BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Lake Geneva. I wonder how long it would take to do a lap of the lake?

Thursday 2/5/13

I was startled into conciousness by a car alarm at half past four in the morning. The type of alarm that just keeps resetting and going off again if no one turns it off. I didn't think it was the bike, but got up twice to check and make sure anyway. No going back to sleep now.

The plus side of this is I was wide awake and caught up on some blogging, hence the three updates in one day the other day.

Suzanne was sound asleep so I gently woke her and asked if she wanted to come for a ride. She groggily said "No, you go." and went back to sleep. I was out of there...

It was warm, so I took out my toasty warm jacket liner, but was too lazy to take out my pants liner. (No, not panty liner, pants liner, as in thermal lining inside my riding pants.)

It was tourist time in Geneva.

The world Red Cross Headquarters. What a fantastic organisation.

The United Nations building.

Being in Switzerland the swans swam in a straight line, and kept time paddling.

A little lake side artwork.

Next it was on to the Geneva Water Fountain. OK, that's cool, but really, it's just a lot of water being squirted into the air. I'm glad I saw it because it symbolises Geneva in all the movies and TV shows I watched as a kid. What was that TV show I watched that opened with a shot of this?

The Jet d'Eau.

It was originally a relief valve for the hydraulic factory located on the shore.

I rode over to the other side of the lake to take a photo of the fountain from another angle, but couldn't get close enough to it. It was an interesting area. Shops (or offices) for Rolex, Patek Phillipe, and so on. All very nice. I don't need to replace my Rolex just yet, so I kept on riding around the edge of the lake.

Next thing I was cruising past homes that you read about in glossy magazines. I was in the Swiss equivalent of Peppermint Grove in Perth, or Toorak in Melbourne. I was surrounded by stunning homes that were right on the edge of the lake. The bike had a little rest and smelled the flowers while I enjoyed a coffee.

At the cafe I chatted to two guys who spoke no English what so ever. I pointed at my map, drew a circle around the lake and asked "How far?" and said the word "Kilometres." My reply was "deux" something. Two hundred kilometres I thought? Then universal sign language took over and the owner of the cafe pointed at his watch and repeated "deux" something. I guessed two hours.

Time for a ride around Lake Geneva then. So off I went.

It was an enjoyable ride along the lake roads.

Great views.

And I met a few new friends.

Yes, I think there's a goat under there.
Or is it a sheep?

I never get tired of seeing views like this.

It took hour and a half to get to Montreux and then I still had to get back to the other side of Geneva. Hmm, I didn't think this through. I'd planned on dropping into Hotel Mayfair in Montreux and having a coffee with Yvan, our host when we were there in August last year, but just didn't have time.

(Sorry Yvan. I would have loved to catch up for a coffee. I guess it will just have to wait til you visit us in Perth).

Initially this morning I thought I was just going into town to have a look around so I didn't have a phone, and I didn't have the Spot Tracker on the bike, so Suzanne had no idea where I was. There was nothing for it other than to high-tail it back to the hotel.

All was well for about forty minutes, then the clouds started to build up. Then the sky started getting dark. Then it got darker. Then it got really dark.

The photo doesn't show it, but the sky was scary dark.

About ten minutes later it started to rain, and got very cold. Then the lightening started, and I could hear the thunder. Very loud thunder. Then it bucked down. 

The rain eased off and I thought "Great". But then it started to snow, just a little bit. When that stopped it hailed. Give me a break.

Then it happened. There was ice all down both sides and the middle of the road. The only safe place to ride was in the tracks of the car tyres. Even then I had a couple of scares with the front end going all squirelly on me when it hit ice. Luckily I made it back to the hotel without falling on my bum.

What a day. After two hundred and seven kilometres I parked outside our hotel room. When I stood outside, soaking wet and cold, and banged on the door, Suzanne opened it and said "Did you have a good ride?" What did I say?

I said "Yes" because every ride is a good ride.

But I could do without the ice next time.


  1. TV show = The Champions!

    1. Ah, that's right. Nemisis was the group and it was part of a sort of spy section of the UN.

      Careful telling people you know this, they might think you're getting old.