Arriving at Karl Maier BMW
My first bier garten
The mystery token
Glockenspiel in Marienplatz
Ah, the REAL bier garten. Zeitgeist times 20!
The “Chinese Tower” which housed the band in the middle of the bier garten. The band played traditional music the whole time.
Smart car and a friend
I was glad to see that safety was only a phone call away at my hotel.
Day 1 on the bike. Outside Munich seemed to be all farmland.
My typical lunch setup: capuccino, a brat with either a pretzel or pommes frites and my Palm with IR keyboard.
The kloster at Ettal
King Ludwig's Neuschwanstein Castle zoomed from the bus parking
Roads like this everywhere
And signs telling motorcyclists to “Give your guardian angel a chance.”
All I had to do was look for my name in Imst, Austria to find a room.
This seemed like a punchline to a joke about a German law firm.
Day 2: Haiming Joch road
Day 2: The scenery at Khutai
Hot cow on cow action
Day 2: Stau See (“damned lake”) at Bieler Hohe in the middle of the Silvretta Strasse
View from the parking lot. I had my cap/brat/palm lunch on the deck at left.
Note to Self: When going for the bad ass self portait to document your motorcycle adventure, tuck in your shirt.
Medieval town of Feldkirch, Austria
Oddly enough, this is my DJ name.
Day 3: Heading up towards the Klausen Pass
Looking back down the Klausen Pass at the little towns the road came through.
Another dramatic self-portrait. I don't even want to think of the German phrasings for “American turkey” that were being uttered in the passing cars.
Note the bike just about to turn the corner.
I stayed mostly on the small roads that were next to, or in this case, beneath the autobahn.
Self service my ass
Day3: Heading up the Susten Pass
View from the top of the Susten Pass
Brienzer See. One of the two lakes Interlaken is nestled betwe... hey, I get it now!
Sunset on the main park in town.
This was my walk to the laundromat...
Check out all the paragliders
Direct Translation: “OH CRAP! A FREAKIN' GIRAFFE!” Okay, fine. It's “The unexpected comes often.”
Day 4: Lauterbrunnen - The Swiss Yosemite
The Bond-esque evil tram. I had no idea what was coming later in the day.
Waterfalls inside the rock face.
The Eiger from the Schilthorn cable car
The rotating restaurant at the top of the Schilthorn. If you rested your elbow on the right, it would drag along as your table moved.
The Eiger from the Grindewald Valley
Parking back in Interlaken. I found that carrying the cases into the hotel as suitacases allowed me access to everything as well as a chance to reorganize each morning.
Paragliders landing in the park in Interlaken
The other lake - the Thuner See.
Day 5: Glaubenbulen Pass otherwise known as Panorama Strasse. I wonder why?
The parking lot of the gasthaus at the top of the Grimsel Pass.
The view from the top of the Grimsel
Holy... The Furka Road.
The zig zags with the Rhone Glacier on the left.
Looking back towards the Grimsel. Note the ribbon of road towards the right bottom that's kinda hanging in space.
Passage cut into the glacier
Andermatt and the tables where I met Wolf and Katja.
Wolf and Katja on their BMW 1150GS
Day 6: The cobblestones of the old San Gottardo pass looking across the valley to the open-sided tunnel of the new pass road.
Our BMW biker gang in Locarno
Church up the Centovalli (hundred valleys) road across the border into Italy from Locarno.
This is apparently the most spectacular waterfall in the region but since the river above has been damned, they only “turn it on” a couple times a year. Note the covered tunnels below that look like they've grown into the hillside.
As soon as we cross the border into Italy, the drivers all cut the corners and figured a little “toot” of the horn would be enough warning for us to avoid becoming a hood ornament.
The waterfront in Locarno. So far south, it's basically Italy.
The view out my room in Locarno
Acusticom (yes, I spelled that right) at the waterfront festival in Locarno.
Day 7: Up the Valle Maggia to where the banjo player, Luca, grew up and has a little house.
We picked a little on the porch and ate delicious salami, stinky cheese, and bread.
The festival on Saturday night. I played mandolin with the band for the first set!
Fireworks over the lake.
Day 8: The San Bernadino Pass. The roundish structure on the left is a vent for the 16 km long tunnel WAY down beneath the mountain.
Leaving Switzerland via the Splugen Pass. The Swiss road up was great. The Italian side was a single lane of endless hairpins and tunnels - sometimes at the same time! There was no where to possibly stop and take a picture.
Maloja Pass heading to St. Moritz
Day 9: Bernina Pass out of St. Moritz
High altitude baby donkey.
Swiss mama donkey
The road up to the Passo dello Stelvio runs up the right side of the picture.
Then the hairpins start.
At least 40 hairpins to the top
Animated Italian guy at the top making tasty sausage sandos.
Bikes everywhere at the top of the pass.
And another 40 hairpins on the way down...
Note the waterfall coming off the snowmelt.
When the river was damned in 1939, all that remained visible of the flooded village in the valley was the church steeple.
For my friend Richard Wagner at home. This nickname WILL stick.
But if it doesn't, maybe this one from Berlin will (Richard-Wagner-Platz).
Doug and Nicola's apartment in the former East Berlin
Nicola and Doug showing me the town.
Young people in Berlin seem to love to take over anything that's run down or in transition. These tracks were torn up the day before and were already THE place to be.
Brandenburg Gate - One of the East/West passages through the Berlin Wall.
Holocaust Memorial. Not sure the significance of the design but it was really striking.
The cool man-made beach by the side of the river.
Doug “working” while I screened him from his subjects. Many of these sketches appear in his book “Spree” (http://www.dougchayka.com)
Me smiling like an idiot for some reason in front of the Berlin Wall.
Berliners know how to relax. Every cafe we went to was more laid back than the last. This one was literally just a dock floating in the river.
The cool kids get tall beers at a “kiosk” (corner store) and head to the “The Bank.”
Doug and his muse. The sketch he's doing here is in his book “Spree” (http://www.dougchayka.com)
Seemed like a fitting end to a great trip. The sex toy store in the Munich airport.