Posts Tagged ‘Bormio’


I woke to clear blue skies. The Passo dello Stelvio was calling me and Drahtesel. Forests. Rugged mountains. Hairpins galore. Bare grassy plains, bathed in sun. I stopped pedalling, and there was silence. Just a gentle whoosh of the mountain breeze. Just me, for this moment, in this amazing place.
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When it’s nice weather, take advantage of it.. Strike while the iron is hot.
I guess it must also be old english – ‘strike’. Anyway, in Dutch, ‘strijken’ is to iron, which is good to do when the iron is hot. It wasn’t hot today, but it was sunny, and perfect for climbing the Passo dello Stelvio.

This pass has been on my agenda for ages. I got a tip to do this pass from one of the cycling forums I am writing to. It kind of felt everything has been leading up to this day. Stopping at the start of the pass, I was looking up into the mountains. Up and up and up.

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I cycled up in the shade behind a ridge, first through forests, then through half tunnels, protecting the road from rock slides, then a set of hairpin bends to lift the road up onto a high grassy, lonely plain. On this lonely plain I saw a small ball waddling over the grass. I thought, it looks like an echidna. And then I saw his tail. A beaver! How sweet!

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The road from Switzerland joins the road at the top of the Umbrail Pass. I visited Switzerland one last time before I head further south.
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The top of the pass was busy. Hotdog stands, souvenir shops, and amazing amazing views.
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The descent was FUN! In the sun, the view sweeping from one side to the other as I rounded the bends. Snowy peaks became visible. A big glacier. And it was all downhill.

At the bottom, I followed the Adige River through endless apple orchards.
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Surprisingly, the descent continued. I had to pedal, but, I kept up a speed of 25-30 km/h without much effort. I am sleeping at the Merano camping ground. Again, with a nice sunset.

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Rain. Mist. Not a day for Passo dell Stelvio. Instead, I rolled down into Bormio at the base of Passo del Stelvio all ready for the ascent tomorrow in the (predicted) sunshine.

Passo del Foscagno

Passo del Foscagno

Tomorrow (Thursday) is predicted to be better weather. Thursday and Friday will be good on Passo dell Stelvio, and then it will be crap as far into the future as we can see. Winter is coming, and those may be the last two nice days in the Alps. Today was a day to prepare for the big climb tomorrow. A short day to the base of the pass. As it turned out, it didn’t rain too much, but, you never know in advance.

All ready for the rain.

All ready for the rain.

Climbing in the mist

Climbing in the mist

Between me and Bormio is Passo del Foscagno (2291m). As Livigno is already quite high, this was not much of a climb. But, man, what a descent. 16km of down and down and down. The descent never seemed to end. Bormio is at 1225m.

Passo del Foscagno

Passo del Foscagno

Bormio has thermal baths. Due to a strange sequence of events, I found myself walking on a main road in the rain to some baths about 2km out of the town centre. I aborted this attempt in the name of safety, and instead watched the sunset from my hotel room balcony.

Bormio

Bormio

Bormio

Bormio

Bormio

Bormio