A Travellerspoint blog

INNSBRUCK (Austria) to MERANO (Italy) 29 June

Riding in snow.

Leaving Innsbruck it was not long before we stopped to put on our wet weather gear, the skies were looking ominous.

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And from this point on it got progressively worse, heavy drizzly rain, enough to make it difficult to see, and if there is a view, we had no idea.
Through Vols and down to Sellrain (named appropriately) it continued, and then it got worse.
Going over the Timmelsjoch Pass (2509m) we experienced sleet & snow - yes - not much fun on a motorbike.
Visibility was down to 2 metres, could hardly see where we were going. Quite an experience riding along with snow falling on the visor.
Unfortunately this means no photos - for very obvious reasons. Couldn't see a f*****g thing. Temperature got down to 0 degrees and quite chilly.
And to add insult to the whole experience we had to pay 12 Euro EACH to go over the pass, and we couldn't see a damn thing.

The most amazing part of the whole story is the number of motorbikes heading up the pass as we came down, group after group, at least 200 bikes, some Ferraris, and campervans.

BUT - we made it - another achievement to add to the growing list.

We did intend to do the Jaufenpass just past St Leonhard, and then stay at Sterzing - BIG CHANGE OF PLANS. We diverted straight down to Merano, a very interesting place famous for its Thermal Baths and very popular with extreme sports people. As a result the shopping is amazing, quite unexpected, and quite exciting for me anyway. Steve not so happy about that bit.

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We investigated the Pfarrplatz - Piazza Duomo (church)

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It appears to be a very old city (as they all are in Italy) more investigation required tomorrow.
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Posted by MKaye 11:20 Archived in Italy Comments (1)

INNSBRUCK - 28 JUNE

A Tourist day

Today we decided to have a day off the bikes and be a tourist, so much to see and do in Innsbruck.
1st stop was the Swarovski Crystal World - a world full of glittering dreams, as the brochure stated.

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Crystal World was created in 1995 by Andre Heller as a world where crystal/material would merge with modern art. We had no idea what that meant until we got there and experienced the magical crystal displays.

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Not all crystal displays, there were others which are too hard to explain, but these trousers came to life to music, followed by shirts and bodies that come apart and come back together - one of those "you had to be there" displays.

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and more crystals -
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spot the photographer -

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Crystal tree by Alexander McQueen -

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and other stuff -

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for the ladies - bras & shoes

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as a collector of elephants I would love to bring this pair home, not game enough to check the price, I decided a photo would have to do.

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my coffee appropriately decorated (Swarovski logo)

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And then after all that glitter we came back into Innsbruck and went up the Hungerburgbahn.
ie : Train and then Cable car up to Mount Hafelekerspitze.
It was rather cloudy at the top so we opted to stop at the second level where we could view the whole of Innsbruck City and the mountains beyond.
(being the ones we rode through yesterday)

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Look closely you can see a cyclist riding down the mountain at break neck speed. There are tracks everwhere for cyclist and climbers.

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And then some more wandering around Innsbruck Old Town area.

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Posted by MKaye 12:02 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

HEILIGENBLUT to INNSBRUCK 27 JUNE

Lots of snow.

Winding our way up past Grossglockner it is easy to see why this area is extremely popular with motorcyclists.

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However, it did not take very long for the snow effect to take over.
Yes, this is minus 1 degree, we rode past the Grossglockner turn, continuing to Edeilweisspitz, the highest point is 2571m.

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Almost there -

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Finally made it, this is an amazing experience, snow right to the edge of the road, and white as far as you can see.
And of course, another Aussie sticker was added to the collection at the top.

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The road twists and turns with very tight corners. Apparently there should be wonderful panoramic views of the peaks of more than thirty 3,000 metre high mountains - not today - and they call this summer !

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Back down the bottom of the mountain we stopped at Mittersill for lunch, a typical Austrian village.
Every kind of Speck is available at the butchers.
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Greenfingers herself -

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Next stop was the Krimml waterfall. The fifth highest waterfall on earth, 380 metres.
Upper level falls 140m, middle 40m, and the lower level 200m. You can see it working its way down, lots of tour buses so it must be spectacular up close. Way to hard to do in M/Bike gear.

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Arriving in Innsbruck this afternoon our usual stroll around town has been quite interesting. A distinct change of architecture, and a lot of elaborate decorations and colours used on the buildings.

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Say this one really fast - how could they call a jewellery shop that ?

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Pronounced Aussie style, this takes on a whole new meaning.

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Our home for a couple of days.

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Posted by MKaye 11:49 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

HEILIGENBLUT - Grossglockner Mountain 26 JUNE

Cold arse, marmots & french man meets Nougat.

We left Heiligenblut in glorious sunshine riding towards Grossglockner, Austria's highest mountain, the temperature soon plummeted to 2degrees and we were riding through a very light snowfall.

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When we arrived at Kaiser Franz Josef Hohe Restaurant we bumped into Vincent the frenchman who immediately made friends with Nougat, shaking hands and inviting him to come and stay at his house in France. Nougat loved the attention.

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Abandoning the bikes we walked (with great difficulty in Motorbike clothing) up behind the Restaurant to the look outs.
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These boots are not made for walking - in snow !!!

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Beside Grossglockner is the longest glacier in the Eastern Alps - quite spectacular.

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Memorial to Kaiser Franz Josef

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Hurry up - I've got a cold bum......

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We all waited patiently for the cloud to clear over the peak of Grossglockner - almost got it !

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Wildflowers still grow in the rocks - amazing.

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The Marmots were quite entertaining, fighting constantly in the snow.

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The snow had cleared a bit before we came back down.

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Back down at Heiligenblut we explored the town.

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Now I know how I can pack in some more shopping - check out that luggage rack - brilliant idea !!

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The Mountaneers Cemetary beside Pongau Cathedral - lovely resting place for those who have lost their lives in the mountains.

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When you GS riders are too old and arthritic to throw a leg over - here is an option.

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Posted by MKaye 11:32 Archived in Austria Comments (1)

CORTINA (ITALY) to HEILIGENBLUT (AUSTRIA)

Austrian Alps

Leaving Cortina this morning we were treated to glorious sunshine and clear skies, so very different to yesterday.
Mt. Cristallo and the Passo Tre Croci were clearly visible against the blue sky.

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Riding through the Passo di Mte Croce Carnico - the Plockenpass was a very easy and pleasant ride, good road, twisty corners, not much traffic, clear skies.
It doesn't get much better than this.

We stopped at the Passo Croce Carnico peak for lunch (another JH recommendation) and then crossed the border into Austria.

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The road changed dramatically, very rough and badly in need of repair.
Scenery has now changed as well, houses are typically Bavarian style, country has opened up. We actually rode on straight flat highway, not sure when we last did that !

The view over the township of Kotschach was stunning, green green grass, bavarian township and snow capped Alps - staggering !!!
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We arrived at Heiligenblut mid afternoon, plenty of time to explore this delightful little village and indulge in a steam sauna and swim, Austrian massage for me as well - Life is good.

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Tomorrow we will ride to Mt. GloBglockner - the highest alp in Austria.

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Hotel Glocknerhof.
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Sunset over another mountain.

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Posted by MKaye 12:27 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

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