It’s summer and early morning light pours through my bedroom window. Sleepy eyes are soon wide-open, though, in anticipation of a day of motorcycle touring in Central Europe. Breakfast is buffet style at our hotel. The “you-won’t-leave-here-hungry” spread is a bountiful assortment of fruit, pastry, meats, and cheeses. And to get our biological motors running there is espresso and other bold coffee drinks.
At breakfast our group’s leader prepares us for the upcoming day’s route, itinerary, and highlights. The complex array of alpine pass and valley roads are beautiful, but potentially confusing for riders unfamiliar with the area. Because Blue Rim Tours provides both a tour leader and a sweeper, there’s no chance of a rider getting lost or having to ride at a pace above his or her comfort level.
After breakfast bikes are quickly loaded and riders mounted. As we venture forth in our two-wheeled procession, I’m giddily anticipating the roads that lie ahead. A brisk pace on a narrow mountain byway demands my full attention as we swoosh our way around a hairpin switchback. The morning is spent climbing and descending one mountain pass after another. The valley roads lead through a succession of picturesque villages; riding through provides a well-earned break from the action.
We sandwich our bikes into unoccupied, but tight, spaces in the town square of one particularly lovely little village. It’s time for the morning break and, you guessed it, some more coffee and pastries. The relaxed schedule of a Blue Rim trip also allows time to walk about and enjoy the fresh air. It seems that almost all of the townsfolk speak some English and are curious about our travels and how we like their country. Well, I like it very much!
During the afternoon ride, we stop for a tour of a medieval castle, and later we pull over to take in the breathtaking view of a stunning, glacier carved valley. Our guide is highly knowledgeable about the histories and cultures of each region along the route.
Reaching our inn for the night, we immediately unpack and throw on some casual wear. The group gathers informally for libations. A sumptuous dinner follows at the hotel. The cuisine pays homage to signature dishes of the region. Over a “can’t resist” dessert, our guide briefs us on the following day’s schedule.
Arriving at my room around 8:30 p.m., I’m fully satiated and looking forward to a much needed rest. I drift off to sleep with soothing visions of curving roads and old world charm cycling through my consciousness. It’s hard to believe that every day of this trip will be just as fabulous.