Atlanta Motorcycle Schools

Edelweiss Bike Travel - Alps Touring Center

July 11-17, 2004

For years, Ken and I have been talking about taking an Edelweiss Bike Tour to ride the “real mountains” in the Alps. Our plans finally came together in July 2004. Our official tour was scheduled for July 11-17. However, we decided to leave on July 7, allowing time to visit Innsbruck and relax prior to the official tour. Edelweiss Bike Travel partners with BMW Motorcycles to provide a unique riding experience for those wanting to ride motorcycles in other countries. Edelweiss provides the motorcycles, selects the best roads, hires skilled and personable tour guides, and handles all the travel and lodging details.

Tour Group at one of the many scenic sites
Eric, Tammy, Thomas, Kurt, JoAnna, Ken, Jose, and Roland—pausing to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Hotel Holzleiten
The accommodations at the Hotel Holzleiten in Austria were absolutely first class. The view was spectacular, as were the amenities. However, the roads were much more tempting to us than the massages and saunas. As you can see, each morning we briefly poured over maps to familiarize us with the day’s route—then off we rode..
Tracing the daily route
Our daily journeys often took us out of Austria and into Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. The shear beauty of the land was unbelievable. The history was very interesting—and beautiful as well. King Ludwing’s Castle should be recognizable to anyone who has visited Disney World. But the true delights were the roads! The Stelvio Pass is known by many as the “Mother Road”. With its 48 switchbacks on one side, we now know why!

One of many scenic views

King Ludwig’s Castle

Stelvio Pass in Italy
Of course, the Alps would not be the Alps without snow! There was a major snow storm the Saturday before our Tour started on Monday. I was wearing my electrics most of the time the first two days when temperatures dipped 15° below normal. The Timmelsjoch pass is only open in the summer months and with the accumulation of snow still there, you can understand why! BTW, notice that the snow is almost as high as the van (click photo for a larger image)…

Ken with the Rockster
Click to enlarge
Snow banks as high as the van

JoAnna and the F650GS

After five (5) days of riding in the Alps, we returned home exhausted, but eager to start planning our next Edelweiss Tour. It was a pleasure to meet Werner and Coral Wachter who started Edelweiss Bike Travel 25 years ago. All aspects of our tour continually reminded us of the professionalism and quality that these two have instilled in their company philosophy. One example of these qualities was our tour guide Thomas who could do everything from driving the pickup van, to translating, to riding fantastically, to putting up with all of us.
Thomas, we thank you!!!

If you get a chance, take an Edelweiss tour!


Our Tour Guide Thomas Ritt

Please click here to view a slide show of more photographs—including larger versions of the above photos.

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