Zell am See
Jun 2, 2016
|Thursday 2nd June 2016 – Austria
Yep, more f**king rain overnight – god this is worse than being in Fort William, at least you expect it to rain there and it’s over in six hours and you get a wee respite – but here it’s just more and more!
At breakfast the rain stops and we hurriedly break camp – all the stuff outside, tables chairs etc, is sodden but we put it all away and then have to wait for another caravan outfit to leave (and they take ages) before we can push (yes, by hand) the caravan back to get hitched up!
But we are soon underway for the short journey to Zell Am See – only 55 miles – but we look ahead and it looks really gloomy but after one valley pass things brighten up and as we arrive the sun comes out.
The campsite is level and nice but the pitches are difficult to establish as there are no numbers.
But we select one facing South and are soon ensconced and have drinks – yes it’s just gone 12 noon.
In the afternoon we cycle to Zell Am See and have a wee drink stop at the Grand Hotel – by the lake side - very nice. It is difficult to remember that we are not at sea level – but at 750 meters – that more than 2000 ft above sea level!
But yet more rain in the evening.
Friday 3rd June 2016 – Zell Am See
Low cloud in the morning but we drive out to Kaprun for the Kitzsteinhorn cable car to the top at 3209 metres and we find the car park pretty busy for a Friday in early June – particularly with GERMAN coaches and SAGA folk waling at 1 mph – god – they are so annoying – and they walk three and four abreast – it’s as if they own the world – is it a ~Hitler complex that these damn folk have,
However the lift system is good and it “only “takes 45 minutes to get from the car park to the mountain top – Two separate cable cars (gondolas) and then one that takes in two stations 3 and 4 to get up AND then a short funicular to the top and a nice panoramic terrace – but then a tunnel to get to yet another terrace over looking the peaks.
We opt tot have lunch at the highest restaurant and it’s a good ploy – not only is the food ok – but Carolyn bags a window table and we enjoy the lunch.
The trip down is OK – we have to share a cabin with gross German fatties - shouldn’t euthanasia be allowed –
Then on the way home we stop ff at the golf course – very posh – and then the SPAR – not so posh for essential provisions.
On the way home Carolyn spots a shop selling outdoors chairs – one of ours developed a rip earlier today!! – So we but a new chair only 9.99 Euros, we will see how it holds up.
Back at the campsite the sun shoes and we sit out for a while and THEN the rain comes – AGAIN – bummer.
Saturday 4th June 2016 – Zell Am See
What to do today – the morning starts with low cloud in the valley – but this soon burns off and so we decide to cycle round the lake – and it’s fun!
Of course it is pretty level and there is a separate path (most of the way) for cyclists but some of the path on the Western shore is shaded and not that great – whilst on the Eastern side the cyclists have to share the pavement with walkers or risk the fast road.
But we make it home safe – nice but not to be repeated!!
After lunch we decide to go walking – yep – strange - but not so daft – We cycle to one of the Gondola Ski Lifts (a minor navigational blunder on Neil’s behalf) but then the lift (the Areitbahn) from Schuttdorf takes us up from 750m to 1400m in minutes so that we can walk down!!
But it’s actually raining at 1400m so it’s not so nice – but as we descend the rain stops and we enjoy the walk although some of it at a bit steep and slippy.
We come to a junction and it’s either straight down or a more round trip down a road – which Neil prefers – but Carolyn is not happy – still off we go – and sure enough it takes much longer – which Carolyn points out AGAIN – still it is more open and we see more of the landscape and eventually end up back at h the bikes.
And then back home – but it starts to rain and we shelter for a while under the motorway bridge, but again on the way home it starts to rain.
We thought about going out for a meal tonight by bike but the rain starts to get heavy and so it’s Pasta at home tonight!
Sunday 5th June 2016 – Zell am See, still!
One of the many attraction about this area is the “famous” high altitude road called the Grossglockner (featured on the Hairy Bikers programme apparently) – it’s a toll road with many hairpin bends that wends it’s way from the valley floor (at about (800 meters) to over 2500 meters, best done on a beautiful cloudless day – but not today folks – However we set out more in hope than expectation and at the toll booths there is a queue of traffic – Why, well we passed many bicycles on the road up to the toll and it seems that today of all days there was a bicycle race to the top – and many were now coming down and so the road was closed to avoid accidents! We arrived at the toll about 10.30am!
So, after about 15 mins we are allowed through and sadly a bus gets ahead of us – so it’s slow going until we can get past – but the drive is amazing – so many tight bends – bikes whizzing down and the road is wet! But still many bikes going up – WHAT – it’s a real long, steep way! What a bizarre, lung busting thing to do on a Sunday – and it’s wet occasionally!
But at the top we do get some views and whilst the bike race ends at the top the road goes on further to the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Hohe – effectively the end of the road by the Pasterze Glacier.
It’s a very popular motorbike ride and they are well provided for with parking and security – the parking is not that busy today – but there are many, many spaces- so in peak tourist time it must be HELL.
One of the wildlife attractions here are the Marmots – and Carolyn becomes adept at spotting them – pics on the journal!
The drive home is more sedate as most of the bikes have gone and we only have to follow a coach downhill – low gear selected – to reduce work on the brakes!
Back at the campsite we sit out for while in very warm sunshine - but then the clouds darken and we have torrential rain AGAIN.
Time to move South.
Copytight Neil Tough @2016