Testimonial Italian Lakes & Swiss Alps Tour  25 Aug – 5 Sept 2018

The Group on top of the Petit St Bernard Pass - another thoroughly enjoyable tour with great riding and a really sociable group of people.

The Group on top of the Petit St Bernard Pass – another thoroughly enjoyable tour with great riding and a really sociable group of people.

We start with a pre-tour briefing - and directions...

We start with a pre-tour briefing – and directions…

Some listen...others head for PARIS !!!

Some listen…while others head for PARIS !!!

Dave & Traci realise something's wrong...

David & Traci realise something’s wrong & turn back

After 1.5 hrs we're all reunited !!

After 1.5 hrs we’re all reunited !!

Afternoon coffee stop

Afternoon coffee stop

Lovely ladies & flower displays

Lovely ladies & flower displays

“Hi John & Jen, thank you for a wonderful tour, the best one yet! Me & Mark thoroughly enjoyed it and our memories will stay with us for a long time. Great choice of location, hotels, roads & most of all the spectacular scenery. Thank you for all of your continued hard work that made our trip another memorable one! Best regards to the group too for making the trip so special. Had great fun and haven’t  stopped laughing! “
 Mark & Nicky Rowley, 3rd tour, BMW R1200 GSA, West Midlands

"Dirty" beers !

“Dirty” beers at the hotel !

While Jen (& Doug) have time for a swim

While Jen (& Doug) have time for a swim

Drinks round the pool

Drinks round the pool

Are we all here ??!!

Are we all here ??!!

” The Tour of the Swiss Alps and Italian Lakes – Great routes/roads, Fantastic Scenery, Fabulous Hotels. Never feel you’re part of a “Tour Company” rather it’s like going around Europe with a bunch of friends where everything is organised for you – never in a “regimented way” though. The pace of the tour is variable, suiting all styles of rider. The system of marking (I’ll let John & Jen explain if you book) allows a pace to suite the individual. In summary, for me BN European Tours deserves 5 stars – the amount of repeat bookings certainly back this up.”
 Eddie & Julie Nichol, 2nd tour, BMW K1600, West Lothian

Dinner is inclued tonight

Dinner is inclued tonight

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Elaine's brought a kettle but needs milk !!

Elaine’s brought a kettle but needs milk !!

“Hi John and Jen, thanks for another great tour, we really enjoyed ourselves…thank you for your help with our bike issue on the tour it was really appreciated, we will try and be trouble free on the next tour..honest lol! See you both soon”
 Elaine Gardener & Sheldon Allen, 2nd tour, Kawasaki GTR 1400, Cornwall

John sets the bar low for jokes...

John sets the bar low for jokes…

Thanks to Dave & Traci for 10 trips !!

Thanks to David & Traci for 10 trips !!

“Just come back from tour number 10 –  Italian Lakes and Swiss Alps –  yet again another excellent tour run by Bike Normandy; John and Jeanette. As well as riding on some awesome roads, we had enough days off the bike to chill out and watch the world go by.” [David’s 5* Google review – & 2nd time they’ve done this tour]
David & Traci Wakefield, 10th trip, BMW K1600 GT, Cheshire

Unfortunately Rob has to leave us...

Unfortunately Rob has to leave us early…

Always a morning briefing

Always a morning briefing

"Earl Grey Tuffers ???"

“Earl Grey Tuffers ???”

The van won't start - Rob has a charger !

The van won’t start – Rob has a charger !

Lunch stop day 2

Lunch stop day 2

Lunch in the shade

Lunch in the shade

We find a communal plug...

We find a communal plug…

To charge the van battery...

To charge the van battery…

But despite our best efforts...

But despite our best efforts…

It breaks down so we have to hire a van!

It breaks down so we have to hire a van!

Ready for the off...Jen's leading

Ready for the off…Jen’s leading

Doug on his KTM 1290 Superduke GT

Doug on his KTM 1290 Superduke GT

Gorgeous afternoon stop

Gorgeous afternoon stop – Andy & Chris relaxing

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Ian, Stewart & John enjoy ice creams

Ian, Stewart & John enjoy ice creams

As do Marc & Nicky, Vince & Tracey

As do Mark & Nicky, Vince & Tracey

“John and Jen, thanks again for a great tour – a tribute to your great organising skills and imaginative routes and choices of hotels. And to everyone I wanted to say thank you for your great company on the tour – that’s the final ingredient that makes it all so enjoyable. Ride safe and perhaps we’ll meet again. Kind regards,”
Stewart (lost love child of Jane and Gary Lineker!) Collier, 3rd tour, KTM 1290 Superduke, Wiltshire
“John and Jen, thanks so much for another fantastic tour. This was the best one so far for me. Fantastic roads, scenery, company and hotels. Made new friends too. Looking forward to my 8th trip next year”
 John Heaney, 7th trip, BMW R1200GS, Gloucestershire

Drinks in our next hotel

Drinks in our next hotel

A free night - we choose pizzas

A free night – we choose pizzas

Beautiful coffee stop day 3

Beautiful coffee stop day 3

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Stop for stunning views...

Stop for stunning views…

Tracey & Vince

Tracey & Vince

“Hi John & Jen, what can I say? We had a blast – again! We’ve been home a little while and hit the ground running but I’ve finally found five minutes to let you both know how much we enjoyed our last tour of the Swiss Alps and Italian Lakes – it was epic!  Well organised, lovely hotels, great company and scenery that simply took our breath away! Thank you for enabling us to reunite, make new friends and lasting memories! So many photos to choose from it’s been difficult deciding which ones to share but I’ve tried to send an album of the stunning sights and we’ll remember this tour forever! Thank you both for sharing your time and energy to help make the trip such a success!”
 Vince & Tracey Farmer, 6th trip, BMW Bagger, Gloucestershire

Pc-nic lunch at the top

Pic-nic lunch at the top

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Marc & Nicky !

Mark & Nicky !

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Watch it you !!

Don’t mess with me mister !!

At fuel stop - more directions...

At fuel stop – more directions…

Simon & Helen on their BMW S1000XR

Simon & Helen on their BMW S1000XR

We have to ride some motorway

We have to ride some motorway

A cargo of Maseratis

A cargo of Maseratis

Regroup at services - all present this time !!

Re-group at services – all present this time !!

We ALWAYS regroup before & after any motorway

We ALWAYS regroup before & after any motorway

Fab pool at our next hotel

Fab pool at our next hotel

Time for a swim...

Time for a swim…

Synchronised or otherwise !

Synchronised or otherwise !

Enjoy the special cocktail

Enjoy the special cocktail

Drinks before dinner

Drinks before dinner

Dinner is included (sorry forgot to take pics)

Dinner is included (sorry forgot to take pics)

The next day Helen relaxes round the pool

The next day Helen relaxes round the pool

Others take the cable car

Others take the cable car

For fab views of the islands

For fab views of the islands

Then take the ski lift

Then take the ski lift

For the surprise at the top

For the surprise at the top

Doug's on his way down

Doug’s on his way down

Traci can't look down !!

Traci can’t look down !!

And we're off !!!

And they’re off !!! (Photo courtesy of Rob Palmer)

Tracey screams her way down !!

Tracey screams her way down !!

"Tuffers" goes next...

“Tuffers” goes next…

Then Nicky & Marc

Then Nicky & Mark

Followed by Eddie

Followed by Eddie

Then it's us ! (photo courtesy of Rob)

Then it’s us ! (photo courtesy of Rob)

Rob taking photos

Rob taking photos

Whoa !!!

Whoa !!!

A brilliant ride

A brilliant ride

Ian arrives back

Ian arrives back

Stunning views of the lakes

Stunning views of the lakes

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Stop for drinks half way down

Stop for drinks half way down

Take a boat trip to the islands

Take a boat trip to the islands

Stroll into town

Stroll into town

Explore the old town

Explore the old town

Gat a haircut !!

Get a haircut !!

Drinks in the hotel bar

Drinks in the hotel bar

Our morning briefing

Our morning briefing

We take the ferry across the lake

We take the ferry across the lake

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Dave & Traci

David & Traci

Marc & Nicky

Mark & Nicky

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Everybody off...

Everybody off…

John H is our backmarker on this tour

John H is our backmarker on this tour

Coffee on Lake Lugano

Coffee on Lake Lugano

Pavement parking

Pavement parking

We stop by Lake Como for lunch

We stop by Lake Como for lunch

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Lots of cafe's to choose from

Lots of cafe’s to choose from

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Tourists in the back streets !!

Tourists in the back streets !!

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So cute - but they do have legs!

So cute – but they do have legs!

Vince & Tracey (oops sorry wrong caption!!)

Vince & Tracey (oops sorry – wrong caption!!)

Andy admiring the view

Andy admiring the view

John leads on our Street Triple R

John leads on our Street Triple R

Kevin & Jane on their Honda VFR 1200

Kevin & Jane on their Honda VFR 1200

Pretty villages as we head for the mountains

Pretty villages as we head for the mountains

Brilliant sweepers

Superb sweepers

Lovely lakes in Switserland

Lovely lakes in Switzerland

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The fabulous view as we approach our next hotel

The fabulous view as we approach our next hotel

What a gorgeous setting

What a gorgeous setting

We include a ticket on the Bernina Express

We include a ticket on the Bernina Express

WOW !

WOW !

We're here for two nights

We’re here for two nights

First things first...a beer!

First things first…a beer!

Dinner is included tonight

Dinner is included tonight

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The next day most walk to the Glacier

The next day most walk to the Glacier – which way is it ??

Helen & Stewart forge ahead

Helen & Stewart forge ahead

Doug at the 1960 marker

Doug at the 1960 marker

The amazing view as we approach the Glacier

The amazing view as we approach the Glacier

Vince is back in  !!

Vince is back in 1970 !!

Cold enough ?

Cold enough ?

Well - being fearless bikers - we take no notice of the warning & carry on...!!!

Well – being fearless bikers – we take no notice of the warning & carry on…!!!

Cross over the bridge

Cross over the bridge

Climb over the rocks

Climb over the rocks

We reach the Glacier

We reach the Glacier

Doug touching the ice

Doug touches the ice

Stewart & Helen do too

Stewart & Helen do too

Marc in the ice cave !!

When was the last time you did this?  Mark  –

Nicky braves it as well...

and Nicky in the ice cave !!

Julie's next

Julie’s here

Jane & Kevin

Jane & Kevin

"Tuffers" in the cave

“Tuffers” in the cave

Ian samples the water

Ian samples the water

Jen's in next

Jen’s in next

David's arrived

David’s arrived

And Andy

And Andy

John's made it for the first time

John’s made it for the first time

Eddie braves the cave

Eddie braves the cave

Tracey wants a souvenir

Tracey wants a souvenir

Heading back

Heading back

Coffee & Hot Chocolates then...

Coffee & Hot Chocolates then…

Most of us go for a ride-out

Most of us go for a ride-out

Some take the rack-railway

Some take the rack-railway

Lovely scenery

Lovely scenery

Thanks to John H for the photos

Thanks to John H for the photos

This one too...

This one too…

Marc & Nicky on their BMW R1200 GSA

Mark & Nicky on their BMW R1200 GSA

Eddie & Julie on their BMW K1600

Eddie & Julie on their BMW K1600

Great roads

Great roads

Eddie & Julie

Eddie & Julie

Hundreds of hairpins !

Hundreds of hairpins !

Ian on his Speed Triple 675 R

Ian on his Speed Triple 675 R

Twisty enough ?

Twisty enough ?

Ian again

Ian again

Ian's in the lead

Ian’s in the lead

Not recommended !

Not recommended !

Time for a coffee stop

Time for a coffee stop

"Tuffers"

“Tuffers”

And cream cakes ! Marc & Nicky

And cream cakes ! Mark & Nicky

Elaine & Sheldon

Elaine & Sheldon

Simon, Tracey & Vince

Simon, Tracey & Vince

Pretty villages

Pretty villages

Mike on his Street Triple 765 RS

Mike on his Street Triple 765 RS

Mike followed by his Dad Rob

Mike followed by his Dad Rob

Mike & Rob

Mike & Rob

Rob on his Tiger 1050

Rob on his Tiger 1050

We re-group before heading up the Stelvio Pass

We re-group before heading up the Stelvio Pass

Expect 48 hairpins !

Expect 48 hairpins !

See the bends climbing up ahead

See the bends climbing up ahead

Then look back at the route up

Then look back at the route up

Wow !

Wow !

There's Simon !

There’s Simon !

And he's done it !!

And he’s done it !!

Everyone's so chuffed they did it !

Everyone’s so chuffed they made it!

It's us !

It’s us ! (Thanks Traci)

Those that did it the hard way !

Those that did it the hard way !

Fab scenery

Fab scenery

Mike did it too !!

Mike did it !! (see the link to his video at the end)

Our sticker is there !!

Our sticker is there !!

Ian followed by Sheldon & Elaine

Ian followed by Sheldon & Elaine

Not so twisty on the way down !!

Not so twisty on the way down !!

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Tunnels on the way down

Tunnels on the way down

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The lorry didn't make it through !!

The lorry didn’t make it through !!

Peter "Tuffers" on his BMW S1000 XR

Peter “Tuffers” on his BMW S1000 XR

Pete's in the lead

Pete’s in the lead

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Sheldon & Elaine Kawasaki GTR 1400

Sheldon & Elaine on their Kawasaki GTR 1400

Lovely villages

Lovely villages

But watch out for the trains !

But watch out for the trains !

Mike's in the lead now

Mike’s in the lead now

Rob followed by Marc & Nicky

Rob followed by Mark & Nicky

Rob

Rob

Fab views on the way back

Fab views on the way back

John & Rob have new t-shirts

John & Rob have new t-shirts

Dinner is included again tonight

Dinner is included again tonight

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Christof serves us with honey schnapps

Christof serves us with honey schnapps

Next morning it's a wet start

Next morning it’s a wet start

Simon & Helen followed by John H

Simon & Helen followed by John H

You must cope with hairpins - even in the wet...

You must cope with hairpins – even in the wet…

There is scenery out there !

There is scenery out there !

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Morning coffee stop

Morning coffee stop

Eddie's bought new waterproofs !!

Eddie’s bought new waterproofs !!

So has Stewart

So has Stewart

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Stopped by road works

At lunch Stewart's wringing out his socks !!

At lunch Stewart’s wringing out his socks !!

We all crowd into the same restaurant

We all crowd into the same restaurant

David & Traci have chips !

David & Traci have chips !

Nicky's also got new waterproofs !

Nicky’s also got new waterproofs !

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"Tuffers" !

“Tuffers” !

Follow that train !

Follow that train !

More hairpins

More sweeping bends

It's still wet...

It’s still wet…

We ride the Susten Pass

We ride the Susten Pass

Atmospheric in the mist

Atmospheric in the mist

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Fab views

Fab views

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Regroup at the viewing area...!!!

Regroup at the viewing area…!!!

This is what it should look like !!

This is what it should look like !!

Roadworks again

Roadworks again

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The view from our next hotel for 3 nights

The view from our next hotel for 3 nights

Time for a swim & sauna

Time for a swim & sauna

Drinks before dinner

Drinks before dinner

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Dinner is included tonight

Dinner is included tonight

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The owner "Spike Milligan" !!

The owner “Spike Milligan” !!

Fun & Games...

Fun & Games…

Eddie has it sussed !!

Eddie has it sussed !!

Stewart !

Stewart !

Breakfast in the conservatory

Breakfast in the conservatory

The next day most go for a ride out

The next day most go for a ride out

Simon's envious of Sheldon's cakes

Simon’s envious of Sheldon’s cakes

We visit the Trummelbach waterfalls

We visit the Trummelbach waterfalls

Amazing force

Amazing force

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They power through the mountain

Mark & Nicky

Mark & Nicky

Great viewing areas

Great viewing areas

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"Tuffers"

“Tuffers”

Grindelwald for lunch

Grindelwald for lunch

Goulash soup with Chris & Andy

Goulash soup with Chris & Andy

Simon's locked his keys in his top box !!

Simon’s locked his keys in his top box !!

The manager's daughter's wedding reception

The manager’s daughter’s wedding reception

Stewart's got a new (£120) jacket !

Stewart’s got a new (£120) jacket !

A free night - we walk into town

A free night – we walk into town

John tries to explain the Archimedes Screw

John tries to explain the Archimedes Screw

No excuse now for no exercise !!

No excuse now for no exercise !!

Beautiful setting by the lake

Beautiful setting by the lake

Meet the bear !

Meet the bear !

David & Stewart with friends...

David & Stewart with friends…

Wood carvings along the front

Wood carvings along the front

Stunning views

Stunning views

Some of us go for a pizza

Some of us go for a pizza

A lovely morning

A lovely morning

Vince & Tracey

Vince & Tracey

Reserved parking

Reserved parking

Most go for a ride-out

Most go for a ride-out

Vince & Tracey on their BMW K1600 Bagger

Vince & Tracey on their BMW K1600 Bagger

Fuel first

Fuel first

We head up the Grimsel Pass

We head up the Grimsel Pass

Dam at the top

Dam at the top

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We ride through the clouds

We ride through the clouds

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Stewart on his KTM Superduke

Stewart on his KTM Superduke

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Simply Stunning

Simply Stunning

Fabulous weather as well

Fabulous weather as well

Pete & Mark

Pete & Mark

With a BN sticker

With a BN sticker

See the Marmots

See the Marmots

Hello !

Hello !

Coffee stop at the top

Coffee stop at the top

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Heading down

Heading down

Us !  (Thanks Nicky)

Us ! (Thanks Nicky)

Mike follwed by Andy & Chris

Mike follwed by Andy & Chris

Fab roads

Fab roads

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Mike still with Andy & Chris

Mike still with Andy & Chris

Brilliant roads

Brilliant roads

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David & Traci on their BMW K1600 GT

David & Traci on their BMW K1600 GT

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Stewart followed by Pete

Stewart followed by Peter

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Pete followed by Stewart

Peter followed by Stewart

Peter on his BMW S1000 XR

Peter on his BMW S1000 XR

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Tuffers & Stewart

Tuffers & Stewart

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Ice at the top of the next Pass

Ice at the top of the next Pass

Amazing views

Amazing views

Vince & Tracey

Vince & Tracey

We stop for a photo shoot

We stop for a photo shoot

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Peter followed by Kevin

Peter followed by Kevin

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Peter & Kevin

Peter & Kevin

A cobbled pass...

A cobbled pass…

David & Traci

David & Traci

Stewart & Mike

Stewart & Mike

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Yes, we're going up there...

Yes, we’re going up there…

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More tunnels

More tunnels

Andy & Chris - BMW S1000 XR

Andy & Chris – BMW S1000 XR

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Pretty lunch stop

Pretty lunch stop

Flash cars everywhere

Flash cars everywhere

A Maserati ??

A Mclaren

Mark & Nicky - BMW R1200 GSA

Mark & Nicky – BMW R1200 GSA

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Eddie & Julie

Eddie & Julie

The Susten is cloudy again !

The Susten Pass is cloudy again !

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Drinks back at the hotel...all eyes down !!!

Drinks back at the hotel…ALL eyes down !!!

Local steam train passes

Local steam train passes

Another free night

Another free night

Head into town again

Head into town again

Great local specialities

Great local specialities

Another lovely morning

Another lovely morning

Breakfast is upstairs today

Breakfast is upstairs today

Morning coffee stop

Morning coffee stop

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Final lunch stop in Switzerland

Final lunch stop in Switzerland

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Afternoon coffee in Chamonix

Afternoon coffee in Chamonix

The boys enjoy ice creams

The boys enjoy ice creams

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Mont Blanc is hidden

Mont Blanc is almost visible

We re-group on the motorway

We re-group on the motorway

Jen's in the lead today

Jen’s in the lead today

Drinks outside our next hotel

Drinks outside our next hotel

A free night - pizza again !

A free night – Jen has (a huge) pizza again !

Morning coffee stop

Morning coffee stop

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The van's back !!

The van’s back !!

Lunch stop

Lunch stop

Afternoon coffee stop

Afternoon coffee stop

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Arriving at our final hotel

Arriving at our final hotel

Drinks on arrival

Drinks on arrival

Then drinks before dinner

Then drinks before dinner

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Dinner is included our last night

Dinner is included our last night

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John thanks everyone for a great tour and John H for riding as "back-marker"

John thanks everyone for a great tour and John H for riding as “back-marker” – with another bad joke !!

Stewart's "Mum" Jane stops him listening

Stewart’s “Mum” Jane covers his ears to stop him from listening to rude jokes

Andy's up next with awards - especially for Doug...

Andy’s up next with awards – especially for Doug…

Who participated the least in the tour !!

Who participated the least in the tour !!

"Tuffers" takes a turn

“Tuffers” takes a turn

Then Christine

Then Christine

David has several to tell

David has several to tell

Jane's up next

Jane’s up next

Then Eddie

Then Eddie

John again...

John again…

Drinks in the lounge

Drinks in the lounge

Rob & Jen tickle the ivories !

Rob & Jen tickle the ivories !

Pool area at our hotel

Pool area at our hotel

Our final morning briefing

Our final morning briefing

With coffee & lunch stops en-route, everyone is back to the port in good time for the ferry

With coffee & lunch stops en-route, everyone is back to the port in good time for the ferry

With thanks to everyone for making this such a good tour – it’s only when you look back through the photos you realise just how much is packed into this trip! With great weather (bar two days), great riding and lots of laughs we look forward to seeing many of you again on future tours. Ride safe, John & Jen.

And the photo of the tour…courtesy of Rob Palmer…

Also the link to see Mike Palmer’s ascent of the Stelvio Pass...here

 

Jen is definately getting a wig like this !!!

Jen is definately getting a wig like this !!!