Dave Swift


Dave Swift


Former TravelPod Member: beemerdave

Joined: June 20th, 2012
From: lives in Grass Valley,United States

Europe » France » Alsace » Riquewihr September 19th 2015

Geo: 48.1669, 7.29728Saturday we traveled to the Alsace region of France along the Route des Vins (wine route) to meet up with Deb and Guenther in the 16th century walled city of Riquewihr. Over the weekend, we visited several of the local villages, including Ribeauville and Kayserberg, in addition to the old town of Colmar with its canals and centuries-old buildings. We also made it a point to sample as much of the local Alsatian cuisine as we could in the few days we had left. Monday we headed back to Heidelberg, Germany to return the bikes and prepare them for storage at Knopf Tours - until our next visit. While hanging out at Knopf's B&B we had the opportunity to meet several other motorcyclists, one of whom had been on the road for five years, ... read more
Castle garden
Armor display
Castle stained glass

Europe » Switzerland September 13th 2015

Geo: 46.3413, 7.01233Saturday the group left the French Riviera via the autobahn, splitting up in Aix en Provence. Dave and Janet took to the country roads on a nice ride through the Luberon despite threatening clouds, overnighting in Gap after visiting Lourmarin, Apt and Sisteron along the way. The following day they headed for the higher elevations, with alternating sunny and cloudy skies, over several more passes on the way to Grenoble. Road closures and a 15km detour put them off course, causing them to miss seeing the Grand Goulets, although the alternate route provided a wonderful ride on a great little Alpine road near St. Martin en Vercors. As the storm clouds turned to rain, they found a quaint “guest house” in Ugine, just outside of Albertville, dinner and breakfast included. On Tuesday, they started ... read more
Approaching Mt. Blanc
On the road in the Alsace
Lunch in Lourmarin, France

Europe » France September 6th 2015

Geo: 43.7, 7.11667Our departure from San Mamete was delayed slightly due to morning rain showers, but the storm blew through, and by 8:30 we had wonderful blue skies. Our ride to the French Alps took us through numerous long tunnels – one 5.3km. We crossed over the Col Boeuf-Tremplin pass into France at the Montgenevre ski area, then wound our way down the valley, arriving at our quaint family-run hotel in Briancon at mid-day. Following lunch at an outdoor café in the town square, we hiked up to the old city of Briancon, exploring its labyrinth of narrow streets lined with shops and restaurants. The following day we left Briancon under clear skies, heading south in the French Alps. Our first climb was an easy one, leaving the main road at Guillestre, ... read more
Inside the old city
Cathedral square
The girls at the entrance to old Briancon

Europe » Italy » Lombardy September 3rd 2015

Geo: 46.0252, 9.05328The ride from Cortina to Lake Lugano was eight hours of bumper-to-bumper, stop-and-go, for most of the trip down to Milano. Throw in some high temps and even higher humidity - plus Europeans ending their August summer holiday - and you have the “perfect storm” for a miserable ride. If it wasn't for some lane splitting and following other bikes along the shoulder we might still be on the road. We finally arrived in San Mamete, Italy to discover that our accommodations felt like a wonderful, small “villa” overlooking Lake Lugano. After a totally exhausting travel day, we took the next day for kicking back, lounging around our wonderful grapevine-covered terrace, and catching up on our reading. Long naps were also the order of the day. On Monday, we headed about 20 minutes east ... read more
View towards town from our terrace
Outside dining
Menaggio harbor

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice August 26th 2015

Geo: 45.4345, 12.3384Sometimes distances in kilometers can fool you. As we checked out our maps of Italy for other places to ride, Guenther realized that the historic city of Venice was only 105 miles to the south. So it was a no-brainer for Debbie and Guenther to venture out to the incomparable "City of Canals". The start of ride down was a nice two lane road, followed by a major toll road for two thirds of the journey, which were traversed in no time. Understand that a wide three lane toll highway in Italy has a 120 km (about 80 mph) posted speed limit, but like Germany's autobahn that seems to be an advisory that few drivers advise to. So in order to keep ... read more
Venice California never looked like this
From all over the world to Piazza San Marco
San Simeone Piccolo on the Grand Canal

Europe » Italy » Veneto August 22nd 2015

Geo: 46.5376, 12.1413Saturday saw us on another ride to a new destination – this week: Cortina, Italy. We left Hallstatt, Austria with fond memories amid broken skies, making our way around the mountains, south and west to the little village of Bruck, and the start of the Grossglocknerstrauss amid sunny skies. The 50 km toll road is adjacent to the Hohe Tauern National Park, which consists of 300 mountains and 246 glaciers, of which the Grossglockner is the tallest peak in Austria. This magnificent road goes through the Fusher Tall, a lush, green valley, up and over the peaks of the Grossglockner Pass with its series of switchbacks and serpentine roads. We stopped at the top of Edelweiss Spitz amid a crowd of motorcycles, cars and the usual number of cyclists to take in the awesome ... read more
The start of the Grossglocknerstrauss
Entering the Fuscher Tal
One of many waterfalls

Europe » Austria » Upper Austria » Hallstatt August 15th 2015

Geo: 47.5573, 13.647We left Flaurling prepared for rain but had nothing but bright, sunny skies for our ride to Hallstatt. Outside of Salzburg, we encountered a lot of traffic, having to lane-split for nearly 13km before we could bypass the city in favor of the country roads. After that, it was a wonderful excursion through the pristine valleys and around several azure alpine lakes of the Salzkammergut, the area from Salzburg south towards Italy. We found our lodging for the coming week nestled against the side of a narrow road cut into a sheer wall of rock at the edge of beautiful Lake Hallstatt. After unloading our gear, we walked into the village where a festival was taking place. We enjoyed cheese-filled sausages and pastries for lunch with wine and beer, all accompanied by traditional Tyrolean ... read more
In front of our Hallstatt house
Lakeside view of our Hallstatt house
A view from our window

Europe » Austria » Tyrol August 8th 2015

Geo: 47.2838, 11.1333Breakfast in Switzerland coffee in Liechtenstein, and dinner in Austria. The day started out sunny and warm, then after passing through numerous tunnels, we hit serious rain and thunderstorms as we neared our destination of Flaurling, about 20km west of Innsbruck. Flaurling dates back to 763 and just celebrated its 1,250th anniversary in 2013! Saturday night we enjoyed a live “Johnny B Good” rock and roll concert in the courtyard of an ancient church on the hillside a few blocks from our new home. We've enjoyed getting to know our town hosts, some locals at the concert, and the mayor of Flaurling who gave Guenther a bottle of “1492” beer from Salzburg. Sunday we toured the local area, found a McDonalds in Telfs with Wi-Fi (none available at our lodging) and took the opportunity ... read more
Our first glimpse of Leichtenstein
Entering Austria
Austria village church

Europe » Switzerland August 1st 2015

Geo: 46.4945, 9.90103Wearing our rain gear, we left Andermatt in a light rain heading east again over the Oberalpass, into the clouds. Eventually, we picked up the Autobahn at Tamins, riding through several more of Switzerland's long tunnels. We crossed over the Julier Pass, a relatively barren moonscape of rocks and dirt, not enhanced by the gray skies and damp weather. Eventually, we made our way down to St. Moritz, where we stopped for lunch while we waited for the rental agents to return from their lunch break. We arrived at our guest house overlooking the charming town of Pontresina, six kilometers away, just as the clouds started to break. We took it as a nice omen and settled in for another week of adventures.More cloudy, threatening skies motivated us to take Sunday to explore the ... read more
Our abode in Ponsetrina
Glacier view from our window
Pontresina Castle from 1240 - up the hill from us

Europe » Switzerland July 25th 2015

Geo: 46.6329, 8.59482We left Lauterbrunnen under cloudy skies and headed southeast, passing again through one of the longest tunnels (nearly 5 miles long) towards Meiringen. Our first stop was at the Reichenbach Waterfalls (where Sherlock Holmes fell to his death). We opted not to take the tram to the top, instead took a few photos of the lower falls. From there we started our climb up to Innertkirchen. Our motorcycle guidebook suggested a detour 18 km up a narrow dead-end valley road. After paying a 4 Chf toll, we continued through a high meadow to the Engstlen See, where there's a hotel, camping, and a wonderful cheese factory (which we visited and stocked up). On the way down the narrow road, Guenther was run off the pavement by a speeding driver. A retaining wall kept him ... read more
Narrow road to the Engstlen See
Ready to roll out of Lauterbrunnen
The 5 km tunnel from Interlaken

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