Landing in Frankfurt 5/15. I will ask all my questions in one thread.
I am arriving 5/15 and leaving 8/1. I am looking for any route suggestions or places you would recommend visiting. My current plan is as follows: From Frankfurt, I will follow the Rhine and Danube to Munich or thereabouts. Then the Austrian Alps and Dolomites into Italy. Depending how much time I have and how strong I feel, I would like to take a ferry to Sardinia, Corsica, and Nice. From Nice, I will take the Route des Grandes Alpes to Switzerland, perhaps watching the Tour de France stages at either Galibier or Tignes in mid July along the way.
What are the laws regarding free-camping in Germany, Austria, Italy, France, and Switzerland? I hear free-camping is not permitted on Corsica or in Switzerland. My tent is bright orange. I have never been rousted in the US or Canada in it, but I would guess there's a bit more open space here.
Usually I tour with a laptop that is too big and heavy. Mostly I store photos and keep a journal on it. I think this time I will keep a paper and pen journal and try to write my photos from compact flash card to CD. I suspect there are a lot of places that would do this in the larger cities that I might pass. Could someone confirm this? I have also been looking into bringing a smart phone/pocket pc kind of gadget. Anyone got an opinion on these?
I hope for this to be a cultural and gastronomical tour as well. I toured France in 2004 and connected almost every tour in the Lonely Planet book. When I went there, I mostly wanted to ride the famous cols of the Tour, like the Tourmalet, Galibier, etc. and take in their scenery. I found things such as eating the local wines, cheeses, and specialties (such as choucroute and Riesling in Alsace, cassoulet in Languedoc, etc) and visiting Notre Dame des Cyclists and other such places to be as enjoyable. I wonder what places, foods, etc. you would suggest for this route. Should I have frankfurters in Frankfurt? Yes, I will search for Italy's best macchiato and cappucino, even if it causes my heart to explode. And I may take a detour to drink or smoke things that are not easily available here in the states. Perhaps a nip of absinthe, or "coffee" in a dutch coffee house.
More questions to come as they occur to me