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Austrian Alps september 2020


Gerontious
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So, after 2 years in the Eifel.. a change of venue.


This year there will be between 4 and 6 of us heading down to Austria for a fortnight camping.


I already have a back of an envelope plan that means we can take in various sights (roads) on our way there or return.


B500 in the Black Forest. Its full length from the Swiss border to near Baden Baden in the north. (likely to form part of our return trip and somewhere the guys are very keen to return to)


The German Alpine road... which we will follow to get to our main base and get the guys into the swing of it.


The Stelvio and Timmelsjoch passes. As well as the Ötztal Glacier Road. (The second highest paved road in western Europe - the highest is in Spain)


The Grossglockner high road.


The Postalmstrasse and possibly the Nockalmstrasse too. (restricted private panoramic toll roads)


The Dolomites.. for a day out, or we may relocate there for a couple of nights. Biking heaven.


The Mangart in Slovenia. A place I really REALLY want to see. https://goo.gl/maps/W158f5VeBcP3nhtz9


The above are all goals.. what we actually do depends entirely on local conditions at the time and how keen the guys are to make the most of it.


we're all ready and all that remains to be done is book our crossing using the Tunnel.


So... the purpose of this thread is to show you all just how easy something like this is to plan and 'do', So if any of you have an idea to do something like this in years to come, it will act as a pointer. maybe give you some ideas.


For me.. its been a goal to return to the Alps for quite some time, in September so theres no snow or the kind of cold Ive experienced in May/June.


We went to the pre-alps in france a few years ago and it was alright... just too many really bad roads for my taste. We have zero wish to return.


My last time on the Grossglockner with Snod Blatter it was 3c... bitterly cold but no less fun (fantastic fun). In september it should be very different. Tail end of summer. etc.


Nothing like this.

 

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Edited by Gerontious
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I will follow this with interest. If you can get down to the Dolomites, the Sella Pass is a must. :)

 

Ive already been there. on my old GS.

 

Photo34.jpg.e52fe4e32d5d3610f0312a6fd0bf7912.jpg

 

Its alright.. permanently rammed with tourists though. (sigh) we might be lucky as it will be during a normal working week.


Which is the main reason I prefer to these kinds of trips in early September.. its still summer, The days are still reasonably long. But the kids are back at school and the holiday season is effectively over.

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Guest Richzx6r

just hope the fires are out by then :thumb:

 

If not we will just have to ride through them, will make the camera footage interesting for you all

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just hope the fires are out by then :thumb:

 

If not we will just have to ride through them, will make the camera footage interesting for you all

 


your allowed to go on your own then … or is her indoors going ?

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Guest Richzx6r

just hope the fires are out by then :thumb:

 

If not we will just have to ride through them, will make the camera footage interesting for you all

 


your allowed to go on your own then … or is her indoors going ?

 

Because its camping she wouldn't go so yes I get to go on my own

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If not we will just have to ride through them, will make the camera footage interesting for you all

 


your allowed to go on your own then … or is her indoors going ?

 

Because its camping she wouldn't go so yes I get to go on my own

 


nice ... what dates you going , whats your address and could you send a pic of the mrs :thumb:

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Guest Richzx6r




your allowed to go on your own then … or is her indoors going ?

 

Because its camping she wouldn't go so yes I get to go on my own

 


nice ... what dates you going , whats your address and could you send a pic of the mrs :thumb:

 

No idea apart from September, and my address is......damn I cant remember it :roll: my memory these days really is bad :lol:

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No update yet @Gerontious ? Not even a bit of planning?

 

I have a back of an envelope plan.


crossing about midday on the Saturday then riding to a campsite we have stayed at before at Epernay. A very easy first day to get the guys back into the swing of camping... it also will take a decent bite out of the 400 mile trek across france to the Southern Black Forest.


Next day.. on to the Black Forest and we will likely stay there for one night.


Then a choice which depends on the weather.. we might stay in the BF for 3 nights and so have 2 full days to explore.. Or carry on.


We can either cut through Switzerland.. follow the B500 south to the border then nip across via Liechtenstein and to a campsite at the west end of Austria and spend a few days there.. for the Umbrail, Stelvio and Timmelsjoch passes as well as the Silvretta panoramic high road.


Or.. we can follow the German Alpine road which runs from Lake constance all the way to Berchtesgaden, turn off a bit early and head for Zell am See, For the grossglockner and a day out in the Dolomites.. or the guys might want to relocate to the Dolomites which are literally on the doorstep after we have had our day on the Glockner. Or if not then i would like to try for the Nockalmstrasse.. another restricted (toll) road. And the postalm.


so.. the trip will have 2 or maybe 3 bases. The intention is to follow the sun, ride in the mountains. if we do the German alpine road first to Zell, then we will fit in the Umbrail/Stelvio/Timmesljoch on our way back.. as we turn for home.


Ive also made it clear that i fully intend for us to ride the entire length of the B500.. from the Swiss border, to Baden Baden in the north, probably on our way back.. as part of our return, i mean. We went there 5 years ago.. and the guys are especially keen to revisit.


main thing for us.. and the reason we do these trips in early september is its a normal working week, kids are back at school and the vast majority of tourists have vanished, but its still warm. days are still reasonably long. And we have the place mostly to ourselves.. compared to going during the holiday season.


So, we cross on the saturday and should be in the BF sunday evening... Glockner (perhaps) by Wednesday.... saturday we will relocate. Sunday a half or full day off.. Then stelvio etc during the early part of the second week... there is a lot to do at the west end of Austria and into Italy, B500 hopefully on the Thursday. And back to the Tunnel on the saturday.. or all that, but reversed. B500 first.. all depends on the weather... where the sun is shining.


a few links to feast your eyes on:


German Alpine road. https://www.deutsche-alpenstrasse.de/en/home

Grossglockner. https://www.grossglockner.at/gg/en/index

Silvretta. https://www.dangerousroads.org/europe/austria/194-silvretta-high-alpine-road-austria.html

Nockalmstrasse. https://www.nockalmstrasse.at/na/en/index


If we make it to Zell am See.. this is where we are staying. Right on the lake at its northern end. and just a few miles from the start of the grossglockner road.


9Y3XgC7h.jpg

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I can recommend Zell am see, especially That camp by the lake, We were there last summer 3 days and it’s perfect. There is another camp on the other side bit away from the lake but with fantastic views.

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I can recommend Zell am see, especially That camp by the lake, We were there last summer 3 days and it’s perfect. There is another camp on the other side bit away from the lake but with fantastic views.

 

Ive stayed at Seecamp before.. it ticks a lot of boxes. Most important of all.. it has a BAR!! and terrace with a view of the Glockner. Which shouldnt be as snowy as in the photo.

 

2019-04-11.jpg.22ebe91d2d348e2ee21adf9d1479f4ba.jpg

 

So, somewhere we can sit inside in the evening, they also do big breakfasts which some of the guys may want to take advantage of.

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Added another restricted toll road to the list of options, this one is 30 miles long and climbs to 2000m. Toll is €5


It's a very pleasant looking, easy 1hr45 ride from Zell. In English it's called the Ziller valley high road.


https://www.dangerousroads.org/europe/austria/4506-zillertaler-höhenstraße.html


There are others, https://www.dangerousroads.org/europe/austria/8704-12-scenic-alpine-roads-in-austria.html


I have 7 of the 12 on the list of options and all being well we should manage most of them.

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[mention]Beans[/mention]


I try not to take things for granted and so.. if for whatever reason the Alps are closed to us. for instance the weather in the mountains is too dodgy.


I have a "Plan B'


Bavaria and the Czech Border lands, based around these guides. https://www.dropbox.com/s/binfsymsxbrpfk7/BavariaWald.pdf?dl=0


And if the bad weather encompasses Germany and Austria.. then the Alternative Plan B is to get through the mountains as fast as possible into Italy. https://www.dropbox.com/s/82vxw4hrleizgir/Trentino%20Dolomites%20lake%20Garda.pdf?dl=0


as a last resort. Of course anything can happen over the course of a fortnight, so we will just have to see how it all pans out. We should have a clearer idea of whats what in the final days before the off.

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Thanks for that, but to be honest I cant see any of the guys wanting to do something like that. Our trips are all about the riding and thats all we tend to do... even stopping for lunch is seen as a bit of a hindrance. we do a lot of riding and a lot of drinking. :mrgreen: I have earmarked one day.. the middle Sunday as a 'free' day... where the guys can ride if they want or have a day or half a day off. Sunday, because the better roads tend to be rammed with 'weekenders' and thats always a pain when during the week we have these places mostly to ourselves. So.. the middle weekend we might ride from one base to another on the Saturday, and then have the Sunday off. Boring as it might sound thats the day I like to chill out, maybe shove all my dirty laundry in a washing machine and then go to the restaurant for a proper dinner. Shove the washed clothes in a dryer afterwards and then sit and chat with the guys (over a can or 10) about the previous week and whats in store for the next.. begin thinking about what we can fit in before we turn for home. You might think its boring doing laundry.. but it makes perfect sense to me, means i only need bring 7 days worth of clothes for a 14 day trip. This is one of the positive side effects of camping. there is always a laundry room. So, why not take advantage of that?


We also like to use campsites that are within relatively easy reach of a supermarket.. Lidl or Aldi, usually. last time we went to the south of france we had our own bar. Panniers filled with ice and cans of beer. very cheap beer compared to the bar. It also means we can eat much more cheaply. Its easy to pick up the makings of an al fresco meal. Bread cheese meats fuit cake and beer. (always beer) I dont bother cooking at all. I bring a stove, kettle, bag of coffee and a cafetiere so i can have fresh coffee in the morning and eat whatever i have to hand. Most campsites have a little shop for fresh bread and so on.. or its never far to the local bakery. Or a van that does the rounds every morning selling fresh bread. Or a cafe where they sell breakfasts to the lazy. We generally have one hot meal per day.. at lunchtime. Stopping off at some random roadside place. Most of the busier passes have an eatery at the summit. its never a problem - food. Even on a Sunday when most places are shut, there will always be a Turkish kebab place thats open. Even if its in the next village and so means a quick ride there... or have Pizza/kebabs delivered to us. And if theres nothing then we just do a bit of extra shopping on the Saturday. Its always the first question I ask the campsite owners on a Saturday.. where can we eat tomorrow? (Sunday) get answers and then we know whats what. And at worse, means calling into a supermarket at the end of the day as we ride back to base.

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Its not easy trying to plan and anticipate what to do in the event of bad weather. in a previous post I mentioned relocating south into Italy as a last resort. but that comes at a high cost in fuel prices. £1.60 a litre is a bit off putting when its 40p cheaper in Austria. And also.. I can only take so much Pizza!!


So, Ive been looking around on the Maps and think I have an answer. head south-east to a town called Spittal an der Drau. The mountains around this place are a little lower, though still very Alpine.. and its quite touristy being close to a major lake called the Millstatter see.

 

millstaetter-see.thumb.jpg.4ff5dfa683f27bb569860f1717e2bc35.jpg

 

The beauty of this place is it puts us literally on the doorstep of both Slovenia and Italy to the south and is close to an Autobahn so we can get west quickly when the time begins to run out and we need to begin heading for home. its also very close to the Nockalm road. Another restricted toll road that we really need to have a day on.


The video is worth watching as he a stops a lot for a proper look round.




Thats a road I fully intend to visit even if we stay at Zell am See,


The area is very touristy so plenty of campsites dotted all around and some (from what I can see) very nice roads to the south.


50 miles to the Mangart in Slovenia. 60 miles to Lake Bled. And 50 miles to the Vršič pass. which looks interesting [mention]bonio[/mention] will appreciate it I'm sure. https://www.dangerousroads.org/eastern-europe/slovenia/619-vri-pass-slovenia.html


As you can see on the map, we could easily include a ride to the top of the Mangart as ts relatively close by. https://goo.gl/maps/cwU5T6U24KR2frhG6


last time i went to Slovenia, with [mention]Snod Blatter[/mention] we got hopelessly lost, I had a great route on my Sat Nav, but unfortunately at that time Garmin didnt include Slovenia in their western europe mapping, so I had this route with no map in the background (eek). That day also has the distinction of including the worst road we have ever been on... ho hum. (nobody died - or fell off) All sorted now.. so this is definitely another option.

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  • 2 weeks later...

C'mon @Gerontious must be due another update to this thread now...

 


Not really.. The next step will be to book the channel tunnel crossing, which will means it's set in stone and the other guys can then follow suit as and when is right for them... That can be any time between now and the end of July. I usually do that this month, maybe next.


Just a one way ticket. Because we are going to be away for a fortnight, I think it's a bad idea to set our return in stone. That we will return on such and such a day at such and such a time. I think it's a much better idea to buy an open return, which is more expensive, but means we can turn up at the tunnel at any time on any day and just get on the next available train. That will be my strategy and it's up to the other guys to decide theirs. In theory we will be returning on the Saturday, so if they want to book a crossing on that day then they can. Or not.. and instead maybe book a Ferry the day before. Which might be cheaper.

Personally I think we should look at the open return through the tunnel as an insurance policy. If anyone needs to come home in a hurry.. For any reason at all. They can do so without any extra stress. And the rest of us don't need to worry about being at the tunnel in time to catch a specific train... It can be any.


An open return is a fixed price so it doesn't matter when you buy it. In fact you can buy a crossing 'on the day' for about the same price I think.


I've done a few routes on basecamp ready to go on the sat nav. Looking at sub 200 mile days for the most part, anything longer will include a chunk of autobahn.. To get from a to b a bit quicker, we will need to buy a 10 day toll sticker for Austria, not expensive at €5 but will save us a lot of time where we can use the autobahn as a bypass round larger towns, it also includes passage through some (but not all) tunnels.. Also means if there is ever a delay we can get back to our base quickly, that's important. We definitely don't want to be riding in the mountains after dark.


There will be a fair few tolls to pay. For instance, from Zell am See there are only 3 ways to get south, in a direct way. Over the Grossglockner or under, using the Felbertauern Tunnel. The Third way is loading the bikes onto a train and then using that to get south. Other than this it's a long way round. We may use the Felbertauern if we relocate south.. It's €10 one way though.. Which is very steep. £20 for a return trip is pretty horrible by any standards, the train is worse. Have too se how it pans out.


Other tolls are much cheaper and are for the scenic routes.. The tolls pay for maintenance so these roads are generally of a stunning quality. The Silvretta. Nockalm and Ziller are examples, so is the Timmelsjoch pass. But, none of these are particularly expensive... Compared to the Grossglockner anyway.


We camped 3 years ago, when we went to the Vercors, in the French pre-Alps, so, most of the guys know what to expect. Shouldn't be any nasty surprises. German and Austrian campsites tend to be a very high standard compared with the surrounding countries. Both places I intend staying at in Austria are handy for supermarkets. One has a Shell petrol station just over the road.. Which couldn't be more convenient. Usual bakeries a short walk away.


My bike will probably need a minor service before we go.. And possibly the rear tyre replaced. I also need to fit a 12v power socket, the bike came with one as standard but it's only rated at 2A.. Which is only good for charging a phone. And no good at all for my tyre pump which needs 12A So, that to be fitted as and when, there's an ideal place, very close to the battery.


Was looking at my camping gear the other day and all I need is a kettle, my last one got crushed when I accidentally stepped on it.

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