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Here's a procedure for posting pictures. With 10,000km of pictures, though, you might just want to post a few of the best here.

I love the Bavarian pictures; I was thinking "I bet that's Hohenschwangau" when it went to the next picture, and I knew it definitely had been Hohenschwangau. Which happens to be one of my favorite castles in Europe. Where did you take the Neuschwanstein/Hohenschwangau pictures? From the trail to the waterfall?

The picture of the guy on the beach is just... wrong. So very, very wrong. But you made up for it with the picture of the statue in the pool. :p

Great photos; I know that was one heck of a trip!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for a link, I will try to use it. I've tried to do something and 5 pictures limit confused me? I thought how others can load the whole trip report with many pictures...
So you don't like guy in the beach:)? He was quite happy with people watching at him:)))

I liked Bavaria, but it met us with rain and wind and we left to Austria soon so I saw more of Tirol than Bavaria, but I guess it is similar.
You're right- brown picture of the castle was taken from the bridge over waterfall:) On the background you can see lakes and flats where we camped. On the way back to camping we saw great colors of sunset shining at castle and mountains. It worth to spend more than just afternoon and few hours in next morning, but we had so many kilometers left...

After the whole trip I want to go to Alps again- all countries- I can't say where it was beter or worse.

I can see you've been into Alps several times?
 

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I live in Lthuania- country 300 km accross and along, so distances for local activity aren't very long. I had limited experience of long bike trips. Usualy it was long weekends and several 1-2 week trips.
I wanted to do something more and thought about riding to the most western part of Europe- nowhere to go further to that direction, unless you use ferry or flight. Biker rally in Faro, Portugal was just one more reason to go! Somebody said we're crazy to go to Spain and Portugal in the middle of summer...

Map:


5th of July, 6:30 am
Last preparations. At 7:00 am we meet with friends at petrol station outside city, on the road to Poland



On border to Poland few hours later.
3 bikes are going the whole trip, 3- half of it. One more guy will leave day later and will try to catch us as soon as he can. He has only 4 months of biking experience but is very tough guy.



Warszaw, 500 km done
 

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On the first day did 850 km- more that expected. Stopped at motel next to petrol station. There was someones birthday in the bar, was quite funny to have a beer next to people filling petrol
2nd day early morning:


Weather was good, Prague was busy and hot, but GPS guided well when one bike disappeared in my mirror. Later friend came and said his Harley is not working properly- like no petrol or no stable spark.. We tried to leave the city where it is not as busy, but after another 1-2 kilometers bike died. It was complicated to find fault as sometimes bike started, sometimes didn't. then half a minute after it started, idle dropped down again... Luckily another HD had same configuration, so we swapped few components and found electric circuit kill switch is cutting off electricity- sometimes it did, sometimes didn't. We fixed kill switch and left Prague quickly as dark clouds gathered in the sky


Not long time after we left Prague real storm started- even some cars turned into petrol station to wait untill it will stop


When rain stopped we still had few hours to find place to stay. GPS guided us to a camping I found on internet, but suddenly real roads and picture on GPS became not the same! there was a kind of nature park, so we found signs for another campsite. Another 10 km in green hils took us to a small and very cozy camping. We were the only campers there. Owner served cheap beer and stayed as long as we did.
In evening we contacted guy that was following us and found he was in problem! His GPS (installed just before trop) where he had my route, broke down and he wasn't prepared to follow traditional maps! He was going slightly wrong direction at the moment, rode 19 hours in rain, his girfriend was going mad...
 

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7th July
Entered Germany. Rain again.. Yamaha battery charge light came on! Guy knew his bike and its weak points- it was simply bad contact which was located right in front of engine.


Last 40 km was rain and cold and not funny at all. Camping that was on my list was full! But we found another camping- even better and cheaper.


Most of friends were tired and stayed in camp. But few were interested into what's arround.


We were close to Neuschwanstein - so called most recognizable castle in the world. It was built by Ludwig II, king of Bayern in 19th century: "It is my intention to rebuild the old castle ruin at Hohenschwangau near the Pollat Gorge in the authentic style of the old German knights' castles... the location is the most beautiful one could find, holy and unapproachable, a worthy temple for the divine friend who has brought salvation and true blessing to the world"
 

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Nice shades of sunset at castle and mountain.


After we visited the castle, we've found that our friend has arrived! His girlfriend went straight to bed.


Nest day entered Austria- great roads and scenery


"Too fast...?" this sign we saw many times in Austria.
But it was ok with us and with other bikers- haven't seen any accidents.
 

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Ludwig II was called the "The Mad King." He was raised in the yellow castle, Hohenschwangau. Legend says that Martin Luther was hidden there while he was in hiding from the Emperor after the council of Augsburg. The walls of the castle were covered with depictions of German legends. Ludwig started three castles, one of which was Neuschwanstein, on the ridge in the last (excellent) photo. Ludwig's greatest contribution to world culture was his sponsorship of Wagner; he loved those German legends, which Wagner brought to life in his operas. Neuschwanstein was intended as a fit setting for those legends. It was never finished. Ludwig died under suspicious circumstances after spending huge sums of money on his castles.

Keep them coming, Sarunas! Just not the beach picture; have mercy!
 

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Thanks HiDesert for extra information! After that I've searched for more in Wikipedia.
I will try to escape that picture:)

Nice and peaceful vilages of Austria


Alps at its best


Crossed Austria from north to south and entered Italy. Our route in Italy was very short- only about 50 km to get to foot of Stelvio Pass- second highest pass in Alps. It was reccomended to me by a dutch biker as very popular among bikers because of 48 hairpins from Italian side and great views because it is open to see. In Italy stopped for a pizza and started to go up. Very soon we found road was blocked. Italian officers explained that after few weeks of heavy rains rocks and mud slided down.
 

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As Italian side was closed, we need to go back and arround the mountain to take another road as our camping and route was entering Switzerland (where Stalvio pass should take us) When we went to Santa Maria vilage we've found that we can get to Stelvio pass from the Swiss side. It is called Umbrail pass and is not as popular, but as we've found it is also great. Road twisted in the woods, then in green hills and ended between rocky peaks.


Somewhere it was gravel and cows walked free



Stelvio pass, Italian side


On the top, 2760m
 

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Discussion Starter #12
he rode higher than anyone else from our company


Next day was 400 km in Swiss Alps from east to west. Great twisty roads, great views




 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Quiet moments...


Late evening arrived to France, Chamonix, which is next to Mount Blanc- highest mountain in Europe.
Next morning 4 bikes separated from us- they stayed in France, Switzerland and then turned back home. We left 9 am heading to direction of Grenoble.


It was 8C (50F) in mountains in the morning. 3 hours later we went down to flats and there was 38C (100F)! We rode 500 km down to Mediterranean coast and camped in Agde, south of Montpellier. Day before we were close to snow and now we have mussels on French coast in the middle of the night!
Funny thing- in German, Austrian or Swiss campings silent hours starts at 10 pm, in France- 12 pm. We entered south countries!


In my plans next day was as realitvely easy ride of 360 km south along Meditteranean coast to Barcelona, so one our companion said he wants to see more than different petrol stations, so we stopped for a coffe in square of a nice small town, visited small local winery...
 

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More wine...


Wine was good


Spanish border. Spoke with French bikers going to big HOG even in Barcelona


Stopped in first Spanish town Portbou for a lunch and swim. Then went to Cadaquez, home town of Salvador Dali
 

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Because or our friend wish to stop at interesting places and take trip more easy arrived to Barcalona at midnight. He decided to go to hotel, cancel visit to Barcelona next day and continue in easy way.
We built tents and went to seaside at night- there were many young people drinking, singing and just lying on sand.
Next day went to Barcelona. Entrance to Parc Guell- one of crazy A.Gaudi projects






Sagrada Familia later, of course
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
One of many bars on Rambla street


As evening was getting closer, light rain started. later it increased into real storm! So insted of finding HOG concert at Plaza d'Espanya we've spend 3 hours in Sfera market at Placa de Catalunya...


next morning


After staying two nights in Barcelona, kept going south along Mediteranean coast. Stopped at Peniscola for a lunch and have a quick look at blue-green sea and oldown on a cape
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
it was 600 km that day, not so much time for interesting stops. Stopped for a night between Valencia and Murcia. Passed picturesque medieval town Bocairent and arrived to camping late and stayed in a small house instead of erecting tents.

Next day rode via small roads down to south. Sometimes it was really small road between hills or fields of olives, peaches. At home we see those only on shelves of supermarkets


me and my girlfriend


Then turned west to Tabernas desert, the only official desert in Europe


And we got rain there!
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Tabernas desert




Before evening arrived to Granada. Went to see Alhambra- moorish castle and complex of other monuments. They have night shows that must be very impressive, but that was next day...


 

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There we met our friend again. He spend his days staying in hotels, testing sea food and going straight roads
After two nights in Granada went town to Malaga where met Lithuanian girl living there. She took us to brazilian restaurant for a great lunch! on the way to Malaga visited Balcon de Europa in Nerja


Then our friend decided to go straight to Gibraltar and Tarifa and we went north of Malaga to see El Choro gorge and town of Ronda.
Petrol stations...We've stopped at so many of them that started to like some names and tried to avoid others... Personaly I don't like Agip- 15 years ago I was hitch hiking and spent 24 hours in France in Agip petrol station without any chance to get a lift!


on the road to El Choro


You can see King's path on the right rock. Sometimes it goes 100m above water, but the most atractive is that it naturaly ruins and to walk it is real experience! Experience that big that walk was closed due to many accidents in last period.
watch this:
http://www.andalucia.com/antequera/chorro/home.htm
 

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More! More!

Don't stop now. I want to hear about the rally!

My kids just spent a week or so in Barcelona. The middle two are both in the Army, are posted in Iraq, and decided to go to Barcelona for their mid-deployment leave. They paid for the other two to join them. Everybody had a great time, went hang-gliding, saw lots of Gaudi's stuff, etc. Unfortunately, I wasn't invited!
 
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