Sunday, 22 June 2008

The Swiss Alps

Over the next few days we toured Austria, Leichtenstein and Switzerland. Lost count of the number of tunnels we went though (the longest was 15km); also heaps of high bridges. We went over a number of high passes including Fliielapass (2,383m) and Furkapass (2,436m). We also went for a 'walk' up to the top of Mt Titlis (3,020m) and the Matterhorn (3,800m).

Over the course of a couple of days, I ended up with a sore left hand - it was because I was waving at the hundred and thousands of bloody bikes on the road! Every biker in the alps must have been on holidays. The roads are the best I've ever riden; abslutely bloody awesome.

The Matterhorn

A quaint little mountain pass!

Heading for Munich

After we left Belin, we headed for Munich (to see the BMW production plant - I thought!). Anyway, on the way, I used the back brake (don't need to use it that often because of the ABS) and heard a grating noise. Stopped and saw the back pads had totally gone, worn down to the metal. Bloody hell! So, pulled over at a servo and put on the spare set I was carrying and headed for Munich seeing we had the address of the BMW workshop. Good time for a service and put a full new set of pads on. Photo below is the parking lot of the service area! Room for 150 bikes, the wirkshop at about 20 mechanics on duty and there were 25 separate service areas. Not having much faith (seeing the long line of bikes to be serviced - thought it would take a week!) we stolled up to the boss, flashed the pearly whites and told him we just came half way round the world and needed a service - no problem, jobs done in 90 minutes and were on our way again. Thanks Fred and the other guys who helped us out.
We then headed for Austria - first sight of snow on the mountains.

Our time in Berlin

Went sightseeing on Saturday, weather was a bit kinder, no rain, but cold. Toured the old wall, Hitler's Bunker, Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate and other sights. Strangest one was the bunker which is now under a car park for a block of residential flats! Not much of the old wall left.

The Gate
Checkpoint Charlie
Hitler's bunker somewhere under this car park
The original wall