|Route||Bad Waldsee – Neustift im Stubaital, Austria|
|Overnight stop||Camping Stubai|
(grass pitch, EHU, good mobile signal)
|Diesel / litre||£1.214|
Well, as you know the rain set in yesterday and a cold front is sweeping across the continent. Our next stop was going to be just east of Innsbruck to the small town of Mayrhofen to watch the almabtrieb.
Evidently this is a wonderful ceremony to watch. The villagers decorate their cows with floral headdresses and bring them down from the mountains where they have been for the summer and they get to over-winter in a warmer environment on the valley farms. I say “evidently” because we have decided not to go. After checking Ventusky for the weather forecast, snow was due in Mayrhofen over the weekend and we didn’t want to end up getting stuck there. As delightful as that may have been (because the almabtrieb is really just another word in German for “piss up”!!), we wanted to see Jane & John in Neustift before we started heading south for the better weather. We’d rather get stuck in Neustift with them!
So after a quick discussion, we have set Nora (our SatNag as in “just ignore ‘er”) for Neustift im Subaital (the direct translation Neustift in the Stubai valley).
I don’t know whether I have mentioned before, but the gorgeous Mr T is the beach bum and I am the mountain goat (…on a beach!). When we travel we like to try and get a quick visit into the mountains that restoreth my soul…. although I am equally as happy on the beach in the sun. We can equally and definitely be described as fair weather travellers and the last couple of weeks, although we have had patches of sun, we have seen just a little too much cloud and rain and we are hankering after some warmth and yellow stuff in the sky – Spain and Morocco are calling!
Anyhoo, back to the mountains for the moment.
We have decided that, as we are in the alps, we are going to stay off the motorways and wend our way slowly up the mountains to Neustift to allow us some time to appreciate the scenery. This has been a bit of a financial decision as well. The Austrian road tolls for vehicles over 3.5t is pretty stiff (20c/km at today’s rate) so staying off toll roads, for the moment, suits us and our pockets.
What a fantastic decision! As we are heading closer to the Austrian border, the clouds have broken and the sun is making its appearance and the views of the alps are nothing less than spectacular! Even the gorgeous Mr T is suitably impressed.
We’ve chosen to drive the route through Fussen and head for Neustift via the Fernpassstrasse (yes, there are that many s’s in the name!!), skirting Innsbruck and heading south-west towards the Stubai Valley. At the head of the valley is the Stubaier Gletscher (glacier) making this a destination of choice for summer adrenalin outdoor sports like offroad mountain biking, paragliding and white water rafting and in winter, skiing and tobogganing (other sporting activities are available!).
We stop for a brief break at Nassereith about 50km after the border crossing to collect our post-pay Go-Box which we have pre-arranged with Asfinag. It’s a post-pay box so no worries about having to send it back, try to find a supporting garage in Italy to hand it in (they’re about as common as hen’s teeth) or try to post back to Austria from destinations unknown to re-claim any pre-loaded balances. Life’s too short for that sort of messing about. This way we’ll just get billed at the end of each month for usage. Much more to our liking.
We’d been keeping in touch with Jane & John on our way down so as we approached Neustift, they came out on to the road to greet us.
And we had at last arrived for our Tranquil Pines mini-meet…. but are missing Ian & Tracey….we just need to co-ordinate a little better next time, guys!