If you follow some narrow winding roads through fields of maize, past sheep and cattle quietly grazing, near the Aara River, you find the village of Habsburg and Schloss Habsburg.
The starting place in 1025 for a family that would dominate Europe and its colonies for almost a millennium- the Habsburg Family.
The Schloss Habsburg is one of the many castles that dot the Swiss countryside.
Schloss Lenzburg in sight of Habsburg tower is an impressive example.
Perched on hilltops
And on lake sides
The villages and old towns have their own special charms.
My time in Switzerland, this trip, is drawing to a close but I have enjoyed amazing Alpine riding, exploring aspects of a rich history and found a welcoming motorcycle culture.
All types of bikes some very exotic
The old sections of Aarau and Olten were built in a circle formation.
The back walls of the rows of buildings forming a barricade with gated entrances.
The Bergennen or hill climb race at Seebodenalp is a 500 metre climb over a 5 km track.
The top of the track providing views over Kussnacht am Rigi.
It was an event for historic bikes and some cars
The pits were perched atop the track
With some lovingly restored bikes.
A different day at the races!
Alpine roads and scenery and culture are known to cause Alpinitis, a disease that creates an almost uncontrollable urge to return. The only relief is more Alpine riding, which results in reinfection.
This warning sits in small print on the first page of the book Motorcycle Journeys Through The Alps and beyond
September 2016, I had my first taste of the Alps.
I hadn’t noticed the onset of Alpinitis but in February this year I felt compelled to do a five day ride in the Australian Alps
But it wasn’t enough and here I am again in the Swiss Alps reinfecting myself.
Up amongst the glaciers.
Across the valley to the next twisty climb
Down at the switch backs just conquered
And fast sleek sweepers
The past the lakes
Days in the very high passes
Nufenpass the highest in the Swiss Alps at neatly 2,500 metres
Furka, Susten and St Gotthard
I’ve been reinfected and I’m glad there is only one response. More Alpine riding!
To ensure the total reinfection I have was drawn to the tortuously narrow Pragel Pass.
And its partner the Klausen.
There is no end to the beauty of these mountains.
Escaping the rain of Scandinavia via the ferry from Rodby in Denmark to Puttgarden in Germany the sun broke through.
The southern areas of Germany and warmer weather called.
And along the road the lovely old buildings the lovely German guest houses.
And the well preserved buildings in the villages.
Moving south the mountains take over from the flatter land of the north.
Castles perch on hilltops.
With views over the green pastureland
And curvy roads that attract motorbikes.
And of course the beautiful Rhine with the old towns and cities built to the edge of the river.
Borders I’ve never seen one but I have heard they exist in the minds of some people.
This quote from Thor Hyerdadahls captures a vision of adventure and cultural interaction.
To see see the Kon Tiki to know the strength of that quest bought tears to my eyes.
Fram, Kon Tiki and Rah form part of the maritime history at Bigdoy in Oslo.
Thor Hyerdadahl and polar Explorer Rould Amundsen were adventures after the highest order.
The ship Fram a wooden ship designed by the great Colin Archer that still holds the record the furthest north and south of any ship.
These are names that have fed my love of maritime adventure.
For as it is said about the Norwegian sailor.
If there is a boat that floats he will be the first one there.
The Norwegian prowess at sea has existed for centuries. The Vikings emblamatic of their skill and exploration.
As these Viking burial ships show.
A day at the Norwegian maritime museums is a wonderful insight into a rich maritime history.
My taste of Norway took me north past Trondheim and its fjord.
And to the very steep fjords on the west coast
And its glacier covered mountains
But a summer full of rain in the high northern latitudes was too much for this bloke from the driest continent on the planet.
So it was a taste of Norway till maybe another time.