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European Adventure

PS-RagE Oct 7, 2015

  1. Mr.LaBella

    Mr.LaBella ←The № 1 Devil→ Administrator

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    Great thread, and great pics (As always, buddy!)
     
  2. AJD1

    AJD1 Prince Of Darkness Brigade Member

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    Best thread i've read/seen in a while and good for you to treat yourselves to such an adventure.

    Thanks much for posting all those pics!

    You're a good man Charlie Brown! :thumbsup:
     
  3. PS-RagE

    PS-RagE "R" for Adventure JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

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    Packed up again and ready to roll!

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    Back on the road and back into the mountains! The road is particularly winding today. Non-stop hairpins one after another.

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    A wrong turn leads us into another mountaintop fortress-city of San Leo. My wife is a little nervous of the super narrow, cobblestone roads but I think they are a blast. Just wish I could ride this little bike standing up!

    As we round a tight corner, a policewoman jumps out and tells us to stop! Of course, she is speaking Italian but we get the idea to shut the engines off. Turns out someone was shooting a movie just around the bend. The shot is done and we are allowed to pass.

    At the top is another ancient church:

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    Unfortunately, it also turns out to be a dead end so we have to ride back through the movie set (complete with policewomen trying to hush motorcycle noise)

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    The next route we take is also a dead end so guess what? :jdwink2: The crew did not appear to be very impressed with the assholes on motorcycles buzzing around! :bwah: (I think I caught some of this on the GoPro)


    Back on the road and we finish crossing the first mountain. After a quick respite we begin to get rolling again but the top of the next mountain is hidden in a black cloud. It is sprinkling down here so it must be pouring up there! I don't want to be be riding mountain roads in a downpour so I modify our route around this one. Wife says that is fine by her since she is growing tired anyhow (oh, oh).

    Next up is Assasi. Like San Marino, it is also built around and on top of a mountain. However, we are off our route and the GPS is on a mission to keep us on the path. It routes us round and round the little mountain city until my wife can take no more. Riding these towns is surprisingly technical (not her strong suit) and she is becoming exhausted. Finally, I leave her outside of an orchard while I figure out how to get through the city to our hotel on the other side of this mountain.

    Of course, the hotel is on another mountaintop. This time however, the road to it is unpaved and by the time we arrive I have one worn out, unhappy lady on my hands.


    That fatigue is quickly pushed aside when she sees where we are! This is "Le Silve"; a member of the "Romantik Hotel" group. It is a 1,000 year old stone inn.

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    Never know when one of these might come in handy:

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    The weather is turning nasty so the girl at the desk suggests that I should park the bikes behind the inn under shelter:

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    Once I get the two as tight together as I can, I look over my shoulder to see the most stunning sunset I have ever viewed; beautiful rays of golden light bathing a little valley village! I sprint back to the inn to grab my camera gear (and wife) and rush back to capture the image but, as always, the light is fleeting and was all but gone when I returned:

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    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2015
  4. jjhamilton

    jjhamilton JDBA4L JDBA Official Member

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    Amazing!! Sounds like some really fun riding and of course the scenery!
    You may have already explained this, but I'll ask for enlightenment again, did you plan this trip with route and hotel stays or is this one of the planned motorcycle tours? I've checked into the latter before but they were group tours where you had a guide and several paying strangers riding along.
     
  5. Obijuan Kenobe

    Obijuan Kenobe Our only hope! Brigade Member

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    Very cool. Next time you are in Rotterdam, let's have a Devil's Meeting!

    obi
     
  6. PS-RagE

    PS-RagE "R" for Adventure JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

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    This was a "Self-Guided Tour" from Adriatic Motor Tours. The tour company provided the bikes with GPS navigators containing each day's routes plus all destinations and other points of interest as waypoints. All the hotels were pre-booked, we only had to pay for dinner and fuel. This was the best option for us. My wife is not the strongest rider and pushing her to keep up with a group would have ended up being more stressful than fun. Besides, being on our own really made it that much more of an adventure!
     
  7. jjhamilton

    jjhamilton JDBA4L JDBA Official Member

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    Yeah I don't blame you, it's more "private", exciting and like you said, you go at your own pace. I'll have to check into this, if it's (self guided) available where we (wife and I) were thinking of doing.

    I was thinking, if you put this together yourself you done some major homework, extreme amounts of planning! The ones I looked into also had a few choices in bikes you rented, I'm guessing yours did also, they had some choices that where, in kind words, a poor choice for the planned ride....over 100 miles on a Ducati 1098 for example or a Harley Ultra Glide on some of the twistist, narrow roads I'd seen for 30+ miles stretches...Your choices tell me your an experienced rider (which I knew already). But could you imagine some of the choices newer riders might make!!?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2015
  8. PS-RagE

    PS-RagE "R" for Adventure JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

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    Actually, the single worst choice of this entire journey was picking that Ducati MultiStrada. I spoke with a couple buddies of mine that own one and they both said it was great. Indeed, it handled really well and had plenty of power, but I found it was just too little and uncomfortable. My knees got really sore, my feet kept slipping off the pegs and the bars were way too low. I am used to riding my long-legged 1190R standing up, so being crunched into a ball on this little bike was wearisome. I really should have gone with the BMW R1200GSA. I rented one of those in Las Vegas a few years back and rode it 4 days in a row for 10-12 hours a day with no fatigue at all.

    If you are planning on two bikes, I would go with a pair of the BMW F700GS. It has an 800cc engine that delivers 75 gentle horses. It is also a relatively lightweight bike (460lbs fully fueled) - nice for long days of alpine roads. Makes a good ladies' bike too since it is available with a factory lowered suspension (my wife can flatfoot hers).

    For two up, I would go with the BMW R1200GSA. It is a giant walrus of an enduro, but handles very well for its size.

    Where were you thinking of going?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2015
  9. PS-RagE

    PS-RagE "R" for Adventure JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

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    The next day is a "rest day" and the timing is perfect. The tour plan for today was to ride into Assisi and explore the town but we decide instead to take the day off and relax at the inn (we have been go, go, go for the last eight days).

    This morning's view:

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    The inn is sitting on a 230 hectare nature preserve so we decide to go for a hike after breakfast:

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    In the afternoon, that storm settles in and it pours rain the rest of the day and all night:

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  10. jjhamilton

    jjhamilton JDBA4L JDBA Official Member

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    A couple years ago they were offering a mountain tour through the Appalachian Mt, through a couple states. And there was one through the Cali area with some nice scenery, nothing as nice as what your doing, but still a good excuse to get my wife and I on two wheels and on the road:thumbsup:
    **I would have went with the R1200, they are very nice rides and handle great. I had the chance to ride a friends on several occasions when he wanted to have "fun" on my VFR
     
  11. PS-RagE

    PS-RagE "R" for Adventure JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

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    The rain stops during the night and in the morning we are under way again. Having rested, she makes it back down the mountain with ease:
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    Today we decided to jump on the autostrada and beeline for Sienna. There is no stopping permitted on the highways so they have these little rest stops every couple of kilometers:
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    ... and three hours later we arrive in Sienna and get parked with no drama!
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    Sienna is Italy's best preserved medieval city. This is the plaza in the center of town:
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    Didn't catch this stern characters's name but he greets you near the entrance of the old city. We called him "the Evil Pope" :bwah:
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    The whole city is a maze of narrow streets:

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    Europeans get it:
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    Lunch in one of the many trattoria:
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    That night there was a concert in the plaza:
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    Raoul Duke likes this.
  12. PS-RagE

    PS-RagE "R" for Adventure JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

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    Of all the towns we visited, I think Sienna was our favourite. Everywhere you go are statues and carvings:

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    I think this is to tie off your horse:
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    The duomo here is unreal. There is so much going on you can't settle your eyes anywhere:
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    Imagine the power to have such things created:
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    Inside, I was told "no tripods". Needless to say, I was not pleased. It is not well lit and long exposures were going to be necessary. Instead, I had to crank the ISO to its limit. Luckily, the sensor noise from the D3 is not unpleasant:
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  13. PS-RagE

    PS-RagE "R" for Adventure JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

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    The last of the photos from Sienna


    Reliquary:
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    This was a particularly old painting my wife liked:
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    Crypt:
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    iPhone photo of duomo:
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    Pretty sure these guys used to stand on the duomo. I guess there is only so much space available:
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    (This is actually an iPhone photo my wife took! Hoorah for steady hands!)

    One creepy gargoyle (another from the duomo, no doubt. Fell off?):
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    Another cool building decoration:
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    jjhamilton likes this.
  14. ded i

    ded i Friend of The Devil Lady Devil

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    Wonderful pix - tnx & more please! :ssmile:
     
  15. PS-RagE

    PS-RagE "R" for Adventure JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

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    As you wish! :bwah:

    View of Sienna from the top of the duomo:
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    Dinner tonight is at Il Carrccio: another tiny, family-owned restaurant. The owners did not speak a word of english but that did not stop us from having the best meal we would have while in Italy! We arrive for dinner at 7:30 when they open. By 8:30 this little room was packed with a room full of very loud diners!
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  16. PS-RagE

    PS-RagE "R" for Adventure JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

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    Packed and ready to go for another day:

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    Our first stop is the ruin of the abbey of San Galgano:

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    When we arrived, the site was blocked from traffic due to a footrace. We had to park at a nearby tavern and walk over. On the way out it looked like there was a Moto Guzzi rally in front of the tavern. Must have been 30 or 40 of them.
     
  17. thevinstigator

    thevinstigator JDBA4L JDBA Official Member

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    Thanks for sharing your epic adventure, I feel like I went myself. I would love to do this through Greece or Italy. Looks like your planning ahead really paid off and you both enjoyed the trip.
     
  18. Shike

    Shike knifemaker Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    Awesome pics!
     
  19. PS-RagE

    PS-RagE "R" for Adventure JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

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    Thanks, glad you're enjoying it! Not done yet!

    I have already started saving for our next adventure now. :manganr: Next will be either Greece or the Balkans.

    Thanks!
     
  20. OnceBitten

    OnceBitten Momma said I'd go blind Brigade Member

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    Hella-gorgeous pics, as usual.

    :thumbsup:
     

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