UK to Vienna & Back

Discussion in 'EMEA' started by apwhite, May 16, 2018.

  1. apwhite

    apwhite n00b

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    I am in the early stages of planning a solo trip from the UK to Vienna to see some friends for a few days then back home.

    In terms of getting out of the UK I looking at taking eurotunnel, I will be camping en route.

    I would like to get there quickly whilst mostly avoiding motorways/highways/autobahn, etc.

    I will be riding my 690 enduro.

    Can anyone recommend some particulary good roads/routes to add in to the route and/or parts to definitley avoid.

    Many thanks
    #1
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  2. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    When and for how long?

    I visit my sister in Frankfurt quite often - usually in the car. You know, cruise control, climate control, big tank of Diesel, bag of sweeties in the glove box, and big bottle of water in the door pocket cooler.
    My motorway route, almost all but the docks and last 5 miles in Frankfurt. Dunkerque to my sisters place in south Frankfurt is 600kms (exactly 414 miles docks to door, verified over dozens of trips) and I am yet to do it in noticably less then 6 hours. Cruise is usually set at around the 80 - 85 mph mark.
    Frankfurt is roughly 1/2 way. I have not been direct to Wein, but have done the trip to Riva del Gardo in Italy several times, roughly the same distance. The Autobahns are slightly prettier past Frankfurt, but Autobahns none the less.

    I am guessing on a 690, my fast/free route would be of little interest, and even if you could hold a running average approaching 60mph, it is still a very long day in the saddle. Maybe two, as after the first couple of hours, stops tend to get longer and more frequent. The running average takes a nosedive.
    I have also taken various back roads across France to get to Frankfurt, and normally expect to double the driving/riding time, even if the distance may be slightly less.

    I am a map person, my strategy is to have rough targets - say a lunch or night stop, is to draw a metaphorical straight line to the destination from my start point. Then search for back roads as close to that as possible. You can add way points to make deviations round cities and conurbations. The line is just to get you away from following routes and main roads, so change things if that is how it turns out-its not writ in stone, so be flexible. This trick has picked out some very nice roads with scenery and small villages - which I like, as I rarely have actual destinations and dates to hit.

    If you want to ride through hills and more twisty roads, you can find wolds and hilly bits from Boulogne to pretty much the Ardenne. Then follow round in an arc through the Eiffel and towards the Voges. More or less shadowing the French/Belgian border. Later, France/Germany, with a bit of Luxembourg thrown in. There are bits of the Rhine and Mosel valleys that are not too crowded and have decent roads - but weekends and high season will see them busy.
    You could cut across towards the Odenwald and follow on down to the Black Forest, aiming point Baden - Baden, approximately. From there, you can either go deeper into the Alps or skim across the top, more of less all the way.

    Lots of alternatives. If it were me doing the trip, I would go much further south, take in the Vercors, scout round beneath Swizerland and spend lots more time in the Alpine regions and its foothills. But it would be a lot longer journey.

    Other than outside Europe, I have never visited any country where it as easy to find camping as France. Any accommodation really. And the food is sans pareil.
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  3. Johann

    Johann commuterus tankslapperus

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    Good section from Cologne following the Rhine to the south. Very scenic route with castles everywhere, lots of river traffic with working barges and attractive small towns alongside the river every few miles. There are campsites next to the river. From Regensburg onwards you can try and follow the Danube as closely as possible to Vienna.

    The quickest route would involve turning left at Calais then heading straight for Brussels/Koln/Wurzburg/Nuremberg/Regensburg. Your mission is going to be a balance of finding secondary roads along that route(ish) without adding lots of miles to the distance.
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  4. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    From the Channel - Dunkerque - I go Lille*, Mons, Liege then Koln. Better roads, less traffic - maybe a few yards longer, but the crap roads are worth missing, as is the traffic around Bruxelles. Unless they did a lot of work recently.
    *Lille is always busy, but the traffic almost always flows, and it is well signed - but usually only once, so know where you are going or watch out. Otherwise, the usual sort of decent for a motorway with Liege and Koln getting traffic at rush hour, but nothing compared to most UK motorways.

    From Sangatte, you can cut across country, picking up the autoroute at St Omer*. Reasonable Ibis Budget at the bottom of the hill, walking distance into town where there are lots of bars, cafes and restaurants to choose from. Not big enough to get lost in, either on foot or on your bike.
    My favourite, Le Cygne, has, despite the change in ownership, managed to mostly regain its worth as the best place to get good food in town. All in all makes a worthwhile place to stop over if you have had a longish ride in Blighty.
    *If you have an interest in WW2 stuff, there is close proximity of La Coupole at Wizerns (close) and the Le Blockhaus d'Eperlecques, at Eperlecques (near). The latter is a walk round in an hour or so. The former is pretty large and involved. At least half a day.

    The Rhein of interest sort of peters out below the Rheingau - say roughly Rüdesheim. It becomes somewhat industrialised.
    That is where I would move over to the east and go though the Odenwald and aim to join the B500, an oft recommended route through the Schwartzwald. That will have you within spitting distance of Switzerland, where you can pay your money and take your choice. By then, the Alpine influence is starting to make itself felt.

    Time of year and time scale would affect my choice of route greatly.
    #4
  5. glitch_oz

    glitch_oz Long timer

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    TBH...I'd hit the skyscanner website for some cheap flights and rent a bike for the time I'm not with my friends rather than
    trying to find my teeth (and arse) again after humping a 690 for 3000km of Autobahns and main roads within a few days.

    Flights, transfers and a couple of rental days for some local trips up the Kalte Kuchl, Hoellental or the Wildalpen loop will be most likely cheaper, too... considering the $ for ferries,
    fuel, tyres and all other running costs plus accom along the way.
    #5
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