Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What's that in my pasta?

I was eating a nice tuna roe pasta in Genoa when I felt something like a pistachio shell in my mouth. It was one of the gold crowns on my molar that had popped off.

I just got done with the dentist this morning. He had to replace the filling that the crown was sitting on top of and then re-glue the crown back on. My tongue still feels like a potato.

Driving from Genoa to Zurich

We drove from Genoa to Zurich on our last day before flying out of Zurich in the morning. There is a tunnel through St Gotthard pass that is the only link through the area. The pass itself was closed because of the snow the night before so we had to take the tunnel. There was an accident in the tunnel and traffic was dead-stopped for 30 minutes, then we moved forward about 1 km and then we dead-stopped for another 2-hours. 

Snow. We got out of the Alps just in time. 

Dead stopped on the highway

After that, we inched along in 1st gear for about an hour watching the gas gauge drop towards empty and then the gas light came on. We were not near the tunnel yet, and we really did not want to run out of gas in the tunnel. Fortunately, there were signs for a rest area with gas that we could see off in the distance. As we approached, we saw that the gas icon had a big red X through it. No gas. We had to stop there anyway because at the inch-an-hour rate, we would run out of gas no matter what. We thought that we could wait out the traffic and then try go coast through the tunnel on what remaining gas we had. At the rest stop, we learned that they keep an emergency ration of gas so we paid the $50 CHF for 20 liters of gas, had dinner, and finally arrived in Zurich just past midnight. The hotel bar was still open and, out of sympathy, the check-in clerk gave us two drink tickets ;)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Hiking along Cinque Terra

Here are some of our photos from Cinque Terra today. The trails from Monterosso to Vernazza to Corniglia are open but the paths to the last two villages are closed.
We took the train from Genoa to Monterosso in the morning and returned after the hikes. The Italian train system has me pining away for Germany.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sherry on the ropes

Well, chains really. We went for a long hike on the Portofino Peninsula. A lot longer and holier than we had expected. We missed the last boat out of the little village we were hiking to and had to hire a small boat to get us out.
The trail had chains for the steep and exposed parts.

Went to see the Modigliani exhibit along the way

His work really stands out from the others.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Over the St Bernard pass into Italy

We decided to drive up and over the pass rather than take the tunnel through the mountain. It was a beautiful day  the extra driving time seemed worth it.
The buildings at the top of the pass are where the St Bernard dogs were initially bred.
We are now safely in Genoa.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Tomorrow, Genoa

Driving down to the coast of Italy tomorrow for a 3 or 4 day stay. Hoping to hike around cinque terre.

Hike photos

A few photos

From our Hikes over the past two days.

Our home in Switzerland

We are staying at our neighbor, Frankie's apartment in La Tzoumaz. Here are pictures looking out from the patio, looking at the front of the apartment building, and looking to the right from the patio.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


The tire is back. Hope Hertz doesn't notice that a slightly worn tire with a different brand name is on the front.

Busted flat in La Tzoumaz

I ripped the sidewall on a curb I didn't see. Saturday evening in a remote mountain village. Fortunately, it happened right in front of the apartment we were arriving to. We have food, drink, a bed and electricity.
The tire is now in the hands of a guy I met in the local bar who apparently has a repair shop nearby.
Not sure how to turn off underlining on my tablet .....

Friday, October 4, 2013

Tandem in the toilet

We almost got kicked off the train to Zurich because the tandem did not fit anywhere on the train and I did not have the tool for breaking it apart (lesson learned). The bike was on the train but was blocking the entire passageway and we were not going to be able to keep it there.
One of the porters said that the handicapped bathroom was out of service and we could try to wedge it in. Here is the result.

Bike ride summary

Here is a quick summary of our two weeks on the bike. Starts on 20 September and ends on 4 October. Germany did it's best to thrown us curve balls including the complete lack of hotels in Boppard and the closed train station ticket windows on a day we had to travel and the ticket machines that won't accept our credit cards or bills larger than10 euro and little towns who are closed on Mondays. Oh, and the train that stole my wife.
Friday- ride from Amsterdam to Utrecht
Saturday- ride to Arnhem
Sunday- ride to Emmerich
Monday- train ride to Bonn and ride to Linz am Rhein
Tuesday- ride to Lahnstein after a stop at Bad Breisig
Wednesday- ride to Bacharach
Thursday- ride to Mainz
Friday- train to Koblenz and ride to Bad Honningen.
Saturday- enjoy the spa and then ride to Osterspai
Sunday- rest day. Boppard wine fest and boat ride up the Rhein
Monday- train from Boppard to Trier and ride to Mehring
Tuesday- ride to Traben
Wednesday- ride to Cochem
Thursday- day off. Hike up to Eltz Castle.
Friday- hop the train to Zurich

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Tomorrow, Zurich

Taking the train tomorrow to Zurich. We have been pedaling for two weeks and are ready for a change.
Renting a car, packing up the tandem and then heading to the Alps for a few days. Considering a side trip to Genoa later in the week. We could use a little warm sunshine.

Swans are everywhere

And so are little fountains in every town square.

From Trabach to Cochem

A few photos from the route.

Pictures from the Mosel

Sherry on the train and also wearing her cold morning riding gear. The Mosel river in the morning near Muhring.

Mosel river route

We took the train from Boppard to Triers to start our next little side trip. The vacation beard is growing in nicely.