Cazzo! We escaped the swiss and survived italy - 2019 Swisstaly Roadtrip photo/video thread

nicjasno

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Trip started with breathtaking scenery:


Roadblock for the rest of the team:


Look at the expensive fuel...



Damn, son...


Turns out, quattro isn't so good :p


The good life in italy:


@leviathan decided to start his helicopter pilot career:


A random church from the 1960s in the middle of nowhere:


Texans endangering the roads:


The rest of my pics in a handy dropbox gallery:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/kr0810csdebtlxe/AACJx9s0c5vVUDvPFV7t0ujxa?dl=0
 

Matt2000

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Right, I've finally organised some photos. Will have to chop this up or you'll get bored.

My roadtrip technically started on day -3 with a trip down to Watford for an open day and BBQ at S2 Smarts, a place I have visited many times this year and have spent much monies in. The turn out was great.




After this was done I headed to my hotel in Ashford, Kent. On the way I stopped to get a picture of this tank.


While parked like a moron. Cobbled streets, thin painted lines and a car with poor visibility do not mix.


Day -2 was a transit day with @Peter3hg, via the Eurotunnel and then on to Saarbrücken. Earlier in the day I had noticed that they had a Smart dealership close to our hotel, so we checked it out.

Not only did it still have the parking tower...


...but they had a nearly new Roadster coupé. They want 16,000 Euros for it if anyone is interested.


We spotted this monstrosity and its tiny brake discs.



Plus a Mercedes-Benz graveyard.


While the view from the window wasn't very interesting in the daytime, it got much better at night.


I have no photos of day -1, we met up with everyone in Stuttgart before heading to Austria via a Tesla Supercharger and the convenient restaurant nearby that had käsespätzle.

Day 0 started off moist, I was pleased to have covered up the Smart overnight. Our motley crew was assembled in the car park of the strange guesthouse we had stayed in. I wish I had a photo of the crazy reflective foil they had stuck to the windows of the single shower room.


We got to visit the town pump at the electric charging station


The first pass started off with rain, which turned to fog that got progressively heavier. After going through the toll at the top and driving a little way down the other side, things cleared up and the dramatic scenery was revealed.


A little later on we stopped for a break, where I consumed uneaten pizza from the night before (pizzathon day 1) and met a guy with a BMW that made great noises. We then went on to meet up with @D-Fence in some town I don't remember and had lunch.


Finally we met up with @DaBoom, @IceBone and @nicjasno at this location with breathtaking views.



Droning also occurred for the second time that day.


Finally we headed down to our Airbnb in Caviola where we went for pizza again (pizzathon day 2). The accommodation was big but with everyone pretty much in one room we had to make sure doors were left open for proper ventilation.

That's enough for one post, next I will post pictures from the actual roadtrip days...
 

DaBoom

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Good start. And to add some names to the story, you would've started by doing Hahtennjoch pass pretty much straight after leaving day 0 hotel. And the pass on the Italian border with a toll is Timmelsjoch. You had a charging stop near Vipiteno, although I think you ended up south of town while looking for that charger. I missed all this due to my bearing issues and we met up on the crossing point of Valparola and Falzarego passes. :)
 

leviathan

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Allow me to fill in some gaps there :) I'll also post day by day, though I do not have quite as many pictures for each one.

Day -2 began with the arrival of a certain Belgian. A neighbor of mine was very gracious to allow us usage of his currently empty garage parking spot to secure the bike overnight:
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Next morning, the trip started, and we promptly found a rental S-Max with some Americans in a parking lot just south of Frankfurt.
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After a couple Autobahn stints we met up with some Brits, quickly left the first Supercharger, and instead stopped for lunch at the second one along our route to Austria.
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As we arrived at our overnight stop in Häselgehr, the first of my (luckily very few) charging problems took place. There was a Type 2 charging point at a fuel station directly in town, and it was listed as publicly accessible with several of my charging RFIDs in the compatible list. In practice, the charger refused to accept any of the 5 cards I presented. And after asking the fuel station employee, the charger is apparently only usable in "emergencies" with their key for a price of 15€ for 30 minutes. Since this is a slow 11kW charger (up to 22kW for compatible cars, but still slow), 30 minutes would yield me next to nothing in charge - so I promptly said goodbye and left.

Since the dinner offering at our hotel looked sketchy at best anyway, the group kindly agreed to join me in driving several towns further down the valley to a place that had Tesla Destination Charging. And indeed, we found a bunch of wallboxes huddled on a corner of a building, and some fairly decent food:
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Day 0 then started with some bleak weather, that is shown well on Matt's pictures, so I won't repeat that. Instead I'll show the Tesla's consumption chart from going up and down the first pass of the trip:
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Note the average of 155 Wh/km. Lifetime average of this car is ~190 Wh/km - I still can't quite fathom how it is so efficient on the passes, regenerative braking is magic.

After that first pass, there was a 50kW CCS charger in Imst that I insisted on using. In my opinion the location was rather neat; some others disagreed :)
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We then left and drove over some more mountains to eventually meet with the others. Some pretty pictures were taken along the way:
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I used another Destination Charger in Vipiteno, where we met @D-Fence and had some lunch. I actually wanted to use a 50kW CCS location in the city center there, but it was occupied by an Audi e-tron of all things, so I had to improvise. Didn't snap any pictures there.

After leaving Vipiteno, I found yet another charger to quickly top off before the final leg of the day, at a motorway toll station near Brixen/Bressanone. It had a slightly hidden entrance, so that and some radio mis-communication caused some people to take quite a while to regroup there, and allowed me enough time to charge to almost 100%:
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Since our lunch stop and the rest of the day to this point had already taken longer than planned, we (most of us anyway) decided to skip the rest of the day's planned route and head directly to the meeting point with @IceBone and @nicjasno. Some droning was done, as Matt posted - I'll post a short video from there later.

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Having met everyone, we proceeded without further issue to our day's destination in Falcade, where on the next day our trip would begin properly.

In general Day 0 was the most complicated one charging-wise - there were no Superchargers or other fast CCS locations anywhere near the route, it was a fairly long route, and day 0-1 overnight accomodation lacked a place to plug in as well, so I was a bit worried and stopped more often than maybe needed. Over the next days, the charging situation improved significantly.
 
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leviathan

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Alright, since no-one seems to be in the mood to post, I'll just continue right here.

Day 1 has started with a rather nice view from our apartment balcony in Falcade.
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We gathered the group and left our overnight stay heading west, via some mountain roads that surely have a name that I don't know :)
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There was some confusion concerning navigation and I think at one point we ended up on the wrong side of a valley from where we intended to go, but ultimately we made it all the way down towards Trento. Where there was a Tesla Supercharger, one of very few that I intended on using on the trip.
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Being located next to a highway in a somewhat industrial area, there wasn't much to do for the others except cool down in a hotel lobby while drinking some extremely sweet coffee from a machine. After some of that, we continued on, and proceeded towards the next part of our journey. It didn't take long until some other vehicles also needed to refill their respective means of propulsion.
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Having taken a small detour to hit this fuel station, we began the climb towards the main attraction of the day: the Gavia pass. But before we got there, it was lunch time. We stopped near some wood.
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Also near that wood was a picturesque restaurant. That was, of course, closed. So were several others nearby, because it was past 14:00 and we were in Italy. How silly of us to assume there would be lunch at, let's say, mildly late lunch time.

Only mildly discouraged by that, we found a supermarket near Dimaro to restock and have a quick spot of (at this point quite late) lunch and continued on, finally, towards the Gavia pass. I'll let the pictures from there speak for themselves.
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It was rather nice. We spent some time on the top and even made a group picture, which I'm sure someone will post here in short order. And then continued on to the final part of the day - over the Foscagno pass and into the special economic area of Livigno, which is apparently very cheap. I guess they forgot to tell this to AirBnb and hotel owners.

Then there was the one viewpoint we found on the way over Foscagno, where I shot this picture I'm rather fond of.
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@IceBone also shot a picture of my car there, which is even better - in contrast to me, he has a proper camera and at least sort of knows what he's doing :)
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Our group got a bit split up heading over Foscagno and into Livigno at some point. We were rather far behind most others shooting the above pictures during the golden hour, when a message came through claiming our planned camping site for the night was full and won't let us in. This was disturbing news for me and the other several people who planned on camping that night. We decided to deal with it once we get there, and bravely continued on.

We regrouped at the main group's booked AirBnb at the edge of Livigno and debated our options.
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There was another camping site a few km away with unknown availability, several rather expensive last minute hotel and AirBnb rooms closer in town, or free improvisation. We decided for the latter and went to talk to the main group's AirBnb host to ask if we can just camp outside the house in and around the cars for a nominal fee.

The host wasn't overjoyed with that particular idea. However, she went to talk to the owner of the rest of the house, and a short time later another free apartment magically appeared in the house that wasn't listed anywhere - fully equipped and prepped and everything, apparently it just wasn't cleaned that day and thus not planned to rent out. But they were friendly enough to quickly clean it, and so almost all of us stayed overnight in one house, for a very reasonable price too.

Except both Peters, who didn't wait for this brilliant occurrence to happen, and instead went ahead and booked some expensive hotel rooms in town. Although that netted us a discount at a decent restaurant for the evening. So win all around, I guess.

Also, Livigno had quite a few Type 2 chargers, and I chose this one to use overnight. It was almost within walking distance from the house, Alex has agreed to drive me there (and let me test drive the Mini afterwards), and next morning I just walked to pick the car back up.
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Blind_Io

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Lifegoals updated.

Also, shouldn't it be "Switaly?"
 

Matt2000

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I don't have quite as much for day 1 so this will be quick, I have much more for day 2 but will post that later or tomorrow.

Got wood? This pile of fat twigs was by the closed restaurant that @leviathan mentioned.


Panoramic view at the top of the Gavia pass. This was taken while stuffing my face with tasty olive bread, another version of the photo includes a brown paper bag moving across the shot.


I think all of our cars and bikes are in shot here, with a few intruders. I wasn't sure if the Smart would make it to the top, it didn't like the altitude much at all.


Squatting and yet still taller than the front of a Smart Roadster. Onlooker @93Flareside is clearly jealous.
 

DaBoom

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I guess I'll need to catch up to day 1 then. Not unusual for me on this trip, moving at a different pace.. :mrgreen:


I started my trip on Sunday afternoon already, which would be day -3 by roadtrip logic, I guess. With public transport links from my town being so compliant to morning flights, I was kindly allowed to stay at the gear.fi halfway home at @Brotan. A minimeet with some other gear members in the area was had and after that I realised that I've forgotten my riding jacket at home.. Oh well, at least I got to test drive the JalopLexus again. I mean, who needs sleep anyway.

Bussing about towards Helsinki



And several hours later, driving back home, with someone else's car



Engage warp speed



In the morning of day -2 it was time to visit the Fermans for a short change (and a long walk), before continuing to Turin, out of all places. My bike loves its home country so much that it had decided it wanted to stay there earlier this summer.


Switzerland from above is always amazing, when the weather is clear enough. I guess Turin was a bit busy, as the plane was cruising really slowly for a good while, giving me even more time to enjoy the view.



Couldn't unsee CarBoil, while waiting to exit plane



As is typical of me, I was Burning up straight from landing.



My panniers, tank bag and most of my travel gear was with @nicjasno, because of that previous trip cut short and I was traveling with hand luggage only. Fortunately I had enough space in the backpack to cram my riding jeans in there, so I could at least wear shorts. It was properly scorching, even if the temperature was quite moderate by Italian standards. Covered walkways everywhere made a lot of sense, walking around town.







I had a couple of hours between flight landing and the service shop opening, which I spent wandering around parks and nearby suburbs, instead of old town, museums or such. I'm strange like that (I was planning on going to the National car museum, but with their very Italian opening hours I would've had ~20 minutes there). This was quite nifty discovery though.




The sun was against my documentation attempts






Happened across original Fiat plant as well, on the way to the shop



Correct cornershop found



Full of MY BRAND



Nice touch



After a lengthy wait and many discussions via Google translate, as of course Italian was the only available language, I was ready to set off to Turin Traffic



Being in pessimist mode after technical issues, I booked a stay for the night somewhat close to Turin. But at least that gave me plenty of time to plan an actual route for next day.


Room upstairs, bike just below the stairs



Nice little hiding place



Start of day -1, some octanes added in the morning, before a shortcut stint on the autostrada.



Could've been a slightly slower shortcut, had I been on four wheels, or even had my panniers (that went on for at least 6km).



After Milan traffic was cleared, the view opened nicely as well. Passo San Marco, already getting near to 2000m elevation mark at 1992m.



Made it to my next overnight stay in the middle of Jaufenpass.



Checked in quickly and as it was still early in the afternoon I thought I'd head to the top of the pass as it was right next door anyway. The ominous weather provided a nice backdrop and a slight worry, as all rain gear was also included in the stuff I'd have to wait another day for, still.



Quite a NAIS view indeed.



Even though it sort of looks like it's raining so heavily that forests are peeling from the hill.



I was originally planning on nipping to town to pick up drinks, snacks etc for the evening and the next day, but that plan was cut down with new technical issues. Rear wheel bearing had gone, somewhat literally.



Being the end of day -1 already, I was supposed to meet up with more people next morning, but now I was browsing through some forums, to find a correct bearing model and if any could be sourced nearby, as well as nearby shops to call in the morning, that might have time to change them. Fortunately I was in the German speaking region of Italy by now, so I could ask for help with calls from our crew.


But I could've chosen a worse place for a breakdown.. 🆒



Great sauna as well. And morning buffet was nice enough to warrant documenting as well



Small buns be small
 
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DaBoom

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So, day 0 started with a somewhat leisurely morning ride back down to Merano, as @nicjasno had been calling some shops for me and one place had said they might be able to squeeze the bearing change in. Unfortunately there had been a bit of a miscommunication and they expected me to bring just the rear wheel. It was a small shop that was fully packed, so they couldn't fit the bike there. But at least they provided me with directions to a specialist shop, so I could at least get the bearings.




After a lot of calling (and me asking few shops in the vicinity), finally a Ducati shop in Bolzano offered to do the swap in two hours. Since it was yet another 30km with the broken bearing, I set off straight away, just to maximise my chances of making it there in time. Made it to the shop, the entrance to the work area had a covered area, which was nice, as it started raining as soon as I had arrived. Despite rain and being in the middle of an industrial area, the view was still rather nice




After an hour of hammering, new bearings were in. Onwards to catch other people up!



For the effort it took to make this quick service stop, the rest of the day went surprisingly well. I was the first to make it to our agreed meeting point, just a few minutes before some Slovenian reinforcements arrived.




I went for a walk to search for higher ground, as I’m prone to do



Roadside pose



Some time later, more people started arriving (and most often missing the slightly relocated meeting point)






@shad_68 returning from a missed turn



SMax and Smart about to miss a stop



Such a gloomy area



Sunset coloring some background, seen from our balcony
 

DaBoom

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On to day 1 (the logic of this day counting is always great). I was up early, as tends to happen on these trips. So had some time for a little walk to appreciate the sunrise around the village.


Nice background. And panniers the wrong way round since the previous day.



A wider view





I know people lose hubcaps, but surely you’d notice that..




Failed attempt at a lunch stop is already documented well enough, so I’ll skip to Gavia pass. Being on two wheels meant I had more time for photos on the way, waiting for others to catch up.










I tried my best to stay within radio range, to inform about oncoming traffic




Arriving to the top of the pass




Good road, this




Some Porsches around to agree, I imagine




Compulsory Italy flag picture




People standing around, waiting for pictures to be taken




Ice, ice, baby




On to our apartment at Livigno. The view was rather nice and calming (and panniers still the wrong way round)




What do you do when you want to make friends, but the friend is having a shit. Hide in the weeds.




Attempt at capturing an evening view




And some fun details from our apartment




 

Matt2000

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Seems like an appropriate time for my day 2 photos.

Moody skies over Livigno in the morning.




Frunks Anonymous members meeting, August 2019


A loud German... and an Audi A5


After dropping behind the group a little bit we caught radio chat about finding a scenic stop. We found one that they had already passed, so we stopped.


A man stands on a pile of small rocks. The world looks on, confused.


On the climb to the top of the Oberalppass


Playing in the snow on the Sustenpass




After our search for a campsite with space and then a restaurant, raclette was very welcome.
 

leviathan

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Oh, we're up to day 2 now. I'll contribute as well.

Overnight it rained in Livigno, and the morning was a bit grim. Maybe it was good that we didn't camp after all. Downside: packing the wet charging cable after leaving the car plugged in overnight.
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Weather has improved quite a bit as we all gathered up and left the area. At the last fuel station heading out of the "special economic area" where apparently fuel is very cheap, of course we had to stop. There was a pretty lake nearby.
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A bit further on, there was still the pretty lake, as well as a queue for the border tunnel into Switzerland, which is single lane and switches direction every 10 minutes or so.
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Having crossed the tunnel into Switzerland, I promptly set the Autopilot speed limit offset to "+0 km/h", and we continued on strictly adhering to the speed limits, very afraid of Swiss speeding fines. The Swiss police didn't bother us however, and we found out that their roads are much smoother than Italian ones, so even cruising at slower speeds was rather nice. The occasional stop to listen to some mountain cows wasn't bad either.
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Having gotten enough cowbell, we pressed on, and eventually reached my only planned charger for the day near some supermarkets in Thusis. The car topped up, and we grabbed some snacks and drinks nearby.
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This day could've easily been driven on the overnight charge without any intermediate stops. The combination of descending from Livigno and smooth and slow-ish Swiss roads has greatly helped efficiency. Others' cars were apparently also reporting ridiculous range numbers, as fuel consumption plummeted.
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The snow shenaningans on top of the Susten pass then happened, see Matt's pics. I just had to test electric AWD on snow, despite having close to the wrongest tires possible for the job. It did about as well as expected.

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Having descended from there and gone around Lake Brienz towards Interlaken, we eventually arrived at our destination near Lauterbrunnen. Part of the group went to their respective AirBnbs in town, while myself and several others continued to our planned camping site.

Which was full. Again.

And so was the next one a few km down the road. And about 5 more in the area, which we cleverly called up before spending the whole evening driving around. We were about to give up and book some expensive last-minute rooms, when I came through with some Google-fu and found us a campsite that did not immediately tell me to sod off. They were slightly surprised when told that we were 6 people with 5 cars, but still claimed to accomodate us, and they were only about a half hour's drive away - so we went there.
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See that angle shape on the western edge of our route there? The original camp was about half way down the southern "branch", the second one we went to all the way south, and the one we eventually ended up in all the way down the eastern branch, in the ominously named area of Grindelwald. The camp was a bit off the main road, but they had enough room for all of us, and a view of the town below.
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We set up, with the Tesla and S-Max being provisionally re-classified as "small campervans" for accounting and sleeping purposes.
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I plugged the Tesla in using a 20m cable drum borrowed from Ice and the car's adapter to 220v Schuko, which yielded the slowest charging rate I've seen so far.
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Charge rate dropped even lower overnight, as I slept in the car and left the heater running at comfortable 19°. This actually worked much better than expected. There's a surprising amount of room in the car with the rear seats folded down, it's exactly long enough to accomodate my height fully stretched. The seats don't quite fold flat (unless you remove the seat cushion, which is a bit fiddly), but flat enough to comfortably sleep on. Next time I need a thinner mattress though, my knees will be thankful, hitting that shelf while turning around hurts.
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With all of that + the tents of the non-car-sleeping people set up and everything good to go, we hopped into the Smax and went for some dinner down in Grindelwald town. Raclette and "the coldest beer in the Alps" (iirc) was quite good.
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DaBoom

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Homotorcyclist view to Day 2. And while I though there isn’t much to add, I found surprising amounts to comment about.


I was up early again and spent the morning wandering about, admiring the view and eating breakfast. Setting up for takeoff I was informed that everybody else had decided to refuel already. Well whatever, it’s a short stop with a small tank of dino juice. And also, the rain in the night meant that I had brought my panniers in, so they were finally the right way round!



Group photo



Everybody else taking the same photo



Room for activities by the lake



And quite acceptable view back towards the village, even without the lake



Swiss adventures started with Albulapass. Lead crew was a bit less stressed about keeping exactly to stated limits, when the situation was suitable, so we missed best viewpoints where others stopped. All we had to look at was the western part of the valley.




Road narrowed down a bit on the downhill, so team two wheels ended up waiting further down, for others to catch up (and we also had no idea about charge stops or locations).




The charging stop was quite scenic as well, when you look past the covered charging spot. Dino juice and cheap(er) markets for snacking needs available as well.




More shenanigans with snow at the top of Sustenpass



Sub-Zero..?







And something I’d never usually do on a roadtrip



There’s some scenery hiding in the clouds of course, if you’re tired of playing



Too bad the camping situation was as bad it was. There would’ve been much better accommodation options for us as well in the valley they ended up in. Oh well, the view from our hostel room balcony was rather nice at least.




Suddenly, a SMax! It wasn’t ours, but got us confused enough that we actually got split up for a bit, while trying to meet up with @Peter3hg and @D-Fence, staying at the other hostel nearby.



They had an interesting spot. Basically a base jumping centre, run by some Australians, or something. The bar even had something for the non-beer drinker!



Level of conversation made me think people might be a tad tired.. Alot of cheese was consumed, this is Switzerland after all. And despite prices, some great desserts were forced on us by a Pole. Well worth it though.



Being rather impressed with my ye olde phone camera. Despite all nearby lighting making picture taking even harder



Attempts were made to get around that problem



After dinner we returned back to base (jumping hostel) for a drink and left our mark on the window of fame. Very discreet one though, but that’s all we had available.
 

DaBoom

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Couple screencaps from helmut cam as well, because why not.

Weather made the drop down to Andermatt even more dramatic


And the lakeside road we had to take, to avoid a motorway. Such a shame.
 
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