I first met Isabelle in Belfast, at the Vespa World Days. This year she, with some friends, came to Zell am See for the Vespa Alp Days. Here is here charming report, complete with marvelour pictures:
“Night up on the Großglockner Mountain Pass.“
Meeting point, as always, was the Check-in in Zell am See. As it happened we got there a bit late. But then it had felt as if, on the road up from the Allgäu, every owner of a tractor had thought it necessary to parade it for us. While repacking the gear, in a hurry, of course, I then properly pinched my thumb. Still I managed to put on the glove, two sizes to large. The rest of the riders had been waiting patiently, without complaint, and everybody was touchingly attentive, nice and helpful. That’s the Vespa family for you.
For a change it isn’t the mask that is breath-taking but the panoramic view and the calm up here. There were no incidences on the road, everybody arrived well, whole and content, so in the end it was a good day!
Now only the Vespa needs to be locked down quickly and then on to a well-deserved beer, yippieeh!
Our place for the night. The Wallackhaus.
In the morning we were welcomed by a clear blue sky and the sun, over rugged mountains.
My pinched thumb has turned a very fetching shade of blackish blue, throbbing is better though and using the clutch should be easier today. After a rich breakfast we’re off, down the mountain on the other side. Riding downhill isn’t my favourite really, but the view from every corner, down into the valley, simply is awesome. Once we’d finished the descent we had to deal with a flat tire on one of the scooters. Soon a number of locals gathered around us and helped out with advice and impressive semi-expertise, so the wheel was quickly changed and on we went.
The entire valley smells of freshly mown grass, the sun continues to shine as it should and at 20° C life simply is great. One corner after the other, hardly any traffic, so we put the tiger in the tank and let rip. While meticulously sticking to (most) of the rules of the road code, of course. My engine never misses a beat (DR 177 kit), and the SIP Performance tyre properly sticks to the road.
Oh, yes: Whoever modelled this landscape here: You did well!
After taking over our accommodation for the night we still ached for some more twist of the wrist, so we rode around the Millstätter lake. Christ, it really is beautiful here! And, apparently, we have a well-meaning angel travelling with us, because, by chance, we came across an old villa by the side of the lake, where you sit right by the lakefront, in a secret garden.
Huge luck, let it continue like that!
Leaving in the morning is not easy because of our lovely hosts. We would have loved to stay longer, Christa and Erhardt are simply lovely, entertaining, and they make sensational “Jausen” to boot! Still we started our ride across the Turracher Höhe and left Kärnten and entered Steiermark with the weather still brilliant. Then it was down the pass on the other side, only to feel that this route was so enjoyable that it should have been much longer. The road meanders down the valley, following the river, and after that the Obertauern-Pass awaits us.
Once we’re up at the top it’s high time for a break – and as expected we are having one. After we had about a trillion American Iron horses pass us on the way up three of the Harley guys in the restaurant heartily admire us, both amazed and impressed that we didn’t really lose much time on them on the way up. I share the sentiment – what good was the one litre of displacement advantage again? Oh, yeah, right: nothing!
And off we are again, down into the valley and then along the very same, till we reach Zell am See where the check-in is due.