Trip to Europe 2020- Questions - Page 2 - Yamaha FJR Forum : Yamaha FJR Owners Forums
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-07-2019, 12:26 AM
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... I’d warn you, though you probably already know, that the passes are extremely expensive. It maybe worth checking with hotels in conjunction with booking, as many offer free or subsidised pass access.
I and some riding friends recently revived discussions of our dream of riding around as much of Europe as possible in however much time we have available, so I am intrigued by this thread.

My apologies if this is a stupid question, but I don't understand the references to the passes being expensive. I'd welcome more explanation, and a number for what constitutes "extremely expensive". Thank you!

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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-07-2019, 02:37 AM
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I and some riding friends recently revived discussions of our dream of riding around as much of Europe as possible in however much time we have available, so I am intrigued by this thread.

My apologies if this is a stupid question, but I don't understand the references to the passes being expensive. I'd welcome more explanation, and a number for what constitutes "extremely expensive". Thank you!
I should stress that I’m referring mainly to Austria. The charge is levied at toll booths as you enter the start of the pass; some have just one entry point, for example the Karnatal, whilst most have at least a couple, so you can actually travel through it. By way of example, the Grossglockner, which I believe is the biggest and highest, costs €26.50 for a day pass.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-08-2019, 01:09 AM
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I should stress that I’m referring mainly to Austria. The charge is levied at toll booths as you enter the start of the pass; some have just one entry point, for example the Karnatal, whilst most have at least a couple, so you can actually travel through it. By way of example, the Grossglockner, which I believe is the biggest and highest, costs €26.50 for a day pass.
Thank you for that elaboration … I had no idea! "€26.50 for a day pass"! OUCH! I'l have to plan to arrive early and ride all day, so I get my money's worth!

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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-08-2019, 12:42 PM
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Iris,

FWIW, if I was planning a trip to Europe, I would put Canadian flag stickers on each vehicle,and every piece of luggage. You probably won't fool anybody who actually talks to you, but you might avoid some casual (or not-so-casual) vandalism.

Please don't shoot the messenger.
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Highly unlikely if you come to the UK, don't know about Europe, though.
Many years ago I went to Denmark, with a large GB sticker on the back of my bike, I stoped for petrol in Denmark and the young lad asked, in perfect English but a bit sullen, 'are you German' no, I replied Scottish (very patriotic, me) and his face just cracked into a huge grin. On another trip I was in Barcelona in full leathers and was shouted at in an agressive way as the Spaniard thought I was German, they may get the bad press but actually they can be really nice. Scotland, though, is the best place in Europe to visit and there are no charges for anything !
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-08-2019, 02:32 PM
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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-09-2019, 06:40 AM
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When I last toured Europe a former Brit, Royal Marine lectured me on history and other subjects at a pub where I was camped near Winchester. His most memorable comment went like this: "You yanks think everyone hates you, it's not true, you'll find everyone likes you". Everywhere I went I drew positive attention and conversation. I took my bike with me and the license plate drew people to me as did my awkwardness in various situations. Everyone likes to practice their language skills and I spent many nights at the homes of people I met. Wear the US flag and throw in your state flag to start conversation.
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-12-2019, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Sete Bond View Post
I and some riding friends recently revived discussions of our dream of riding around as much of Europe as possible in however much time we have available, so I am intrigued by this thread.

My apologies if this is a stupid question, but I don't understand the references to the passes being expensive. I'd welcome more explanation, and a number for what constitutes "extremely expensive". Thank you!
I'm trying to remember how many passes I paid for between the Andermatt area. No charge for Gotthard/Tremola, Nufen, Oberalp, Grimsel, Furka, and a couple others. Ötztal glacier, and Kaunertal glacier roads have tolls ("maut") but were "under ten", each. SilvrettaHochalpen, Stelvio, Penser, Jaufen, and a few in the Dolomites were no charge. Timmelsjoch has a fee. There is a motorcycle museum in the "bridge" over the toll booths. IIRC, Timmelsjoch has the most expensive fee, but I don't recall what I paid. Maybe Grossglockner costs more, maybe not.

Understand that most pass roads are public thoroughfares. In Andermatt, for example, there is simply no way in or out that doesn't require using a pass road. The glacier roads are not - they lead to ski areas. Timmelsjoch is a road that is free from one side, but not the other.

The Ötztal panorama road has a toll. IMNSHO it's not worth it. Of all the places I've sampled on two trips, that road simply sucked.

I used to think I probably knew what I was doing. Now I know I probably know what I'm doing. Which doesn't say I always knew what I was doing or always know what I'm doing. You know what I'm saying?
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-12-2019, 08:43 PM
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Iris,

FWIW, if I was planning a trip to Europe, I would put Canadian flag stickers on each vehicle,and every piece of luggage. You probably won't fool anybody who actually talks to you, but you might avoid some casual (or not-so-casual) vandalism.

Please don't shoot the messenger.
.
I call BS.

I travel regularly to Germany, somewhat regularly to Switzerland, and only rarely to Austria, France, and Italy. I've been doing this for the past 30+ years. The only person who's waved any "I don't like America" at me was my brother-in-law. He too often gets a wild hair where the sun don't shine.

I do speak German, but after two words people know for sure that I'm an "Ami" (polite nickname for American).

Bring attitude, expect attitude back.
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I used to think I probably knew what I was doing. Now I know I probably know what I'm doing. Which doesn't say I always knew what I was doing or always know what I'm doing. You know what I'm saying?
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-12-2019, 08:56 PM
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I don't know where to post this, so if it needs to be moved to a better location in a forum, I hope someone will let me know.
Jim and I are planning a two week motorcycle trip to Europe next Fall. I already have rental information and now I am planning our itinerary using BaseCamp. I have put little routes all over the place in red indicating all the passes that we are planning to hit.
My question is whether anyone can recommend places to stay in or near the towns I have listed below. We are trying to be economical so we don't need fancy spa like places to stay. Main priority is clean and easy access to the passes. Oh, and if anyone wants to put us up for a night or two, that would certainly be welcomed and appreciated. Just pm me. :-)

Here is the list of towns:
Heidelburg, Germany (already plan on staying at Steph's)
Augsburg, Germany
Innsbruck, Austria
Landeck, Austria
Merano, Italy
Lake Como, Italy
Adermatt, Switzerland
Titisee-Neustadt, Germany

After our two week trip we plan on renting a car and heading to the northern part of Germany. I haven't figured out what towns to visit along the way for this portion of the trip yet.

Thanks in advance!
That is one **** of a big agenda. At the end of two weeks you'll be so cross-eyed tired you won't remember your name. DAMHIK

You need to decide whether you want to see stuff or go pass hunting. You just can't do both. Passes take more time than expected.

Assuming you want some pass hunting, lose Augsburg, Innsbruck, Merano, and Lake Como. Titisee is... meh.

Landeck (if it's not too late, look into Prutz - Landeck is a city short on charm and general tourista value) is the gateway to a number of passes, including Stelvio. Andermatt is a center for a number of passes.

If you want to play tourista, Lake Como, Lake Garda... knock your socks off. Ditto Innsbruck, and, heck, Augsburg.

Going north... so many places, so little time. I don't know whether to spit or go blind on listing places. I'd pass on Hamburg. It's mostly a big port city.
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I used to think I probably knew what I was doing. Now I know I probably know what I'm doing. Which doesn't say I always knew what I was doing or always know what I'm doing. You know what I'm saying?
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-12-2019, 09:42 PM
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The number one tourist attraction in Germany is Neuschwanstein Castle, you should go there if at all possible.
Only if you have tons of time coming out of your ears. Think Disneyland on steroids for crowds. At some point in the tour I was so saturated with gold, glitz, and royalty I was ready to take an ecape route (they exist). If you must get a dose of King Ludwig II, go for Linderhof. IIRC there are only 6 rooms on display. It's enough to get a sense of Ludwig II's world. One small gem in the area is Wiesenkirche. It's about as fine an example of baroque churches as exists. It's not big, and sits in part on the edge of a large meadow. (wiesen - the church's name translates to "meadow church")

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Regensburg is also a nice town and outside of it are several remarkable monuments: Valhalla, the Kaiser Wilhelm memorial, and the Befreiungshalle.

Nuremberg if you are interested in the Nazi background and want to see the stadium that Hitler held the famous rally that you see in old films of that era.
Meh - your pick. FWIW seeing Nazi places is more than a little chilling. Keep in mind, too, that German law prohibits so much as the tiniest swastika hidden somewhere. IMNSHO life is too short to spend on this horror.

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I would also go to Munich to have a meal at the Hofbrauhaus at least.
Hofbräuhaus ("hoe-f BROY house) is, in great part, a tourista thing. If you've got time, try it on. The interior is huge. the deal with seating is simple. Grab an open place on a bench. If someone doesn't want the space taken, you'll find out - no hurt, no foul. There are other places, less well known, but have the same feel. Try Augustiner Stammhaus on Neuhauserstrasse (main shopping road in the area). Also worth a stop is the Viktualienmarkt - a huge farmers market.

My particular vice in Bavaria is weisswurst, literally white sausages. They're small and done in hot water. Served right, they'll come in a bowl of hot water, on the plate is killer mustard and whacking big pretzel. Tradition says "no weisswurst after noon". The idea is these puppies are made early in the morning and spoil in the afternoon. That said, almost anywhere will serve them at any time.

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There's not so much of interest in Northern Germany and it is flat. Leipzig has the Battle-of-the-Nations monument celebrating one of the bloodiest battles in the Napoleonic Wars. In the northwest is Herman's Denkmal celebrating the famous battle of 9 AD where the Germans completed destroyed 3 Roman legions.
????? Flat, yes, nothing to see. Not the last time I looked (three years ago).

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Linking Neuschwanstein and the medieval town of Rothenburg is the Romantic Road.

You probably don't have time for all this, LOL.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber (the Rothenburg on the Tauber River - there's more than one Rothenburg - ditto for Frankfurt BTW)... It's medieval alright. It's walled alright. It's worth a walk-around off season. On season... nah.

There's a low mountain chain the begins basically south of Frankfurt (am Main - on the Main ("mine") River). That includes Odenwald and goes to Schwarzwald (Black Forest). Talk about twisties and ups and downs.

Pick an area and spend time there rather than trying to go from Munich to Berlin to Hamburg to Wherever.
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I used to think I probably knew what I was doing. Now I know I probably know what I'm doing. Which doesn't say I always knew what I was doing or always know what I'm doing. You know what I'm saying?
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Last edited by RBEmerson; 12-15-2019 at 09:00 AM. Reason: Darn typos...
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