Traditionally, in my experience anyways, the first assignment of the school year is an easy one. Really there should be no reason why describing what I did on my last vacation should be very difficult… except I haven’t had the opportunity to go on a vacation in quite a few years. I have had sporadic time off throughout the calendar year, but my life circumstances have not given me the luxury of a traditional “vacation.” So in the spirit of getting some words written down, I thought I would take a look at vacation I am working towards taking in the next five to ten years.
For the most part of my life I have been an avid motorcycle enthusiast. I had the posters in my room as a kid, and even went out and got my motorcycle license before learning how to drive a car. I have ridden on and off since then, but I got bit by the touring bug when I saw the documentary Long Way Round featuring Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman; the pair essentially drove around the world on a pair of BMW motorcycles. While I don’t think I have what it takes to push across the wilds of Mongolia and other remote places, the prospect of a week long guided tour was enough for me to set a life goal.
I’ve had a passport for most of my adult life, but has rarely had occasion to use it. It doesn’t help that I don’t fly very well, but I’m willing to do my best to get over it for a once-in-a-lifetime dream trip! That trip is the nine day, 1600km Best of Europe tour offered by Edelweiss Bike Tours. The tour starts in Munich, Germany, and travels through Austria, France, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland. Europe has some of the best motorcycling roads in the world; from long sweeping curves through picturesque landscapes, to tight mountain switchbacks. Aside from the riding experience, I want to experience the history. This tour goes through mediaeval towns and villages that are still thriving today, not to mention castles and landscapes that have been untouched for hundreds and hundreds of years. This is something you just can’t see in the back roads of Ontario, which have their own charm, but it’s just not the same.
I think what concerns me most about the whole trip, aside from the flying part ( I’m told there are prescriptions that can deal with that), is the language barrier – my French is passable at best! Anyone who’s been to this region, please drop me a comment and let me know what it’s like!