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Old 03-31-2007, 09:55 AM   #16
GB
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Thank you, thank you!! Can't see enough pics or ride reports about France...

Now that scooter is something else!! It would come in handy to clear the way on congested streets

Thanks for the report and pics..


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Old 03-31-2007, 10:33 AM   #17
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Jack...truly awesome. I had to go on your photobucket site to see the rest. Enjoyed Czech Republic the most. You made it to Karlstejn, that's great! My grandma lives .5 miles from where you took those castle pics. I just got back from Karlstejn and Brno & Prague about 2 months ago.

Beautiful pics, thanks

PS obviously a sweet bike
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Old 03-31-2007, 12:52 PM   #18
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Jack,

great ride report. Can't wait to see the rest of the pix .


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Old 03-31-2007, 05:00 PM   #19
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Stunning pics....Looks like you were able to relax a bit in Amsterdam .
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Old 03-31-2007, 05:17 PM   #20
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Pretty cool report and nice Duc
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Old 03-31-2007, 06:12 PM   #21
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Very cool thread. Keep 'em comin'!
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Old 03-31-2007, 08:25 PM   #22
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Europe is going to be awsome....


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Old 04-02-2007, 04:15 PM   #23
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6 months in Europe on a Duc, Part V

So on to Spain, where I spent the first night camped out under the stars in a cow pasture before getting on to Madrid (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madrid)



This is a site most travellers to Madrid see first, the train station.




This is just a geometrically interesting building in a park


and here the only known statue of Lucifer in Europe, as he's being cast out of heaven (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parque_del_Buen_Retiro)


with my bike in the background just before the polic chased me out.



after a wild week in Madrid it was off to Toledo (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toledo%2C_Spain)






Then on to a little town built on some cliffs, Cuenca (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuenca%2C_Spain)

some of the balconies are hundreds of feet in the air over the cliffs.

From here I took a day ride out to Ciudad Encantada (Enchanted City,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ciudad_Encantada) where the scenes from Conan, where he met the witch & the archer, were filmed. Zamoora!!!




So starting in Southern France I had the one bike problem I would have for the entire trip. My bike would just die. It acted like there was no fuel. After opening the tank & shaking it around it was obvious I had fuel (although it was low) & then the bike would restart & run for a while before it happened again.

Fortunately there was a Ducati shop at my next stop, & they determined that the fuel pump, which is inside the tank on Ducs, had a short. When the short was covered in gas it ran but as soon as it was in the air the pump would stop. Great, a short in my gas tank! But I got to spend 9 days in lovely Barcelona (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barcelona) while they fixed it. Twice.


Here's the hostel I stayed in, just off La Rambla



Here's Jason, a guy I met (& who I'm still friends with) who met up with me in Italy on a BMW he rented & kept up with me for two weeks). The beer in the machine was about 18 cents & we often cursed it by it's name while hung over the next day.



There are many buildings in Barcelona designed by the architect Antoni Gaudí (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaudi) who used a very organic style.






Although there were certainly some things he didn't design




There were some interesting rides, like this BMW scooter



or this old childrens ride, just like the horse rides you put change in here in the US



There was a lot of great architecture in Barcelona







Even a church designed by Gaudi, Sagrada Família, which has been under construction for over 110 years. Too many siestas maybe.






and heck, he even designed a park, called Guell




So, Spain has wonderful people & beautiful women but I spent most of my time in Barcelona running around with a girl from Seattle. I wonder why?



One of the last places I went, which took me ages to find & turned out to be in the basement of the city morgue, was a hearse museum. Old ones.




And that's Spain. There's a lot more pictures at:

http://s83.photobucket.com/albums/j2...ain/?start=all
if you really need more.

Next I'm off to France to see where the Popes lived, drink wine from my favorite region, & explore the ass-hole of France, Marseilles.

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Old 04-03-2007, 05:05 PM   #24
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6 months in Europe on a Duc, Part VI

I camped out on my first night back in France


near some little town where I swear they'd not seen an American since Operation Dragoon in WW II.



then on the road



to Avignon (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avignon)






where the Popes lived for a while in the 14th century (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avignon#Avignon_and_its_Popes).




The area around it is very pretty too.





While camping in Spain the night before I got to Barcelona, enjoying a big steak & beer, I met a German couple who told me about some interesting caves near La Baux, France. They had light & sound shows going on in them, such as the one they'd seen, The Doorways of Europe.


It turned out I was going right past them so stopped in. No doors for me, no way. They had Sci-Fi comic book art:

The entrance



The entryway:



Some of the insides:


The photos I took really don't do it justice. 50ft by 100ft projected images of alien landscapes, scantily clad alien women, and alien bug armies on the march all set to loud Heavy Metal music. Many walls ceilings, & floors. All covered with images that changed every few seconds. I spent about half an hour & didn't see some of the areas repeat the images.

After that I continued south



and then on to Marseilles (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marseilles) where the air pollution made for a gorgeous sunset


Everything you've heard about Marseilles is true, but it makes for an interesting place.





After a few days in Marseilles it was on to Nice (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nice%2C_France)


where I was struck in the right eye by a Champaign cork by some unattractive Canadian girls. It wasn't even good Champaign!


Fortunately, my vision came back within a few minutes.

So off I went towards Monaco, past a mountain town




and then to Monaco, where no rich women invited me onto their yacht. Oh well.





Well, that's it for today. A bit busy at work. More pics at:

http://s83.photobucket.com/albums/j2...e%202/?start=0


Next I'm off to Italy where I meet up with another biker & go to Cinque Terre, Roma, Toscona, Sienna, Firenze, Ravenna, & the World Ducati Weekend!

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Old 04-03-2007, 08:20 PM   #25
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Great pics and a fantastic trip. Makes me want to go back to Spain. Perfect scooter for the trip also. I hope you still have the SP. Nothing sounds better than a two valve Duc.
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Old 04-04-2007, 03:47 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duckrider
Great pics and a fantastic trip. Makes me want to go back to Spain. Perfect scooter for the trip also. I hope you still have the SP. Nothing sounds better than a two valve Duc.
Yep, still got her. OVer 40,000 miles now. I'm going to ride her until I mount it on my wall.
I am planning on picking up a KTM 640 Adventure soon to be able to get offroad on my travels and a smaller dirtbike to get my dirt skills back.

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Old 04-04-2007, 05:51 PM   #27
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6 months in Europe on a Duc, Part VII

Italy. On a Ducati. Now there's a dream come true.
I stopped just inside the border at a restaurant, parked my bike & wandered around the hedge & took a seat outside. After waiting a while the surly waiter came out & tossed a menu at me. Noticing I was in riding leathers he looked over the hedge. His eyes got wide & he turned to me & said, "Your Ducati?" I nodded. "Your Ducati!" He quickly went back inside & the entire staff, including the chef, came out to look at Rose. My service suddenly became much better. This was a good sign I thought.
I made it on into Genova where later that night my buddy Jason, who I'd met in Barcelona, caught up with me on a BMW he'd rented. "How do you get to the hostel?" he called & asked. "Just follow the #31 bus & I'll meet you outside," I said. Who needs GPS.
The next day was a great ride down along the Italian coast




to Cinque Terre (5 towns) (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinque_Terre)








It was great but the hang over I suffered the first night prevented my from riding the twisty roads out of there, so we stayed another night.


Then on to Roma



St Peter's Basilica



Walking around near the Spanish Steps





And of course



There's a great tour comapny in Rome called Rome(ing) that I went on about 4 or 5 walking tours with starting with their night tour. The Spanish Steps.



Treve Fountain



& bar hoping.





We spent one night in the Jewish quarter of Rome, called Trastevere which you get to over this



Where we ran into one of our tour guides from Rome(ing), John


who showed us more of the Roman watering holes.
I'm a big Roman history buff so we spent quite a while there but after a final visit to the Catacombs


it was off to Tuscany, where we rode through some gorgeous countryside.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuscany)




We ended up staying just outside Certaldo (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Certaldo)


at a great Hostel, Fattoria Bassetto

(http://www.fattoriabassetto.com/htm/about.htm)


Every night they'd either bring in pizza from the town or have a BBQ.

They had wine at $1/bottle, a pool, bicycles, horseback riding, & other distractions.


However Jason & I did manage to ride out & see Sienna (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sienna)




with Nicole & Nicole, both from Seattle, who we were sharing a room with.



I took a ride out on my own one day to nearby San Gimignano (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Gimignano)






and of course to Firenze (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence) where I saw the Duomo and Campanile




We had planned to stay in Florence but Fattoria Bassetto was so nice we spent over a week there. Eventually Jason headed of to Milan to return his BMW & I headed NE through the Apennines



to Ravenna



for a couple days.

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Old 04-04-2007, 06:17 PM   #28
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So starting in Southern France I had the one bike problem I would have for the entire trip. My bike would just die. It acted like there was no fuel. After opening the tank & shaking it around it was obvious I had fuel (although it was low) & then the bike would restart & run for a while before it happened again.
Fortunately there was a Ducati shop at my next stop, & they determined that the fuel pump, which is inside the tank on Ducs, had a short. When the short was covered in gas it ran but as soon as it was in the air the pump would stop. Great, a short in my gas tank! But I got to spend 9 days in lovely Barcelona (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barcelona) while they fixed it.

Well Jack you said you liked fire. Cool pic's great report. Thanks for sharing.
Ride on.
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Old 04-05-2007, 09:21 AM   #29
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You, Sir, are a very lucky man! What beautiful women you met along the way!

Thanks for sharing these great photos and stories.

The cave photos in Les Baux brought back nice memories for me. Les Baux de Provence is an enchanting place, I hope you got to visit the town, castle and fort, situated high on a bluff overlooking gorgeous olive groves and wine country.

No place like the south of France. Magic.
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Old 04-05-2007, 03:51 PM   #30
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One of those ride reports/adventures that you simply hope never ends.

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