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// JUNE 2007
Up and down the passages…
Munich
Vaduz
Lucerne
Fribourg
Grenoble
Little Saint Bernard Pass
Leissigen
Leissigen
Zermatt
Andermatt
Chur
Innsbruck
Munich
Am see Haldensee
Feldkirch
Appenzell
Saint Gallen
Maienfeld
Walenstadt
Klausenpass
Murten
Saint-Ursanne
Payerne
Avenches
Fribourg
Gstaad
Col du Pillon
Col de la Croix
Chamonix
Megève
Albertville
Pont-en-Royans
Col de Rousset
Die
Col du Lautaret
Modane
Bourg-Saint-Maurice
Aosta
Grand St. Bernard Pass
Bourg-Saint-Pierre
Verbier
Goppenstein
Kandersteg
Thun
Lauterbrunnen
Trümmelbach
Bern
Oberhofen
Lake Brienz
Susten Pass
Grimsel Pass
Ulrichen
Nufenen Pass
Saas Fee
Täsch
Täsch
Brig
Simplon Pass
Domodossola
Santa Maria Maggiore
Ascona
Locarno
Lavertezzo
Bellinzona
Gotthard Pass
Göschenen
Oberalp Pass
Splügen
Chiavenna
Maloja Pass
Julier Pass
Bernina Pass
Lago di Poschiavo
Tirano
Bormio
Bressanone
Brunico
Grossglockner
Fusch
Zell am See

Innsbruck


30th of June 2007
Ice Giants…

We started our day ascending towards Fluela Pass (altitude 2383mt), where from we descended towards Susch and Engiadin Ota Valley, so as to reach Pontresina. Pontresina is an historic Alpine village surrounded by beautiful pine tree forests, known for its very particular architectural style, with its decorated walls and its very elegant Belle Epoque hotels. It fascinated us at the first sight…

We started ascending again towards Berninapass (altitude 2328mt), which led us from the Swiss Engiadin Ota Valley to the Italian Valtellina Valley and to the city of Tirano. Four km after Pontresina, to the right side of the road, impressive views to the Monteratsch Glacier and to the ice giants, Piz Bernina (altitude 4.049mt) and Piz Palu (altitude 3.095mt) were spreading ahead.
The area was indeed very beautiful and we knew that it was a very popular meeting point _ especially in the weekends_ for cyclists and bikers from all over the world. We realized though, that many bikers had “tweaked” the exhaust pipes.

Result?
Too much noise, too much fuss, really, guys!!!

 




Villages, samples of great architecture and civilization!!!

The views from the passage were impressive and were reaching as far as  Poschiavo Valley.

When the first villages came at sight, we realized immediately that we were approaching towards the old borders, since the changes to the architecture of the buildings and to the attitude of the habitants were quite obvious.

We drove through the village Poschiavo, situated by the shores of the homonymous Lago di Poschiavo Lake, before arriving at the borders with Italy.
Just a little later on, we arrived at Tirano, a small Alpine town, with its Basilica di Madonna di Tirano, which is considered one of the best samples of Renaissance-Baroque Architecture in the Valtellina Valley. It was a really elaborate, ornate church.
After Tirano, we visited Bormio, where we sat for a coffee, before continuing  towards the highest cobblestone Alpine passage, at the East Alps, which is also the second highest at the Alpine Area, the  
Passo dello Stelvio (altitude 2.758mt).

 


 

From country to country…

Next, we drove again on Swiss grounds, towards Pass Umbrail (altitude 2.501mt), which is the highest passage with asphalted road in Switzerland and we found ourselves at the Mustair Valley, moving towards the homonymous village Mustair, known for the Monastery of St. John.

ΤThe monastery, which is one of the rare samples of the Carolingian Architecture, has beautiful murals and has been declared Monument of Universal Heritage of Unesco.

We continued towards Ofenpass (altitude 2.149mt), we passed by the Swiss town Zernez for second time and carried on towards Engiadina Bassa Valley. That was a course in parallel with the River Inn, through colorful Alpine pastures and well preserved villages, while we were moving towards the Austrian borders.

 We arrived at the Swiss town Ardez, we crossed the borders to Austria and continued towards Landeck.

Just before arriving at Landeck, and after having crossed borders of neighbor countries for several times, we sat, really tired, to have a picnic, while enjoying the Alpine views.

 

 

While we were drinking our wine and relaxing, I started reconsidering my questionings about United Europe.

I was thinking that if we had to cross all the passages near the borders through time consuming procedures and controls, we would had never visited even half of them…

 

Cultural coexistence in harmony…

We took again the road towards Innsbruck, through Sankt Anton this time.

We arrived at the beautiful Austrian city, along with crowds of other visitors. We were all impressed by the beauty of the historic centre, where the whole historic course of Innsbruck is depicted.

 


 

Here, the Tyrolean Architecture, the colorful baroque, the rococo and the Renaissance Rhythm are coexisting in harmony. We saw all the significant touristic spots of the historic centre, like the Golden Roof, the Cathedral of St. Jacob and the characteristic tower with the Stadtturm clock, which was constructed in the 14th century.

We walked on the most busy road of the city, on the Maria Teresa Street, which offers an amazing view to the mountains surrounding the city and has beautiful houses built during the 17th and 18th century. Many shops are also to be seen on this very significant, from a cultural point of view, street.
We ate at the excellent restaurant Stiftskeller

 

 

After our meal, we ended up at our hotel, the Goldener Adler, which is the oldest in the city, was built in the 16th century and has hosted great personalities, with Goethe amongst them. (He visited the place in 1786).

After all the tiredness, the tensions of the journey and the overdose of luxury too, the two exhausted travelers fell deeply asleep and it is very possible that they were…competing at the very posh sport of snoring….      

Country: Germany
Date: 2007
Route: Alps
Cities: Munich, Vaduz, Lucerne, Fribourg, Grenoble, Little Saint Bernard Pass, Leissigen, Leissigen, Zermatt, Andermatt, Chur, Innsbruck, Munich
Duration: 12
Difficulty:
Population: 80.682.000
Rating:
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Country: Germany
Date: 2007
Route: Alps
Cities: Munich, Vaduz, Lucerne, Fribourg, Grenoble, Little Saint Bernard Pass, Leissigen, Leissigen, Zermatt, Andermatt, Chur, Innsbruck, Munich
Duration: 12
Difficulty:
Population: 80.682.000
Rating:
comments
VIEW
Country: Germany
Date: 2007
Route: Alps
Cities: Munich, Vaduz, Lucerne, Fribourg, Grenoble, Little Saint Bernard Pass, Leissigen, Leissigen, Zermatt, Andermatt, Chur, Innsbruck, Munich
Duration: 12 days
Difficulty:
Population: 80.682.000
Rating:
comments
VIEW