Ride The Flavour (en)

The Austrian Alps, between sunny lakes and stormy passes

Sep. 6th | 0 comments

Sunday August 17, after a last dive in the lake, we left Bled. We crossed Jecenice, and then discovered a cycle track along the main road; it guided us through fields with such a mastery that the whirring of cars became soon nothing more than a memory. Only torrents sometimes broke the peace of the ride. Exhaust gaz, almost undetectable on European roads, were this time remarkably absent: the air was so pure that each fragrance took the force of a perfume. And among these perfumes, there was pine. The headiest of all. Which was flooding our nostrils and purifying our neurons each time we passed a wood stock… Only a few hundred meters away from the main road, we were however swimming in a sovereign countryside.

The cycle track, very quiet around Jecenice, becomes little by little a real cycle motorway as we approached¬†Kranjska Gora. The village seemed to be the focal point for all cyclists in the neighbourhoods. Many families… but also daredevil cyclists who had come here to enjoy the many ski slopes converted into mountain biking slopes.

We crossed the city and, a few km further, forked on the right towards our last Slovenian uphill.

18% during 3km: short but violent!


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We had to dismount and push our bikes several times, but the slope gave up before us: we arrived at the top… and entered Austria!


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18% uphill on a side… and 18% downhill of the other!


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Our 1st stop in Austria was der Faaker See (the Faaker lake). To end one day and begin the following one with a dive felt so good at Bled lake that we were determined to camp near each lake lucky enough to be on our way. But when we arrived in front of the Faaker lake, we were stunned to see that its banks were 99,9% private! Only an 5m wide opening on the side of the road made it possible to swim without getting out our wallet! Of course this is precisely where we bathed.

That evening, we rang at Hans and Maria’s door. They immediately showed¬†us a power socket so that we could charge our¬†batteries, and even allowed us to camp in their garden. How lucky! In cities and touristic places, it is in general rather rare to find such a welcome on the first try!¬†Before going to sleep, Hans came to see us, poured us two glasses of white wine, and then raised the head: “Tomorrow, breakfast?”

But the next morning, it was not a breakfast that was awaiting us, it was a true banquet! Coffee, bread, hams, sausages, cheeses, yoghourts‚Ķ¬†“Here in Austria, we eat well in the morning”,¬†Maria told us… No kidding?! ūüėČ

Before going back on the road, Hans and Maria lent us the pass to their private beach. The day could not have started better!


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Thanks to you both! Vielen Dank nochmal, f√ľr Ihre Gastfreundschaft!


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Our 2nd stop was der Millst√§tter See. Same fight: the side of the lake is entirely private, except in one place. A public park goes touch the¬†water, but swimming is obviously prohibited… Fortunately, it is tolerated!


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To camp in the park is not allowed either. And we did not hear anybody saying that it was tolerated… Fortunately, there is a hiding-place!


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This is how our lake marathon ended.¬†We then entered the mountainous kingdom of the Alps. The¬†Gro√üglockner Hochalpenstra√üe¬†brought us to the highest pass of Austria: Hochtor (2504 m). We gained height, but it did not come without compensation… We lost the Sun in the process.

The climb did not start too badly; the sky was gray, but we could still see across the whole valley.


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Unfortunately the weather slightly deteriorated… and when we arrived at the top, we were locked up in a 10m radius bubble!


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From 2500 m high, we went down to 800 m without ever leaving the cloud in which we had got into. When we arrived at Fusch an der Glocknerstraße, we were completely wet! There we could count on one hand the few houses, but rather than riding several more miles under the rain to reach the next village, we tried to find a shelter nearby. We asked the restaurant. No. We asked the touristic shop. No. We asked a house. No. Then another. No. And even another. No. At this point we had gone through all potential human help. When suddenly, an idea! There was a chapel in the middle of a field, maybe it was not closed? Bingo, the door was open. We were on a private property, but a church is the house of God before all, is it not? And God would surely be happy to host two young men soaked to the skin to whom men have not smiled this time!


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The next morning, good news, it had stopped raining. But when we came out of the chapel, a man charged at us. And he was not happy at all. Understandable behavior: we were on his property and he was not aware of it (we could not ask permission the day before because he was not home). We had cleaned everything before leaving, he would not have realized anything if he had not seen us, but unfortunately our limited knowledge of the language only gave us little opportunity to justify ourselves, and we left under a fire of reprimands. Quite a sermon!

After this episode, we leisurely rode along the Alpine valleys, until we went out of the mountains… and entered Germany!

Bruck an der Glocknerstra√üe – Mittersill – Kitzb√ľhel – St. Johann in Tirol – K√∂ssen

But Austria did not want us to leave with that cold night, so cold that no man was willing to share his fire, as a last memory. It actually did all it could so that we leave with the picture of an unbeatable Austrian hospitality!

In particular, thanks a lot to Alfons and Greta from Kitzb√ľhel,


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And to Christian from St. Johann in Tirol! Danke schön!


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To be continued…
(A few other photos in the album Slovenia&Austria)

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