Last year, many European fans could only fly in small flocks to the Vespa World Days (VWD) in Bali due to the great distance. But this year the World Days took place quasi in the European center: in Switzerland. More precisely, in Interlaken, the pretty town in the Bernese Oberland, located between Lake Brienz and Lake Thun.
With the trip to the Vespa World Days, the SIP team was able to kill two birds with one stone. On the one hand the team could visit the event and be present there with SIP Scootershop, on the other hand the trip was used for the annual Vespa company road trip. Participants were quickly found internally: Otto, Moritz, André, Dennis, Alex and Ralf, the managing director. In addition, there were a few friends of the company: Phillip, Bernd from the film team Ab-gedreht and this year’s special guest: Eugene from Manila, a friend and customer of Scooter Depot in the Philippines.
Railroad romance on the Vespa
On Wednesday, June 14, we set off from the gates of the SIP headquarters in Landsberg am Lech. Of course, there would have been the possibility to take the highway and drive through to Interlaken – but that was not the purpose of the whole thing. Narrow roads and dirt tracks should lead to the destination to get to know the landscape, people, culture and gastronomy. The weather was perfect, the tanks filled, so the wild ride was already underway.
In the Tannheim Valley, a few cows objected to the team’s continued journey, but after this hurdle was cleared, the journey continued swiftly to Unteriberg, where the troop set up the first bivouac on Swiss soil at the Landgasthof Rösslipost. The land of the Swiss is a true dream for many scooter riders. The ride continued on through idyllic railroad landscapes, like in a picture book. You just can’t get enough of the wooden houses, lush meadows and the ever-present and impressive Alpine peaks.
Again and again we had to stop to marvel and take pictures. These are the rewards of taking the time to travel on small roads. In the evening, it was early to bed, because the next day awaited the boys with challenges. Another driver spontaneously joined the column in the evening: Thomas “Hasi”, he has already accompanied SIP once in Albania.
Dreamlike views and joyful reunion
Thursday, June 15: After the first curves, which were, however, only a shadow of those to come, the group headed south along the eastern shore of Lake Lucerne. Into the high Alps! Through Andermatt and Hossental, they approached the Furka Pass – the first real highlight of the tour. However, other two-wheelers had to climb the mountain first, because the Tour de Suisse was in full swing at the time. It’s almost amazing that others can conquer these steep curves with pure muscle power!
Following in the footsteps of James Bond actor Sean Connery and villain Gert Fröbe, who stood here in front of the camera for Goldfinger, we finally crested the pass at 2,429 meters above sea level (the sign on site indicating 2,436 meters above sea level is misleading). The scooters had earned a break, because at this altitude the two-strokes run much too fat and start to puff properly. Up at the pass, of course, many other scooter riders who were on their way to Interlaken and come here from the canton of Uri to the Valais. On the descent, the legendary Hotel Belvédère was passed, which nestles in a serpentine, but has been closed since 2015.
Once we reached the bottom, we only had a short rest, because the next mountain classification at the Grimsel Pass was coming up. The Swiss affectionately call the pass “the Grimsel” and the troop once again spiraled up to 2,163 m above sea level. Up here at the pass, they once again met Norwegians, Swedes and other travelers who, like many other travelers, shared a passion for mountains, valleys and curves. The drive down was not exactly frantic, as it was necessary to stop again and again to marvel at the breathtaking panorama. With these impressions in their luggage, they arrived in Interlaken around evening.
Speaking of luggage: on this tour the most adventurous variations could be marveled at, how people fasten their utensils on the scooter. It didn’t always look safe and well thought out. For a safe ride, it’s worth reading the article “Everything on board? – Stowing luggage safely on the scooter“
On site there was then a big “hello”, because the father of Alex decided to join the troop. He chose a different route with his Vespa GTS 300, spent the night in youth hostels and mastered the route at his own pace. Various accommodations were requested and checked in and finally, exhausted but satisfied, the group could stretch their legs under the table while feasting and chatting with other friends in the evening.
Acquaintances and Vespas from all over the world
On Friday, June 16, the World Days were in full swing, but the team first opted for a comparably short ride to the famous Grindelwald. Again, we passed through landscapes that seemed to be painted, to the legendary mountain massif of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. In the shadow of the menacing North Face, cold drinks and local food were consumed before finally heading back to the event, where the next few hours were spent enjoying the attractions on offer, such as the Vespa Museum and Vespa Village. In addition, the gang grew further with Mascha, Christian and Ruben, who had already set up the SIP Scootershop booth and were now in charge.
It was time to meet old acquaintances and friends: Ralph Bollag from Zurich, Josh Rodgers from Vespa Club USA, Tüte from VCVD, Costas Kirou from Greece, Pachu Pasciullo from Vespa Club Argentina and many more. Time for socializing, anecdotes, memories and petrol talks. In the evening, the party continued in Interlaken, as did most of the 4,500 registered participants. It remains to be seen whether the organizers really need to offer the 0.2 liter beer for 7.50 and the Spritz for 17 euros to cover their costs. This was not customer-friendly and the event area was deserted at a late hour.
Vespas instead of airplanes on the runway
On Sunday, June 17, the grand tour followed on the runway of the old airport where the World Days were held. The classic parade through the surrounding area was unfortunately not allowed, so thousands of Vespas rolled comfortably over the asphalt and it was impressive once again to marvel at the diversity of Vespa fans.
Smartly dressed and styled ladies and gentlemen ride next to cowl wearers and scooter boys. Freaks in bunny suits, tattooed men in T-shirts and distinguished older gentlemen roll together toward the midday sun. There is hardly a scene in the world of motors where everyone is really allowed to be as he or she wants to be. And they are all united by their love of one vehicle: the Vespa.
In the afternoon, the team jetted off into the mountains on their own and took a gondola to even loftier heights in car-free Meiringen. Once again, the view of the iconic peaks. Unforgettable. As was the last evening in Interlaken, where the boys enjoyed themselves once again.
For the return trip on Sunday, June 18, a different route was chosen. Passing the Sarnersee, Alpnacher See and other lakes they went to Meilen at the Zürichsee. One last time the guys could enjoy the beautiful landscape and fill their digital photo albums.
On Monday, June 19, they drove back to familiar climes without any failures and arrived safely back in Landsberg in the late afternoon.
For all those who have got the desire for a road trip themselves, it is recommended to get the right equipment:
- Clothing for all weather conditions
- Everything suitable for the chassis of any Vespa models
- Accessories & attachments for all wishes
Source for text and pictures: SIP Scootershop