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Italy and Sardinia, 2004.

may and june 2004 !

On the "The Beast",  BMW K1200RS / Mandarin / 2000mod.

(Referrals in text to Flash-presentation.)

.

Well here we go, the Trip of 2004. This years trip is to sunny Italy, visiting friends and a de-tour to Sardinia. As you have seen on earlier tours I still use the Ferry from Oslo to Kiel in Germany. By this gaining some miles. Heading straight south with the 'target' of Milan - Italy, to visit my Internet-friend Paolo Rota. Take a look at Paolo's web-site if you ever want to take a trip in The Alps.. a great site.

 

As you see, my first stop-over is in the area of Ulm - Germany, from here the way goes down to Garmish Partenkirchen from there via Landeck - Austria. The heat is here already, and while taking a break, I seek some shadow underneath the trees. From here the road leads down to the Italian town of Bormio.

 

The heat is still rising and I get the "well-off feeling", to get that Norwegian spring I left home out of my body and let the summer in. Could there be a better way then on The MightyK cruising down along Lake Como in Northern Italy, feeling the warm wind along you body.

 

If you 'click' left square after start, you could find these pictures w/text. Click 'escape' to return.

 

Paolo is as said living in Milan, but I have no clue of where, else of his adress. So I set my GPS, The StreetPilot 3, up with the adress of Paolo's. The way is 'easy' when you have a 'gadget' like the GPS, but you have to rely on it... and I do, have used it before. And this time I am a bit 'off',  my GPS is saying I am at the point of Paolo's home. However this time I cant see the number of his house, its the correct Street , that I see. So use the cell-phone and call. I get in contact with Paolo and he is saying he will be out in the street looking for me, waiting I see a guy with a helmet on approximately 15 meters fromme, Paolo. The reason I didn't see his house-number is due ...re-furbishment of the house's front and by this 'all covered up'. The GPS has once again proved its usefulnes. I put my bike in Paolo's garage and are warmly welcomed by him and his lovely wife.

 

The next day is up, for a trip through The Magnicant country side of the Italian Alps, by the way Paolo is driving a BMW as well, The R1100S.

 

The trip is going north to the town Lecco, along Lake Como to Chiavenna for coffe-stop in town center. From here up the valley of Val Bregaglia into the most amazing winding road into the woods and up the Maloja pass.

 

As this is Paolo's 'back-yard', he knows the road and has a speedy entering into the "Tornate" (by the way, do you know what a "Tornate" is? It is those magnificant 'almost 360 turns) The road is wide and paving like your floor at home, so I follow close behind in a good pace. Just enjoying that nice road.

 

The weather is nice but the temperature is lower then on the plains of Milan ... but it is nice, cool and crisp air. And the sky is as blue as ever. This is just the start of it all says Paolo and it is. Some few more kilometers and we start acending up Julier pass, already passed into Switzerland.

 

After coming down to the river Albula and the town Tiefencastel, we are heading left and then abruptly up left again, along The Hinter-rhein ( This is actually the start of one of Europe's Greatest water-ways, The River Rhein). The road we are driving is called "Via Mala" (The bad-road).

 

Almost on top of Splugenpass, as you will see on Paolo's photo he uses another way of mentioning the passes, he calls it 'Passo dello Spluga'. This you will experiense all over the Italian Alps and its the Italian pronounciation .

 

Riding with 'a Local' like Paolo have its gains, he knows a nice place just over the top of Splugenpass to have lunch. Nice local food, heavy though... feel real filled up after lunch.

 

We are in Italy once again and heading down passing Chiavenna again, but this time we take the western coast of Lake Como down to Cadenabbia. We take the little ferry across the Lake to Bellagio. A nice place, I have actually stayed in Bellagio before. We aim up the hills and stop at Chisallo with a nice view down to the Lake's eastern part and the town Mandello. Moto Guzzi's home. A nice day on the road is almost gone only some short distance down to Milan and Paolo's home.

 

We are in Italy once again and heading down passing Chiavenna again, but this time we take the western coast of Lake Como down to Cadenabbia. We take the little ferry across the Lake to Bellagio. A nice place, I have actually stayed in Bellagio before. We aim up the hills and stop at Chisallo with a nice view down to the Lake's eastern part and the town Mandello. Moto Guzzi's home. A nice day on the road is almost gone only some short distance down to Milan and Paolo's home.

 

The next day we did a new trip, but sorry I do not have any photos from this one. The Trip was easterly from Milan too the Lake Maggiore. We had some Autostrada driving before we arrived at the lake. And I did the idiotic thing of forgetting to pick up a Toll-ticket at one of the Toll-booth's. This made me a 'fine', I was supposedly to pay some 63 Euros-fine. Actually a toll of a total way of that Autstrada 'all its way' on that Autostrada number (maybe from Rome to where-ever). Well I was the silly one, but Paolo told me we could try to get it down in payment later, visiting some place called 'punto blu'. Arriving Lake Maggiore we stopped in a nice town, Arona.  There was a gathering of bikes along sea-side Cafe of the lake. Traffic along the lake was hillarious, I thinks every Italian-family was out that day, and a lot of Camping-cars as well. But the weather was as ever nice, sun shining.....

 

Next day is arriving and Paolo and his friends are making a three day trip down towards Tuscany and I will join them until I will have to head for the port-town of Livorno for my ferry trip to Sardinia. We are supposed to 'pick-up' Paolo's friends along the road and Paolo and me head straight into the Lions-den, centre of Milan. I told Paolo that I would just follow, and I did, but I am in thoughts....well I wouldn't have driven like him in town. But I am a Norwegian, and I think my friend has gotten his Italian-way of 'doing-traffic' and there is only one word for it..."effective", but scaring for a guy from the North. At last we got onto the Autostrada once again, and yes... I did pick-up a ticket.. I have learnt my lesson. So Paolo is looking for his friends and a "Punto blu" to help me out with my "Fine" from yesterday.

 

Paolo found a "Punto Blu" at Piacenza Sud along the A1. And his friend are proberbly having a good laugh of me. I deserve it. So you may ask, did you get your fine down?? I did with the help of my frien Paolo, got-off with a payment of 0.63 Euros. Thats nice, compared to Originally 63 Euros.

 

Lunch-stop in Bergasana and some jokes...and I part with my friends when arriving at Borgetto de Vara. Autostrada A12 speedy down to Livorno to get hold of a ticket for the Ferry. It will leave Livorno in the evening at 2200 headed for Olbia - Sardinia.

 

 

Once again, the GPS takes me to the door-step of the Ticket office at the Port of Livorno. No problems tickets is available and I am set up for ferry-trip of 10 hours out into the Mediterranean.

Arriving Olbia in the morning, weather is a bit hazy but warm. I set course North to Palau. Port of Palau, a lazy-port early in the morning.

 

Isola Rossa a nice quiet place. I stayed here two days and had some nice Lobsters for dinner.

 

On my way to Alghero I passed this funny stone, L'Elefante. Alghero a nice Town with an old fortress at the Harbour.

 

Outside Cagliari on the way to the Southernmost point on Sardinia, Capo Carbonara. I had some fine days in Sardinia and could just give you my best to get down to this wonderful place. It is time to leave Olbia and Sardinia, the Pilot is leaving as we depart the port of Olbia. Heading for Mainland Italy and Livorno.

 

Arriving Livorno I could feel the temperature is high, it has been cool during the passage from Olbia, but now its way back and in the 30's ...centigrades.

 

I have decided to make over the Po-plains today and figure I could get up into the Dolomites by the evening, but it is going to get warm. So I would have to keep up the speed to get some cooling.

 

As said and thought, it is warm, stopping to re-fuel, I get a glimpse at a thermometer on the wall, 43 Celcius.....and I could feel it. Some water for me and fuel for the bike and onwards to the mountains...The Dolomites.

 

At last, cooled down only 26 Celcius, enough for me. I stop in the town of Cortina d'Ampezzo, further up the valley. Had problems finding a Hotel, this due 'summer-close-down' ??? Tomorrow I will be back in the Alps.

 

Start-off from Cortina early, I will come to my Favorite of all, today The Grossglockner. On the Fuschertorl, but I intend to go to the Edelweiss-spitze, you see it in the background. Road winding itself around the old Roman-tower, yes Roman...they where amongst the first to use this passage over the Alps.

This night I stayed at Bruck an der Grossglockner.

 

Staller pass, we have to wait. It is only allowed to drive downhill from the Hours until a quarter past...well I think, why. But I will have my explanation soon enough. The road is simply not big enough to tend to other then one-1 car at the time. It is even narrow for my K, I feel, and the turns are as sharp as razors...cars must back-up to make some places.

 

Once again, back in Italy. St.Martin in Pass. Do you like the view from my room ???

 

Heading for Weer in Austria. To get in contact with the fellow K1200RS drivers who have a Rally in Weer. "The 9th meeting of www.k1200rs.de" 

 

 

 

 

 

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