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Bungawalbyn 29 Jan 2010 09:33

Europe Trip
Howdy campers,

I've been lurking awhile and figured now that I've worked out some of my planned trip, it was probably time to start seeking some advice from those that know.

I'm arriving in London on 26 may. I'll buy an old BMW something ( hopefully sorted out before I arrive). Spend two weeks riding around The north and west of Scotland, over to the Isle of Man for a couple of days at the TT,then over to Belfast. I'll do a week making my way down to the ferry port at Rosslare, back to Pembroke and through Cardiff, Bath,Salisbury(and the Henge) and along the south coast to Dover.

From Calais I'll head down to Bilbao, Zaragozer and Barcelona (big fan of Gaudi). The south of France and Italy. Including the Amalfi coast and Venice.If I have time I'll also take one of the routes to Switzerland over the Alps.

On the way back to London I'll spend a few days in Paris and some more in London before flying home.

I have 12 weeks all up.

I plan to camp and stay in hostels with the occasional night in a Hotel. Don't mind a bit of wild camping. I'm 54 and never been to Europe before. Though I did travel around GB 10 yers ago. LOVED!!!! Scotland.

Any advice, must do's, places to stay, etc most apreciated.

Thanks Ed

MooN 29 Jan 2010 12:34

advice? yeah, enjoy yourself...

I'm 2 hours south of Paris if you want a beer on your way home.

If you get a problem in france, Shout.

Bungawalbyn 30 Jan 2010 00:36


Originally Posted by MooN (Post 274094)
advice? yeah, enjoy yourself...

I'm 2 hours south of Paris if you want a beer on your way home.

If you get a problem in france, Shout.

Thanks MooN,

I'd like your number ( can't PM you, not enough posts yet) And yes, if it can be arranged I'd like to meet up for a beer or a glass of red.


pecha72 30 Jan 2010 09:52


Originally Posted by Bungawalbyn (Post 274073)
The south of France and Italy. Including the Amalfi coast and Venice.If I have time I'll also take one of the routes to Switzerland over the Alps.

The Amalfi coast is magic, one of the highlights of Italy - and that country isnt short on sights!! But if I´d go that far south, then I´d consider visiting Sicily. I also liked Calabria (the ´tip´ of the shoe). And while I usually do not like big cities so much, Rome was enchanting. So was Naples in its own way.

In case you´ve never been to mainland Europe, then North Italy->Switzerland is definitely something NOT to be missed, and do take your time. The best roads (riding-wise) are very, very curvy & slow... and hope you´ll get good weather, because the views are just magnificent. If you´ve got time, maybe even skip buying the Swiss motorway ´vignette´ and pass through the country on smaller roads. It takes time, but Switzerland isn´t so big.

Personally I´m 100% in love with the Lago Maggiore-Lago di Como pre-alpine region (northwest from Milan), and I could easily spend days or even weeks in that area. It´s so full of things to do & see. These days it´s a little expensive, though.

In northern Italy, Tuscany (incl. Florence, Siena, Assisi, San Cimignano) and the Ligurian coast (especially Cinque Terre) are also something to consider.

MooN 31 Jan 2010 00:02


Originally Posted by Bungawalbyn (Post 274168)
Thanks MooN,

I'd like your number ( can't PM you, not enough posts yet) And yes, if it can be arranged I'd like to meet up for a beer or a glass of red.


I can PM you though...:cool4:

Bungawalbyn 31 Jan 2010 02:01

Thanks MooN for the number.

pecha 12,
I plan on riding through Liguria, Cinque Terre looks great in the photo's, to Rome, Naples etc and go as far south as time allows, then back up through Tuscany etc. I'll be taking secondary roads wherever possible. I hate freeways. Hate hate hate tollways.:censored: So much to see, so little time.

Thanks for the sugestion about the Lake Como region, isn't that where the Guzzi factory is? Also on the list.


Zarks 31 Jan 2010 04:17

Hi Ed,

Just spent six weeks in September and October of '09 riding through France, Suisse, Italy and Spain, with the bulk of the trip in Spain.

Left England with a buddy of mine for two weeks then went solo for the balance. As noted in an early thread the area around Lake Maggoria (sp) is beautiful, but as noted also, a bit pricey.

If you are pressed for time, or need to get back up to England maximizing your time down South for some reason, or wish to save your tyres a bit one way, there are ferries that run from Plymouth, Portsmouth etc. that go to Santander or Bilboa in Spain. Cost full up with a bike and sleeping berth (I was solo for the return trip to England) was about 160 pounds and took 18 hours. Brittany Ferris are what I used to get back to the UK.

After riding through France, Suisse, and Italy I spent two solid weeks just riding the Pyrennes, most of the time spent between Jaca and Sort, with a day out to the Mediterranean just to dip my toes in the water, and a few days out on the Costa Verde area.

The riding in the Basque area all the way over to past sort is unbelievable if you like twisty mountain passes, breathtaking scenery and quiet quiet roads.

I think I crossed from Spain into France every third or fourth day going over some great passes.

The standard Michelin maps at 1 to 1 million are good for an overview, but if you can pick up more detailed maps (AA) at 1:400,000 they give a lot more detail of the side and smaller roads not shown at all on the 1 to 1 million maps. I don't use GPS at all, and found using maps I did take the wrong turn a few times, but found some great roads that way.

As you will find out, Europe is very well signposted, all -- well, if not most, rural intersections are posted, and even going through small villages and towns they have direction signs to get you were you are going. Much better by about a 1000% than here in N. America.

As the other post stated, Suisse has some amazing roads, and the I picked up a 1:275,000 scale map at a bookstore in Winterthur (although they are sold everywhere) upon entering Suisse, and just planned my day by looking for the squiggliest lines I could find.

Usually I camp as well, but did not for this trip. If you are looking for a break for a night or two from the thermarest, I can highly recomend one exceptional place in the really great town of Jaca. The lady that runs it is just fantastic, her daughter teaches English, and Jaca itself is very nice with great rides all around it. Very similar to the quality of riding outside of Sort.

Sorry to go on so much about Spain and the Pyrennes. France was great too, especially the area along the Napolean Road, and the Napolean Road itself.

The West side of France is also nice, more sweeper type roads, but that could be perhaps becuase I did not take as much time as I could through that part, but still all secondary roads.

If you would like any specific information at all please feel free to PM me anytime.

You will love it, it is great riding, great scenery, great food, and the people all along the way I met were just fantastic!

Have a great trip.


Bungawalbyn 3 Feb 2010 00:54

Thanks for the info Zarks. I had a look at some stuff on the Napolean rd and it looks like a good way to go.

Knight of the Holy Graal 3 Feb 2010 11:22

Hello, Bungawalbyn!

Pecha72 gave you a complete and precise overview of my Country (Itay).

I only add two things:

The Dolomites on the Alps, see some images here:
dolomiti - Cerca con Google
A German friend of mine says that Dolomites have plenty of roads that seems as if they were projected and made by motorcyclists!

My hometown, Mantua, in the north, close to Garda Lake
mantova - Cerca con Google.

Greetings from Italy

steveindenmark 5 Feb 2010 10:32

F1 Hotels in France are cheap, clean and have loads of hot water.
Also check out Hostelworld.com...you can find some great accomodation for cheap prices.

If you go to Lake Como go and visit the Moto Guzzi Factory and museum at Mandello del Lario. Moto Guzzis have been made there since 1921.

Venice....totally WOW place...take your gear off as it gets hot. Try and find a place to park before you go. The multi storey car park costs €24 for a 24 hour period BUT if you stay for 1 hour you pay €24. That is with a car and I do not know the bike price and there are not many places to park.

Verona is not far from Venice and is another great place to visit.

Every little helps.


kyrnos 5 Feb 2010 14:46

hi Ed
if you have any plan to visite the castle of the loire valley on your way to spain you can have a stop in our place (we have a big space to put up your tent) We will be in Barcelona as well for the GP begin of july.

LEt me know if you're passing around
take care

Barcelona Pat 5 Feb 2010 20:30

Hi Ed

I agree with Zarks - if you are crossing to Barcelona from Bilbao you should def pop up to the mountains. The direct route through Zaragoza is a bit dull (great little city though). I'd suggest Bilbao, Vitoria, Pamplona, Jaca, Huesca - then to Zaragoza if you want - or Barbastro to Lleida. You might also want to go up Montserrat when passing just outside of Barcelona. A great ride, and well worth the visit.
Have fun


Bungawalbyn 5 Feb 2010 23:41

Thank you everyone for your hints and offers of help/drinks etc.

Laurent, I'd love to take you up on the offer to pitch my tent at your place. I've PM'ed you for details.

Pat, Thanks for the route to Zaragoza. Sounds like the way to go.

All this is getting me quite excited. Half the fun of a trip is the planning and anticipation


Bungawalbyn 31 Mar 2010 02:30

Hello everybody.

Just an update.

I've bought a K100rs from a guy who will do a buyback deal and is therefore allowing me to use his address for rego and insurance. I've been stressing out about it abit as the time of departure is fast approaching, so I'm greatly relieved.
I feel very lucky to have found such a convenient arrangement, and the seller apears to be very helpful and easy to deal with.What's more, because of all the info etc I have recieved from him, I feel very confident that it will be a good experience.:clap:

I've been standing on the bathroom scales holding various combinations of gear and clothing to try and get the weight of my bags correct. Cheap flight, so probably real anal about excess baggage charges:nono:

Suddenly, with the bike and paper work happening,I've gone from anxiety to excitement.
Bring it on!!:scooter:


Selous 31 Mar 2010 03:43

Mate if are you coming anywhere near Colchester, Essex, (East Anglia), your welcome to either doss in a tent in my back garden or on the Sofa, & can show you some nice places to see over here also look @ this site quite helpfull BestBikingRoads Motorcycle Touring Motorcycle Routes Motorcycle

PM me if your coming this way

good luck

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