Page 4 of Orson Travel Blog Posts

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Devon July 20th 2007

This morning I set out to explore the nearby fishing village of Clovelly, famous for its steep, cobbled streets and picturesque harbor. The village is closed off to vehicle traffic. From the coast, I began to make my way south through the rolling countryside of Devon. Again, the Triumph was in its element. Long queues of vehicles stacked up behind slow moving farm machinery were dispatched with ease. By mid-afternooon, darkening skies were beginning to make their presence felt. I was sprinkled on a few times but continued to enjoy mostly sunshine. I passed through the Dartmoor National Park on my way south and on the the town of Totnes on the south coast of Devon. Time was beginning to expire on my journey so I turned and headed north through the pastoral Devon countryside. Again, ... read more
Main Street
Clovelly Harbour

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Devon July 18th 2007

Turning north, I headed towards the coast and the picturesque village of Lynton, where the Exmoor meets the sea. Lynton is a quaint if not a bit touristy and a nice place to stop for an ice cream made from fresh Devon cream. Continuing west along Barnstaple Bay, I ended the day in Horns Cross where I found the delightful Hoops Inn. Built during the 13th century as a traveller’s inn. I enjoy a nice dinner of pan fried duck in a raspberry reduction.... read more
More Lynton
Looking Down On Lynton
Devon Coast

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Somerset July 18th 2007

As I watched the weather forecast this morning, I saw the weather down south would be much sunnier so, I made the spur of the moment decision to head southwest…to the West Country. This is the term the English use to refer to the finger of land that juts out into the Atlantic culminating at Land’s End. In the county of Somerset, I passed through the Cheddar Gorge, the largest gorge in the United Kingdom. While riding with Martin the previous day, the Triumph felt flustered and out of breath as it tried to keep up with Martin’s mighty, mighty Goose. However, riding without the pressure to keep up, the Triumph felt transformed and in its element. trundling along the narrow English backroads at around 70 mph, the Triumph was a joy to ride and that ... read more
The Cheddar Gorge
More of the Cheddar gorge
Somerset Backroads

Europe » United Kingdom » Wales July 17th 2007

team orson recently had the opportunity to escape the blistering summer heat in Saudi for some cooler climes in the British Isles. Arrangements were made to meet with ST.N member and fellow Guzzisti, Martin Barret. Martin is entered into the Round Britain Rally which is sort of like a photographic scavenger hunt with landmarks all over Great Britain. So, I would tag along while Martin nabbed a few of the landmarks. As I left Nottingham, weather was “unsettled” as the English tend to describe weather that can change from sunshine to downpours to sunshine and downpours to sunshine, all within one hour. A late start and a wrong turn meant I was “only” an hour and a half late when I met up with Martin at a rest stop just south of Birmingham. We made our ... read more

Europe » Italy » Lazio June 14th 2007

There was one more place I wanted to see while here. Like many veterans of the war, my father seldom spoke of his wartime experiences. One of the few times he did was to mention the destruction of the abbey atop Monte Cassino during the Battle of Monte Cassino. The Germans were reportedly using the abbey as an observation post and Allied command ordered it to be bombed. He spoke ruefully of the destruction of the beautiful abbey. I’m sure my father would be pleased to learn that the abbey has since been rebuilt to its former glory with its fantastic views. Unlike Pompeii, this place did move me…perhaps because of my personal connection or perhaps reflecting on the lives that were lost in this bloody chapter of the war. Unfortunately, my camera’s battery bit the ... read more
Corsica Route
Sardinia Routes
Sicily Route

Europe » Italy » Campania » Amalfi June 4th 2007

From Pompeii, I returned to Amalfi along the famous Amalfi Coast road, said by some to be the most beautiful road in the world. As it was a weekend, the road was clogged with four-wheeled tourist traffic. This isn’t a problem in Italy on a motorcycle as you simply straddle the center line, select the appropriate gear…and motivate. I must have passed a thousand cars stuck in traffic…two wheels are the only way to go! ... read more
Amalfi Coast
Tight Quarters

Europe » Italy » Campania » Pompei June 3rd 2007

After pottering about in the south, I became concious of time running out on my vacation so I made the decision to put in some miles on the autostrada. Normally, freeways are meant to make time and not very scenic however, that’s not the case with the A3. Cutting through beautiful mountains, the A3 offers visual delights with enough sweeping bends to keep things interesting. As freeways go, you could do a lot worse than the A3. After a day on the autostrada, I had reached the famed Amalfi coast. I had an interest in Amalfi since my father spent time there during World War II. My father fought in the war as a member of the Royal Canadian Artillery that was involved in the forgotten Italian campaign. After being wounded, he was sent to recover ... read more
Pompeii Courtyard
Mount Vesuvius

Europe » Italy » Calabria June 1st 2007

After a short 20 minute ferry ride, I was back on the Italian mainland in the boot tip. I rode through the Aspromonte National Park with its dark forest roads that reminded me a bit of Northern California. I later found out that this is where the Mafia goes to dispose of their dirty business. The road signs in this part of Italy are terrible and with me being a card carrying Luddite without a GPS, I was left to fend for myself. Eventually, I found my way and made it across the central mountain range to the southern side of the “toe”. In Bovalino, I find a decent hotel to stay for the night. ... read more
Straits of Messina
Mountainous Calabria
Aspromonte National Park

Europe » Italy » Sicily May 30th 2007

I awoke the next morning about 1 hour from Palermo. I made my way to the coffee shop & received my daily dosage of capuccinos before preparing to disembark. The weather had turned to overcast skies. While the clouds offered some relief from the heat, it also made photo opportunities a bit more difficult. After getting off the ferry, my first mission was to buy a map of Sicily. Easier said than done it seems. The first 6 gas stations I stopped at had no maps. At each stop, I was given a look that said,”This is a gas station. Why would we sell maps?” I was finally able to find a book store that had a map of Sicily. Riding in Italy is a study of patience. Where as in the U.S. everything is based ... read more
San Vito lo Capo
Cloudy Day

Europe » Italy » Sardinia May 25th 2007

The twisties seemed to go on forever! Entire tanks of gas were ridden in third gear, that magical, catch all gear that seems a perfect combination of speed and torque. Every now and then I’d have to engage 4th gear to punctuate a short straight or dab down into 2nd for a tight switchback. The rest of the time, 3rd gear was more than willing to take on the brunt of the load. Two-lane twisties for as far as you could see. Hard left followed by hard right and on and on… Now, I love twisty roads as much as the next guy but, I began to wonder if a few straights every now and then might bring some relief! The curves came literally one right after the other, mile after mile. With the temperatures reaching ... read more
Monti del Gennargentu
More Twisty Roads

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