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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 22 Sep 2003
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We are planning a trip to Europe summer of 2005 for 5 weeks. The anticipated route is Belgium to Amsterdam, to Austria to Italy to France to Spain over the channel to England and then back to Belgium to fly home.

We have a 2002 Ultra Classic. will we be able to find parts should something go wrong?

Does our route look doable in 5 weeks....why or why not...what should we look out for on our route....any other advice????

Thanks so much
Sass
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  #2  
Old 22 Sep 2003
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Location: pambula, nsw, australia
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I think you are being a little ambitious. Either lengthen your time or shorten your route. Harley dealers are reasonably plentifull, so parts shouldn't be a problem. Try to go out of peak summer period, ie; July, August. It can become stifling hot, prices go up, all of Europe is awash with tourists and many places/bussiness are shut down for summer break. Particularly around the med. May/June or Sep/Oct would be better. Be prepared for higher prices than you are use to. A particular nasty are the high tolls in most European countries, except England and Germany. Often there are parallel secondary rounds next or near the tollways. Although this might be more scenic, it can be much slower and If time is of the essence then you'll have to compramise. There are limitless places to visit, but a short list would include. Swiss/French/Italian/Austrian alps. I think you get the picture here, stunning. The Rhine/Mossel valleys. Tuscanny, taking in not only Florence but also Pisa, Siena and San Gigimanno. Brugge in Belguim, for old world Europe in a very convenient package. Pyrenees for riding pleasure, the list goes on. Get yourself over there you'll love it!
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  #3  
Old 6 Mar 2004
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Hello,

If it is doable in 5 weeks? I say no. Last year I went to Italy (nothern part) departing from amsterdam. I went via Belgium to Luxemburg. From there to Strassbourg (france) to the Schwarzwald (darkforrest) in Germany en then to Lausanne (Switserland) from there over the Alps (Visp, Switserland) to Domodossola in Italy. From there I spend 3 days driving around the many lakes in Italy (magiore, lecco, como etc) From there I went back a different route. (other parts of Switserland and Germany) Trier to Monschau via de river Mosel is a very nice trip (doable in one day)
Alltogether is drove allmost 4.000 km in 12 days.
If you are not too interested in musea, shopping and sightseeing in capitals and main cities you can defenately fix it in 5 weeks.
If you planning on driving max 200 km per day and do a lot of sightseeing you can forget it.
Belgium, Holland, Germany are tollfree, France you pay toll on highways (wich you won't ride because of de boringness.)
Switserland you pay about 50 euro's at the border and cross country as long as you like. Italy is also a free ride. (in the nothern part for sure. Go to "verbania" at lago magiore, really beautiful......have fun!!!

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  #4  
Old 8 Mar 2004
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Berlin
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you can and you can´t
as a born european I might tell you.
You can do your planned trip. My wife and I went from Berlin to Lisboa via the Alps and southern France, northern Spain within 4 weeks. 10.000 km
BUT you will miss a lot looking at your plans.
If I was U I´d stay on the continent (sorry to the english)
Go for Amsterdam, the Alps (in Austria Grossglockner Alpenhochstrasse!!) Tuskany and have a look at the mediteranian coast of France.
Spain: the goodies at the southern coast?
Depends on the season.
Grenada: Alhambra!
Córdoba: the Sultans palace.
Madrid: La Movida

just go for it.
You will find the right places

Goetz


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  #5  
Old 12 Mar 2004
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Sassy,

As others have mentioned, 5 weeks for seeing Western Europe is incredibly tough. Lots of hard riding and little time to stop and watch. Belgium to Italy is a 2 day ride unless you gun it for 12+ hours per day. On the way you are going to miss the beautiful countryside and the mountain passes. Also you are going to have to stick to the main auto routes.

Avoid the UK as this will be an uneccessary detour and will take a day out of your schedule in ferry crossings alone. You'd be better off taking some of the more breath taking routes across the Alps/Dolomites or taking in the luxury of the Mediteranean coast. Central-Southern Spain is a must. Plenty of castles and historic buildings to visit. Long highways that would suit the Harley and scenery that is akin to Pheonix or Texas, dry and hot.

Regards,
Kevin Holmes.
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  #6  
Old 13 Mar 2004
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Avoid the med coast in summer: traffic jams, crowds, expensive and most of it is now concreted over anyway. I live there... Oh yes: watch your gear wherever there are lots of tourists. You'll have a better time in the countryside.

As the others have said: take your time. Have fun!

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