San Damiano K1200RS/GT/S Rally, and further South to Tuscany and the coast, May-June 2005.
And still on "The MightyK" , BMW K1200RS/Mandarin/2000model.
(referrals to pictures in text)
This years Tour is once again to Italy, and my Journey starts as always up north in Oslo-Norway. I will make the first part of the trip by the ferry from Oslo to Kiel in Germany, gaining some kilometers and by this be prepared for next days 'long-run' to Garmish-Partenkirchen in South Germany. The 'stretch' is about 980 kms and it will be a full days run. I am to meet Matt McCabe (from I-BMW.com) in Gramish the next day and together we will travel down through Austria to Italy and to San Damiano. San Damiano is located just to the south of Piacenza, at the foot of the mountainrange Apenines.
We are supposed to attend the 11th Rally of The K1200RS/GT.de (the German Forum) wich will take place from May25-28, 2005. Actually Matt did make me a call and asked if I where going and as I confirmed we got the idea, why not go together.
The trip to Garmish went more or less uneventful, read: High-speed Touring, on those magnificant German Autobahns.... here you could feel the real freedom of speed.... however arriving in Munich I had to make one of many fuel-stops.. and coming out of the office after paying the liquid..the gates of heaven just opened. I got delayed one and a half hour. But this should be the only rain I experienced throughout the whole trip, and I didnt even get wet at all.
After meeting Matt, we headed south over Fernpass and into Austria. The little town Landeck made our turn to head against the Italian border. After we crossed into Italy, a rest was proper to do at San Valentino. At Trafoi, you may glimpse it on the map, The Stelvio Pass starts and you will see some pictures to follow.
Almost on top of Stelvio, so maps are checked and the trip further is decided to go towards the town Tirano just down the valley. Tirano will be a nice place to make a night-stop and we will have to find a hotel when arriving. No problems, we got two nice rooms....and we are out on foot to get some dinner.
On the next map you can see next days route, down to San Damiano. Sorry no pictures from this trip. But arriving at Hotel International in San Damiano, we find a lot of folks already arrived.
I got to know more or less all these guys last year in Weer in Austria, so a lot of remembering and laughs are eminent. Hopefully this 11th Rally of The German RS/GT Forum will be a success. And we wonder all how many we will be in total.
The Arranging persons of this Rally is Stefano Sarao and his lovely wife Chris, actually both Italians living in the Milan area. Stefano and Wolfgang and even some others have already made some tours for us and have been out 'routing these 'tours' via the normal road-signs....lets see if it works.
Those Mandarin'....to the far left is 'Eligio' (with a red neck-band) and me, 'Locus', both of us from I-BMW.com. 'Eligio' did not attend the meeting, but came for the day, he lives someplace in northern area of Italy, and he came down on his lovely 'Bumble-bee' K1200S.
The following days we are to have fun and a lot of nice riding through this wonderful Italian landscape. As I told you there are three tours in as many days. These are of varying lenght and we will all be divided into groups with the main purpose of having everyone in a group that will suit best. I decided to go with group three as I feel the group-leader here, Gerhard Adams, has a nice 'pace'. I know im from last year so I have a little clue.
We had a visit of this elderly Gentleman and his Moto Guzzi.
He invited us all to his fellow Racing friends and to The Varano Race Track. The Race Track, Varano, is situated just 'in-line' with our Tour the Last day of riding together, so here you have some pictures from this Track. Actually there where an 'Old-timer' Race after we left. And by Old-timer I do mean, Elderly Gentlemen and their elderly bikes.
The days with the K1200RS/GT.de and their 11th Rally is over. And I could only say, well done! A total of 50 BMW', ranging from The RS..through the GT and even three S's. We all ow Stefano and his 'crew' of helpers a great an unison THANKS!!!
My Tour however will go further South in this great country...Italy, to my much liked Tuscany. Matt and I heads for Siena, the old town in Tuscany.
The trip from San Damiano to Siena was stunning as we drove along almost only back roads, and the Italian landscape is nice, sometimes open , sometimes hilly.....
The Tuscan landscape is spesial and the colors are great ! Here sun-set, just outside Siena.
We find a little Hotel in the outskirts of Siena and will go by taxi to town center in the morning. Parking in a big un-known City aint cool....
Siena is . . . the city of the blessed Virgins and the "Balzana"; black and white; decisive, just as its heraldic symbol; passionate and contemplative; always climbing and descending; clear and at the same time obscure; steep and narrow streets; the red of the Piazza del Campo appearing blinding and suddenly. In the alleys, in the museums and oratories of the Contrada, the spiritual songs of the Palio evoke very ancient rituals and modern allegories, while during the evening the shuffling of soles on the deserted pavement is in contrast with the peacefulness of the green valleys providentially enclosed within the wall, which ancient administrators had erected hundreds of years before it became common practice. Siena is also the Cathedral and the extraordinary panorama from the Facciatone; the Sala del Pellegrinaio in Santa Maria della Scala, the Libreria Piccolomini and the prestigious Accademia Chigiana; the enormous Medicean fortress that on the inside, at the Enoteca Italiana, harbors the most precious wines of Siena, Tuscany and the peninsula; sweet-smelling Trattorias, sweet spices, the sounds of the artisans and spouting fountains; Fontebrande and the mystery of the Diana, a famous river underneath Siena; the alchemy geometry of the Piazza, suggestively neo-Gothic and cathartic. And these are the reasons why "Siena opens up its heart more than any other place," as the famous inscription reads on the Porta di Camollia.
After our visit here in this marvelous old town, Siena, Matt and me are taking different ways. Matt is heading towards home in Germany nd I am heading further south to the coast in west. Thanks for the company Matt, hopefully we could make another tour some day.
I head, as said, South and I will try to reach the coast to try to get in the breeze....it is warm, and riding a motorcycle in this weather is just a dream. But imagine when I must make a stop... a leather-suit in this temperature is HOT.
Driving south I see the Port of St.Stefano and that little island and why not....a detour out there for a coffee and an ice-cream, I think I will do that when I am there. Have you ever tasted Italian Ice-cream...waahooooo it tastes good!!
The break is over, wheels are again turning and the afternoon is here. I would have to find a place for the night. At this time of year it is ok to find a Hotel..more or less all will have a free room..and prices are still acceptable. They will for sure rise in this area when the summer comes for full. I find a little Hotel at the tiny comunity Capo Linaro.
Next day I am in a bit in doubt....shall I go to Rome..or back to my Favourite Town in Tuscany....
I decide to go to Cortona. It will be the third time I am here...but I never will forget it.
In the distance it appears...my town of Towns! Cortona - Tuscany.
SHORT HISTORY OF CORTONA:
From the ETRUSCAN ORIGINS UNTIL the RENAISSANCE the city of Cortona has a richer and far more important history: as all the small centres also ours do not escape to that custom, it had noble and famous origins, to give fame to itself. It is said that Cortona had been founded from the Dardano hero, which must be also the foundation of Troy. The simplest one is that the foundation of Cortona was due to the splendour of the Etruscan civilization, inside a precise function in their civil context, military and religious. According to Livio, Cortona was quite one of the twelve Lucumonìe of the Etruscan state: and the importance it had is confirmed by testimony walls and the tombe of the outskirtses, beyond the objects of refined and good handicraft in bronze and pottery recovered in the within of the city.Later under the roman dominion, the history of Cortona identifies with that one of other small centre, far away from the imperial magnificence and with dark and absolutely impersonal vicissitudes. We only know that in the 450 b.C. it endured the destiny of Rome: the Goti occupied it and they made of it one city even more anonymous. Only in the ' 200, with prevailing of the Common ones, the city of Cortona revives to new splendour; the dominion is increased, begins the fights with the near centres for the control of near by territories, until 1258, when the city was occupied from Aretini and the inhabitants were forced to the exile. It begins to this point the rise of the family Casali, than for approximately two centuries it will have the lordship of the city. After having the Cortonesi back in native land, in means to fights, intrigues and periods of tranquillity, the wealth Casali gave to Cortona one prosperity never enjoyed until then.
To the beginning of XV the century, in 1411, Ladislao, King of Naples, who had occupied the city, started a market with the republic of Florence. From this moment Cortona loses its autonomy and it returns to being a subject territory, is pure remaining adherent to its noble traditions and customs. Its history does not have greater moments, even if illustrious personages bring themselves to the light especially in the artistic field: Luca Signorelli, Francesco Laparelli, Pietro Berrettini. After the unity of Italy, Cortona, that has lived without troubles the passage from the Grand-duchy of Tuscany to Italy, finally rejoined, continues living calmly, from the traditions of the past, more than trying to set off towards the future. Therefore, the impression it gives, is of a calm city , far from the troubles and changes more intentional, from the modern civilization.
I got myself a real nice room here at Hotel San Luca, at the 6th floor ???? Well this is the entrance...and no more floors as seen. How, you may ask...there are 7 floors, going ..Down.
The Owner of Hotel San Luca, you could imagine...is a Motorcyclist too.....letting me park my BMW behind the plants...
Time is on the last page... i will have to turn my nose to the North again.....
And the trip home goes along the Italian Autopiste... Highways, until I come to Verona. Here I take the route along the Lake Garda .
After Lago Garda I head for the Alps...and over Timmelsjoch. Thats it... I am on top.....the rest is down-hill.....up north through Germany..and a ferry trip HOME!
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