Monday, October 9, 2017

Swiss Alps motorcycle Tour September 2017 - Part Four.

Thursday 9/14/17

Part four - final report.

Got on the road at 9:00 AM  weather report shows a storm coming in where we are headed.   Slight breeze as we leave, not as cold as yesterday.  We had a fine time in St Moritz but it is time to head north to Stein am Rhein. 

Up and over Julierpass, seems to be a shorter ride leaving St Mortiz. Much warmer than when we came in two days ago. Still hitting the stops at the constructions zones. 

The sun is breaking through lighting the green valleys.  The trucks and buses were still using all the
road as we went over the pass. Warm enough when we reached the village you see in the picture, we needed to pull over to take off our jacket liners. Stopping for constructions again so no time was lost. There are
still dark clouds but the sky was clearing. Hope the weatherman is wrong on the weather up north. 

Because of the distance and weather we will be taking Hwy 13 north that runs along the boarder with Liechtenstein.  As we got near Liechtenstein  the wind came up. The strongest wind in the 50 years I have ridden.  Trucks were pulling off the road, wind speed may have been 50 MPH+    Wind was swirling like a small tornado stripping leaves from green trees, we watched the leaves swirl in front of us as we ride on.  I slowed way up and took the next exit to get some shelter. I did a screen shot of the wind at lunch (red dot in the picture). We drove through a border, I thought we were in Liechtenstein. Found a small Pizza restaurant and stopped for lunch. We both had soup for lunch which was good and just what we needed in the wind. When it was time to pay I found out we were in Austria, needed Euros to pay and we only had Swiss Francs. The proprietor took a 20 CHF note. His elderly father seem concerned that we were going to ride into the storm, he followed us out and watched us leave.  We had stopped for close to an hour and the wind had died down. Just a few miles up the road the rain started.  We then rode over two hours in heavy rain. After about a half hour  of the rain it got cold and we had to stop and put the liners back in our jackets.  I pulled over to a rest area without any shelter and put our liners on in the rain. Veronica is a real trouper to ride with me in this weather. 

Still raining when we got to our AirB&B in Stein am Rhein. Found the room key and got out of our riding gear.  Only our gloves were wet, jackets and pants did their job. I would not want to think how cold we would have been without the riding gear.  Heat was off at the Air B&B so we found a coffee shop to warm up.

When we got back we met our host and asked about some place for dinner she recommended a fish place on the water.  The wind was blowing but not as hard as earlier. The good news is the sky was clearing.  

The fish was very good.  Veronica had her's with noodles and I had the rice.  This was going to be an early night we are both tired from today's weather. 

The restaurant was right on the Rhein River. We had a great view as the sun set. 

Friday 9/15/17

Last day on the bike. Got up early and went out for coffee and yogurt.   Had to walk around to find a place open early. Found a small bake shop with the classic Swiss mix of yogurt, muesli and berries.  Just what we wanted for our last breakfast before heading back to Basel.

In 2004 Stein am Rhein reminded us of Disneyland. We passed many of the same buildings on our way to breakfast that we saw in 2004.   

The Swiss have flowers everywhere. Flower boxes in windows are the norm. 

After breakfast we walked down to the river. The skies were blue and it was just a fine morning for a walk. 

A light fog was rising off the river making for a picture perfect morning. 

The Rhein is almost crystal clear. Look close and you can see the fish in this picture. 

Like most towns in Switzerland there were fountains with Crystal clear drinking water. Great place to fill your water bottle.  

Our host suggested going to the castle on the hill. You can just see it over the building in the picture on the left. Going to make a quick run up there before loading the bike. 

We walked around the castle, still amazed that buildings as old as this are still standing. The trees around the castle were over grown blocking the views below. 

We did stop part way down the road where we could get a clear view of Stein am Rhein below.

Veronica and I came to Stein am Rhein in 2004. Happy to see it is still a nice small town and has not got commercialized. It is time to pack up and head to our next destination the Rhein Falls. We also visited the falls in 2004.

This has turned into a beautiful day to ride, some of the best weather of the trip.  The GPS (Gravel Pointing System) still had one more surprise left for us. The GPS took us down a gravel bike path to get to the falls. When it turned to a single track we turned around. Took avoid highways off the GPS and all was good.    

Unlike Stein am Rhein the falls has been commercialized.  All except a few area now require a ticket. Not a big deal, just sad that it was not the same as in 2004.  We had a sausage for lunch before heading for Basel and turning the bike in. On the way we crossed into Germany.  Roads just as nice, big change was the speed limits.  In Switzerland maximum limit off the highways is 80 kph or 49.7 kph  in Germany it goes to 120kph or 74.5 mph big difference. 

When we got to the Toff Center to return the bike something was going on. Tables with pretzels and the smell of sausage cooking. And bowls of Swiss Chocolates on the tables.

A full selection of beers.

An expresso machine if you did not want a beer.

And a large kettle of Brats.

The women were wearing the  traditional Dirndl. The men were wearing lederhosen.  Sorry I did not get a picture of Felix the owner in his lederhosen.

Yes it was Octoberfest. The Toff Center sure knows how to have an Octoberfest sale. 

Well that concludes our motorcycle tour of the Swiss Alps. Except for the two hours of rain and the high wind it was a great week.  Might do it again next year.  

Hope you enjoyed our trip
Bill and Veronica.


  1. Bravo, well done! Thanks for sharing this with you adventure with us!

  2. Bill what a great trip.Thanks for the ride along.

  3. Super trip! You are two tough cookies!

  4. Great trip!
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Wow, what a great trip. Glad to see another youngster doing it right.