Reflecting on the Swiss Alps

Adventure, Europe, Motorbikes, photography, Poetry, Switzerland

View from Furker pass looking across the Valley to the Grimsel

The ride down Furker Pass and up the Grimsel has to be one of the most beautiful and exhilarating rides available.

Down Furker

Past the wall of the Rhone Glacier


Looking across at the Rhone Glacier from the Grimsel 

Through the little village of Gletsch

Then up the Grimsel

Winding up to the lake at the top of Grimsel Pass


Grimsel Guest house under repair

If that is not enough

Turn around

Down the Grimsel

Then up the Nufenen PassOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What a day of riding it was.

In a few months I will be back in Europe

On the Mighty Breva II

More mountain passes some old some revisited.


The Dordogne – Last Stop in Europe 2017

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

The Dordogne Riders had lured me to the Vezere Valley

St Leon sur Vezere a beautiful Village in the Dordogne Region of Southern France



St Leon sur Vezere

Camped on the edge of the river



St Leon sur Vezere Municipal Camp site


Amongst significant historic and prehistoric sites

The Grote de Rouffignac

Maison Forte de Reignac



Maison Forte de Reignac

and Chateau de Losse



The Chateau


The Mighty Breva 11

But southern France is also about the beautiful villages






The continuation of the wonderful biker culture that exists in Europe. *

With the Dordogne bikers and friends

And of course in France food

A delicious lunch


* I was amazed that after 3 months covering 16,000km in 9 countries I was not pulled over once by the police. Three weeks back in Australia I was pulled over for a licence check while not breaking any law. It was motorcycle awareness (HARASSMENT) month.

Back home

Adventure, Australia, NSW, photography, Poetry, travel

I’m back home

But can’t settle

Miss the rumbling wheels beneath me

Melbourne still a touch too cold

So headed north

The warm arms of the north were beckoning me

To reach the humid warmth of the sub tropics

In northern NSW

Gibraltar ranges

The rolling curves of the mountains

Ebor falls

The water flowing through moist valleys

Emerald beach

And smooth flow of the sandy beach, the water warm and welcoming.


Adventure, Europe, Italy, Motorbikes, photography, travel

A carnival atop the Stelvio Pass

Its the big daddy of the Alps


2760 metres high

From Lake Como four passes to reach the top

Maloja pass through to Saint Moritz

Then climb the Ofen Pass

View from the Ofen Pass

And onto Santa Maria at the foot of Stelvio

Hotel Stelvio in Santa Maria

Then the climb on the Umblia pass

View from cafe on the Umblia pass

Bikes and cars making the climb

Higher and higher

Till the top

Looking down the valley

Across at the glacier

Standing atop the Stelvio Pass

Lago di Como (Lario) 

Europe, Italy, Motorbikes, photography, travel

The brochure called it the lake of dreams.

View over Lake Como from the Somana galleries above Mandello De Lario

But it’s a lake of life and vitality.

From the tourist towns like Bellagio

Bellagio from Lake Como

The narrow streets of the villages full of smells of fine food, chatter and laughter

Village steps

And beautiful villages that held forged dreams that became Italian classics.

View of Mandello de Lario

Like Carlo Guzzi’s dream for an industry for his village

So if Lake Como is a village of dreams it’s also the essence of Italian love and lust for live, beauty and exuberance.

Village lights and moon over Lake Como

The piecemealadventurer Mandello de Lario where dreams do come true.

Maloja Pass Mudslide

Adventure, Europe, Italy, Motorbikes, photography, Switzerland, travel

The Alps are a beautiful but precipitous place.

The mudslide is a reminder of the both the beauty and power of nature.

Albula Pass

Shifting rocks above the Pass

It takes my thoughts drift back to the indigenous Australians and their relationship to land.

No deity in the heavens it’s is the land that nurtures and provides. It’s the land that has wrath.

Story of land

So as I sit in the Vezere a place where humanity survived the ice age. I can reflect on the power of nature.

Humanity may try to destroy itself through nuclear war or climate change or our greed and averice nature will continue.

My heart goes out to those who lost lives and property in the beautiful Swiss Italian border country.

Roads to Lago di Como

Adventure, Austria, Europe, Italy, Motorbikes, photography

I want to thank the countries of Europe for boring tunnels and building motorways so there is less traffic on the beautiful mountain passes.

The piecemealadventurer atop Stelvio Pass

Riding the passes of Austria, Switzerland, and Italy to Lake Como was sublime.

Emerging from a congested Fern Pass and then onto Reschen Pass the traffic eased, the pace quickened and the dance of a motorbike carving the curves of a mountain road took form.

Lake Reschen at the top of the Pass

Looking down Reschen Pass the road in the gallery clinging to the cliff face

The old fort that guarded the Austrian Emporer (a Habsburg) from the unruly Italians

The Reschen Pass links straight to the bottom pass of the Stelvio. On a run through to Bormio.

The Umbrail Pass is just below Stelvio and with the weather closing in Stelvio was for another day.

On Umbrail Pass

With Bormio the objective before too much rain fell.

Rain over Bormio

From Bormio to Lake Como there is a tunnel or Passo Gavia. One on the highest roads in the Alps.

War memorial Passo Gavia

Atop Passo Gavia

The last miles to Lake Como is small villages that link together as one and tunnels. Pushing hard to get to the booked room before dark. The GPS suddenly announced that in 500 metres I would reach my destination. In the middle of the tunnel! I was 100 or so metres below there I was to stay. A lesson in making sure I enter a detailed and accurate address lol.

Castles in the sky not just high Alps – Switzerland part 3

Adventure, Europe, history, Motorbikes, photography, Switzerland, travel, Uncategorized

If you follow some narrow winding roads through fields of maize, past sheep and cattle quietly grazing, near the Aara River,  you find the village of Habsburg and Schloss Habsburg.

Castle Habsburg

The starting place in 1025 for a family that would dominate Europe and its colonies for almost a millennium- the Habsburg Family.

The Schloss Habsburg is one of the many castles that dot the Swiss countryside.

Schloss Lenzburg in sight of Habsburg tower is an impressive example.

Castle Lenzburg

Perched on hilltops

Castle Wildegg

And on lake sides

Castle Thun

The villages and old towns have their own special charms.

Decorated building eves and old town entrance in Aarau

Monument in old Lenzburg

Looking across the Rhine to old Laufenburg in Switzerland from Germany

My time in Switzerland, this trip, is drawing to a close but I have enjoyed amazing Alpine riding, exploring aspects of a rich history and found a welcoming motorcycle culture.

Thursday nights at Trimbach bei Olten

All types of bikes some very exotic


Bridge to old centre of Olten

The old sections of Aarau and Olten were built in a circle formation.

The back walls of the rows of buildings forming a barricade with gated entrances.

Old main gate in Aarau

Curved walls in Olten

High peaks, glaciers, lakes and fine twisty roads this must be the Swiss Alps – revisited

Adventure, Europe, Motorbikes, photography, Switzerland, travel


Alpine roads and scenery and culture are known to cause Alpinitis, a disease that creates an almost uncontrollable urge to return. The only relief is more Alpine riding, which results in reinfection.

This warning sits in small print on the first page of the book Motorcycle Journeys Through The Alps and beyond

September 2016, I had my first taste of the Alps.
I hadn’t noticed the onset of Alpinitis but in February this year I felt compelled to do a five day ride in the Australian Alps

The Bonang Highway, 105 kms of twisty road

But it wasn’t enough and here I am again in the Swiss Alps reinfecting myself.

The piecemealadventurer at the top of St Gotthard Pass

Up amongst the glaciers.


Across the valley to the next twisty climb

Looking at Grimsel Pass from Furka Pass

The climb up old St Gotthard pass

Down at the switch backs just conquered

Old roads

The cobbled surface of the old St Gotthard pass road

And fast sleek sweepers

Fast corner on the Susten Pass

The past the lakes

Looking down

Looking across

Days in the very high passes

Nufenpass the highest in the Swiss Alps at neatly 2,500 metres


Furka, Susten and St Gotthard

I’ve been reinfected and I’m glad there is only one response. More Alpine riding!


To ensure the total reinfection I have was drawn to the tortuously narrow Pragel Pass.

And its partner the Klausen.

There is no end to the beauty of these mountains.

Refinding the beauty of Germany 

Adventure, Europe, Germany, photography, travel

Old town in Kunzelsau

Escaping the rain of Scandinavia via the ferry from Rodby in Denmark  to Puttgarden in Germany the sun broke through.

Rodby to Puttgarden ferry

The southern areas of Germany and warmer weather called.

And along the road the lovely old buildings the lovely German guest houses.

And the well preserved buildings in the villages.

Moving south the mountains take over from the flatter land of the north.

Castles perch on hilltops.

With views over the green pastureland

And curvy roads that attract motorbikes.

An on any Sunday stop

And of course the beautiful Rhine with the old towns and cities built to the edge of the river.