Again they promised rain! But it didn’t look too bad when we started riding. Short stop to take a picture in Col de Eze:
We were riding around in Monaco and checked few places there. But didn’t take any nice pictures. And after Menton we continued to Italy… but there it was raining!
So we didn’t stay there too long. We came back to La Turbie and decided to go and check the Trophy of Augustus. Just beside the entrance there is a nice viewing point and a perfect view to Monaco!
Then with the fee of 6€ we checked this Trophy that was built 6BC!!! Read more about the trophy here.
Then it was already quite nice weather and we continued riding to the mountains. Right from the La Turbie village starts nice road to Peille village and we chose this one!
After Peille it was time for Col de Braus.
And right after this Col de l’Ablé.
Pitty that it was already afternoon and we had to return the bike to MotorBikeTrip. But we had very nice time riding the roads near to City of Nice! We will be back! In the evening we were walking in the city and we saw this beautiful Church -Notre-Dame de Nice:
Next day it was only about breakfast, packing and flight back to cold Helsinki… And my wife made a nice video of this day:
We would leave this beautiful island… oh yes. It would be wise to stay for example 1 week but we want to spend more time those roads in Europe! So early in the morning it’s time to choose same route back to Bastia -harbour. And then take the boat-trip to the mainland (Savona this time). One last picture from Corsica:
This is from this here. We’re riding so early we actually had time to have some kind of breakfast in the cafe near the harbour before the check-in to the boat.
But the trip takes more than 6 hours this time… so definately if you don’t want to put all day to your boat trip it’s better to choose Livorno – Bastia route.
We will be in Italy mainland about 6 a’clock in the afternoon… And the food is not cheap i the boat!
Then from Savona we had a nice ride through countryside… Lots of nice twisty small roads with nice scenery every now and then.
The hotel was in Ovada… Pretty nice hotel with garage but without restaurant.
I did a post in august 2013 about the best motorcycleroads in Finland -now it’s time to make the same in English.
I have chosen only the routes that are longer than 10 km. You can also find the best roads from motocaching.net but there the most of the introductions and comments are in Finnish. And my list is not the same!
Porkkalantie Pros: Nice corners and landscapes Cons: Few parts only 40km/h speedlimit
From Barcelonnette to south we chose D 908 instead of Col de la Cayolle (this would be actual part of the Route des Grandes Alpes). I think it is more interesting to ride Col d’Allos & Col des Champs (like we did)!
But before it starts to climb to the mountain Pass you need ride a long time endlessly twisting road following the valley. The river below you goes further and further while you’re climbing higher and higher.
Finally I had to stop and check if I can see the river anymore??!!
Then starts the actual climb to the Col d’Allos:
In the top of this beautiful mountain pass we saw absolutely stunning views and I took the best picture of the whole trip here!
Wanna see this picture in bigger size? Click here!
When riding down from Col d’Allos I had a very scary moment (03:55 in the video)!! A car came from the opposite direction just behind the blind corner… and the road is very narrow and there are no rails! I think my heart stopped for a second!!! But luckily I didn’t have too much speed.
Then we rode Col des Champs! This was extremely narrow road in the middle of the forest. It felt like a jogging-path or a mountainbike-path! It had bumps and dikes… But luckily no traffic! Also in the top of Col des Champs was very quiet (and beautiful!)
The road down from Col des Champs (to east) is wider and easier to ride.
Then we rode to Valberg tourist- ans skiresort and from there we rode to Col de la Couillole.
From there we were all waiting the final climb for this day -Col de Turini! But before we found the right mountain pass we took the wrong turn!! (Or actually we didn’t make the turn!) After missing the turn the GPS told us to climb to Ilonse… and we did!
It was 13 kilometers ride to the wrong direction!! But luckily it was very nice road and we didn’t feel bad to ride it back…
…So we could finally start the way to Col de Turini. It is simply amazing! There are so many tight corners and hairpins that I think I was feeling a little bit dizzy! And also it felt like it’s climbing a lot! Like at least 2500 meters! But actually the summit of the Turini is “only” 1607 meters high!! But gosh! What an amazing ride!!
That red spot is Timo with his Honda VFR!
From the south-end of Turini we still had few nice corners to ride (from Sospel to Menton) -or actually our place to stay was Le Relais de Monti few kilometers noth from the city of Menton. We would spend the next 3 nights here! (Nice place, I recommend it!)
The route for the day 11 was like this!
This climb ends in Valloire village and from the southside of Valloire starts the climb to Col du Galibier which is one of my favorites! It has a short tunnel on the top, but to reach even higher you have to take the alternative route and finally reach the 2645 meters.
Here’s video from the Col du Galibier
Col d’Izoard is more south and it starts from Cervières village (If you ride from north to south). The view on the summit is a little bit different than in many other mountain pass, the mountain walls are mostly gravel and stones! It is a barren sight!
Col d’Izoard is 2360 meters high!
Finally we had Col de Vars (2109m) where we had some ice cream!
This was the day when we finally entered the Alps and the route that I planned this whole trip (Route des Grandes Alpes). But before we actually got to ride the endless hairpin corners… we visited the Les Gorges du Pont du Diable.
This is a place where the river has been “digging” the limestone for millions of years. It’s not a cave but almost… The hole is 40 meters deep. It costs 6,10€ to take a 40 minutes tour with a guide and it really is worth every penny!!
It is amazing place! And it’s only 20 minutes from Thonon Les Bains.
Then the first climb we took was Col de la Colombiere which is 1614 meters high mountain pass near Cluses. Then we climbed Col des Aravis, it’s still not very high but it offers one of the best views to Mt. Blanc!
You can see the highest mountain in Europe from many places if you’re driving south of Col des Aravis.
Then we had Cormet de Roselend, which is almost 2000 meters (1968 meters), this offered already very spectacular views from the top!! Especially the Lake Roselend with the clear turquoise water is really worth to make a break and admire the view!
And finally we had the highest mountain pass in Europe in the afternoon: Col d’Iseran (2764 meters). The summit is still a lonely place! There’s no restaurant or no souvenir-shop just an old chapel made of stone… and I think they don’t even use that anymore!
There’s still old meters in the sign… It has been checked few years ago that the real hight is few meters lower!
When we rode down to Val d’Isere it started to get cloudy. We had one more climb to make since we had our accommodation in Italy (Moncenisio). We did see a little bit of of the Lake Mt Cenis, but after we crossed the border we had no visibility anymore! We’re riding in the clouds! And the road to the amazing Chalet Sul Lago was extremely narrow with the branches of the trees coming very low… it felt like a scene from a horror movie!! And finally when we found the place… it had a very pleasant surprise for us!
No, it is not a Michelin restaurant with any stars… But it is mentioned in the Michelin quite many times (as you can see!) -And yes the food was good! Here is the route for the day 9.
After breakfast it was time to start riding again. My Tomtom Rider 410 showed us the way to the nearest gas station in Weil am Rhein… but what I didn’t remember in that point that in highway in Switzerland you’ll need the Vignette! And the nearest Shell was AFTER the border checkpoint in autobahn/ highway with only possible direction to Switzerland… Oops! (We decided that we are not going to buy the expensive Vignette -we would rather ride the small roads in Switzerland area).
After a short discussion with customs officer we were able to make nice move to the other side of the customs area and ride back to Germany… and soon after that ride through the city of Basel. That took about 1 hour! In the southside of Basel we actually got our first real mountain hairpin corners when we climbed to Passwang Pass (elevation 1204 meters). And we had the first break in the “summit cafeteria” (http://www.alpenblick-passwang.ch/).
The view to valley was amazing.
Then we had Grenchenberg! What an amazing ride it was! The road is so narrow (climb from the north) that it is simply impossible to overtake a car. And I was so kind that I stopped and wait for the other 2 riders… and we had to drive behind a car for a long time.
Just before the summit there was a place with lots of cars, tents and people… I don’t know if there was a some kind of special meeting or a camp(?) but it looked very strange! (In video 09:00). We had a nice break in the summit restaurant.
The southside road of Grenchenberg is not that narrow, there are even some busses driving… Then we entered Bern.
I was actually quite scared about riding through Bern! But it was Sunday early afternoon and there was not that much traffic. We did see the city center terminal of Bern and it was quite easy to ride through. From Bern we choose the road beside (and under) the highway to west as we headed to Lake Geneva. In the way we got some pretty nice views to the Lake of Gruyère (a reservoir).
Also the view to the Lake Geneva was amazing! I had planned the route to the beach Boulevard of Vevey, Clarens and Montreux… And that was a big mistake! There was annual Jazz Festival of Montreux going on… it took about 2 hours to ride that boulevard! (But we learned to do some nice splitting!) We did see the tents! And we heard some music! So I guess we can say that we were at the festival!
Finally after a long day we arrived in Thonon-Les-baines. It’s a city in French side of the Lake Geneva.
We had a day off. No plans for this day… But 3 bikes desided to ride anyway! Here we are at the top of Serpentine-road on the west side of Sapanta-village. After 80 km’s ride we reached Merry Cemetery in Sapanta. It’s very close to Ukraine border. We checked the gravestones and we were thinking that there should be at least some example translations of the texts there are. We couldn’t understand anything of the Romanian language in the stones! 1 bike desided to choose the alternative route back to Satu Mare and 2 bikes took the same route back. We found a nice place to wash the bikes! Clean bike! This is the probably the last time you will see this bike, because 20 minutes later I crashed it! Oh yes I did!
I didn’t have too much speed but the asphalt was a little bit slippery and I couldn’t stop the bike before I hitted the bus a little bit and then I fell down! Bike was almost totally in pieces and I was mad like HELL! First thing I did was to ran to the woods and shout as loud as I could: “F*** ME!” And only few minutes later I was only sad because this was the end of this tour for me! So I’m not gonna write about it anymore since I’m not with the group. If you still want to follow the tour do it in the Facebook! (Only in finnish, sorry)