Travel

Part 7: The scenic route back to France

September 2, 2018 France, Landscape

I woke the following morning to what must have been an answered prayer, it wasn’t as cold as it was supposed to be, and certainly not as cold as it’d been the previous few mornings. There was a stint of hasty packing completed, followed by one final eggy bacon buttery breakfast and enough coffee to temporarily incapacitate a horse. The original plan, which was to exit the Tyrol valley and Austria via the Silvretta pass, was very much still on.Read More

Part 6: Fire and Ice

This ‘fire & ice’ route was also hastily borrowed from my friends down the road at the bike rental outfit. Lots of low(ish) roads with scenic vistas and rides through valleys. That kind of thing. Except it’s never really that easy, is it? ‘Another cold start’ I thought, as I stepped back inside the hotel and began thawing out my frozen eyeballs with copious amounts of black coffee over breakfast. Colder than yesterday and as a special extra treat, it’s alsoRead More

Part 5: Leaning Towers and Mountain Goats.

April 9, 2018 Austria, Italy, Landscape, Travel

I awoke early to a temperature of minus four (centigrade, for my American friends) after a restless night of worrying about my battery and cursing myself for not replacing it before I left. The conclusion I came to last night still held, there was nothing I could do about it now so I’d just have to deal with the outcome. I pulled on suitable dining attire, not bike gear, and went downstairs for breakfast. Again I met the same veryRead More

Part 4: The road to Tyrol

March 1, 2018 Austria, Landscape

I woke up in Kempten and the first thing I did was to have a cautious peek out the window. Cautious because I didn’t want to see any rain and my room was directly overlooked by a dozen others. I didn’t want to give any unsuspecting guest more than their share of horror this early in the morning. Wait. Sunshine? What? I pulled on the minimum amount of clothes required to be presentable at breakfast and then proceeded to packRead More

Part 3: The Black Forest

March 1, 2018 Germany, Landscape, Motorbike, Travel

I sat eating breakfast with the other guests, less than a dozen people at this time of year. Mostly (if not all) bikers. We watched the rain move over in worryingly heavy and increasingly persistent sheets and tried to plan our escape, all going in different directions. It seemed inevitable that at least one of us was going to have a very soggy day indeed. I packed up, paid up and said my goodbyes and got on the suspiciously dryRead More

Part 2: Across the water and into the forest

February 28, 2018 France, Germany, Motorbike, Travel

As I already said, it was a cold start for both me and the bike. The sun beating down on me made it bearable, and gave me some shred of hope for things to come later in the day. I worked my way through what seemed more affluent suburbs of Folkestone, beyond the shuffling hordes of school children, and back onto the motorway heading in the opposite direction. In only a few minutes, I was at the eurotunnel check-in, wavingRead More

Part 1: From Here to Mediocrity

February 6, 2018 Motorbike, Travel, UK

I had a grand plan. It was mostly successful. With the summer doing it’s usual death rattle in mid July, my window of opportunity to actually see something outside of Ireland was closing fast. As we had started looking at the possibility of buying a house in March or so, any possibility of going anywhere off in foreign parts was written off as luxuriously frivolous. But if we know anything about me, it’s that I’m a stubborn little shit. InRead More

Down to Dordogne

January 31, 2016 France

It’s funny how (some years) every year it seems to take the jolt of thinking about and getting to planning the current years holiday to actually go back and remember that I still haven’t processed nor uploaded any of the previous year. ‘Funny’ probably isn’t the word, I’m sure there’s a word, the meaning of which is a lot closer to ‘procrastination’. It won’t come as a surprise to learn that 2015 was yet another trip to France. A shorter route this timeRead More

En France; Week 3

August 4, 2015 France, Landscape, Motorbike

With the lavender fields, rolling hills of Provence and daily (hourly) thunderstorms now in the rear view mirror, we were off to spend a few days in the Alps. Nothing really new here, they’re just mountains and in previous trips we’ve pretty well covered this ground here. In the French Alps anyway, anything outside France is still very much unknown territory. We were heading back in the direction of Gorge du Verdon and we’d only be on the road forRead More

En France; Week 2

August 3, 2015 France, Landscape, Motorbike, People

Leaving Carcassonne, today’s journey was about 350 km. In the name of it not taking all day (and because we had to be at our destination within an hour of a time I’d set with the property owner), today was going to be very much a motorway day. As luck would have it, this also included my favorite piece of French motorway; The ring around/avoiding Montpellier. I’ve sat baking in the heat waiting for the toll in the past soRead More

En France; Week 1

August 24, 2014 France, Landscape, Travel

All the convenience of getting to France, without the pain in the arse of the 3 hour motorway trip from Dublin. That could be a tag line for Cork tourism and a slogan for Brittany Ferries all in one. Now somewhat freshly married, it was finally time to set off for three whole weeks, touring around the cities & countryside of France on a shiny and almost new motorbike that I somehow managed to sneak into the deal. The firstRead More

Cornwall

August 5, 2013 Landscape, Travel, UK

After the huge trip to Italy and back (with a lot of detouring in between) last year, holidays this year were going to have to be a little more low key. Don’t get me wrong, I was still all for a week or two in France but wedding savings said no. So instead, we decided on something we’d wanted to do for a long time; go to Cornwall! After all, pasties and cask ale. It sold itself well in advanceRead More

The Trek back to Ireland

April 10, 2013 France, Italy, Travel, Video

That would unfortunately make this part three of a European motorcycling trilogy. We were back on the road, heading west toward our next Italian stop not too far from French border; Susa. From what I remember, or rather don’t remember, the road over was pretty uneventful. We had more than our share of motorway miles where the group became disconnected and following anyone was a completely pointless exercise. We had some back roads then some more motorways and well, youRead More

Around Lake Garda

March 21, 2013 Italy, Travel

“Europe 2012; Part 2” I suppose. Having dropped the bike at the hotel and received the ‘standard Italian warm welcome’, we retreated to the cool shade of our room. Before I go on, (and I may have brought this up in the last part) I’d never been to Italy before now. To be honest, with so much of France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland to see, I wasn’t really too bothered. Mostly due to (some of) the people. Call me aRead More

From here to Italy

March 7, 2013 Landscape, Travel

Or “Europe 2012; Part 1” if you prefer. Going over and trying to process the many gigabytes of video shot with my pair of drift HD cameras, I’ve entirely neglected the photos. It took me a couple of days to get into the habit of taking photos during our holiday last August and as a result I’ve come away with significantly less photos than the previous years holiday in France. I think a lot of it was down to theRead More

Day 9; Away from everything

November 4, 2011 France, Landscape, X100

One last night in France. No cities, no tours, no nothing. The final night to be spent away from everything in the countryside. At least that’s what we decided when looking around on “Chambre d’Hotes de Charme”. We needed something north of Reims, relatively close to Calais to avoid having to haul ass the next day and above all, something quiet and peaceful. So we found Manoir Francis. If I could choose only one photo that sums up my experienceRead More

Day 8; Reims again. Champagne this time

November 2, 2011 France, Landscape, X100

As you may well imagine, one of the main reasons for stopping off in the Champagne region was to drink some of the locally produced booze. Imagine!?! Not just drink it though, see all the in’s and out’s of it, to do the tour so to speak. Having done some research online before setting off, it seemed Ruinart was one of the best if not the best tour to do in Reims. So I emailed them and enquired about bookingRead More

Day 7; Reims

October 31, 2011 France, Macro, People, X100

Leading with a photo this time, this was taken on the way to Reims when I pulled over to get out of the wind for a minute. I will admit to the two nights in Reims being somewhat of a backup plan, the original plan was to stay a night or two in the nearby town of Épernay and spend much of the time rolling between champagne houses. Having looked at the prices of hotels in the area (and pickingRead More

Day 6; Riquewihr

October 23, 2011 France, Landscape, People, X100

I suppose technically that’s not true, given that we arrived in Riquewihr on the afternoon of day 5. For the sake of continuity, lets imagine all these wonderful events took place on day 6. Riquewihr is a strange place, it didn’t quite match up with the photos and descriptions I’d seen of it before we arrived. It’s as if Disneyland suddenly became a working farm. Or perhaps like a long forgotten set piece from “The Sound of Music” was justRead More

Day 5; Route Des Cretes

October 11, 2011 France, Landscape, People, X100

After getting out of the road works mess that was Dijon (twice – long story), I decided to give the scenic route a miss in favour of getting to the mountains early in the day. So it was a couple of hours on the motorway instead. I’d never been this far east in France before and it was starting to feel more and more like Germany with every passing mile. German, Belgian and Austrian cars, trucks and motor homes outnumberedRead More