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Old 06-07-2010, 01:10 PM   #1
chrisreid OP
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WW2 Tour Europe

Hey all,
This is coming a little late as I did the trip last year my mate who, as some of you will have read elsewhere, I am doing a big trip with in September from Alaska to Argentina... but that will be another story.

Well this trip started as we wanted to clock some miles up on our new bikes (dl650 v-stroms), and as I have a very keen interest in the second world war it seemed a good idea to make the most of this trip and visit a few places which I have wanted to see for some time.
The plan was to ride from home in Aberdeen down to Dover and catch the ferry to Calais, then ride to Bastogne in Belgium to see where the 101st Airborne were famously surrounded, then move from there through Germany to Berchtesgaden to see Hitler’s Eagles Nest. From there we wanted to make our way back through the Alps and into France and Normandy to celebrate the 65th anniversary of D-Day.
So that is the outline of the trip... Here is how we got on.
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Old 06-07-2010, 01:36 PM   #2
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My mate George could only get 5 days off work so we decided to leave for the ferry after he finished work on the friday and ride through the night, we left Aberdeen (north east Scotland) at about 5pm and set off on the first leg of 650 miles to Dover to catch the ferry for Calais (France), We arrived in Dover at 4am, pretty nackered and happy to get off the bikes and give our rear ends a rest!! 2 hours later we were in France and hit the road again, heading for Belgium, we kind of drew a second wind and decided to keep on riding untill we reached Bastogne... so that was 950 miles since leaving home and about 20hours pretty much non stop.


This is a pic somewhere in Belgium, George is taking a break

more to follow
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Old 06-07-2010, 02:19 PM   #3
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Another on the way to Bastogne


This is at our campsite on our night in Bastogne
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Old 06-07-2010, 02:33 PM   #4
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Unfortunatley my camera broke in Bastogne so I never managed to take any pictures of the town or surrounding area.
We went and visited the Battle Of The Bulge museum, and near by monument, then on to the town of Foy to see the town where Easy company had been looking down on before finally attacking and taking it.
But without photo's words do not do it justice!
So then we set off into Germany en route to Bavaria and Berchtesgaden

This is somewhere in Germany, we had had enough and just pulled up and put our heads down for the night.


George needed some kicking to wake but we finally got underway at 6.30am
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Old 06-07-2010, 02:42 PM   #5
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This must be a very interesting RR.
So, go ahead with the story
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Old 06-07-2010, 03:00 PM   #6
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These were taken in a lovely small Bavarian village (cant remember name) which was just an hour or so north of Berchtesgaden, I have to say that this was one of the most beautiful areas that I have ever visited.

On to Berchtesgaden which we passed straight through to find a camp site for the night, we ended up at Konigsee, with its stunning lake and surrounding mountains this was perhaps the best place we camped at, there was the bobsleigh run leading up the mountain away from the lake so we decided to follow the service road up the side of it and find ourselves a nice place to stay.




The start of the bob run




A nice secluded camp spot


And the shower was free
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Old 06-07-2010, 03:35 PM   #7
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We had a pretty leisurely start the following day after having a few local beers before bed the night before.
Once up and going we went into Berchtesgaden to find out how to get to the Obersalzberg where Hitler and his associates had their mountain retreats, from there you can either walk the mountain up to the Eagles Nest or take a special bus (specially adapted for steep climbs and descents), we had to take the bus as we were tight on time.
The bus station is located on the site of the old Platterhof hotel which was sadly demolished in 2000, this is just a few hundred yards up from where Hitler’s house the Berghof was, I have no pics of the site of the Berghof but there are lots of pics on this site
http://www.thirdreichruins.com/berghof.htm







All the pics above are from Berchtesgaden
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Old 06-08-2010, 02:27 AM   #8
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Looking forward to seeing more. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-08-2010, 03:23 AM   #9
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Thanks Michael.
We jumped on the bus and headed up into the forests, it is a single track road that weaved its way up the side of the mountain, after a while climbing through the trees we started to get a glimpse of the country side below... incredible, we had climbed so high that the town of Berchtesgaden was like a small hamlet in the distance. The view looked out over the Alps into Austria, and the road ran through tunnels but only has 2 hairpin bends such is the incline of the road... which seemed just to cling to a cliff face... not the most inspiring when you are on a bus!
What is most impressive was the fact that this road was built just for the eagles nest (kehlsteinhaus) and along with the tea house was built in only 11 months, through the Bavarian winter! An incredible feat when you see the situation they were working in, and all that for a birthday present for Hitler. It is commonly thought that Hitler lived at the Eagles nest but it was in fact just a tea room with a magnificent view... which the he only visited a handful of times as it is said he did not like the heights.






These pictures are from the bus and honestly do not do it justice!





The bus stops at a platau about 200 meters below the kehlsteinhaus as this is where the road ends.
From here you walk into a tunnel that takes you into the mountain (there would have been a small rail carrage for Hitler) at the end of the tunnel there is a room with a domed ceiling, here you wait for the gold lined elevator which takes you up into the kehlsteinhaus its self... it is believed that the elevator was once lined in glod but was plundered after the war, it is now lined in brass and looks stunning, it will carry 15 people and still retains the origional working engine from the 30s, I read somewhere that the engine was out of an old submarine, and has never broken down!

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Old 06-08-2010, 03:42 AM   #10
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Once at the top we went straight outside to see the views, unfortunately the clouds had come down and visibility was not great but we did see enough to realise why the tea house was built where it was, it has uninterrupted panoramic views over the Bavarian alps.







This is the main room inside which was origionally used as a lounge but is now a dining room, we sat and had a pint here before exploring some more.


The famous red marble fire place which bears the scars of those US soldiers who wanted a souveneer and would chip pieces off, there are also the marks of the soldiers who scratched their names and date into the marble in 1945.

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Old 06-08-2010, 04:11 AM   #11
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We left Berchtesgaden and headed for Austria and Zel Am See, then carried on towards Switzerland, stopping for the night just before the border, it had rained since we got on the bikes and not stopped all afternoon, so we decided to pitch our tent for the first time, which was a good job as it hammered down all night. We were awoken the following morning by forestry workers beeping their horns as they drove by (we had spent the night on the side of a forestry track)




Note the bin liners on Georges feet... his boots were not quite water tight

We were up and rolling and onto Switzerland before 7am and decided to head for some of the famous passes, first off we headed for one which took us over into Italy, but that was a few hundred miles away so we did not reach it untill late afternoon,


On our way we passed through San Moritz.












The pictures above were taken as we headed up to the Italian border, by the time we got here we were pretty tired and had just been heading for the roads that looked to be the most twisty, so I do not actually remember where these were taken! The road was THE most twisty road I have ever ridden, it was so steep and the hairpins sooo tight that we were having to ride the clutch in 1st gear just to get round them!!
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Old 06-08-2010, 04:43 AM   #12
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Great intro... thanks for taking us along... so much beauty to see and enjoy in Europe.. keep those pics coming please!!

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Old 06-08-2010, 05:24 AM   #13
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Amazing roads and story. Keep it coming please.
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Old 06-08-2010, 06:01 AM   #14
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This is exactly the kind of trip I have wanted to take for a long time, thanks for taking us along with you!


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Old 06-08-2010, 06:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisreid
Unfortunatley my camera broke in Bastogne so I never managed to take any pictures of the town or surrounding area.
We went and visited the Battle Of The Bulge museum, and near by monument, then on to the town of Foy to see the town where Easy company had been looking down on before finally attacking and taking it.
But without photo's words do not do it justice!
So then we set off into Germany en route to Bavaria and Berchtesgaden
lol awesome
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