Switzerland!

On the road again……..just can’t wait to get on the road again!

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A go to song when I’m about to head off. Whether I listen to good ol Willy or just sing it to myself…..its a fitting song.

The Iron Camel is holding up like I want it to and the roads in France are fantastic. My fellow bike riders can understand that once your back on the bike you can get real sense of calm and peace. Your back to your own thoughts and the curiosity of whats around the corner. It’s motorcycle therapy!

As I cruised through more farm land I could feel the shift in weather and the houses were starting look more swiss! No more rolling hills and I was climbing. I hit the top of the  mountain and could catch glimpses of Lake geneva.

I’ve been to switzerland before but only by train. So I am eager to hit what is called the mecca of motorcycle or any vehicle riding roads.

Do you get excited about water? Once I saw the lake It got me pumped. The sun, beach, and everyone is in a good mood, so It didn’t take me long to get down. 🙂

My headlight on the bike has been very dim, so before I left I found a BMW dealer in Geneva. So that would be my first stop. I got there by 12ish and every business closes for lunch from 12:00-1:30. So I guess lunch it is….IMG_1924

Right next door. 20 frank (22 dollars) seafood salad! Velcome to Svitzzerlands! With a drink it cost me about 30 franks. Beautiful weather though, and the people seem the same they still speaking french!

As I head on my destination for my next airbnb in Vevey, Switzerland. The east side of the lake. I took the long way along the lake and stopped in Evian. YES where they make evian water. I did not go check it out, there is plenty of water to see!!!

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As I rolled in on the south side of the lake and then into the city of Montreux the first thing I notice was massive mountains, blue water, and huge hotels……

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And the crowds were crazy….. it so happens I made it on there 50th annual jazz festival. This was one of their many free concerts on the water. Otherwise i would of needed to fork out 500 franks.

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The Montreux Jazz Festival (formerly Festival de Jazz Montreux and Festival International de Jazz Montreux) is a music festival held annually in early July in Montreux on the Lake Geneva shoreline. It is the second largest annual jazz festival in the world after Canada’s Montreal International Jazz Festival.

So i stayed in Vevey, which is only  a ten minute train ride from Montreux, not a bad spot and it turns out this is the area Charley Chaplin chose to live the last 25 years of his life with his family.

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The view was just as grand, with some added twists.

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It’s supposed to be “a fork in the road” Vevey!

Exploring the cities was easy to do, the are trains going all the way around the lake, and the cities are tucked beneath massive mountains. Theres only a few ways to go!

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I had my first starbucks in Europe! I haven’t had real large cup of coffee since the coffee at Da vince’s coffee cart back home. Their large cup here….. was 7.40 about $8 american money. With a Mediterranean sandwich, and an orange juice it was 22 franks. Oh well I was warned about this :)! Beautiful mountains though!

So I hung out mostly around where the festival was going on. There was so much to see, the music on the lake, the scenery, side vendors and people watch. So of course what do you do when you go to a jazz festival….listen to a girl AC/DC band of course!

Lol…apparently I had a thumbs up in the video the whole time!

Loved the energy of the band and ended up meeting with some of them the next day. Their true AC/DC Fans. Love it! We have version girl band called ACDshe in the states, but I think these girls truly rocked it! You can check them out here: backinblackgirls.com

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The statue is of Freddie mercury:

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At the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1978, the singer recorded the album “Jazz” with Queen. He fell in love with Montreux and Lake Geneva and decided to settle here. He said, among other things, “If you want peace of soul, come to Montreux”. This is his view everyday!

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Montreux also has one of the prettiest Swiss castles, that i’ve ever seen. Chillon Castle (French: Château de Chillon, pronounced Shee-yon). So after a Jazzy kinda of night I explored it the next morning!

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The Moat:DSC_0670

The Dungeon:

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The View from the Dungeon, not Bad! Not sure if its worse to have a view?

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One of the Celebration halls:

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The Fireplaces were all walk in:

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This is where they defended the castle from the front side:

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one of the breezeways:

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It looked well preserved:

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The views from inside the towers were amazing:

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outside front:

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moat:

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One more from outside:

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I took plenty of pictures and I’m fascinated with castles…as matter of fact my intention is to find one to stay in along the trip! Ok so one more!

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After a great weekend in Vevey, and Montreux I wanted to get farther into switzerland! I researched places, and one I’ve already been to, Interlaken! It was a great outdoors place but I’d rather see something different. So I chose Luzern, Switzerland. It seemed to have just right amount of old school touristy stuff.

On my way out of town, after wandering around the wrong cemetery for hours, A nice cemetery by the way , overlooking the lake……..

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I found Charlie Chaplins.

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He’s definitely honored here:

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On my way out view of the lake:

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Heading out and takin back roads knowing it will only take me 3 to 4 hours, leaves the opportunity to stop take pictures, videos, and still make it before sundown. Like heading over the hill and into luzern this:

The view coming down was again amazing no need to see a picture it wouldn’t do it justice. These though from ancient wall in luzern though:

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Musegg Wall Lucern:

A part of the rampart walls built in 1386; the wall is still almost entirely intact. Four towers are open to the public: Schirmer, Zyt, Wacht and Männli. The oldest city clock, built by Hans Luter in 1535, is in the Zyt tower. This clock is allowed to chime every hour one minute before all the other city clocks.

I walked all four, because why wouldn’t you!

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View from tower city of luzern:

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You have to keep in mind the era circa 1500’s

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This bell goes off 1 minute before all others in town:

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Went on a hike, I was almost bamboozled into seeing 4 mountains in 2 days! Which would mean I would go up and come down. So after sleeping on it…..I chose to do only one!

Mount Pilatus (German: Pilatus) is a mountain overlooking Lucerne in central Switzerland. The area is composed of several summits of which the highest (2,128 m) is named Tomlishorn. I chose just this Pilatus.

To get there there was the good ol cable car…..DSC_0734

You went above the clouds..and hiked even higher!

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There  were great walk through caves:

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And for those who truly want to sacrifice to get too church:

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To get down I took the world’s steepest cogwheel railway, from Alpnachstad, operating from May to November (depending on snow conditions).

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The loop finished with a boat ride on Lake Lucerne
(Vierwaldstättersee) Can you pronounce that?

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On the boat trip back  to luzern I heard a familiar language, Finnish!  Two girls were speaking it next to me, I haven’t even heard english since paris, so it was nice to hear something familiar.  We chatted for a bit and we ended up having dinner back in town. They spoke english which was also nice to speak without speaking too slowly!

This is the hostel I stayed  at….for 70 euro’s a night, I had a private room, but the walls were paper thin, and people were slamming doors all night, and shared bathroom!

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Truly swizerland is for those who are a little more then well off, and if your not, for a whole family, you might want do it in shorter trips.

Hung out at the lake for bit….beautiful and clean!

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Chapel Bridge and Water Tower mark the upper end of the medieval bridgehead city of Lucerne where the waters of Lake Lucerne flow into River Reuss. Originally Chapel Bridge and Water Tower were parts of the oldest medieval city ramparts of Lucerne.

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There were WAY more tourists in Luzern and I took a few more pics but i won’t bore you. Luzern had just the right mix of outdoor, history, and nightlife! Switzerland by the is very clean and efficient and I like that. You get what you pay for!

My next destination is Zermatt (Home of the matterhorn),  which I learned is a ride in disneyland. Funny I learned that overseas, I’ve never been. From what I know about the direction, I’m about to hit some of the best roads you can ride.

I’m headed for Grimsel pass…… The Grimsel Pass (German: Grimselpass) is a mountain pass in Switzerland, crossing the Bernese Alps at an elevation of 2,164 metres (7,100 ft)

Getting up there the views did not disappoint:

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If you like twisties when you ride:

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I have never seen a road like this and it made me LOL in excitement! I have some footage of me riding down it but I’ll save it for another time.

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I did do some research and they filmed one of the bond movies up furka pass, which is just up the hill from grimsel pass, in the 1964 movie goldfinger. Loved those movies…

So then I did my own small version of a chase!

and cheese balled it by trying to replicate a similar picture to this;

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The amount of pictures I took was ridiculous. You can’t say it enough switzerland takes your breath away! I may have stopped breathing! Haha but no pictures don’t do it justice and if they did it takes someone dedicated to the craft of photography.

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Heading towards zermat was a huge rush, and the BMW handled the roads beautifully. I started to begin to trust it a little more. Getting more and more comfortable with its ground clearance. My harley doesn’t have ground clearance. So hitting these amazing corners and leaning into them felt good. The roads here are impeccable. I don’t recall if even saw a pot hole!

I made it to my campsite…. Camping Attermenzen it was called, in a small town Randa!

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A beautiful place set at the base of Zermatt and the matterhorn!

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The camping there is nice, just make sure you have cash, if you want anything from their restaurant or market!

The next morning I was set to get to the matterhorn an iconic mountain in disneyland :)…..no the real matterhorn is here in Zermatt. I’ve been in contact with some friends and fellow kick boxers monique and her daughter Amanda. They’ve been a 6 week world journey as well. They have family in switzerland and had been there for about a week . So we were able to work out meeting in zermatt.

So I normally  get on my bike to explore towns first, then on foot! Its a fast way to understand the main roads and back streets to get my bearings. Riding up to zermatt requires you riding through a small village Tasch!

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I did not know you cannot go pass this town into zermatt with your own vehicle. But I tried :)…..so I took a one lane road into zermatt, with helicopters hauling construction material right above my head, I arrived into the main area with my big huge motorcycle and crowds of people staring at me. The taxi drivers screaming at me! After realizing it wasn’t the welcoming committee I stopped and asked a driver what’s wrong?

He said I can be fined 4oo or 500 franks for driving a  vehicle here! OH WOW! ok! I’ll turn around then :)! Apparently unless you work and live there, there are no tourist vehicles allowed. IF you did work there, the town is made for very small vehicles anyway!

Taxis, police, work trucks, all mini size!

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So I turned around went back into Tasch, found a parking garage, near the train station to get you into zermatt. A random lady informed me that I could certainly find a spot outside. It’s way to expensive to park in there!? NOPE! Mostly private parking  outside unless I wanted to pay.  I don’t know the area so I decided to take it back to the camp and walk back to the train station. Which was about 20 minute walk.

I got off the train looked around a bit and then heard my name being called! Apparently they were on the same train! Ha! The timing was perfect!

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Monique parents were there as well! We spent the afternoon trying to figure out how far you can actually go up!?  Lol…..its part of traveling one step forward three steps back!

Here was our first glimpse of the matterhorn!

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Its up there and definitely stands out!

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Of course there is a cable car.

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and the views….

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As you get higher the snow got thicker, and the helicopters were delivering construction material to the top just about all day!

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Once you get there you can feel the lack of oxygen, move to quickly and you’ll head will feel funny!

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If you feel like skiing in summer it looked like a few hills for those die hards were still running!

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Look real close at you’ll see people hiking higher!!!!

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You can walk through a glacier bar, or ice bar as they called it!

I fully expected to see a bar down here, but mostly sculptures! It was definitely cold!

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It was cool and a little weird too! They had music playing through out the caves! It didn’t need it in my opinion.

We explored for little longer and then made our decent, this was at the edge of the world about enter the cable car!

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It seemed like we were not in this world it was so high!

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After dinner they were able to drive me back to my camp. I decided that night I would move on. Switzerland is expensive, as i said before, and a german couple i met camping who were traveling by back pack said they’re heading for italy too “Itzz zeaper down zere” they said.

Traveling with some home town friends was nice, to share experiences, and speak normally! Going to places where most don’t speak english is a fun challenge but it can also be isolating!

For now I’m out and thanks again Moretti family for the shared experience. Grandma even bought be a flask, as she heard me say it would be nice to have  night cap on cold night once in while :)…it was very sweet!

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