Südfrankreich, Alpen, August 2023 −  Travels −  Captain Tom

Südfrankreich, Alpen, August 2023

And again I go to the Alps with Marcellus and Extreme Tours.
This year again on the familiar loop. New with us are Andreas and Gerd, Thomas and Franz come along again after a longer break.
We drive in two groups and meet at some viewpoints and sometimes for coffee or lunch.
1The participants

We have some new or rather rare participants with us.
Marcellus, Beat, Michi and I are frequent participants. Andreas and Gerd are on the tour for the first time.
Hartmut is a former participant and now drives the route with an electric car.

Michi, Gerd, Hartmut, Marcellus, Beat, Alexander, Thomas, Horst, Andreas, Tom, Franz
2All pictures

I have compiled a video with all pictures (Franz, Michi, Gerd, Marcellus, Tom)

All pictures in 4 minutes
3The journey to the starting point

This year I make a stopover in Bietigheim with Susanne. We use one day for some sightseeing.
Then, on a rainy day, I continue over the Swabian Alb and from north to south through Switzerland to Champéry on Lake Leman.
Gerd, Franz, Thomas and Andreas travel with a car trailer or van.

I go through Thuringia and Bratwurst is a must.
Sightseeing with Susanne goes to Castle Lichtenstein
We visit an exhibition in Stuttgart. There are more pictures in the second part of the previous day tracklog.
Marcellus, Horst and Michi come from Munich and pick up Beat on their way.
There are rain showers again and again
I meet Thomas close to destination

It is raining cats and dogs. We shorten the route to almost direct route and see that we get to the hotel in Aix-les-Bains as soon as possible.

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Departure in pouring rain
Pas de Morgins - we are in France
The group follows closely
Gerd at a gas station
We have a nice dinner in the evening.

We proceed. It is still cold and wet in the morning but the weather improves significantly over the day.

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We go up to the viewpoint Le Revard. There we find fog and quite low temperatures
The other group drives up the Mont du Chat. The track is closed for rallye car tests but Marcellus negotiates a passage.
There is alredy sunshine on Col du Granier
In the Isère valley we see the chestnut farms. Unfortunately, the road through the Gorges du Nan is closed and we miss the impressive rocks.
We get to Pont-en-Royans...
... and get a nice lunch
Then we go over Col de la Machine to Col Gaudissart (Combe de Laval)
Fast ride up Col de la Machine
We get to the viewpoint of Belvedère du Col du Rousset
The hairpins downhill allow for high speed riding
We have an afternoon coffee at Col de Menée
In the evening we gather for a group photo with Cécile, one of the owners of the hotel Le Châlet in Gresse-en-Vercors
We have a brilliant dinner
Fruit schnaps in the end
6Gresse-en-Vercors-Pra Loup

It goes further south.
The Col de Grimone is closed. Therefore we drive again the Col de Menée.
In the afternoon we reach the magnificent Lac de Serre-Ponçon reservoir before heading to the hotel near Barcelonnette.

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Blue sky and sunshine in the morning
Pont de Brion needs closer inspection
Under the bridge a side part of reservoir Lac de Monteynard-Avignonet
We are a little shocked when we find this. But there is no one in the car.
Morning coffee
We go quite fast over Col de Cabre and Col du Festre
View on Col du Noyer
Franz and Tom
The other group gets lunch on Col du Festre
We get Lunch on the bottom of Col du Noyer in La Fare-en-Champsaur
Andreas enjoys the view on Col du Noyer
At Lac de Serre-Ponçon we can see the ramp to Col de Pontis
View on Col de Pontis
Beer upon arrival at the hotel
The day was exhausting
7Pra Loup-Southern loop

We are taking a new route south. We want to see the Mediterranean Sea.
Before that we have to cross the high pass Col d'Allos. Then it becomes very Mediterranean-like: hills, pine trees and warmth. We touch the Grand Canyon du Verdon and also drive through the Gorges de Daluis, which is very impressive because of its rugged red rocks. The day ends with the again quite high Col de la Cayolle

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The hotel in the morning
Brilliant sunshine on Col d'Allos
The group on Col d'Allos
Morning coffee in Castellane
We find a nice place for lunch
Mediterranean scenery
On Col du Bel-Homme we can see the Mediterranean Sea in a distance
Grand Canyon du Verdon
Gorges du Daluis
Gorges du Daluis
Afternoon coffee on southern ramp of Col de la Cayolle
On Col de la Cayolle
Us four on Col de la Cayolle
On the northern ramp of Col de la Cayolle we run into a big group of motorbike riders
Northern ramp of Col de la Cayolle
There is a nice full moon in the evening
8Pra Loup-Toussuire

The royal stage. The really big passes are coming up: Col de la Bonette, Col de la Lombarde, Col d'Izoard, Col du Galibier, Col du Glandon, Col de la Croix de Fer.
Since the other group will be changing tires in Barcelonnette, our tours are not quite the same this day.

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First thing in the morning is birthday celebration for Beat
Brilliant sun on Col de la Bonette
Cime de la Bonette
On Cime de la Bonette
The group on Cime de la Bonette
Michi records the fast ride up Col de la Lombarde
Cows come towards us on Col de la Lombarde
Cows on Col de la Lombarde
Franz on Col de la Lombarde
In Italy we want good Italian morning coffee. Without further ado I deviate from the route and drive to the mountain village Sambuco
The other group goes back to Barcelonnette for tire change
Marcellus watches a presentation of historic rallye cars
We find lunch after Col de Vars
We proceed via Col d'Izoard...
...to Col du Lautaret
The other group at Col d'Izoard
A happy goat on Col de Sarenne
Sheep block the road
Andreas, Horst and Marcellus on Col du Galibier
We are on Col du Glandon...
...and right afterwards on Col de la Croix de Fer
On the way to the hotel sheep block the road again
Beer upon arrival at the hotel
The old lady serves dinner
Franz noticed a Google vehicle in Italy. In fact, we are now on Google Maps Street View. Let's see for how long.
Here is the link to Street View.

Already the last day.
According to the routes of the previous day we go via Montvernier and Col de Chaussy to Col de la Madeleine and the other group goes via Col de la Croix de Fer and Col du Glandon.
Then we pass Albertville to get to Col du Pré and Cormet du Roselend.
A short stage through Italy brings us back to Switzerland to the starting point of our tour via Petit and Grand Saint-Bernhard.

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Breakfast in the morning
Brilliant weather
Col de la Croix de Fer
Col du Glandon
On Col de la Madeleine
Nice view to Mont Blanc
Nice montain panoramic view
Col de la Madeleine
Morning coffee on Col de la Madeleine
At Col du Pré
Col du Pré
Col du Pré - View to Lac de Roselend
We get lunch in a ski village on Col du Petit Saint-Bernard
The other group finds a nice place on Cormet du Roselend
Col du Petit Saint-Bernard
We get into Italy
Final Italian coffee with ice cream and panacotta
Col du Grand Saint-Bernard
Col du Grand Saint-Bernard
Col du Grand Saint-Bernard
Back to the hotel the bikes get loaded onto the trailers
In the evening it rains again. The rain radar shows a single rain shower right over Champéry
The final dinner...
...traditionally with cheese fondue
10The journey back to Berlin

Gerd has offered to take me with him to Berlin. Therefore, we can have breakfast together with the others.
Then it goes on the 1200 kilometer (745 miles) tour back.

Ready to go
The motorbike riders are also ready to go
Back to Berlin
The bike has been unloaded
In the evening a final Pastis

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