Friday morning, under questionable skies, we left Zuoz, Switzerland rode back into Italy and onto our final destination of Imst, Austria. It was kind of sunny and kind of not. Our route took us along the Adige River. The Adige River is the second longest river in Italy at 410 kilometers (250 miles) in length with its source in the Alpine province of South Tyrol near the Italian border with Austria and Switzerland. Based upon the river’s name, I am assuming the valley we rode through is the Adige valley.
Clearly this is the apple capital of Italy with endless miles of apple orchards. That and small castles lining both sides of the valleys, each overlooking their apple kingdom. I have no idea of the varietal of apples grown here but one of them is a deep, deep plum purple. I was tempted to nick one to taste it but decided that would be rude and inappropriate so I settled on taking a picture of it. The riding was delightful, albeit, not especially challenging with exception of the Timmelsjoch pass, the highest pass of the day at 2,474 meters. I enjoy riding the passes with all of their switchback turns and spectacular views. No roads (I have found) in North America compare with the alpine roads of the Alps. No cappuccinos (I have found) in North America compare with the cappuccinos found in Italy. Both are reasons to come to Europe. Settled in for the night in Imst, we enjoyed a traditional Tyrolean dinner of dumpling soup and grosti: Potatoes topped with ham and a fried egg.
Saturday morning we left Imst with a sadness of spirit, knowing it was out last day of riding. We needed to savor every moment. Well, that and stop at the Held motorcycle gear shop in Sonthofen, Germany for end of the season sale items. I nabbed a pair of riding boots and a couple pairs of gloves. Score!
Rob Beach had created a custom route for me so I could visit the store and still stop by to visit Neuschwanstein, the castle Walt Disney used as the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s castle, and a stunning church interior in Rottenbuch, Germany.
Neuschwanstein Castle is a 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat from the rigors of ruling a kingdom. Ludwig paid for the palace out of his personal fortune and by means of extensive borrowing, but not with Bavarian public funds. While the palace was intended as a personal refuge for the reclusive king, it was opened to the paying public immediately after his (questionable) accidental death by drowning in 1886.
From there it was on to the BMW museum in Munich to view the current models of motorcycles and cars, also including Rolls Royce and the Mini Cooper. From there it was back to the hotel where we all gathered a two short weeks ago. Dang it went by fast.