Bouillon 

Adventure, Belgium, Europe, Poetry, travel

In Bouillon

A woman in red

Lives at the Hotel De La Poste

By the Semios River

She is fit

walking down to the river

To feed the ducks petite dejeuner

But buy afternoon see is dreaming

Of canard confit au pommes de terre forestiere

For dinner

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Catalonia and the Pyrenees – part 2 the villages

Adventure, history, Motorbikes, photography, Spain, travel
  1. Parked outside the 12th century airbnb near Olot that was home for a couple of nights

The mountains of Catalonia are home to beautiful villages dating back to medieval times.

Villages built across Clifford tops

Castelifollit de la Rocca

Santa Pau

Still with ancient paths and trails through the forest

Bridge on the old trail from the village of Beguda to Olot

Ancient churches

Santa Pau

Villages that have stood millennia

Holding in their stony edifaces the history of Catalonia

The tale goes that James the 1st carried a golden shield when invading Catalonia

He was killed in battle

As he died his fingers dragged down shield leaving four bloodied stripes

The Catalonia flag four red stripes on a gold background.

The red star signifies support Catalonia independence by a socialist

The might breva parked in the old stable at the airbnb at Olot

Ps.

Thanks Judith and Juan for being wonderful hosts and Juan for sharing the tale of the Catalan flag.

Catalonia and the Pyrenees – part 1

Adventure, France, Motorbikes, photography, Spain, travel

The roads here are made for riding

Coastal roads along the Cote Vermeille and the Costa Breva

Tight turns windswept by the katabatic winds rushing down from the mountains testing the riders skill

It’s about twisty mountain roads in the Pirineos Orientals on the rooftop of Spanish Catalonia

Across the Spanish rooftop from La Molina

In about the winding deep gorges Pyrenees Catalanes

Leafy gorges

Tight rocky gorges

Roads for riding

In Catalonia

Independence for Catalonia

A touch of surreal 

Adventure, art, photography, Spain

This whole trip is a touch surreal

48 Moto Guzzi motorcycles shipped in containers from Melbourne

Then to Mandello De Lario to celebrate the marques 95th birthday before fanning out over Europe.

So the Salvador Dali museum in Figueres added a further element to surreal adventure.

Dali museum exterior

The breadth and scale of the masters work is astonishing

With a truly surreal understanding of perspective

The installation enormous in scale, imagination and perspective.

Mae West bedroom

The Mae West Bedroom installation for example. Each piece a artistic form

Then when viewed through a lens it is transformed into a new singular piece.

The installation in the central.gallery breathtaking in both scale and detail.

His work at the museum includes work in many media drawings painting in classical and surrealist styles, the installations, sculpture, still and moving picture.

Then the jewelry

Audacious and exquisite

And as surreal an anything else I was in Catalunya

Why Sete

Adventure, France, history, Motorbikes, photography, travel

Tucked down in the south west corner of France

A working port

A living fishing village

A city of grand canals

Sete canal

A city of art

A link.to Africa with car ferries to Morocco

And of course the stepping of from Europe in the Paris to Dakar motorcycle race.

Then the taste of Sete

Sweet muscat wine

Calamari stuffed with minced pork served on a bed of white beans

Fresh mussels, oysters and sea bass

Reflections on the trip south from Nijmegen to Sete

Adventure, Europe, France, Germany, Motorbikes, photography, travel

I’m sitting at balcony of my room in Sete looking down over the town

View over Sete

But before I write on Sete it’s time reflect on the 1100km run south from Nijmegen to Sete.

The side trip through the Swiss Alps into Italy is covered earlier.

A dominant feature in the Rhine

The river of castles

Running south beside it crossing it through Germany

Staying of the main roads

Lots of small villages

Bacharach village

Travelling further south at the top of the Black Forest the German high country spread out to see

View from the top of the Black Forest

The there was the taste of Germany epitomised by thick slabs of smoked pork, strong vinegary salad and scalloped potatoes at the Hausbraurei Feierling in Freiburg.

Washed down by the brewery’s beautiful beer

Across the Rhine

Across the border to southern France

The taste and river different

At Nueville Sur Ain

The river was the Ain

The village French in style

Nueville Sur Ain

Still castles on the hills

But the taste was different veal in the thick tomatoe sauce with green beans

Washed down by Cotes Du Rhone at the Le Faisan Dore

The Rhone alps as a companion

Till reaching the Mediterranean at Sete

Canal in Sete

Lake Como, Mandello Del Lario and Bergamo 

Adventure, Italy, Motorbikes, travel

A key element of this journey was to visit Mandello Del Lario on Lake Como for the 95th birthday of Moto Guzzi.

An estimated 25,000 guzzista visited for the birthday celebrations

But discovering, seeing Lake Como nestled in the high mountains was the icing on the cake.

Or was the trip to Bergamo the icing????

View of Lake Como

So first to the Moto Guzzi the marque with the factory above the village of Mandello over looking Lake Como.

History on display

1921 normale

The first motorcycle to have a swing arm and rear suspension

Custom bikes to the individual taste

In the mountains around the lake there are many villages and towns.

Bergamo is one

The old part of the town, the Citta Alta providing views of the villas on the hills from the terraced restaurants and cafes.

View from the terraced cafe

Citadel from Castello Di St Viglio

It was hot on Lake Como

My bike is a Moto Guzzi Breva

Breva is the name of the light breeze that blows over Lake Como

At the end of a hot day the Breva provided welcome cool relief

And a ghosting breeze for the sailors.

Yacht drifting along powered by the Breva

Riding the Swiss Alps

Adventure, Motorbikes, photography, Poetry, Switzerland, travel

High peaks

Touch the sky

Barren

Bare

Rocky pinnacles

Cold icy peaks

Glacial

Old as time

Witnesses to time immemorial

Sliced by roads

Fast roads

Curvy roads

Hairpins

Switch backs

Smooth sweepers

Clear sky’s on in late September

But in the mountains

Weather is changeable

Keep an ear out for thunder

But today

Hear the thunder bikes

Moto Guzzi

Rolling back through the Alps from Mandello.

The mighty breva at Maloja pass

 

A bit of reflection 

Adventure, Europe, France, history, Motorbikes, Netherlands, travel

In the just over a week I have ridden through six countries in Europe

Open borders

Free travel

Wonderful friendly people

I’m reflecting on a this

And thinking of the past

The tragedy and waste of war so poignantly captured at the memorials at Villers Bretenneux

And the at the main train station at Nijmegen there was this sign

And I think

Let’s all just keep kissing

Let’s keep riding

And keep war and death in the past