Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Author Topic: A weekend in a mountain chalet  (Read 1993 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Mrs. DantesDame

  • Super Moderator
  • Member
  • Location: Basel, Switzerland
  • Posts: 1525
  • Getting too old for this crap
    • DantesDame's Adventures
  • Motorcycles: -14 BMW F800 GSA
A weekend in a mountain chalet
« on: September 03, 2017, 03:02:25 PM »
It has been much too long since I have shared anything with you guys, so here's the full write-up of a recent ride we took.


July 29-31, 2017

Trasquera, Italy

map link

Swiss National Day fell on a Tuesday this year which meant a four day weekend for most of the country. Of course, that also translates to Ungodly Traffic when returning home, so Dan and I cheated and planned for a three day weekend, returning home a day early to beat the crowds and have a day to ourselves at home.

Holiday traffic
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


We hit the motorway, fought our way through the traffic and only once we got south of Bulle did we abandon the motorway and head into the mountains. We passed by Gruyères and then delved further into the wilderness.

Castle at Gruyères
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Sharing the road
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


I never get tired of this
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Getting deeper into the mountains
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The resort town of Gstaad - obvious by the numerous newly constructed chalets
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Even the bus can't ruin my fun
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Our route now took us south into the Valais, but we had to get out of the mountains first.

A nice way to build a retaining wall
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Heading into the Rhone valley
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Château d’Aigle
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


We have reached wine country!
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The dishes of Signalhorn
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


And disguised airplane hangars
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


We had made it to the wide valley of the Rhone. The sky threatened to rain on us, but considering the heat that we had left behind in Basel, I was ready for it. There was a long drone on the motorway between Aigle and Brig and the temperatures had risen. The rain had remained merely a threat. I was more than pleased to finally get off the main roads and start our ascent back into the mountains.

Beautiful but boring
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Heading up to Simplon Pass
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


We were rewarded with a few sprinkles of rain, grey clouds and road construction. I was so happy to get out of the heat and bordom of the valley that I didn't even mind.

The top of Simplon Pass
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


I sort of wanted to go over and see the giant concrete eagle monument up close, but that is one of the limitations of my motorcycle gear: I don't like to walk around much in it. Add to that the fact that Dan didn't really care, and the ever-changing weather blowing hard around us, and I decided that I could satisfy my curiosity as we rode past it.

Massive concrete eagle at Simplon Pass
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Always great infrastructure around here
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Southern Switzerland is gorge-ous (yes, I went there)
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Just around the bend is... Italy!
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Bonjourno!
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


I wasn't really sure where we were going. There was no address given by our AirBnB hostess - she just asked us to message her when we got into Trasquera and she would come and meet us. I had studied Googlemaps before leaving home to get an idea of the route that we would take, so I was surprised when the GPS sent us on a random left turn off the main road...

The GPS suggested that this was the most direct route
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The road we were on was obviously not used much - the weeds growing out of cracks in the pavement and the blackberry vines trailing into the road space was a good indication of this. But hey, the GPS said that this road would get us there and since we were ready for a bit of adventure, why not give it a shot?

Except that a few minutes later we ended up at someone's yard and the road had become a stretch of gravel. Perhaps the road actually did continue around the corner and beyond the gravel, but the property owner happened to be standing outside when we pulled up and I felt more than a little embarrassed by our sudden appearance. Dan and I agreed to retreat back down to the main road and tell the GPS to try again. Oh, and in looking closely at Googlemaps from the comfort of home, the road did NOT go through to our destination. It did not appear to go through to anywhere, for that matter. Always question your GPS!

Under the overpass
visitors can't see pics , please register or login
www.Dantesdame.com <-- Rides! Rides! Rides!

Offline Mrs. DantesDame

  • Super Moderator
  • Member
  • Location: Basel, Switzerland
  • Posts: 1525
  • Getting too old for this crap
    • DantesDame's Adventures
  • Motorcycles: -14 BMW F800 GSA
Re: A weekend in a mountain chalet
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2017, 03:03:29 PM »
When the GPS directed us to head for Varzo I knew that we were on the right track. But what surprised me was how big and prosperous Varzo looked and the buildings were so well-tended. I had planned for us to ride to the AirBnB, drop off our gear and then head back to Varzo for dinner. It definitely looked like there would be some good choices!

We passed through the town and then switchbacked our way up the side of the mountain and eventually followed the valley further into the mountains, crossed over and then rode parallel back down the other side of the valley. It was a beautiful ride, but it was by no means fast.

On the road to Trasquera
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The road narrowed and we found ourselves behind a local. This wasn't a problem because they knew the road and maintained a good speed. Plus, they ran interference on all of the blind corners for us - we could hear them honk their horn at each bend in the road to warn any oncoming vehicles. It was like having our own advance party paving the way for us.

Our hostess had said that when we reached the town square to give her a call. We passed the sign for Trasquera and immediately came up to this old church. There was a nice place to park and I thought that surely Trasquera (population 247) could not be much bigger than this.

Chiesa dei Santi Gervasio e Protasio (Catholic church)
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


I was wrong. When we messaged her where we were, she said no, we hadn't reached the town center yet and to keep driving a few more minutes. Whoops! We got back on the bikes and continued up the road for a few more minutes and there it was: Trasquera. Not that there was much to it.

GoogleMaps screen shot of Trasquera
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


I messaged our hostess again and she said she would be there in five minutes. Dan and I sat on our bikes to wait, since there wasn't much else for us to do. But it was a busy place, with cars pulling in and out of the few parking spots there, and a steady stream of people going into the tiny grocery store. It was indeed the heart of the village. A Land Cruiser pulled up in front of Dan's bike and they confirmed that we were ready and waiting. She turned around and led us out of the village and then further up the mountain side. I am glad that she led us - the turn off to the chalet was one that would have been hard to find on my own.

I might have missed this turn on to the gravel
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The AirBnB ad had stated that it was an unpaved road to the chalet but that usually means something like a gravel road at the worst. The road she led us down wasn't difficult but I am glad that we had our dual sports. She didn't adjust her speed at all and I thought how embarrassing it would be if I dropped my bike here. Just a mile or so through the woods and we stopped in a small grassy clearing. Our hostess said that we could ride the rest of the way, but the path looked narrow and steep and our street tires would have made it more trouble than it was worth. We decided to walk the last few yards.

Looking up the path (which of course looks deceptively flat)
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


We unpacked the bikes and walked up the hill to our accommodations for the weekend:

Our chalet on the left
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The view; the mountain in the middle is Italian - the ones behind it are Swiss
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The chalet was amazing. Our host and hostess had done all of work themselves and it was fantastic. Such great talent and attention to detail. It was cozy and clean and absolutely perfect.

Front door
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Inside
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Looking into the curing room
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The room upstairs
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The grounds around the chalet were equally impressive. In addition to our chalet, there was the owner's chalet, a cute little inflatable hot tub on a deck with a table and chairs and some outbuildings tucked up against the hillside. I was surprised to find that there were two mules, a calf, chickens and a fish pond.

Our hosts' house
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The little calf
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The Egg-Team
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


This chicken coop has a better view than most houses
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


It was early afternoon and we had the rest of the day - and all of the next day - to do absolutely nothing. We unpacked, explored the property a bit and then settled in with our books. We made the decision not to go back to Varzo for dinner but instead just make something for ourselves in our chalet. It was going to be a relaxing weekend.

Evidence of wild boar where the ground is dug up
visitors can't see pics , please register or login
www.Dantesdame.com <-- Rides! Rides! Rides!

Offline Mrs. DantesDame

  • Super Moderator
  • Member
  • Location: Basel, Switzerland
  • Posts: 1525
  • Getting too old for this crap
    • DantesDame's Adventures
  • Motorcycles: -14 BMW F800 GSA
Re: A weekend in a mountain chalet
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2017, 03:04:52 PM »
We spent our time reading our books, exploring the forests behind the chalet and the clearings below the chalet and relaxing in the hot tub. We had the delightful added bonus of a thunderstorm that rolled its way down the valley. The sounds echoed and the rain pounded down - it was beautiful.

Walking through the forest
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Rain storm!
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Clouds in the valley
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


How we spent most of the weekend
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The chalet had a few interesting features. The hot water was heated by the wood stove alone, which meant that we had to wait a bit before our showers would be hot. Also, the "curing room" (if that's what it was), was unique. I guessed that it was used in a past life to smoke and cure meats, as the central fire stand seemed to be very use-specific. Now, there were benches on both sides covered in soft deer hides and it made for a cozy little place to read and keep warm on a cold and rainy day.

Custom-made walls of the curing room
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


All too soon, our weekend of leisure was at an end. We had read and explored and slept well and now it was time to go home. Our host and hostess had been beyond exceptional and had made us feel completely welcome. It was also fun knowing that we were their first guests!

Descending the driveway from the chalet
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Leaving Trasquera
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Still leaving Trasquera
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


I planned a new route home, this time swinging south and east before heading north again. We passed by Domodossola and then east on an amazing road simply called "SS337" on Googlemaps but named <a href="https://www.motoroutes.net/route/470-centovalli-ss337" target="_blank">CentoValli[/url] on some websites I found. Whatever it is called, it was a lovely and greatly appreciated surprise.

Rough Italian pavement
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


We found some curves!
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Santuario Della Madonna Del Sangue (Sanctuary of Our Lady Blood) in Re, Italy
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


SS337 was fantastic!
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The village of Terre di Pedemonte, Italy
visitors can't see pics , please register or login
www.Dantesdame.com <-- Rides! Rides! Rides!

Offline Mrs. DantesDame

  • Super Moderator
  • Member
  • Location: Basel, Switzerland
  • Posts: 1525
  • Getting too old for this crap
    • DantesDame's Adventures
  • Motorcycles: -14 BMW F800 GSA
Re: A weekend in a mountain chalet
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2017, 03:05:54 PM »
Back in Switzerland
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Hey! The bus stop from the end of hike last June
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Entering the Tessin area of Switzerland
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Instead of sticking to the motorway north from Lucarno to Gotthard Pass (even though it can be beautiful), I took us to the east and through the mountains. I thought it would be interesting to see it again, after having recently spent some time there and only being able to watch the motorcycles go by.

Just look at the road! It was all ours!
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


And the hotel where we stayed during that last hike
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Lukmanier Pass
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Awesome car
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Goat crossing
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Descending Lukmanier Pass
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Ugh. Traffic
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Switzerland at its finest
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


By taking the route that we did, we by-passed a lot of the holiday traffic and joined the main roads after the choke point of the Gotthard Tunnel. Good thing, too, as even the traffic in our direction was thick. But at least it moved at a good pace and we didn't have too much trouble getting home.

Traffic backed up to pass through the Gotthard Tunnel - for over seven kilometers!
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Another awesome car
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


It was great to still have one more day of "relaxing at home" before the work week started, especially after such a relaxing weekend in the mountains.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2017, 12:48:27 AM by Mrs. DantesDame »
www.Dantesdame.com <-- Rides! Rides! Rides!

Online kendenton

  • Member
  • Location: South Jersey
  • Posts: 643
  • Motorcycles: '15 Aprilia Caponord
Re: A weekend in a mountain chalet
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2017, 04:18:20 PM »
OMG
IBA #37902

Online st2sam

  • Member
  • Location: N.E.PA..
  • Posts: 716
  • Motorcycles: 2014 Valkyrie 1993 Ducati 907ie
Re: A weekend in a mountain chalet
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2017, 05:35:06 PM »

   :wow:    < Me after enjoying your pics - ride report.
She's a big girl, but boy can she dance.

"Traffic was thick as NRA members at an ammo sale." - Sleazy Rider

Online Andrew

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: on the left side, 5 blocks from salt water
  • Posts: 2053
  • Motorcycles: Got a Few
Re: A weekend in a mountain chalet
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2017, 08:14:39 PM »
OK, I'm jealous  :drool:

Exceptional pics!
Freedom without regulations that protect the general good is nothing less than anarchy by the rich.

"Riders might be worse than Kardashians for stupidity any more." Cornbe

Offline DNA

  • Member
  • Location: Bay Area CA
  • Posts: 541
  • Motorcycles: BMG 1200GSAdv
Re: A weekend in a mountain chalet
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2017, 08:27:10 PM »
Just wow - amazing trip.
You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack  -You may find yourself in another part of the world
You may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile- You may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife-
You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?

Online R Doug

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: Clemmons, NC
  • Posts: 6127
  • Where there is Danger, there is Doug
Re: A weekend in a mountain chalet
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2017, 06:44:04 AM »
That chalet is right up my alley.  I wish you had video of you two climbing the road back from the chalet, it does look pretty steep in the image.

What a gorgeous part of the Alps.


Since Sheri and I spent time in the Swiss, Austrian, and German alps a few years back, I find the Rockies to be a little of a let down.  Is that weird?  The Tetons were so hyped up to me that when I saw them, my thoughts were, "very pretty, but okay."

Only motorcycle riders know why a dog sticks its head out of a car window.

Online viffergyrl

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: 1 hour north of La-La Land
  • Posts: 2813
  • Hey! Wait for me.....
  • Motorcycles: 2001 Ducati ST4; 2007 Suzuki SV650
Re: A weekend in a mountain chalet
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2017, 11:47:22 AM »
What a cute chalet! Perfect! And your pictures are wonderful! Thank you!
Don't argue with an idiot; people might not know the difference. -Anonymous

Online Papa Lazarou

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: Lloegr
  • Posts: 6972
  • Freezing worms makes them easier to sharpen
  • Motorcycles: Moto Guzzi Griso 1200SE Diablo Rosso
Re: A weekend in a mountain chalet
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2017, 12:36:01 PM »
lovely
Putting the laughter back into manslaughter

Offline Mrs. DantesDame

  • Super Moderator
  • Member
  • Location: Basel, Switzerland
  • Posts: 1525
  • Getting too old for this crap
    • DantesDame's Adventures
  • Motorcycles: -14 BMW F800 GSA
Re: A weekend in a mountain chalet
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2017, 02:10:00 PM »
Thanks for all of the supportive comments!, everyone!  :bigok:


That chalet is right up my alley.
One of the benefits was that it was advertised as having no wifi. Except that our Swisscom service still reached us from across the border  :lol:


Since Sheri and I spent time in the Swiss, Austrian, and German alps a few years back, I find the Rockies to be a little of a let down.  Is that weird?  The Tetons were so hyped up to me that when I saw them, my thoughts were, "very pretty, but okay."

I know what you mean. I find that I see pictures now of the Rockies, Cascades, etc and I think "yeah, those are ok"  :shrug:   Still, you ride what is at your door, right?
www.Dantesdame.com <-- Rides! Rides! Rides!

Offline Acadian Rider

  • Member
  • Location: Moncton NB Canada
  • Posts: 256
  • Motorcycles: 2017 Super Ténéré ES
Re: A weekend in a mountain chalet
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2017, 06:16:22 PM »
Nice as always. 

Offline Virginian

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: Spotsylvania, VA
  • Posts: 2656
  • Motorcycles: '19 Husqvarna Svartpilen 401, '14 Vespa 946 Bellissma, '14 HD Wide Glide
Re: A weekend in a mountain chalet
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2017, 06:58:48 AM »
Stunning! Thanks for sharing.
Show up on time, do your best and don't grumble about the outcome.

Online R Doug

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: Clemmons, NC
  • Posts: 6127
  • Where there is Danger, there is Doug
Re: A weekend in a mountain chalet
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2017, 08:57:24 AM »
I know what you mean. I find that I see pictures now of the Rockies, Cascades, etc and I think "yeah, those are ok"  :shrug:   Still, you ride what is at your door, right?


Don't get me wrong, I'll ride any of it.  But, I'm not as excited to go out of my way to see the Rockies as much as I used to be.  I'd rather fly and ride in your area.  :)
Only motorcycle riders know why a dog sticks its head out of a car window.

Offline Mrs. DantesDame

  • Super Moderator
  • Member
  • Location: Basel, Switzerland
  • Posts: 1525
  • Getting too old for this crap
    • DantesDame's Adventures
  • Motorcycles: -14 BMW F800 GSA
Re: A weekend in a mountain chalet
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2017, 09:40:52 AM »
I'd rather fly and ride in your area.  :)

Just let me know when the next visit is!  :bigok:
www.Dantesdame.com <-- Rides! Rides! Rides!

Offline Vulcanbill

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: it's a secret, WV
  • Posts: 2923
  • no thank you ... still
  • Motorcycles: XT250
Re: A weekend in a mountain chalet
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2017, 10:52:09 AM »
Good stuff.   Beautiful place.

But since I have no desire to fly anymore, the Rockies are the best thing that I can reach in a couple days so that's my reality.  Ride reports like this take care of the fantasy. 

Honestly, since we now live in a cabin on a mountain, we're hard pressed to want to go anywhere anymore. 
If a person's primary concern is increasing freedom, they should prepare for a reduction in average lifespan.  ---  Misanthropist

If you say "Gullible" real slow, it sounds like "Orange"

Offline Mrs. DantesDame

  • Super Moderator
  • Member
  • Location: Basel, Switzerland
  • Posts: 1525
  • Getting too old for this crap
    • DantesDame's Adventures
  • Motorcycles: -14 BMW F800 GSA
Re: A weekend in a mountain chalet
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2017, 11:20:18 AM »
...the Rockies are the best thing that I can reach in a couple days so that's my reality.  Ride reports like this take care of the fantasy. 

Honestly, since we now live in a cabin on a mountain, we're hard pressed to want to go anywhere anymore.

It sounds like you have it all worked out  :thumbsup:
www.Dantesdame.com <-- Rides! Rides! Rides!

Offline stew71

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: Sacramento, CA.
  • Posts: 1673
  • Hey...don't act like you're not impressed.
  • Motorcycles: 2007 Triumph Tiger
Re: A weekend in a mountain chalet
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2017, 05:55:08 PM »
Gorgeous pics MDD.  :thumbsup: :clap:
With enough thrust, a pig flies just fine.

Offline Max Wedge

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: The thumb in Reg 4
  • Posts: 5667
  • Engineering Pathologist
  • Motorcycles: '10 R1200GS
Re: A weekend in a mountain chalet
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2017, 10:47:35 AM »
Simply pictures full of awe. Thanks for sharing, hoping one day I get to ride those roads also.
You never see a motorcycle parked outside a psychiatrists' office.
Where am I?

Online R Doug

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: Clemmons, NC
  • Posts: 6127
  • Where there is Danger, there is Doug
Re: A weekend in a mountain chalet
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2017, 11:24:07 AM »
I'd rather fly and ride in your area.  :)

Just let me know when the next visit is!  :bigok:


Thanks!


I'm looking at a leisurely scenery and pub tour on the west coast of Ireland next.  :) 

I love me some time in Galway.
Only motorcycle riders know why a dog sticks its head out of a car window.