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
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
It was a long haul across Europe.Many mountain passes and next to no motorways.Crossing borders and venturing into Eastern Europe for the first time.
The sun rise over the Danube Delta made it all worth while.
A small boat tour of the Delta just breathtaking
Moving across the lakes and through the chanels. Wild life abound
And in the morning sun water lillies emerge
Small traditional fish traps reflecting a sustainable approach to fishing.
On the ferry crossing the Danube to its Delta
Its a three hour easy ride from Cortina d’Ampezzo south to Venezia.
Old Venezia with its labyrinth of walkways and waterways
Hot and humid at the end of a hot Europe July
And grand canals
Of course St Marks Square is the main attraction
But achitectural splendor is around every twist of a canal
Currently the Biennale is on which provides extra cultural stimulation
It was a hot and stricky day in busy Venice but well worth the visit.
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.
In the Dolomites
From my camp in Cipena near Bormio it was over Stelvio once again and onto Merano, a gateway to the Dolomites.
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
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.
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.
The Rhine fall in Schaffhausen is a spectacular cascades of water
Not far from the German border and in the very high Rhine
Europe’s biggest fall by water volume wedged between two Swiss Castles
Interlaken as the name suggests sits between two lakes
Beautiful Swiss Lakes
A town of opulant hotels
Narrow shopping streets
And street cafes and bistros where the rider can replenish
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.
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
And luxury coaches
San Gotthard to Airola coach runs up and down San Gotthard pass
Just a perfect days riding
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.
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