Last riding day, riding day 6: Warth - Seefeld
It's our last riding day and it feels as if we had only just started the tour. Weather was sunny and nice, yes - that is possible in Austria, John!
We had a beautiful start from Warth in the morning and soon arrived at our first highlight of the day: Hahntennjoch. We rode up and the same way down and enjoyed so much.
Our next stop was for coffee in Berwang. The road up there consists of hundreds of beautiful sweepers and Albert was able to borrow Terri from her husband. He took her up on his Diavel and they rode decently fluently. Terri sure enjoyed that one.
We stopped at Neuschwanstein-castle and took a picture, before we proceeded to lake Planstein for lunch. Right after lunch the next highlight was on our menu: Linderhof-castle. This one we visited and were impressed by the amazing interior and the beautiful park around the building.
The day was almost over, but everyone was still eager to ride some more twisty mountain-roads. Not a problem to convince Albert - we rode a little further around Seefeld.
After a week of riding it has to be said, that the tour was superb. Everybody rode well in the rain and still enjoyed. Starting in Bozen, we only had good weather, excellent views, superb riding and millions of curves.
6 Californians have learnt to love the Alps and two Austrians have learnt to love those Californians.
It is a pity that Harald became ill by halftime of the tour, but everybody kept him in their thoughts.
What a great tour!
Riding day 6: Livigno - Warth
It was a sunny morning again, but a very cold one, too. Frost had covered Livgno.
We had 330kms to go, so we tried to leave in time. Unfortunately Harald was still ill, so he went in the van again, and even that was a hard job for him.
The group headed out for another mountain-pass-marathon and started with Forcola di Livigno and Passo Bernina. We passed St. Moritz and tackled the next beautiful mountain roads straight away: Julierpass and Albulapass, where we had coffee.
Views were great, there was little traffic and the riding just stunning.
We had lunch at a nice restaurant, sitting outside and eventually made it to Liechtenstein, where Terri bought shiploads of chocolate.
Two more mountain passes and hundreds of curves were waiting to be done, before we arrived in Warth and enjoyed our boot beer - everybody happy, everybody full of road impressions.
Riding day 5: Bozen - Livigno
For the first time on the tour we had a blue sky to start the day. Everything set-up for a perfect riding-day?
Sophie wanted a day off and went with Harald in the van.
We left Bozen and had our first highlights straightaway - the road up to Mendelpass and the magnificent view from Penegal.
Uncountable turns and superb roads were our constant companions today. Riding up Passo del Gavia was incredible, fresh snow covered the mountains, the air was so clear, and it was chilly on the top!
We had lunch back down in the valley: Pizza came fast and tasted great, so we were prepared to go for a lot more riding. We quickly made it up to Passo Umbrail and into Switzerland, where we visited the amazing church in Müstair with its incredible historical wall paintings.
Back in Italy, the next big mountain pass was on the menue: Stelvio, 48 switchbacks and 48000 nice views.
Albert had promised a mountain pass dessert, and surprisingly the group was still willing to ride on back in Bormio. So we did Torri di Fraele as well. By the time we got to Livigno, it was getting quite cold, so we needed a nice bootbeer to recover. Harald and Sophie were already waiting for us.
Riding day 4: Kals - Bozen
We hoped for the best, but the day started wet, very wet. We made it up to Stallersattel, our first mountain pass for today. And soon after rain became less and eventually stopped.
Although we could not enjoy the views on the Dolomites, we had hoped for, the riding was great today. More than 270 clicks on wet surface! We did passes like Valparola, Falzarego, Giau, Valles and Lavaze.
Lunch on the lakeside in Alleghe was good, too.
In the afternoon we rode more of the splendid roads in the area and had our last stop at the little chruch of St. Helena near Deutschnofen with its amazing original wallpaintings, what a day, we surfed the dolomites!
Riding day 3: Salzburg - Kals
It is time to leave Salzburg and although the group loved the city, everybody is eager to ride some real mountain roads. Harald, unlucky on the first day, had blue sky today and was able to show Austria at its best.
We started off southwards and rode superb roads, some smaller, some wider, at all times enjoying great views on the scenery. Although it clouded up on the way to Großglockner, it was still something not to miss. We had lunch on the Edelweissspitze, of course owned by and named after the company we are travelling with.
We also saw the glacier of Austria's highest mountain and eventually made it to Kals, where we were welcomed at a great hotel.
Superb riding day!
Riding day 2: Salzburg - Mattighofen - Salzkammergut - Salzburg
It is "holy-shrine-day", and everybody is keen to see the centre of the universe: the KTM factory in Mattighofen. We made it through dense traffic out of the city and got there in time. Harald joined the riders in the tour van. It was highly interesting to see these bikes being born.
After the visit, we hit smaller and less frequented roads through backcountry upper Austria and Salzburg and found our way to "Spitzerwirt", where some of us had bull's blood to increase stamina. The Austrians call the dish "Bluatwurschtgreaschtl" by the way. We kept on riding and - surprisingly still in dry conditions - made it into the Austrian lake district. We enjoyed nice views and even nicer roads all the way back to Salzburg. There we met Sophie and Harald again at "Hangar 7", a well-made exposition of planes, formula1-cars and motorcycles, powered by Red Bull.
Our evening started out with a little guided city tour of Salzburg, but finally we were blessed with the long-awaited water from heaven again. So we found ourselves sitting in a bar and afterwards in the famous Stiftskeller St.Peter-restaurant, where we had a dinner with live classical music. What a day of contrasts!
Riding day 1: Seefeld - Salzburg
Harald led the group on the famous "Deutsche Alpenstrasse", but unfortunately the views, that normally this road is known for, could not be enjoyed today. Too much moisture!
However, the group from California, that had never seen any liquid coming from above, was amazed and mesmerized at the same time and definitely enjoyed all the same. Evereybody eventually made it to Salzburg. There we took an elevator up Mönchsberg and proceeded walking to Stiegl Braustüberl, where we had a decent brewery dinner and beer tasting.
it is September 1st and everthing is set up for a great tour. The bikes are here, the group has arrived and the tour-guides have gotten to know everybody.
After our welcome-briefing we had a nice dinner in our start-hotel. We cannot wait to hit the road tomorrow and enjoy these splendid roads riding our Ducatis!