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Old 12-30-2013, 05:54 AM   #1
Livio18 OP
Joined: Dec 2013
Oddometer: 3
Weekend in Switzerland & Liechtenstein... on a Ninja 250R :)

Hi everyone!
I'm Livio!!
i found your website a few months ago and i loved so much your ride reports that i thought i would post mine as well... it's a September weekend in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.. hope you like it!

(Please forgive me if i made any mistakes... english is not my mother tongue)

I was supposed to have a Friday off, so i just thought "why not go to switzeland?!".
i've never been there before, everyone told me it was a beautiful country and it's pretty close to my home! so it was PERFECT!!

i was supposed to leave on the morning of Friday 20/09, BUT with my usual bad luck on Thursday they "cancel" my day off! F**k!
As you can immagine i was rather angry all day long (on Friday)! but between a swearing and punching the desk I arrive at the conclusion that I didn't give a Fuck! Since the Bike was already loaded and the trip planned I would be going nonetheless!
So i went home, had dinner and at around 23 i left!


(isn't she a Beauty?!? *.*... by the way she's Nymeria!! ^^ )

with a full tank and belly i'm ready to go!

I take the highway till Como, where I arrive at around 1am.
Quick brake in Campione d'Italia and I start riding nord again.

I didn't have a Gps and neither a map (BIG MISTAKE). I am such i big foul as to think i could do fine just with a block notes with a few city names on it and the memory of the Switzerland map in my mind!
I didn't even think to check what kind of roads I was going to ride through! (BIG MISTAKE!)

It's around 3AM and I'm in Airolo when i start understanding how big an idiot i've been.
The road I took it's going to take me through a Mountain Pass! I'm climbing The Gotthard Pass! O.o
I can feel the temperature dropping minute by minute (I'm wearing summer gear)...
Suddenly a freakin cold wind start crushing down on me... so strong that I can barely keep the bike straight!

When i reach the Top (2108 m) i can't feel my hands anymore. and my legs are in no better conditions :S
(I found out later on that the temperature that night was -5!)
Of course that was not enough! on the way down i found FOG so deep i couldn't even see the road just under my bike!
I'm absolutely freaked out! I've never been so scared in my life!!

As soon as i reach the bottom of that fucking Hell of road I stop for a break, to calm myself.

Finally the sun rays greet me as I'm going to Luzern and i start de-frosting xD

After getting lost more times than me ego would have like to i reach Luzern at 10Am (Saturday 21/09)

I treat myself with a really hot coffe and a walk in the city center. It's a beautiful sunny day and life start being good again! :)

unfortunately I can't stay a lot in Luzern because i want to reach Bern by lunch.

(amazing landscapes)

a quick walk through Bern and then i leave again to Basel...

While i'm in Basel I see a Sing "France ahead" so i think "why not?!" :) and go to Saint-Louis...

...and since I'm there why shouldn't I go for a quick ride in Germany? xD.*icon_smile.gif

As the sun start backing away I decide it's time to get to Zurich, where I want to spend the night... well I'm also exhausted... I don't sleep since Friday morning (7AM)...and I'm riding since 2230(Friday)... I can't feel my ass and back anymore... and my right hand start hurting too

Due to some serious lacking of Sings I keep getting lost...( Come on Swiss, It's your freakin Capital, is it so hard to put a Sign here and there?!?!??? O.o)

I reach Zurich late in the night and find out a dorm in a hostel cost 30...(WTF?!?) Since I have no intention whatsoever to spend that much for a dorm (where i'll stay no more than 6 hours)
I choose to spend the night at the airport! xD
I reach the Airport at 23:15

My super comfy bed! xD... (I had already slept several times in airports around Europe, and I've always slept like a baby :) )

Sunday 22/09
For Unknown reasons I wake up at 5AM and even if I've just slept 5 hours I feel great..
After a really Hot shower I'm ready to go!
Destination: Appenzell.

I'm already driving for more than 1 hour when the Sun finally decides its time to wake up! xD
The day is great, the landscape beautiful... the kms go by without notice

Appenzell is a disappointment... (I read i was really nice but I don't see really why...)
Coffe break... and I start again... Destination: Vaduz.


Vaduz is a rather anonymous city...
Time to get back in Italy

I ride through amazing places... where I'd like to come back with a tent and more time <3


First stop is Livigno (tax free city xD)

The only time I enjoyed a gas station! (Here in Europe we're not as lucky as most of you in USA... usually we pay gasoline between 1,6 and 1,8 /l.... in northern Europe they are even crazier and pay 2 and something... Just so you can get why i'm so happy about a gas station XD)

all i can get for lunch is a sandwich...and only because I begged the owner to "open" the kitchen again for me... Saved by pity xD

I leave Livigno at 16:00. I want to get to Mt. Stelvio

I find snow to greet me :)

Just me and the bike staring at the horizon... realty and dreams merge together and I feel ON TOP OF THE WORLD *.* :smile

The sun is setting... the temperature is dropping... so it's time to go... i still have a long ride home (Reggio Emilia) ahead

last Mountain Pass of the day

I drive through Mountains and Hills till Brescia and then decide to take the Highway 'cause it's late, I'm tired and my ass is killing me!

I get home at 23:18
40h Driving
5h Sleeping
2 days

(more picture can be found here know I might seem crazy but I had the best time ever xD
Next time I'm going to get a Damn map!! xD
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Old 12-31-2013, 03:05 AM   #2
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Joined: Oct 2012
Location: Ireland
Oddometer: 316
mega trip Livio !
really like your style..................mad, bad and fast !
at this rate you will run out of countries very, very soon...........!!!.
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Old 12-31-2013, 06:31 AM   #3
Studly Adventurer
Joined: Aug 2012
Location: Southeast Lower Carolina
Oddometer: 733
Quick and good, just like that power nap on the airport floor.
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Old 01-01-2014, 05:14 PM   #4
tony the tiger
yeah - what he said...
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Joined: Jan 2008
Location: secret owner of a Parmesan cheese factory
Oddometer: 10,546

Nice report. I enjoyed your pictures, and can relate to the changing temperatures in the passes... Well done!
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:16 AM   #5
Marc LaDue
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Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Hancock Township, Plymouth County, Iowa
Oddometer: 164
Learning the hard way

I'm glad to hear you made it back home safe and sound. Your little narrative reminded me of a ride I took some friends on this past summer out to Taylor Lake Park in the American State of Colorado. I had memorized as much of the trail system as I could, prior to venturing forth, and yet I still managed to get us lost. I suspect I will not leave home again without a map; lesson #1.
I grew up just north of Zuerich, Switzerland. Before I was old enough to ride mopeds, my friends and I were limited to bicycles. Pedaling around that beautiful little country, we came to realize rather quickly the correlation between temperature and elevation. In other words, it's a bit more chilly up on the summit of Furka Pass (or in your case the Gotthard), than say along the shores of the Vierwaldstaetter See (or in your case Lago di Lugano); lesson #2.
You mentioned having read something about how pretty the Appenzell region is, yet when you found yourself there it struck you as somewhat of a let-down. My father retired in the vicinity you describe as lack-luster (Hemberg, St. Gallen), and yet, from his chalet he enjoyed a view of the Saentis that was beyond compare. I too suffer from a tendency to make snap judgments based on first impressions, but because I've perhaps seen more of our planet than some, I resist the urge to generalize. Who knows, if I were to stick with such a narrow and inaccurate hunch, I'd very likely deny myself another opportunity to see some truly breathtaking sights I had missed on my first visit; lesson #3.
I too took off on a crazy adventure when I was younger, much like yours, back in '83. I spent my first night in a motel lobby (they had forgotten to lock the door), broke down in the middle of Nebraska (Ainsworth, to be exact, home of a very capable and considerate Kawasaki Dealer), and had the time of my life rolling through the Sandhills of that vast and desolate part of the world. I made it to the Black Hills of South Dakota, and just happened into the Sturgis Rally, what an experience.
Your story brought back many memories;

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