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Old 09-12-2013, 03:42 PM   #1
Luckybastard OP
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Having fun in the Dolomiti and Garda, a short report through analog photography

Hello,

Having been a lurker for years and gained an massive amount of confidence, passion and knowledge through the stories on this page, it is time to start a thread of my own.

I´m an motorcyclist from a tiny country called Estonia and here is my official Advrider salute

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I have done a few trips to Europe before, the longest being almost 12,000 km from Tallinn, Estonia to Tarifa, Spain. And every time I lose my breath at the slightest glimpse of the Dolomites.

Last summer I was ready for another vacation and since I got a brand new Kawasaki Versys 1000 in the garage, the plan was simple. Use the 18 days of holiday to go and tip my toes into Lago di Garda. Garda because me and my girlfriend loved it when we visited on our second alpine tour in 2010.

I´m not really fond of digital photography (to be honest I am really bad in it) so there are only two photographs in this thread, that have been snapped by a digital camera. The others are captured on film, processed in solutions, the way it used to be. Since I am a part of the Facebook/Instagram generation I have used crossprocessing and fisheye lens, but used them for real, rather than added effects digitally.

The setup I decided to bring along on the trip. I used both black and white film and slide film, which I later x-prod, so the picture colours and contrasts will vary througout the report.

[IMG]IMGP0005[/IMG]

This thread is more like a ride report in a form of an essay with cool photographs, rather than a real "ride report". I hope you enjoy it.

So here goes..

On a early morning in the end of August me and my girlfriend at the time headed for sunshine and warm waters of Garda.
Since the scenery and roads from Estonia to Poland are nothing to write about, I will skip the 670 km. to Suwalki, Poland.

Having ridden through Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in one day, it is really nice to set up camp in Motel Private (Suwalki,Poland)
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While hagling over the price, I noticed an adventure bike covered in stickers had appeared next to my bike
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Transalp, the bike of legends
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It seemed to have all the accessories an true adventurer needs
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And a good luck charm also
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It turned out that the owner of the bike was a german lad called Lokal Wolf. I managed to snap a quick picture of him.
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We spent the night drinking beer and him talking about his travel on the TAT, what a fantastic guy. Hope to meet him again some day.

The second day is always a rough one, because it involves almost 600 km. of riding on Polish roads, which are really ok to travel on, but lack a little in scenic value. Also going through Warsaw is always an time consuming endeavour.

We spent the second night in Czestochowa, Poland. In a small, but cheap hotel called: the Scout
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Our room had an breathtaking view
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Not to worry, because the next day we would cross the border to Slovakia, and get our first dose of the mountains.
So nothing more, than to put on my game face and ride
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I had some help from a local drink called Kofola, It is the most amazing combination of coffee and coke.
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I saw little kids drinking it in liters and felt a little sad for the parents of these hyperactive slovak children.

We crossed the border and even the gas stations became quite scenic
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Since Slovakia was for us a way to cut out Czech Republic and arrive to Austria, I did not snap a lot of pictures of it. We criused around in the mountains and decided to camp. Unfortunately no wild camping this trip, but hey..sleeping in a tent is always cool.
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After a very early wake up, we started to head way to Austria and closer to the Alps. A long day of doing 140 km/h on the motorways in Slovakia and Hungary. But we were rewarded with the start of the "beautiful" section of our journey.
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We were both very happy about that
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Finally we made it to Austria. It always takes 3 days to get to Wien but after that beautiful city it is nice to find a small village and hope they have some room for tired travelers. We were in luck, the village of St. aegyd am Neuwalde was a really cool little village
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And the sky looked like tomorrow was going to be a day filled with sunshine and awesome roads.
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:52 PM   #2
on2wheels52
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krikey, real cameras
In.
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Austria '08 http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=352082
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Old 09-12-2013, 04:23 PM   #3
ClearwaterBMW
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a great thread with terrific pictures and I appreciate you shooting them with film. Photography is my other love and I have a couple of film cameras around here that have been gathering dust for quite a while maybe it's time to take them out and use them

Perhaps you have inspired me to do just that

thanks for a great thread and you sharing with us
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:28 PM   #4
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Thank you ClearwaterBMW and Jim (aka.on2wheels52), much apreciate your kind words.

Actually Jim, I have read both of your reports many-many times during the nordic winter we have here. I just want to thank you, because they were a joy to read and you are an awesome traveller.
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Old 09-13-2013, 05:03 AM   #5
Rutabaga
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Wow, someone that actually practices the art of developing their own film. I feel really old now. Thanks for developing and posting.
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:51 AM   #6
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We awake to another beautiful morning in the Austrian Alps...sun is shining and the road is ever so inviting.
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Even the local small gas stations ooze tranquility
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But the "Capa delle Famiglia" (if I may quote the great Tagesk, a man whose ride reports are without competition one of the best on this site)...but the Capa delle Famiglia will not wait any longer
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It does not getter any better than this.
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Sometimes you just want to throw out your hands and embrace the universe..
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Somehow we managed to turn up in Admont, a nice small town we stayed on our 2010 Alpine tour. I remembered a gas station just outside the town...You can not get away from the mountains once you are deep in Austria. But why would you want to?
If this is the shape of things to come, how awesome are the Dolomites going to be...( spoiler alert - they were epic;)

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Since I spent the winter with John Hermanns book "Motorcycle Journeys Through the Alps & Beyond" I wanted to check out castle hochosterwitz, even if it was far away..
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We spent the whole day riding on the great roads of Austria and we both were very tired from the day, so we started looking for a Gasthoff around Klagenfurt. Somehow after many hours we still had not managed to find a place to stay for the night.
Maybe we asked the wrong locals?
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So we had to come down from the mountain and find a place in Klagenfurt. We were in luck and there was a open room in a hotel that rents out the rooms that university students use during the winter. http://www.allyouneedhotels.at/en/
The name says it all, it had a bed, shower and breakfast...all you need

Since the word was out on Accuweather, that there was going to heavy rains around Klagenfurt and Slovenia. So unfortunately we had to cancel our plans to visit Slovenia and the famous Vrsic pass. Instead we headed down the Kaiserstrasse towards the dolomites and Silian.
Can´t say that the views were bad this side of the border.
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The big Versys was purring along nicely, what a great bike. We did our 2010 Alpine trip on the Versys 650, so it was cool to compare the two bikes on the same roads.
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Still enjoying it!!!
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I have a thing for old VW Beetles and fisheye lenses, every time I see one and have my fisheye lens with me I just have to take a picture. My dream is to someday have a small exhibition of VW Beetles I have shot over the years.
Austria had some nice beetles.
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Eventhough there was heavy roadworks in the mountains
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we managed to cross the border and to be in the iddle of the Dolomites. My eyes tear up every time I see the first glimpse of these majestic giants.
First up it was Lago di Misurina, the perfect hello from the Dolomites, best enjoyed with a smoke or/and a cup of coffee.

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There really is a hotel at the end of the world (the camera I took the picture with is made in 1967, it still is that good!)
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Next up it was Passo Giau, the must see of the Dolomites. I really enjoy the hustle´n´bustle atop of the Passo. Much more nicer crowd than on the Stelvio
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I went a little crazy with the cameras and lenses and pictures and everything..
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even the cows were blessed in this magical place
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The thing i love about Passos/Passes/Cols is the stickers on the signs. In 2010 I placed a Motodepoo (the motorcycle store I work for) sticker on the Passo Giau sign. Yep, it was still there
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Our evening in the Dolomites was ending and the sun was seting.
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We found a little Garni in Selva di Cadore (just 32.-€/per. person a night) it is better to avoid tourist towns like Arabba and Cortina, and just keep your eyes open while riding through small towns. We of course located a Tourist Information in Caprile, that checked for us what Garnis had available rooms.

The views are usually complimentary when you stay in the Dolomites

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After a relaxing smoke or two and a long shower, it was time to find something to eat. In the Dolomites you can not escape the mountains and motorcycles, they are everywhere...truly amazing!
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The next day would be resting day. At least Capa wanted to go shopping and soak up some sunshine, which meant that I was free to roam on the tarmac of freedom with the trusty Versys free from luggage..
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To be continued...
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:49 AM   #7
Blader54
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Very nice report! Continue, please! It is as much a ride report as any other, no worries! Great to see old-skool photos, too. Looking forward to the next installment.
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:28 AM   #8
Luckybastard OP
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The time to go and explore the marvelous wonders of the Dolomites.
I really liked the oprotunity to get all the stuff off the bike, turn up the suspension and go have fun.

And how can you not have fun, if the views are like this..

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Sunshine, great views and the sound of the Akrapovic booming back from the mountainsides. Dolomites - I have arrived!!

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What do I see lurking in the backround? Even more jagged peaks

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Time to go and check out Passo Fedaia

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Next up, Passo Sella

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Even managed to find a Beetle up there

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Unfortunately I can not remmember the Passo, but I felt the urge to snap a pic. for the guys back at work..
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There was allkinds of machinery coming up the Passos, everyone enjoing the weather and mountains..feeling free

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Next up, it would be toe tipping time because tommorrow we will turn the bike toward Lago di Garda and enjoy some sunshine (a lot of that on this trip)
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Old 09-18-2013, 05:34 AM   #9
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Wow - some unique perspectives - fabulous report - Thanks
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:33 AM   #10
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Thanks for the kind words, stay tuned for the Grand Finale!
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My 2012 trip to the Dolomites with a dip into Lago di Garda
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=919355
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:55 AM   #11
Luckybastard OP
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Aaahh..Dolomites, I must bid you farwell and move on to a little bit warmer places. Not to worry, because Riva del Garda is a uterly superb destination.

So we load up the bike and say our farewell for now by a stint up the Passo di Falzarego

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Sometimes the fog on top of the Passos wil be rewarding, since it will present a mystical backdrop..

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The weather soon turned to nice and the bends were ohh.. so inviting
as Garda is relatively close to the Dolomites, we soon found ourselves by a bigass lake

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With our trusty "mule" we took a break by the lake

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As you can see from our bike, we have been lugging around full camping gear aswell. At Garda the weather was warm and sunny, you just got to love early September in Italy

We soon found a nice little campsite between two expensive hotels. The campsite was just a thirty meters from the lake. You could not ask for a better location than that..

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Wondering around the campsite, I soon discovered that this place was also favoured by a fellow afficianado of the fine art of motorcycling

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But enough of "tent alley"

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we came here to check out the surf, onward.. to the beach!

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Of course we can not forget the symbolic "Toe tipping ceremony"

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to be continued... Spoiler alert - a hailstorm!!
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My 2012 trip to the Dolomites with a dip into Lago di Garda
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:10 AM   #12
Luckybastard OP
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The town of Riva is a really beautiful one. On a warm summer evening you can spend hours just walking up an down it´s streets.

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Also the "boardwalk" was utterly beautiful.

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Even my companion gave her sign of approval.

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The next day was also a sunny one, we felt the urge to visit the beach.

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Unfortunately our time was shortlived, because a storm was rising. In a matter of an hour an hailstorm of epic proportions was upon us. The locals later said that it was the worst hailstorm in 20 years.
The hail was so strong that there was no chance to take pictures, but the aftermath will speak for itself.
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The white on the ground is actually big balls of ice.
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There were some casualties..
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The storm was over as fast as it had started. 10 minutes after the storm the sun was out and the cleanup crew would arrive.
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And on that bombshell it is time to wrap up this report. We spent a few days at Garda and then headed home. We were so full of new experiences and emotions that it felt like there was no more room.
Our journey back the weather was not so nice and there really was no reason to take out the camera.

I know that the RR for my trip in 2014 will be even more cooler and with better pictures, but still going to use analog cameras.
We bid you farewell and until we meet again
36A_0036
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My 2012 trip to the Dolomites with a dip into Lago di Garda
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