european trip … part 2

Our stay in Dachau left us perfectly placed for a visit to Munich, which was only about a 40 minute or so drive away. I had only been to Munich once before and that was when Manchester City played Bayen Munich a year or two back. My previous visit had been with my son in a December a year or two ago when  the historic central area of the city was decked out with all the Christmas lights and markets and I was keen to go back there with Pat and see the place from a different perspective.

It’s a charming place and is well worth a visit if you are ever down that way.  After our second night at Gasthof Feldl we headed off towards Switzerland and onto Italy passing through Austria and Lichtenstein on the way.  In fact this was the only day that we had to pay any additional road charges – and these were for an annual vignette for the Swiss auto route and a 10 day vignette for Austria and these came to a grand total of just €40 – although I’ve never purchased one on the various occasions I’ve been  on my bike (more through ignorance than any attempt to evade payment), the last time I was in Switzerland in the the car (about four years ago) we picked up a fine for not having one.

Our journey was good and we crossed into Italy via the San Bernadino Pass and once on the other side of the mountains were met with a tremendous change in the weather as we made our way to our accommodation close to Baveno in Verbania.

Our view of Lake Maggiore as we headed from Bellinzona was as magnificent as it was stunning and the drive to our accommodation was a joy.

On previous bike trips I had stayed pretty close to the ‘centre of town’ in Baveno but this time we were a few miles away on a hillside with simply stunning views over the lake and rather than me try to describe the view its as well to look through the pictures and check out the view and our breakfast table.  As I said in part 1 and part 3 of this Blog post all our accommodation was different but all superb in different ways. Our three night stay here was at the Camera con Vista – a bed and breakfast high up a hill and with just the one bedroom for guests it was a delightfully quiet and peaceful place to stay. Our hosts were exceptional and could not have done more to help and with superb daily breakfast offerings this place was just faultless and if you are ever over that way I would be more than happy to recommend this place to stay.

We spent a good deal of time around some of the lake – its a fair size around 35 miles long and about 3 miles wide, it’s more to the west than Lake Como or Lake Garda and apparently has around 50 towns dotted around its perimeter – quite apart from those that are nearby.  It  would be difficult to do that single lake and its surrounding area justice event if you were to spend a couple of weeks there – but we did spend time in Baveno, Stresa, Cannobia and Arona as well as wandering around the town and lake at Mergozza.  Quite simply we had a wonderful time there and already are thinking of when we night return to Italy together – perhaps spending time at and around each of the three major lakes.

Aftre our three day stay there we left for Simonswald and Landgasthau Gruner Baum – in the Black Forrest. I really cant speak highly enough about this place and this was my fourth overnight stay (once before with Pat and my nephew Andy, once on my own and once with biker friends), it ticks every box – lovely accommodation, lovely food, lovely location and great service.

Our journey though from Verbania wasn’t quite as planned though. We headed for Bellinzona and the Gothard Pass – whihc went to plan, but the road to Andermatt (in the Alps) was closed and so we had to then drive across the Furka Pass, which we did only to find that the through road was bloked by falling rocks – so we ended up making our was via the Grimsell Pass.

Although this added time to out journey the views and the experience were more than compensation for it.

Picture are posted into three separate galleries, clicking on the first pcture in each will open a scrollable gallery.

The three picture sets are Munich, Italy and Germany respectively

Munich

Baveno (Verbania)

Simonswald and the Alps