OK, hopefully I can make this work this time. At the end of part 1, we were visiting Franziska's sister in the old village of Finan. That night, we stayed with Franziska's mother in the canton of Valais. Little did we know that her house was on the side of a mountain!
Valais is considered the "California of Switzerland" because of the climate and the winemaking in the region.
The view from the guest bedroom was pretty good
The next day we left for a roadtrip to Italy. We found a room in Tirano at the Hotel Bernina, a quaint little hotel on a cobblestone street near the train station. We ate at the hotel restaurant that night.
Loyd was excited to be eating pizza in Italy. What he didn't know was that they won't cut the pizza for you unless you ask. It made for an awkward dining experience, but well worth the effort.
Rudy opted for the calzone. It was huge!
I chose the potato gnocchi in saffron sauce with tomato and basil. Oops, I forgot to take the picture before I dug in. It was heavenly.
Wash it all down with some excellent Italian wine.
And of course, dessert. We didn't want this meal to end! At the end of the meal, our server presented us with a complimentary bottle of wine with a picture of the hotel on the label. The perfect souvenir!
The next day we headed for Passo dello Stelvio, aka Stilfser Joch. This is the highest pass road in the Alps, the holy grail of motorcycling roads. It definitely lived up to the hype, with at least 40 hairpin curves on each side, plus narrow, curved tunnels, steep dropoffs, and the occasional tour bus that takes up three-quarters of the width of the road. At the top of the pass are several souvenir shops, cafes, and even hotels. We bought our t-shirts, took some pictures, stopped for a coffee and headed back to Switzerland.
The typical Swiss breakfast consists of fresh bread, cheese and coffee - lots of coffee. Franziska would go to the local bakery every morning and bring home croissants or other breads. Ruedi called these little rolls "tourist bread".
One night, Franziska treated us to homemade Spaetzle, a pasta-like dumpling that is a Swiss specialty. For breakfast the next morning, Ruedi fried up the leftovers with eggs and cheese. What a treat!
The last few days of our stay, the weather turned foul. We took the bike back to the dealership and did the rest of our touring in the car. We took one full day to tour through the beautiful old town of Lucerne.
The Chapel Bridge in downtown Lucerne.
I insisted that I get a picture on this sausage that we spotted in front of a sausage shop in canton Glarus.
On our last night in Switzerland, Ruedi insisted on making us authentic Swiss fondue. The Swiss typically reserve fondue for colder months, but even in the heat it was a delicious treat.
The next day we said our goodbyes and headed back to the States. Altogether, we logged over 3000 kms, visited 16 of 26 Swiss cantons, plus Italy, Austria, and Liechtenstein, and rode 18 mountain passes. Ruedi and Franziska were excellent tour guides. We wouldn't have seen half the things we did without them. Next year they are coming to visit us and we will ride to Sturgis together. Hopefully we can show them as good a time as they showed us!