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
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.
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 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.
What biker can resist the high passes
In the clouds
By the icy glaciers
The winding roads up the mountain passes
The cobble stoned old San Gotthard pass my favourite of all
Crowned with its mountain eagle monument
And on a clear day the lakes, an amazing blue, pay tribute to the sky above them.
Wild Horses Kosciuszko National Park
Remote from the noise and the bustle
In the bush with the wild horses
In the wilderness
On a mountain top camp
On the coast
The golden sandy beach
Stretching to the horizon
Hungry Head Central Coast NSW
Finding special places
Where human activity and nature blend
Yarrangobilly Thermal Pool
Winding along the roads less travelled
Finding the wild things
May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind blow always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
And the rains fall soft upon your fields
Until we meet again
So goes the old Irish Blessing.
Ireland, the soft green place of damp air, great learning, amazing friendliness and intense struggle
Monument to Irish immigrants
The Irish diaspora spread all around the world
The contrasts of Ireland so stark
From the halls of Trinity College
To the murals that are are a record of the troubles found in Derry
And of course the contrast is an actual divide
The north and the south, the Republic and the British
Can this divide be overcome?
People of good will can achieve anything
Peace statue Derry
And on the border of Derry and Donegal bikers from both of the border come together to raise funds for a lifeboat in a little village in the Republic
Mizen Head is the most southern most point of mainland Ireland
As good as place as any to start the
Wild Atlantic Way
They even give you a starting line
The route winds up the west coast
Through foggy Irish mist
Over mountains with wonderous views
Mountains where Irish legends such as
Finn Mc Cool sat.
A coast where there are fishing villages both small
With cliffs towering out of the sea
Relics of stone age and Celtic history dating back 5000 years
Quintessential Irish pubs
And then at the end
After 6 days of challenging riding
At Malin Head the most northern point of mainland Ireland
They provide a finish line
Jutting out into the Atlantic
Brittany has much in common with the Celtic cousins in Cornwall and Ireland
The quaint seaside ports also along the coastline
Reflecting the Brittany’s place as Frances finisterre (lands end)
Brest it’s major city
With its ancient citadel apon the hill
A long maritime history
And beautiful beaches
But not a drop to drink
So it was set camp
And taste the fine wine and unique blend of French and Bavarian cuisine.
In the wonderful medieval charm of Riquewihr, in the Alsace
La Grappe D’or