Daily expenditure is really difficult to work out but I have put an average limit of £75 per day spending money and £20 per day fuel. (Again for the both of us)
We now after 50 days of grief have a green card issued with our new insurance company “Group Armour” who for £30 issue a Green Card for pretty much everywhere in Europe. This should see us through the borders and more importantly cover us if something goes sour. The only unknown we have not considered is the rumour of over excited Border Guards & Police who we hear sometimes charge a tourist fee for imaginary violations and non-existent paperwork discrepancies.

Looks to me like there is just about enough time left in the day to sip back on a cold beer, Charge up the camera batteries, dust off the compass and make a quick call informing mother in law she needs to feed & water the furry scratching thing each day until we get back.

Big day tomorrow! We have the ferry booked for the crack of noon, so it’s time to close the lid on this thing and hit the sack.

I know photos are expected with every Ride Report post and they will be numerous. For this post it was a toss-up between the Cat and the Mother-In-Law. I am playing it safe so here is the cat…

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Old 10-14-2010, 02:17 AM   #3
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18th September "En Route"

The next two days are more about getting somewhere than exploring so bear with me!






We are awake, bike is fully loaded and fuelled, the sun is shining and we are ready to go.



I had my Data tool alarm removed as I don’t have enough trust in its reliability to take a chance and that’s a good enough reason for me. I have reverted back to the Old technology security system.




We planned on making it at least half way to Switzerland today. No route in mind just straight A-B. With a belly full of Porridge and a strong coffee we hit the road and leave our Village Of Goudhurst behind.








Goudhurst (Home) to The Channel Tunnel is a straight forward bumble through the weald of Kent which is nice, yet very crowded. Along the A262 through to Tenterden and then along the A28 to Ashford where we join the M20 for the last 15 minutes of England and then just follow the road markings




When we reach the Chunnel (as it’s known) the first customs/border check point of the trip always helps the holiday feeling sink in. No problems here of course, it’s all fairly civilised and we are not even asked to remove our helmets, just waved through with a smile.



The Chunnel was as expected, a long train with cars on it, bikes at the very back!








If you get stopped at the French side it is worth knowing that “We are the scouting party for the English invasion” is not the best response when asked “why did you cross the channel today”

“Bon Voyage” The next 2 hours went like this; SLAB-SLAB-SLAB- (Tap on the shoulder) – “Yes Dear”- “Get of the bloody highway!” I followed my orders and left on the very next slip road where Emma explained with conviction that this was NOT an Iron Butt ride and as such the Highway is now off limits unless absolutely essential. Emma consulted the map and pointed at a spot that looked relatively out in the sticks and off we trundled.

The French sure do look after the roundabouts.



We stopped for lunch and for 5 Euros we got plenty of road food and had lunch with the French Politician Camille Desmoulin in Guise.






More French Flat Roads As the Sun went down it was time to find a Hotel





As luck would have it we stumbled across the best hotel room money can buy! A Formule 1 in Battencourt-La-Feree. £30.00



It was dark and chilly by the time we arrived and we found that it was not just us suffering this Hotel. Other bikers on their way back home after a few days in the Swiss Alps where they reported it was chucking it down with rain. Hopefully by the time we get there it will have rained itself dry.



In one of these places gets you a Room with two planks of wood vaguely resembling a bed, an en suite sink and some brittle coat hangers. For anyone travelling on a tight budget these places are clean, tidy, quiet and uncomfortable. There is of course a Shower & Toilet facility down the hall on each floor which is again clean & very plastic.




We retired to our 5 star room and still had some left over Brie, bread and crisps for an equally 5 star Dinner, so we finished that and then nothing more to do than shower and sleep.
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Old 10-14-2010, 03:39 AM   #4
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What a great ride!! Thanks for the pics... looking forward to more

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Old 10-14-2010, 04:05 AM   #5
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September 19th To The Lake

We woke early this morning intent on getting to Somewhere scenic – Lake Thun looked like a good location close to the mountain passes, so we headed in that direction. We stopped almost as soon as we left at a local patisserie to gather breakfast and left with a pastry with something in the middle, not much in the middle but something like mashed monkey which is clearly an expensive delicacy as it was very carefully used..



A little further down the road at around Lunch time we happened across a promising looking sign..



Pulling in we discovered we were not the only British Bikers here.. (Dam Brits get everywhere)



This group was being led by Petar, Originally from Serbia now has his own tour company “Ridewithus”



I was hungry and liked the sound of the American Style Baguette but when it arrived I found it less appealing. (not sure what is American about this to be honest) I expected Bacon and stuff!



Rolling up into Faulensee, we come to the Hotel Jägerhof Hubertus which was offering a lake side view room for £105.00 which I had no quibbles paying based on the budget accommodation we had last night.



I asked which room was mine and it was the one with the dead animal hanging above the door.



But we did get our very own drinking trough.




The Hotel theme seemed to be dead animals.















While Emma got ready I checked out the Balcony view..





We went down to the lake to explore..





When I eventually dragged Emma from the Play Park we decided on the restaurant with the best balcony over the lake.





There was some language barriers to overcome as neither of us know much in the way of useable German and it seemed the Restaurant workers had the same grasp of English. Good job the menu was in picture format. We had three choices and from the photos I made it out to be

1) A Small Striped Poisonous looking fish.
2) A Buffalo.
3) A Tin of Olive Oil and some Rocks.




Surprisingly we went for the furry mammal and a Beer. (Quite surprising how many languages I can order Beer in.)



When Dinner arrived Emma wasted no time getting stuck in! For an Eye watering 80 Swiss we made sure we ate it all, even the green stuff.





As the sun went down the Mozzies started their dinner and I was on the menu so we headed back to check on our washing line.



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Old 10-14-2010, 02:31 PM   #6
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Great start, I'm in.
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Old 10-14-2010, 02:34 PM   #7
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Looks like a great trip and some brilliant photos to go along with it! The sort of area of Europe I've recently been looking into going round. How was the bike?
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Old 10-14-2010, 02:54 PM   #8
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Great stuff Mark.... been to Thun myself its a lovely area




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Old 10-14-2010, 02:58 PM   #9
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Very nice. You have my attention.
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Old 10-14-2010, 04:24 PM   #10
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Talking Go The Tiger!!!!

G'day Mark

Great RR and Pictures mate...

Love the setup of your Tiger mate!!

I wish you and Em safe travels and lotsa fun....

Keep the report and Pics coming!!

Dont worry about your Budget... once you cross over to the Balkans... you will realise how expensive "Western" Europe is!! 30 Euro for Formula 1 Hotel??? Mate how about 18Euro with Dinner AND Breakfast??? This was in Slovakia!!

Cheers

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Old 10-14-2010, 05:37 PM   #11
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Magnificent trip. Great to see the Tiger prowling in its natural elements. What a great bike they are.
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Old 10-15-2010, 01:14 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tome
Looks like a great trip and some brilliant photos to go along with it! The sort of area of Europe I've recently been looking into going round. How was the bike?

No Problems with the Tiger. Most of the roads we come across are semi - surfaced. They just have lots of pot holes and rocks which isn't a problem for this thing to soak up. The Roads that were pretty much just Mud, Stones, Rocks and leaves were a litte tricky (We will get to that)
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Old 10-15-2010, 01:22 AM   #13
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20th September "Passes"

Another nice early start today.

A Typical European Breakfast with a Massive Jug of Coffee.



A Last look from the Balcony “I think it will be a good day”



And Back on the Road again...





Leaving the lake behind us we headed toward the Susten Pass





Just one more Tunnel to go before the scenic bit…



Looking Back toward the Tunnel.



We took a whole bunch of Photos from the Top of the Pass.













Next Stop The Albulla Pass. This pass was very quiet and the roads are not very well maintained (More Adventure than Sports if you catch my mean)









The Top part was excellent, just rocks, how I imagine a lunar landscape...





From Here we made our way to a Town “SameDan” and stayed in the “Sport Hotel” which cost us £100. For the night.





Everything is expensive here and we wandered the town looking for a bargain bite but come up blanks and I settled for Fried Ravioli which to be fair was as dry and tasteless as it looks. Emma donated one of her Mushroom ravioli to add some moisture to my meal.

(The question was raised "Is it a Ravioli and as a plural some Raviolies?)



On the plus side, we did find this shop with the amusing name



Also we found Schindlers Lift!


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Old 10-15-2010, 02:07 AM   #14
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Love Schindler's Lift!
I went over Susten Pass and a few others in the region with friends last year in our cars! Fantastic part of the world for an adventure.
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Old 10-15-2010, 03:14 AM   #15
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Nice RR!
Waiting for more....
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