Three days in the Alps

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by mhpr262, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Banned

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    Tomorrow I´m going on a little trip through the Alps. I intend to be on the road for three days, with two nights spent camping.
    Here´s the plan:


    1st day:
    leave Erding early, go through Munich and then travel south quickly on the Autobahn (I´m already not looking forward to this...). I´ll exit the Autobahn at Kochel and do the infamous "Kesselbergstrecke", a collection of great twisties between the Kochelsee and the Walchensee. From there I´ll keep going more or less straight south, to Mittenwald and Seefeld, then on into Austria.
    Go west for a bit and then south again, through Ötz and Sölden on the B186...which will take me straight to the first really good part: the "Timmelsjoch", one of the most famous passes in the Alps. Do a quick detour to Meran in Southern Tyrolia, then go on to Sterzing over the "Jaufenpass", another great name. I think I´ll camp in Sterzing.


    2nd day:
    Leave Sterzing to go north again. I´ll cross the Brenner pass on the old road, not on the Autobahn and go on until I come to Innsbruck. from there I´ll go east for some time and then south again, through the "Zillertal" along the river Ziller, one of the most scenic regions of the Alps. I´ll pass through Zell am Ziller and Gmünd, generally following the B 165 until I arrive in Zell am See where I´ll pitch camp.
    The nightlife in Zell am See is pretty weird, it has become something like an Arab tourist centre in the past few years. Last time i was there, every third person on the street was Arab, veiled women with burquas everywhere....:huh


    3rd day:
    I´ll probably try to ride the "Großglockner Hochalpenstraße", possibly THE most famous scenic pass in the Alps. From there I´ll be riding home again, but there will still be plenty of opportunities for nice pictures!
    #1
  2. g®eg

    g®eg Canadian living in exile

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    better be snappin' some pics!

    :thumb
    #2
  3. Vic-klr

    Vic-klr TEETET Aventuras T el T

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    #3
  4. dillinger09

    dillinger09 Been here awhile

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    Richmond, Va physically. Mentally still in CO
    It's these RR's (alps) that are extremely hazardous to my wallet
    #4
  5. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Banned

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    here`s the route:

    [​IMG]


    I hope you can all do a bit of vicarious travelling through me...:evil

    Oh, btw, the red x`s mark my camping grounds.
    #5
  6. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Banned

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    Here´s a large scale version so you get a better idea where everything is:


    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. on2wheels52

    on2wheels52 Long timer

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    I took a number of those roads in May, Timmelsjoch was closed with snow then. I stayed in Zell am See my last night also. Will be nice to see some summer pictures.
    Jim
    #7
  8. Mountain_Mike

    Mountain_Mike BachEnthusiast

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    Over tomorrow and Thursday, the lovely Mrs B and I will travelling the following route (we are also doing a couple hours of motorway to get around the lake, up into Valais towards the high mountain roads):

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    Weather forecast is looking good for the next couple of days... if you were coming a little further west, we could have had a coffee somewhere :D

    Michael B.
    #8
  9. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    This is going to be good :thumb

    :lurk
    #9
  10. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Banned

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    here´s a picture of my bike... it doesn´t always take one of those fancy, tricked out, snobbish KLRs with watercooling and four-valve heads and stuff...


    [​IMG]



    Alright, I´m off. wish me luck! Hopefully i´ll be able to post the first part of my RR Friday evening.
    #10
  11. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Banned

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    I have made it safely back again(although there have beem some pucker moments). I´busy going through my photos right now, I must have taken around 250, and a couple of videos to boot.

    This trip has been an absolute blast, with perfect weather and even better roads. The first pics willl soon be up...
    #11
  12. Mountain_Mike

    Mountain_Mike BachEnthusiast

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    Good to hear you're back safe and sound, and look forward to the pics. We got back last night after 900kms in a day and a half, taking a slightly different route than planned (via the Lukmanier pass to Ascona and the Simplon pass to get home yesterday). I took very few photos, but will post something up in another thread over the weekend.

    Cheers,

    Michael B.
    #12
  13. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Banned

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    this is the biggest landmark you see when you enter Munich from the north:


    [​IMG]


    The hill you see behind the trees is artificial. It consists entirely of the rubble of buildings that were bombed and destroyed in WW II. A couple of years ago that wind turbine was placed on it.

    A few minutes later I stopped for the first time - at the BMW Motorrad center. Plenty of eyecandy to be found there...



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    These have been available for a couple of months now...the new F 650 GS is currently on position seven or so of the German top ten motorcycle sales list. Top position is and has been occupied for years now by the R 1200 GS. Twice as many 1200GS are sold than of the bike in second position (Honda CBF 1000)


    her is a little video (well, more like a video attempt, actually, sorry about the wobbling) of the used bike department in the basement of the center:


    <OBJECT height=350 width=425>
    <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/bp_A_ZJaDbI" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="350"> </embed> </OBJECT>
    #13
  14. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Banned

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    I rode through Munich without too much of a hassle, the early morning rush hour had already passed. I took the Autobahn south and exited to my first destination, Kochel am See. The first foothills of the Alps are already fairly close there. This picture gives a good impression of what the whole area looks like:

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    A lot of these picture book houses can be found in the area. The owners take great pride in the traditional look and the elaborate flower arrangements.

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    A church that is also very typical of the area:

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    The light was quite unusual that day, very hazy. My camera also has an unfortunate tendency to overexpose in tricky light conditions. I use a NIKON L 11, and it is a POS. I had been hoping that for around 230$ the camera would make up for my insufficient (read: nonexistent) skills as a photographer, but I was wrong...as will be shown by some later pictures :lol3 .



    Here I have arrived at the Walchensee.

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    The Walchensee lies just a little north of the Kochelsee and a lot lower. The difference in altitude was used to build a massive hydroelectric power plant. You can only just see the high-voltage lines running along the side of the mountain.
    #14
  15. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Banned

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    This is the Kochelsee:

    [​IMG]


    The Walchensee and the Kochelsee are also famous for the road that runs between them: the "Kesselberg" road - local bikers have turned it into a racetrack so many times and so many, often fatal, accidents have happened that the road is now closed to motorcycles on weekends and public holidays :cry

    some time ago there was a thread in "the perfect line" forum titled "too much lean angle?", with a video of a biker doing a high speed wipeout. That was the very road.


    By then I was pretty hungry, so I rode to a litlle restaurant I had eaten well in on previous visits. I wasn´t disappointed this time either.


    [​IMG]


    Fried Leberkäs´ with Spiegelei and Bratkartoffeln, hmmmmm! :dg



    I rode on through Mittenwald and Leutasch to Telfs, the last two already being in Austria. No border checks, no different currency, thanks to the EC.
    Here I arrive at Telfs:

    [​IMG]


    A rather impressive tree lined road took me into the town:


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    The road that brought me to the mouth of the Ötztal was not very exciting. I wonder, however, what that huge building with the two towers is.

    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Banned

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    I continue south, ride up the Ötztal (valley of the river Ötz) and pass through the small town of Sölden, where this house catches my eye:

    [​IMG]


    Nice house, and an even nicer view!



    Now, shortly after Sölden, the real part of my ride begins: the first pass of my tour, the Timmelsjoch! You can see the road faintly, high up on the side of the mountain.


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    Here I´m about a third of the way up from the valley floor.

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    Another video that I took, not much better than the first one, I´m afraid. I need to pan much slower, I think.


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    I´m almost at the tree line here.

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    I´ll post more pictures tomorrow, then the real fun begins!!!
    #16
  17. kejago

    kejago Kev. Haute Savoie, France

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    Post some pics from, Erding too... it is a cool town. And the beer is not too bad... I lived there for a few years.
    #17
  18. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Banned

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    I´ll post some pics of erding at the end of the report if you wish...the "Erdinger Weißbier" has made Erding surprisingly well known all over the world.
    #18
  19. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Banned

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    here I am almost at the tollstation. The line running diagonally through the picture is not some flaw in the photo but a steel cable. Many houses in the alps have such steel cables connecting them with another, usually more accessible location further down the mountain, they are used for transporting goods, especially in winter when the roads are impassable due to snow and ice.

    [​IMG]




    This is still higher up. All the passes I rode during my three days were literally crawling with bicyclists pedaling upward. Some old guys too, in their sixties or so. I don´t think I could have managed these passes and I´m half that age...


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    if you ever wish to ride the Timmelsjoch, I strongly recommend you approach from the Italian side, that´s were the good stuff is and you can ride around 95% of the road for free. I crossed into Italy from Austria, however, so I had to pay 11&#8364; toll.


    The road continues to go up, still on the northern side here...

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    Here I took a picture looking to back where I had just come from...

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    And another one, taken from higher up. i´m also looking "backwards" here. This photo is quite memorable to me, because when I stopped I came closer to dropping the bike in the mud and gravel than ever before...the sloping ground really plays havoc with your sense of balance if you don´t watch out :huh

    [​IMG]


    The real twisties have begun!




    Just over the top of the Timmelsjoch, looking into Italy:

    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Banned

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    I have to confess this street made me feel queasy a couple of times...this is the southern, Italian side of the Timmelsjoch:


    [​IMG]

    The road was every bit as steep as it looks on the pictures, the hairpins were so tight that oncoming cars usually took up the whole road, and the cow you se in the picture was just one of many on that slope - which was an open range! Not only did you have to watch the curves and the other traffic, you also had to be on the lookout for cows. And for the cowflops they had dropped all over the road, preferably in the narrowest turns. Scary road, I definitely wouldn´t want to ride it in the rain or at night. The wall you can see lining the road is just calf high, if you touched it it would only serve to lever you into the abyss a little more cleanly.


    [​IMG]


    A little lower down it wasn´t as steep anymore.

    [​IMG]


    I didn´t take any more pictures on that road, my attention was pretty much occupied. Anyway, I finally made it to Meran. I also was in for an unexpected treat: The descent from the Timmelsjoch had been more stress than anything, but the road to Meran is a lot more fun than one can tell from the map - smooth, rhythmical twisties, just the right radius for some fun on two wheels. Neither the "first gear and lots of clutch" hairpins of the Timmelsjoch nor fast dangerous sweepers, just right. And great scenery all along the road.

    Originally I had planned to just visit Meran, then go on across the Jaufenpass and camp in Sterzing, but I was feeling pretty worn out and decided against riding on. I spent some time looking for the camping ground, and just when I had found the sign I stumbled across the meran youth hostel. To hell with camping, I thought, I´m staying here tonight. I paid 21,50&#8364; for the night for a clean, albeit very small room on the fifth floor right under the roof. A massive supporting beam was running right through the room at eye level. Miraculously I avoided cracking my head aginst it during my stay (except once, that really hurt :cry ) An all-you-can-eat breakfast next morning was included in the price. I spent the rest of the afternoon exploring Meran.

    [​IMG]
    #20