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  #1  
Old 10-05-2010, 07:37 AM
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Default Advice required for first time traveller through Europe???

Anyone got any sound advice regarding European riding? Including handy bike friendly places between Calais and Northern Italy Via Switzerland.
The Wife and I are planning to travel to Italy in July on our 1500 Meanie. have heard that some countries have a real problem with loud pipes (vance + hines fitted).
Also Debbie had a major op a couple of years ago which leaves us needing accommodation rather than camping and we are going to do it in short sections.
All advice appreciated.

Wolfie
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:20 AM
Steve D Steve D is offline
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Been to Portugal, Spain, France, Bosnia, Croatia, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, etc; on a softail with Screaming Eagle II silencers( the earlier louder ones) and have never had any trouble with the local police. You will, however, get some disapproving looks from the ultra sensible German "motorcyclists" in any part of the world.
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfies airbrush View Post
Anyone got any sound advice regarding European riding? Including handy bike friendly places between Calais and Northern Italy Via Switzerland.
The Wife and I are planning to travel to Italy in July on our 1500 Meanie. have heard that some countries have a real problem with loud pipes (vance + hines fitted).
Also Debbie had a major op a couple of years ago which leaves us needing accommodation rather than camping and we are going to do it in short sections.
All advice appreciated.

Wolfie
A little more specific info from you, regards routing, what you`d like to see, estimated mileage you want to ride per day, amount of time you have available, accomodation budget etc would be helpful, and save us offering advice that is of no use to you. Once we know that then folks can offer more specific info

if you ain`t fussy about accomodation, then the accorhotel chain
of ibis, F1, mercure chain of hotels are cheap & chearful, and you`ll find them along most major routes.
http://www.accorhotels.com/gb/united...om/index.shtml
other options:
http://www.logishotels.com/
http://www.motorradhotelguide.de/
http://www.hoteldonpepe.com/
http://www.slidersguesthouse.com/
http://www.eurapart.com/accom.html
http://www.chambresdhotesfrance.com/
google translation of above 1 - http://translate.google.co.uk/transl...ance%26hl%3Den

Oh and having speed camera location POI`s on your satnav in Germany & switzerland will probably get you in some trouble. Thats why they`re notoriously difficult to find on the web.
Not that I condone doing such a thing
http://www.poiplaza.com/
Swiss speed cams POI http://www.poiplaza.com/index.php?p=...ds&lsts=_LSTS_
Various Swiss POI`s http://www.poiplaza.com/index.php?p=dc&c=40
Varoius German POI`s http://www.poiplaza.com/index.php?p=dc&c=18

Last edited by Peirre; 10-05-2010 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 10-05-2010, 05:23 PM
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Yeah, what Pierre said. Here's another useful website with camp sites and hotels

http://www.motobotc.co.uk/

And if you fancy some nice bends and lovely views...

http://www.alpineroads.com/

You have to pay for a one off vignet to use the motorways in Switzerland (probably why it's about the only country I haven't visited ) which I believe you can buy at the border. Don't quote me on that though!

The most important piece of advice I can give you is to enjoy yourself. I love riding abroad and would rather go to Europe once a year than go somewhere in the UK every weekend.
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:55 PM
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.....exceedingly good health insurance with airplane home, credit card, immodium and a liberal dash of money.
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:14 PM
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use formula 1 hotels, cheap as, indeed, probably cheaper than chips, and you can book the next nights accomodation before you leave the current one. last one i used cost 23 quid a night for 3 of us! thats under 8 quid each!!! unbeatable. and on the continent, they are bloody everywhere.
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:34 PM
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best thing for a time traveller is a tardis...
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:45 AM
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The big chains of hotels serve a purpose, and do it very well, they're advertised from the motorways, secure, and efficient. And usually on industrial estates with diddley shit to look out at while you have your morning fag and café au lait from a plastic cup out of a machine. But only if you've got the coins, cos you've been paying for your fuel with your credit card and not changed any of your foreign notes.
They're also soul-less and characterless.
Once you've got northern Europe and the mile crunching roads out the way, hit the A-roads, and stop in one of the villages where you see old people sat outside bars, old men playing boules with Gitanes barely hanging out their gobs, and old women carrying long ol' lumps of bread about, and stop in one of the rickety old bars with peeling paint and wooden shutters at the window.
We've done this with six of us on grett thundering harleys with apehangers, all wearing back patches. It dont mean nothing to them, we were just curios and something different, not rampaging thugs. We've had guys pull their cars out of garages to let us put the bikes in. Learn a few 'chambres' and 'une nuit', and 'merci' phrases, and they're great.
Then you'll be travelling, instead of just getting the journey out the way, and you'll know you're not in Birmingham or Milton Keynes.
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:09 AM
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Don't overbook. We tend to reserve accomadation on the way down but leave it totally open on the way back. Look for tourist information in towns and cities. They're always sign posted. Camp sites and hotels are usually advertised by the roadside, haven't been turned away from one yet.
Try and leave yourself enough time so your not travelling every day. Take a day off see the sites and get pissed with the locals, and let the kids practice their English on you.
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Old 11-05-2010, 09:05 AM
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Try to follow other traffic at the cross roads, sometimes they turn into multiple lane roads and it can be very confusing trying to find the right lane..Oh and keep out of the tram lanes...

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Old 11-05-2010, 10:41 AM
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http://www.breakdowndirect.co.uk/

Don't leave the UK without it. Saved my arse in April.

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Old 11-05-2010, 10:42 AM
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Useful info....Great thread.
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  #13  
Old 11-05-2010, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnr View Post
use formula 1 hotels, cheap as, indeed, probably cheaper than chips, and you can book the next nights accomodation before you leave the current one. last one i used cost 23 quid a night for 3 of us! thats under 8 quid each!!! unbeatable. and on the continent, they are bloody everywhere.
Theres an offer on atm with Accorhotels, saw it on an email newsletter recently, fixed price thru the summer
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taff View Post
The big chains of hotels serve a purpose, and do it very well, they're advertised from the motorways, secure, and efficient. And usually on industrial estates with diddley shit to look out at while you have your morning fag and café au lait from a plastic cup out of a machine.
Seconded
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taff View Post
They're also soul-less and characterless.
indeed they are, there are a few good ones in the town/city centres.

I`d suggest "Wolfies airbrush" if they`re going to use them to get thru the boring northern bit, to choose wisely, once they`re decided roughly where their 1st 1 or 2 nights will be, do a little homework by looking up the facilities the hotel has to offer on the website.
Personnelly I tend to choose Ibis`s in cities with parking that isn`t always free (3-5 euro p/n), as they usually have secure underground parking or parking in a compound where you can get 2+ bikes in 1 paid car space. The "free" parking in cities tends to be a public car park a few 100 metres away.
Though as I know where I`m gonna end up on a particular night, & getting there around 5pm, knowing that I can find a nearby bar/cafe for food & beer
I tend to mostly pre-book hotels ahead if i know i need to be at a location the next morning for the ferry etc, and get a huge discount on the, "on the spot rates". I`ve stayed at the Ibis at Faro, & salamanca before the rally for under 30 euro p/n. Also with folks having mobile internet on the phone, carrying PDA`s or notebooks. Its not too difficult to book the next nights bed online, or ask the hotel to book it for you when you check in/out

For the Satnav geeks most of the hotelchains mentioned have their POI`s on POIplaza, so if your winging it, you can at least navigate your way to the nearest place. likewise for most supermarkets (Netto, lidl, etc), Fuel stations & more.
For camping site POI`s look up http://www.archiescampings.eu/downloadpage/ 25,000+ public/private campsites across europe

Again we`ll have to wait for "Wolfies airbrush" to tell us more

Last edited by Peirre; 11-05-2010 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:26 PM
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On our last jaunt through Spain we used Hostels, just like hotels... only cheaper.

www.hostelworld.com

www.hostelbookers.com
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Old 11-05-2010, 05:16 PM
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If you need a stop about an hour n a half south of Calais I can highly recommend www.lesballastieres.com

Run by bikers, very friendly, nice location etc.
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Old 11-05-2010, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gurnE View Post
If you need a stop about an hour n a half south of Calais I can highly recommend www.lesballastieres.com

Run by bikers, very friendly, nice location etc.
Cheers for that. I might be stopping there now, hopefully in July
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:03 PM
frenchie frenchie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taff View Post
...hit the A-roads, and stop in one of the villages where you see old people sat outside bars, old men playing boules with Gitanes barely hanging out their gobs, and old women carrying long ol' lumps of bread about, and stop in one of the rickety old bars with peeling paint and wooden shutters at the window....Then you'll be travelling, instead of just getting the journey out the way, and you'll know you're not in Birmingham or Milton Keynes.

just dont freak and run out of bogs screaming when there is a poo log on the floor, thats what they do. open grill squatty shitters, and no flush.

or , worse, stop in a private House, no water in the closet, watering can next to shiiter only cos Brits were coming, and you can see the worms in the open bog Compostieer.

Belgium.
fren
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:29 PM
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and relax and have fun
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchie View Post
just dont freak and run out of bogs screaming when there is a poo log on the floor, thats what they do. open grill squatty shitters, and no flush.

or , worse, stop in a private House, no water in the closet, watering can next to shiiter only cos Brits were coming, and you can see the worms in the open bog Compostieer.

Belgium.
fren
Thanks for reminding me why I stay in Britain these days.

John
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:43 AM
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look right when you pull out!!!
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  #21  
Old 12-05-2010, 07:55 AM
Steve D Steve D is offline
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Go right at roundabouts. Don't leave the campsite and ride two miles on the wrong side of the road. (only realised when I reached a T junction )
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Old 12-05-2010, 04:00 PM
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The hardest thing about driving on the "other side"
is when you get off the ferry at Großbritannien and have to switch back
it causes me no end of problems switching from 1 to the other & back again
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Old 12-05-2010, 04:10 PM
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Just re-read the title..

Wasn't that Doctor Who?

John
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Old 22-05-2010, 02:15 AM
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Thanks for all the advice. Not been online as getting sorted for a show - now off to chill out - Beeeeeer . Were still trying to decide the route, but getting there, on the plus side the hardbags arrived this week from the states aso we can get an idea of how much ( or how little) we can carry

Thanks again all

Wolfie

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Old 23-05-2010, 10:20 AM
Timbo Timbo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchie View Post
.....exceedingly good health insurance with airplane home, credit card, immodium and a liberal dash of money.
fren
Seconded. Travel Insurance is a must have.
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