To the Alps

cover image for To the Alps

From Prague we contiued onwards to the Austrian border. The border crossing went swiftly despite having to exchange Finnish Euro coins to the border officials. It is easy to see the power of EU, as after the border everything felt like home.

After some bratwursts in a Gasthof we stopped for the night into a camping at the border town Freistadt. Before turning in for the night Bergie noted that it was the Erynbar day, which materialized as a thunderstorm in the night.

Luckily the rain ended in the morning and we were able to continue towards Salzburg. The scenery was very nice with rolling green hills and alp houses. Somewhere about 20 kilometers from the city pack of rain clouds appeared on the nearby hill, and we decided to stop to the first Gasthaus for a lunch break.

The Gasthaus (MST Eggerbeg in Neumarkt am Wallersee) turned out to be run by a biker family, and we spent quite some time swapping road stories. When the innkeeper heard that we were headed for Italy he proposed a scenic route for us:

  • From Hendorf towards A1 and Thalgau
  • West towards Hallein past the Salzburgerring
  • From Hallein towards Golling on road 159
  • From Biscofshofen towards Radstadt on road 99
  • From Radstadt to Obertauern,Spittal and Lienz on road 100
  • From Lienz to Innichen (Italy) on road 100
  • From Innichen turn to road 51
  • From road 51 turn to Misurina on road 48b
  • From Misurina continue towards Cortina and Trento on road 48

The rain ended during our discussion, and we started on the route. There were some excellent twisties and nice castles on the route.

When reaching the Alps the scenery only got better. As a picture says more than a thousan words I won’t describe views - look at the pictures (the pics will be uploaded when we find the next internet cafe). Also the roads were nice and twisty running between the hills and mountains.

We stopped for the night in a hotel at Obertauern. The place was a real ghost-town. There were hotels and bars and shops everywhere but not a soul to be seen. Things are apparently different during the skiing season. After having dinner we turned in for the night.

The next morning - Wednesday - greeted us again with heavy rains with thunder roaring in the distance. After waiting a few hours for the rain to end we wore our rainsuits and countinued towards Italy. We rode for a few hours in constant rain. In some small Alp-village somewhere between Lienz and Spittal we stopped for lunch. As the restaurant had Internet capabilities we also tried to upload the pictures but weren’t successful due to software problems. After the lunchbreak which dragged to be almost four hours we countinued towards Lienz - and the rain started again.

The whole sky was full of dark clouds so at Lienz we checked in at a Gasthof outside the town. After dinner Skoll abd Bergie decided to go looking for the local metal cave and Rambo stayed at the Gasthof to prepare for his journey home which started the next morning.

Despite of having at least four bike-related businesses - pubs and shops - there was no metal cave in Lienz. Instead our two heroes found their way to a biker-pub where they played hard rock. As the biker bar was completely dead, the plan was to search for a more lively place.

We found a local disco with some action at the outskirts of the town. The atmosphere was similar to a disco in Klaukkala or some other remote Finnish town. However, the activity on the dance floor was interesting. All the guys were off in a corner getting themselves drunk and girls danced by themselves. We asked about this from two girls at the next table and they explained that Austrian guys were the problem, preferring to get drunk instead of dancing well - something that couldn’t happen with Finnish guys.

While we were in the conversation the DJ switched from typical disco music into Austrian folk music - similar to Finnish humppa. As this didn’t suit our tastes, we decided to move to another bar in the girls’ Mercedes.

The other disco in the city was closed, so we had to stay in the bar of the same place. After a while the question of bartender opening the disco for the four of us rose up. The girls felt that this would be impossible, and so Bergie decided to negotiate with the bartender. After a couple of arguments, the disco was ours.

We tried to dance for a while, but at that stage of the night were not really up to the task. Soon the girls decided to call it a night - work in the next morning, apparently. Seeing that it was already past five a.m., we decided to hitchhike our way back to the Gasthof.

The morning started with a overtly positive and awake Rambo bustling about in the room. Unfortunately Bergie also has to wake up to get his bike to the local repair shop for periodic maintenance. Rambo’s Ducati is definitely not a good bike to be on when hing over - the exhaust sound seems to split the skull.

Bergie had checked a nice scenic route into Germany for Rambo, and he left quite early. When we called him later in the day he was already near Hamburg, progressing at a pace fit for Iron Butts.

Skoll woke a little before noon and we went to get Bergie’s Triumph from the service. We checked out from the Gasthof and started our engines and the same moment the rain started again. Once again we wore our rainsuits and hit the road. Luckily after a few hours the weather got clearer and it didn’t rain during the rest of the day. Having gotten used to the border formalities on the previous stages of the trip, the crossing to Italy felt nice as we even didn’t have to stop.

In Italy the Alps really started. The roads were mainly serpentine with hairpins after hairpins. Bergie was in his element, but for Skoll and the Ural the roads were a bit too twisty making riding pretty heavy. The hard driving was rewarded with the scenery which was simply breathtaking. Majestic mountains all around and Alp villages scattered here and there… Again, look at the pictures. We rode for about six hours and covered less than a hundred kilometers as the bird flies.

We found a nice camping place in the countryside and after having dinner in a nearby village and a few beers we hit the sack to be ready for the next day and new adventures.