Sunday, 31 October 2010

2007 It Had to Happen Sometime-It's Cold Up Top

We awoke with clear blue skies and Ian did what he does best, put on the TV. In the early morning there are a few channels that show the mountain passes via a camera located on the top of restaurants or ski lifts. The live pictures are often accompanied by accordion music. This certainly was not music to our ears when the passes that we wanted to ride were closed as they had six inches of snow on them! Travelling east was therefore out of the equation. Up north the weather did not look too promising, travelling west would only take us back the way we had come, therefore south was the only answer, besides Ian had never seen the Med.

With our plans rescheduled it was time to hit the open road. Our route to the south was over Grimsel Pass, a road that we have travelled before and enjoyed. Looking back down the pass did nothing to prepare us for what lay ahead.

As we climbed higher the temperature began to fall. The results from the previous days weather fronts were becoming visible.

With Ian’s sometimes legendary map reading skills not required due to there being no junctions to negotiate, it was just as well if this information post was a sign of things to come.

We passed by a group of bikers that had parked up to take a photo for their holiday album.

Eventually reaching the summit and carefully bringing the Guzzi to a standstill, cups of hot chocolate and a warm snack were certainly welcome. It was so warm in the restaurant that we were almost falling asleep.

Returning outside we took a photo of perhaps the most photographed motorcyclists in Switzerland.

Crossing over the road there is a small enclosure that is home to a family of marmots.

This is reached by going up some steps, not surprisingly covered in ice. Ian managed to scale these without problems, finding himself knee deep in snow!

A group of tourists from one of the parked coaches also tried to walk up the steps have a look, only succeeding in sliding all over. When will people realise when to change into appropriate footwear?

Returning to the Guzzi we had a welcoming committee. Waiting by their coach, camcorders at the ready, we became minor film stars as Ian and Guzzisue mounted the Guzzi, gunned her into life and rode away. Travelling down the pass and out of the snow we had to do a quick country check. Yes we were still in Switzerland.

Warmer climate and our world’s back in balance.

Away from the Grimsel Pass we were able to cover ground at a steady rate, passing near Mont Blanc and surviving the rush hour in Grenoble, we picked out the N91, heading for Le Bourg d’Oisans and a welcome overnight stop.

Some hope! This was like a Goldilocks moment. The first B&B, Guzzisue almost suffocated herself trying the mattress as it wrapped itself around her, the second was very cheap, very tatty with a dubious clientele. The next was full.

With daylight fading we eventually came to Le Freney d’Oisans and the Hotel-Restaurant Le Cassini. Although it seemed to be expensive at €69 each for half board and another €2 for having the Guzzi under cover for the night, we had no option but to accept.

Having unpacked it was time to have our evening meal. Not knowing what to expect the set menu was handed to us.

Roast Chicken Salad

Venison with sauté potatoes and vegetables

Cheese Platter

Chocolate Mousse

Coffee was offered in the lounge to those requiring a caffeine fix.

Good company with a couple of American cyclists made for a pleasant end to the day.


Sally H said...

Wonderful photos!

motoroz said...

Amazing, can't imagine riding in the snow like that.

Affer said...

What fab photos! Although I hate riding in rain, I DO like riding in snow! And there is something about the rarified atmosphere of the Alps too - designed to clear the passages, as it were! You weren't far from Alpe d'Huez there....famous for being where I learned to be a snow plough!

Fuzzygalore said...

My goodness! It must've been just frigid riding along. Its good to see you smiling nonetheless. Gotta make lemonade out of lemons.

That hostel above the lake on grimselpass is so surreal looking!

Great pics - thanks for sharing 'em :)