Home to St. Omer France
Hanniball Run 13-30th June 2008
Not quite the Cannonball run, as we're going
over the Alps, but on bikes, not Elephants, so not really like Hannibal either,
and he didn't go to Bosnia, so Hannibalkan? - whatever!
A two-week belt around the Alps and back via the Nurburgring has become something of a habit, so we're stretching our legs a bit further this time and replacing the 'ring with the MotoGP. Party is me, David, Damien and Max.
Here is a brief idea of what's planned, I still have some more planning to do and will add more details later:
Home to St. Omer France
Via the Tunnel, we'll be overnighting in the Etap at St. Omer (Euro 48 per room, RO). This allows us an early start, and is way cheaper than staying in Dover and catching a ferry the next day.
St. Omer to Besancon, France. 360 miles
A few hours blasting down the Peage to get some miles under our belts before stopping off at the old GP circuit ar Reims for a look around and photo's.
Besancon to Vals, Switzerland. 264 miles
Here's where the real fun starts. We cross over into Switzerland in a Steve McQueen stylee and start gaining altitude. A morning of pretty roads lead us to Gruyere, where we're planning to have a look around the castle, the Giger Gallery (Him wot designed the Alien in the film), and have the best cheese on toast you'll ever taste.
In the afternoon, we get into the Alps proper, running around the lakes at Interlaken, and up over the spectacular Grimsel and Furka passes.
We take the Oberalp pass and on to Vals, our stop for two nights at the Therme spa (SFr 146pppn sharing, HB) Think Roman baths, hewn from the Alps and designer lounges - it's brilliant!
Rideout from Vals. Distance TBC
We're right in the middle of a great concentration of passes, so it would be rude not to. Oberalp, Susten, Grimsel, Nufenen, Furka, San Gottardo and the Tremola pass roads. We will probably have a walk inside the Rhone glacier along the way. Good soak in the Spa later.
Vals to Trafoi, Italy. 144 miles
Remember Top Gear's "Best Driving Road" episode? - That's today's route, without Richard Hammond, but with me doing a good impression of Captain Slow. The Fluela and Stelvio passes, plus many other great roads. We stop at the bike freindly Hotel Tannenheim on the far side of the Stelvio pass. (Euro 36 pppn, HB).
Trafoi to Arabba. 209 miles
The mountains change from the pointy Alps to the monolithic Dolomites today. Not too far as the crow flies, but we'll be heading up into Austria to bag the Reschenpass, Finstermuntz pass, Pillerhohe and Timmelsjoch. Back into Italy for the Jaufen pass and then the Passo Sella and Passo Pordoi lead us to Arabba, where we stop at the Hotel Pordoi for two nights (Euro 44 pppn, HB).
Rideout from Arabba
I haven't done the route yet, but the roads around here are brilliant. Might do the cable car again.
Arabba to Icici, Croatia. 259 miles
Through Slovenia and into Croatia. Our hotel is the Hotel Icici (Euro 60 per room, BB).
Icici to Podstrana. 239 miles
An Ooh! Aah! -type day of Croatian coast-hugging. Staying at the rather ghey sounding Apartments Johnny
Podstrana to Dubrovnik. 128 miles
Another day along the Adriatic coast road. Less miles today giving plenty of time for an afternoon on the beach. We'll be stopping in the Villa Antea for 3 nights (Euro 45pppn sharing, RO). This is a chance to do the touristy bit and have a break from the bikes.
Probably a walk around the old town.
More sitting around, or maybe a ride up to Mostar.
Dubrovnik to Plitvice Lakes. 293 miles
Scenic roads (hopefully) through inland Croatia to the Plitvice lakes national park. We're stopping overnight just a few miles from the park entrance in some sheds (honest) at Campsite Korana (Euro 24 per cabin, BB). Korana Cabins
Plitvice Lakes to Villach, Austria. 208 miles
Back into Austria, via the Julian Alps. Here we board the Motorail, headed for Dusseldorf overnight. Easiest the best way to cover 500 miles in a night! (Euro 170 each, BB).
Dusseldorf, Germany to Anloo, Netherlands. 145 miles
A straight through, motorway hop to our hotel at the moment. Will work on a more scenic alternative. Our hotel for two nights is the Koningsherberg at Anloo (Euro 43 pppn sharing, BB).
Anloo to Brugge, Belgium. 244 miles
Another touristy overnighter. Somewhere with a history of brewing beer seems to be a regular feature of my recent trips. Hope to see if Brugge can beat Pilsen. Hotel Bryghia TBC.
Brugge to Home
Aww shucks, it's all over. Dash for a lunchtime Chunnel, and home for a hot bath.