Monday, September 24, 2012

Morgex, Italy, the rest of the trip.

Here is the 2nd half of the trip.    On Tuesday we drove up to Morgex, about 2 hours away, where the real mountains are.  It was very quiet up there- definitely in shoulder season.  There are tons of little villages around with lots of condo and apartment complexes in them.  I believe they are busier in the winter for skiing than in the summer.  Tons of great riding and climbs around here as well and not much traffic.

Not a lick of wifi in Morgex.  Not in Courmayer, not anywhere near the house, and not in the restaurants, so here are the rest of the pictures. 
The Sea Sucker rack performed flawlessly!  Took it in my suitcase and used it after the bikes were built (did same thing in Canada for the Ironman).  

To the store for supplies.  Enervit was big here for a few years, and still big in Italy.

Romano's mountain house.  Tall, wide and lots of character.

This dog was hanging out watching the world go by and is 14 years old.  Soda would have liked to join her.

This is the beginning of day 2's ride.  Missed day one.  We are waiting for train to go by and then start the climb to Colle San Carlo. 

1000 meters of climb in 10k... = a lot of ouch.

Lots of water flowing down the mountains.

At the top with my favorite Italian snack.

Mark ready for the next hill.

I think it is hard to see, but 1000 meter climb and straight up, no relent.

Here's the top.  They have a time trial every year.  I am not sure how much faster the pros climb than we did, but probably a bit faster than we did.

On the way down to La Thuile (la tweel).  Very fast, lots of switchbacks, and great views.

Mark showing his mad descending skills.

And gone...

Here I am winging it.

Somewhere along the route.

Looking down on La Thuile. 

Mark is a speck in the road above the tree.

At lunch I read an article about wolves.  In Italian...

Very cool sign showing skiing in all directions.

La Thuile Centro- very into their sports.

The village.

Looking down valley towards Pre Saint Didier (I think).

After the climb it was all down hill back- through Pre Saint Didier and then into Morgex.

Mark finally putting on knee warmers.

At the store I found these... Tyler, something we should know?

Dinner in town- lots of cheese and wine and more cheese.

Nightly dessert.  Soooo good.

Following day... back up the same climb Colle S. Carlo.  Some cows along the way, each had cow bells ringing.

Mark trailing a bit today.  He accused me of doping as I took 3 advil.  I told him I would never test positive because the massive amounts of coffee would mask it.

More cows.  Moo.

Mark pushing on the pedals.  Signs along the way show the percentage- at one point it hits 12.7%.

Looking back down.

Finally getting to the top.

There might have been some paperboy action.

I felt good today!

Big vistas...

Almost up!

Smiles for snacks!

Waiting at the top!   Dark chocolate sugar wafer cookies and a macchiatto. 

Down in La Thuile again, no lunch this time.

Beautiful village.

Looking back towards Italy.

Big gathering, very quiet.

Was a funeral.  We think it was a local guide who was working on the tram and fell off.   Very sad.

Climbing up Piccolo St. Bernard towards France.  Found a couple of snow cats.

Mark getting it done.

So beautiful here.

Not a bad day...

Yay shortcuts!

And why we were short cutting. 

Almost up- some crazy ruins.  This is a legit tour climb- lots of paint on the road with the big names.

And finally to the top and France.

A happy Mark.

More ruins on the way back.

Back to the village so Mark can do some work.  Very diligent he is.

Yay conference call.  I'll take a nap.

More cows.

Lots of lakes around here.

We should soak our legs!

And waterfalls.  This one was way up there...

Looking down into Valle d' Aoste

Mark looking very euro at dinner.

Yay wine!  Dinner at a great restaurant in Courmayeur.

Found this little fox on the way home!

And more dessert.

Last day of riding.  Found some grapes.


Heading back up to Courmayeur. 

Crazy long water fall thing.

Took a right at the tunnel to Mont Blanc and heading off towards the end of the valley.

Yay bikes.

And now pretty much at the end.  The road keeps going but we have to get our bikes boxed up and eat lunch, so this is turnaround time.

Mark at the top.

Still snow up here!

Coming back down the hill- tremendous views.

Lunch in Courmayeur and this woman showing what Euro really looks like.

Back down in town... the BMW is a big car in Europe!

After a very early wake up on Saturday we drove through the tunnel, into France, and through Switzerland and Austria to get back to Munich.  Driving in Germany was the best- pretty much no speed limit unless in a construction zone or a freeway interchange, so everyone goes 90-100 with the occasional big Merc passing at 120.   And everyone is incredibly civilized- on the right unless to pass.  A novel idea not heard of in the states, especially South Carolina.   This little Isetta was sitting outside the hotel smiling away.

One night in Munich at the Hotel Kempinski.  Lots of BMWs out front and Mercedes vans too.

We took a cab to Freising for dinner.

Crazy cool coffee maker.  And only 900 euros- we almost bought a few of them.

In the center, a cool fountain.

They just had some kind of festival and this giant tractor was leaving town.

In the hotel... I feel like Jack Torrance walking down the halls of the Overlook.

Good beer at the hotel bar.

And on the plane I found Terry and Sandy returning from their Italian vacation!
Lufthansa's Airbus 400 is a huge plane, comfortable seats, and a great entertainment system to keep you busy.  But the best part is the stairway down to a bunch of bathrooms.  Lots of room to move around!

In the basement- big bathrooms and room to stretch.
Oktoberfest is a big deal- we saw tons of people in Lederhosen cruising around.  And they gave us this cardboard tasting cookie on the plane.

And waiting for me at home!  A very smiley Soda!