The day will come when I will die. So the only matter of consequence before me is what I will do with my allotted time. I can remain on shore, paralyzed with fear, or I can raise my sails and dip and soar in the breeze.--Richard Bode



Thursday, August 1, 2013

Austria

I left the River Rhine on Sunday and rode east around the southern side of Lake Constance. It is pretty there, but I was glad it was a Sunday, otherwise I think the traffic through large cities would have been terrible.


 I wanted to ride into Innsbruck, which I did, and look around some. It is a nice town, but towns are towns, so I will not bore you with pictures of it.

I was even more interested in going to Salzburg. In case you don't know, Salzburg is one of the most interesting and beautiful cities on Earth.  I spent several days there just exploring and being a tourist like thousands of other who flood into town each day. I don't think you would be very interested in the pictures I took of churches, cemeteries, castles, stores and streets. Two things are the main draw there: Mozart, their favorite son, and The Sound of Music which was filmed there. You will remember that it is the story of the Trapp family, and at the end of the movie they flee to Switzerland. The movie gives the impression that Switzerland is just over the mountain. That is not true at all.  It is a long way from Salzburg to Switzerland (At least two days of hard riding for me on Odysseus.)

Here is something you might be interested in. Look at this campground. My tent is the one on the left, closest to the camera.  I met some very nice people here, but can you imagine camping so close together. Nobody in the United States would want to do that.


After playing tourist, I was more than ready to get away from people creations and back up to God's creations.  I had some great passes through the Austrian (Tyrolean) Alps picked out to ride.

Austria charges to ride its passes. About 23 Euros for a motorcycle, depending on the pass. I did not mind paying though. The roads are great, and someone has to pay the fees to keep them maintained: might as well be the people who ride them. I looked at it like paying the fee to ride through a National Park back home.


The mountains are like a wall, and the only way through is up and over.


The road starts climbing, and just keeps going up and up. It is cool (and a little chilly as well).I had a good picnic lunch here -- fruit salad and salami.


Quite a view looking back at the road I came up.  Some people will go to any heights to find a good picnic site.


There are some nice lakes up there. There were even people swimming. Brrrrr!

Mo-o--o-o-ve over people. I was here first.


Lady --You udderly fascinate me. Can you tell me how I can get some nifty tattoos like yours?


Quit horsing around cow. Can't you see the motorcycles are riding here?


I think I have been riding around by myself too long when I start telling such bad jokes.

Except for cows, horses and sheep, the wildlife is pretty well gone from these mountains.  Pity.


It sure is pretty up there though.


Hundreds of motorcycle riders up there, and most were Harleys. I asked the motorcycle riders, and they said that BMW motorcycles are far more popular in Europe. I sure could not tell it. I did see some VStroms like mine as well, but they are not nearly as common.


The views just kept getting better.





These pictures are actually from several rides I did through the Austrian Alps. There are a lot of glaciers in the southern Alps as well.


I was riding along in a valley between the mountains when this helicopter landed on the road. It stopped all the traffic.


He had flown in to pick up a member of this family who had suffered a heart attack.


Motorcycle riders always skip to the front of the line (I guess car drivers don't mind -- I think I would.)


I have not seen a machine like this in years. The guy said he got it from California. I found out it has three times the power mine has. He said it handles the mountain roads really well, but it looks unstable as can be to me.


Bye helicopter. I hope your passenger is okay.


All of this riding has left me down in Southern Austria. I am not sure where I will go from here. There is still a lot of Austria to see, but I am thinking of going down to Serbia. It is just over the next range of mountains, the Dolomites, and is not far away. I guess I will decide in the morning at breakfast.

I have nine days before I need to be back in Heidelberg to get my bike ready for storage. I fly home in 12 more days..

More later,
Ron

1 comment:

  1. Keith Baric in British ColumbiaDecember 8, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    Hi Ron:
    Came across your website when I was getting bored with the sub-zero freezing temperatures here in the Okanagan of British Columbia and do what I always do…peruse the internet reading about adventures on a V Strom. It is my ride of choice like yours. You inspire me with your solo travel. I was particularly interested in your journey to Bavaria…I didn’t see how that journey began…your flight, shipping of the bike etc. I would love to go to the former Yugoslavia one day (my ancestors are from there).

    Anyhow, keep up the site, it is great to read your adventures and view your photos.

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To comment click on "comment as" and choose name/url. List your name (you can leave url blank). Make your comment and click on "publish". Please keep your comments clean and positive because my students and family also look at these pages. Ron