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Old 09-05-2007, 08:51 AM   #1
gboezio OP
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Trip France/Italy 2007 Bike Import

Six years ago I promised to my aunt that I would go to see my family in Italy and was always too busy, low on cash, etc…but this year I decided to go ahead and why not make it a motorcycle trip ??
Me and my girlfriend planned this trip to Europe for 3 month and it finally happened, we decided to ship my bike oversea for cost and the security to ride your own bike since after 32 k km on it I can pretty much do whatever I want to do with it.

Well after one month I'm finally back from Europe and my bike will follow shortly....well 3 weeks, 4700 km, I probably had enough for now.

First we took the plane on August 6 th and landed in Paris the 7 th at 6:30 am we stayed there for 2 days time to visit. We stayed at a friend's place we had a wonderful time they made tartiflette witch is basically potatoes,bacon and a full camenbert style melted chees that soaks the potatoes, don't tell my doctor or he'll quit.












It seems that the scooters are taking over Paris, they basically rule the streets, the will flow around cars as soon as they slow down a little.
If you want to have a good time in Paris, I strongly recommend to ditch your tourist guide, video camera, tourist hat and tourist attitude because you are the perfect meal for those who gut tourists like a fish. Look simple stash your money and never take it out all at once or a wise ass will cut your pocket while another bump you from the front. We did not look like tourist and it was a breeze but we had the chance to see some people get worked on.
Overall Paris is a dump and if you like tourist crap and be treated like cows in a barn well go ahead but for me the second day I have spent there is way too much.
There are good people in Paris and the Eiffel tower is very impressive but the village idiots that are way to present will make you forget about the nice people, but France have way more to offer than Paris. Don't take my word, go see yourself.

So the next step was to go to Le Havre in Normandy to go pick the bike eventually, we used couchsurfing to find a place to sleep, it could have been bad but we made 2 friends there. The guy that hosted us for 2 days first became our friend and finally we ended up staying there a week. He will come to Canada in the winter to taste some of this Canadian booze and freak out some Caribous on a snowmobile.
Our friend Jean-Rémy took us for a Normandy tour on his collection Citroen Traction, we ate food that spells like Evil in a medical manual.
















gboezio screwed with this post 09-06-2007 at 04:58 AM
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Old 09-05-2007, 08:53 AM   #2
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Part 2

The German bunkers by the beach where our Canadian forces got shot during the war. I would not want to be either of them, even the being in the German bunker was not comforting, they probably realized too late that they followed a nutcase during this insane war and bonk…..GRENA…..BOOM.....these pile of concrete and steel shout out loud and hymn to human stupidity.







Our host had to leave for a planned vacation with a Friend, so instead of letting us go find some other place, he set us up in a small apartment over his clinic while he was gone.
We felt like home and really appreciated it. We took our shower where they wash the animals and the damned window would not close, figuring the mess if a cop could see my butt trough the window. How two Canadians can explain how they ended up washing themselves in an animal tub in a closed veterinarian clinic at midnight ??








While he was gone I called the other person we contacted since JR was supposed to be unavailable and asked if she wanted to do something and we ended up going for beer.
I could not believe how nice the people of this place are, why loose you time in Paris, go where the people are nice. It took us one hour to go get a bread and cheese 500 feets down the streets because people were talking to us and welcomed us warmly.
The next day we went to see the Etretat, lots of tourists but it was nice.








But after a while, we finally had the bike in a perfect condition. Even the people at the warehouse were nice and I can swear it’s not a common thing…





So we rushed out of Le Havre and got on the highway to go trough Paris ASAP and get some mileage done toward Italy. We left at 15h





We made it to Auxerre and found a cheap hotel for the night with a secure parking





The next day we used the highway until we were closer to Geneve and got off to drive in the twisty roads of the alps and have something else that honking at the cows and bitching at the cheap European regular gas.




gboezio screwed with this post 09-05-2007 at 09:19 AM
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Old 09-05-2007, 08:54 AM   #3
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Part 3

To save a few bucks we would not eat every meal in restaurants and buy food at the grocery stores, this one was by the Swiss border past Geneve.



We crossed the Mont Blanc tunnel 11 km long (7 Mi) the guys there are pretty serious, don’t go push the other guy in the front or you’ll learn the local phone book the hard way.
A while ago many people died when a gas truck crashed in the tunnel and everyone died.
We ended up in Nus for an hotel that cost us 50 euros. The town was nice and we went out for pizza and wine.





We rushed the rest of the trip so we could avoid to sleep in another hotel and get a good bed. My family there is very receiving, we had way more than we wanted, very good people and like in France, outside of the big cities you’ll find the nicest people and I’m proud to say that some of them are my own family.
We arrived in Povoletto at 20 h.






The next day we went for a ride to check those twisty roads north in the mountains, I warned my girlfriend that staying home reading a book was safer but she wanted to come anyway, not sure how much she appreciated the twisties but, she must have bitten her lower lip for a bit, but no complain.






Then we visited Udine the main city of the state witch is nice, clean and quiet.














Our next destination was Venise, you may imagine how I feel in crowded places packed with tourist, you get asked for money, to buy useless junk, but it is a beautiful city and I suggest to see it when it rains, as beautiful and no tourist and no tourist hunters.











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Old 09-05-2007, 08:55 AM   #4
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Part 4

The next day the flood gates were opened, but too late after 2 months without rain all the corn of the northern Italy were dead. We went by car to see the villa Manin, that was a great weapon museum inside, too much picture to show, then we went to San Daniele to eat the best prochuto in the world.








One day later we wanted to go to the beach, so we headed for Grado and later visited the city.















We heard that there was a beautiful cave in Slovenia and there was a beautiful cave in Slovenia. It’s called Postojnska-Jama or Postojna I still have a hard time to remember even tough I tried to analyze how these letters together would sounds, it has some of the richest formations in the world, it played a role in the second world war, all the entrance is covered in soot because when the resistance dug a gallery to set on fire the German fuel reserves. We had a guide and no way that they would let us take pictures in there.
The roads and sight are wonderful, the villages seem older, and there are more open spaces, definitely worth a good look, gas, food, most things are cheaper. But the villages names caused me a headache since we were headed for Trieste trough normal roads.



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Old 09-05-2007, 08:55 AM   #5
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Part 5

I was craving for more twisty roads, breath taking mountain scenery so my cousin sent me to Passo Pramollo North of Udine. The road was not wide enough for two cars at some points and I had to let slip the clutch on the first gear to make it trough the corners, the motor hit the ground a few times inside the hairpin and when the ground was nicer, Some grass that was 2 foot long hit my hand while going trough a corner. My Girlfriend was in the back and probably had enjoyed more the sight than the curves themselves. We had some trouble to find the right road since some village names looks alike, they just use another village name and change a couple letter and there you go, I have to admit that the names that I read are changing with time and that I passed three times an hostel where the old woman wanted us to go drink some wine, so we waved two extra times after I have found out that I was right the first time
In Austria, the pavement was awesome and the scenery breathtaking, a perfect day in a perfect place. We drove trough Villach and to the magnificent Worther See and back trough Tarvisio.

Here’s some videos of going down on the Austria side of the Passo Pramollo
It does not look fast but it took all the tire thread all the way to the edge and I had my girlfriend in the back so fast enough and I had that ear to ear grin
First part

Second part

Here’s some driving on the Italian side at twice the actual speed, I figured that at this speed you still can see quite well and it keeps the brain saturated.



Some footage fron the valley of Villach still in 2x













The time came to say goodbye to the family and thanks them for a wonderful Italian hospitality, the road is waiting for us and we ain’t taking the shorter road. We receive gifts, bottles of wine and it was harder to pack. The bike was top heavy and drove like a semi truck







We were warned that the traffic returning from south on the Sunday when the month long holiday is over is as close as intense, insane and dangerous can describe it. 13 km jam in Venise that I mostly cheated since all the other bike were doing it and that the cars were moving over to let the bike pass. Snapcases that would not give a damn about their family life, neither mine and the other road users, since the only thing that mattered was to get home so waiting was not an option that would make sense. After a car almost hit us, he aimed between the incoming lane and our lane in a holy rush of invincibility totally possessed by some unknown dark force. I could see his wife arms in the air and all the kids in the back, all the other lane were avoiding him and I waited for a boom…none. I still don’t think he made it home. I passed a enormous amount of cars, à la Italian, specially when the cars speed were close to stopped and zoomed by since they are most inoffensive like this. We stopped 85 km from Florence for the night and the beer was particularly good that evening.





gboezio screwed with this post 09-06-2007 at 03:30 PM
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Old 09-05-2007, 08:56 AM   #6
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Part 6

The next day was one of the two hottest day we had, the heat were unbearable while the temperature was higher that our body, we ditched the protective gears and took it slower.





When we arrived to Florence, we took an underground parking with video cameras and tried our best to “lock everything together, but with a knife it would be easy to steal our stuff bu we had no problems and went on with the city visit.














We came across this HUGE cathedral, look how small are people compared to it, this was breathtaking.








In the same day we went to see Pise, we did it fast because we wanted to get closer to France and the tower ain’t really that impressive.




My girlfriend wanted to have some toscan wine so we went up hill in a village that I choosed from the highway and had a 1.5 liter bottle of water and two small glass of wile for 2 Euros 50 and it was good. Then we took pictures nearby, the white background is in fact the sea.






We went trough Genova, not that pretty, in fact dirty and the scooters terrorize the streets there too so we got out of there to find an hotel. This is the most expensive hotel we had and the worst bathroom that I was given to see in my whole life. I forgot to take a picture but there was a toilet and a sink wrapped in close by walls, so to take a shower, one leg on each side of the toilet and the water falls in the sink and over the toilet draining in the middle…..60 Euros…

gboezio screwed with this post 09-06-2007 at 04:52 AM
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Old 09-05-2007, 08:57 AM   #7
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Part 7

We found the Côte d’Azur beautiful




Monaco

Had lunch at Cannes very good food and a good eye on the bike.






We were invited by a French couple fellow riders for dinner, we exchanged stories, his wife rides a CBR600 and when I saw the tire, damn the rubber was peeling off the side and the pegs were all scraped, she track it and ain’t no ordinary Sunday driver I can tell ya !! The offered us to sleep, breakfast, very awesome rider compassion, good times.




After that we hit the road for a highway stretch since the time was running out and that we had to bring the bike for the 31 st August (Friday) to crate the bike in Le Havre While Jean-Rémy is waiting for us for more food, stories and wine. I had him to ride my bike since he was drooling all over it, go for a spin, why not





Train back to Paris





We thanked our friend Lydia in Paris for her awesome hospitality, she took good care of us. Then the 3 rd September in the morning we took the plane back and flew over our town.



When this guy say it’s ok, I think it’s ok, well I hope, hang on only 6 hours of imagining crashes and stuff….beer please.

My girlfriend found interesting reading, caught her, but I did not say anything since she did not when I was observing the beach fauna.









Well I hope you enjoyed my story, feel free to ask any questions and comments. I wish you all wonderful travels.

Regards gboezio

gboezio screwed with this post 09-05-2007 at 09:30 AM
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Old 09-05-2007, 09:10 AM   #8
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Wow great picts thanks!
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Old 09-05-2007, 10:35 AM   #9
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Wow! Excelent. How much did it cost you to ship the bike to Europe? Thanks.
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Old 09-05-2007, 10:41 AM   #10
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I don't have the exact amount yet since the bike will arrive in two weeks and the unloading fees will be paid then, a rough estimate is 1200-1300 Can $
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Old 09-05-2007, 11:04 AM   #11
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So u speak french ;)
pretty good pictures u have here.
I smiled with your Paris comments.
Shame u didn't go to see Siena.
I really love this little town. Far more than Firenze.
The cathedral u saw in Firenze is known as "Il Duomo".
It's famoso (famous) because it's bellisimo but also from an architect point of view. It's a capolavoro (chef d'oeuvre).
On the right of the entrance, in front of the near buildings, there a statue of the "ingeniere" who made the "duomo", brunelleschi.

/thierry
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Old 09-05-2007, 11:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gboezio
I don't have the exact amount yet since the bike will arrive in two weeks and the unloading fees will be paid then, a rough estimate is 1200-1300 Can $
roughly 900 euro.
interesting.
what's the company name ?
Did u have plenty of choice for the destination ?
merci,
/thierry
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Old 09-05-2007, 11:42 AM   #13
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I do speak French as my first language, well I did not used a company I booked the transport myself, the name of the agency was OEC, I packed the bike myself, I bought a old Honda ATV crate, cut, welded it, brought it to Montreal and said good byes...without insurance, too expensive

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Old 09-05-2007, 12:32 PM   #14
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bien joué, GB. that citreon traction is one of my all-time favorite cars.

on what looks like a great trip.
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Old 09-05-2007, 01:44 PM   #15
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Thanks for sharing your trip, now my wife will want to go there

Great photos and nice story. Thanks again for sharing the trip
with us.
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