Transylvania, legends, royalty and that Irish connection.

Adventure, Europe, history, Motorbikes, photography, Romania, travel

Bran Castle

Battling the crowds on the narrow road to Bran

Past Dracula signs

One thinks how did Irishman Bram Stoker imagine this place and create the legend Dracula

The narrow roads are thick with tourists inspired by the legend

The citadel at Sighisoara also claiming it’s part of the legend

Any where that Vlad the Impaler, (who Dracula is based on) stayed dines out on the legend

But the legend disguises the the true beauty of Transylvania

View from Bran Castle

The amazing country side of open pasture

And the old forests around Brasov

And some wonderful biking roads

Near Brasov

The Transfagarsan

And memorials that tell the tale of the fight for Romanian independendance. Achieved in 1918

Though the Habsburg empire still had influence in Romania till the Soviets exiled the remaining Duke in 1947.

Romania is a beautiful and varied country and I’ve still a week here

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Le Dolomiti-After the rain

Adventure, Europe, Motorbikes, travel

After the rain a hike in the forest on a mountain behind Cortina

The forest with beautiful wild flowers

And of course the mighty Breva handled the goat track to the car park with aplomb.

Le Dolomiti

Adventure, Europe, Italy, Motorbikes, photography, travel

In the Dolomites

From my camp in Cipena near Bormio it was over Stelvio once again and onto Merano, a gateway to the Dolomites.

Jaufenpass

The high road from Merano leads to the Jaufenpass.

From there the amazing rock structures that are the Dolomites unfold

Campsites tucked under the monoliths give amazing mountain sunsets

Over the Passo Gardana, a favoured by bikers the way I took toward Cortina d’Ampezzo

Cortina is such a beautiful Alpine city.

Looking down onto Cortina

Cortina centre

The there is the back roads and villages. Little campsites where there is space and few people

In and around the village of Cimolais

Like all Alpine areas you have to sometime pay for the beauty with thunderstorms and a day of rain

Rain after the thunderstorm in Cortina. It’s a small price to pay.

Ciao bella Italia, Auf Wiedersehen sonnige Schweiz

Adventure, Europe, Italy, photography, Switzerland, travel

Swiss/Italian border, Umbrial Pass

There was much nostalga riding from Switzerland to Italy

The Fluelapass was the first Alpine pass I rode back in 2016

At the time I couldn’t imagine how I could come back again

And now Im on the 4th tour.

Truly addicted to the Alps

The Fluelapass links to the Ofen Pass and that to the Umbrial Pass which crosseS into Italy and leads to the beautiful city of Bormio.

The top of the Stelvio is a Circus of bicycles, motorbikes, cars, sausage Stalls hotels and shops .

From Bormio the valley opens up

With lovely camping grounds, with walkers, cyclists and bikers in summer. Skiers in winter.

Perfect for camping in the pretty village of Cepina.

A perfect day riding in the Swiss Alps

Adventure, Europe, Motorbikes, photography, Switzerland, travel

Atop Nufenen Pass

My Swiss friend took me for a days ride

A beautiful day with the sun shining, 9 high mountain passes and 430km covered

I was buzzing at the end

Ice flow on Furka

There is the right way! Ascend the mountain on the side with the tightest corners and descend where the corners are not so tight.

Why?

Its more challenging that way!

Then you must do your favourite pass twice.

Looking at Grimsel Pass from Furka

Looking over Glestch to Furka Pass from Grimsel

There was still lots of ice flows remaining from winter.

Top of Grimsel

Then there is a stop at a mountain top restaurant for lunch

Goulash soup my fave at the top of Nufenen

And the view

And of course the amazing Alpine transport system

Fast trains

And luxury coaches

San Gotthard to Airola coach runs up and down San Gotthard pass

Just a perfect days riding

St Leon sur Vezere and glimpses of the Dordogne

Adventure, France, Motorbikes, photography, travel

There is something special about the little camp ground beside the Vezere river at St Leon

Its simple without trappings but just beautiful.

And a perfect spot to explore the valley.

From where the Verzere meets the Dordogne at Limeuil

To the beautiful town on Montignac

The Vezere valley offers


Wonderful sights to see. Magnificent Chalets and wonderful roads to ride

What a ride 3 countries, 4 high passes.

Adventure, Europe, France, Italy, Motorbikes, photography, Switzerland

The Col de Iseran looms high above the Val d’Isre

The Val d’Isre is a Ski Ressort in winter a biker mecca in summer

Then there is the Petite Saint Bernhard that crossed from France to Italy

The Petite links to the Great Saint Bernhard at Aosta,

And at the top of the Pass it crossed into Switzerland

The Great Saint Bernhard runs to the Swiss city of Martigny

There the is a final pass to Chamonix in France

The Col Forclaz with its little hotel in the Pass which is so Swiss

And then in Chamonix stay at the foot of Mount Blanc.

Little discoveries in La Vendee, France

Adventure, art, Europe, France, history, Motorbikes, photography, travel

In travelling it’s the little discoveriesThe unexpected placesNot spectacular or plannedBut found by a sense of inquiery

These working windmills were one of these in La Vendee .Windmills were common in France but were destroyed during the Revolution as they sat on strategic hilltops

The grain ground here is organic and in the woodfired oven the perfect bread is baked.Pouzauges is a quaint village and its worth going up past the old castle and its panoramic view

To the mill

Even a donkey knows it’s a place to visit.My second was in MonoucantAnd its annual photographic exhibition each summer.

Primarily an outdoors exhibition with amazing images

I love the surprise these little discoveries while on the road

Back in Beautiful Brittany

Adventure, Europe, France, Motorbikes, travel

There was something strange about getting on the Normandy Express in Portsmouth

Was it deja vu?

But yes this fast cat was built in Tasmania Australia and used to cross Bass Strait

It was an omen of positive things to come.

First stop was beautiful Mont St Michel at the northern part of Brittany.

The beautiful coast and farm land around the northern coast

On the west coast

The sunsets

The little coves

And in July it’s mussel season so fresh and sweet

South of Brest there is Camaret sur Mer an historic fishing town

The maritime city still a working port and welcoming to tourists

With beautiful beaches and great motorcycling roads near by.

Bet really it’s the little ports of Brittany that catch my eye.

The Ancient Town of Rye

Adventure, England, Motorbikes, photography, travel

Rye which is a seaside town on the East Sussex, Kent borderA town with a long history of pirates, fishing, trade, and defence of the realmThe towns has beautiful tudor building with the top of the hill dominate by the church and old castleThe view from the church tower over looks the old castle and the Rother River that leads down to Rye HarbourThe hinterland offers scenic ridingAnd winneriesBreweriesAnd traditional pubs and beer gardensMaking sure you dont get thirsty or hungry.

And of course the ultimate.

A Moto Guzzi in the shed