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‘Dolomites’ thread

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Busy couple of days, dotting the i's and crossing the t's for next years trip down to the Dolomites. and a big change for next year, I want to avoid the Austrian school holidays and to that end have moved our usual dates from September to June. Crossing on the 25th and returning on the 10th. June might seem a long way off now, with winter around the corner but it never ceases to amaze me how quickly the time goes by. So June, just a few days after the solstice so that means long hours of daylight, a big plus for this trip.

Ive nailed down a base camp to explore from and have decided that its best to stay in Austria, mostly for the cheap petrol (Italy is hideously expensive) but also. there is a Lidl/Aldi very close by.. the Aldi is 1km from the campsite which will help with the budget. cheaper food and beer. Its a campsite I have stayed at before and its rather good. arrowed below. It's just 6 miles to the border. 32 miles to Cortina d’Ampezzo.

Only downside to my plan is the ride down, to maximise our time in the Alps. we'll do the ride to Austria over 2 days,  A bit of a slog, but that will give us up to 9 days to play with before we start for home and Ive promised a revisit to the Black Forest and the B500 from south to north. We will also have two chances to ride the Grossglockner, hoping for a blue sky day.  I would also love  to get to the Mangart in Slovenia which is about a 200 mile round trip. But, we'll have to wait and see how things pan out.

So, that's been my day today/yesterday... 

Screenshot 2021-10-06 at 06.02.35.png

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9 minutes ago, Slowlycatchymonkey said:

Looks good. I admire the amount of work you put into the detail like there being Lidl/Aldi close by, it makes things so much easier with a group if you know this stuff before hand.

@XTreme @Motobiker This is worthy of its own ‘Dolomites’ thread, can you shift the map over??? If theres going to be long gaps between posts (assume there will be given the time til departure) it will be much easier to follow separately. 

Done!

 

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Well, having a supermarket close by.. in this case within walking distance is very handy. I can’t be bothered with cooking. I do enough of that at home. And this is a holiday after all. So, usually we eat while out for the day a hot meal when the opportunity presents itself and then grab the makings of a cold al fresco meal as well as beers and ice for the evening. And breakfast for the next day, of course. So no need to bring pots and pans. (Shudder) I do bring a stove, kettle and cafetière, as there’s nothing better than a proper coffee first thing. Having a petrol station close by is great too. I like to brim the tank last thing so that’s one less priority next morning and we can make progress, so all this makes the campsite at Tassenbach ideal. There are other things I look for, like a covered area or room we can use for eating and drinking if it rains. Much nicer than being forced to huddle in our tents. This campsite has that too.

B5D6D332-18BA-4F9C-B1A6-6E3CAF859CA3.jpeg

 

Oh, and the other nice thing about this campsite is that I'm not going to be called a Hooligan by a load of very drunk Austrian football fans who seem to equate that word with anyone from Britain!! That is a thing that happened. Me. A hooligan!!

Before we get to Tassenbach, we will try for the Grossg lockner and spend a couple of nights at a campsite at Zell am See. this is a great place, with the most stupendous view across the lake.

Seecamp-Zell-am-See---Luftaufnahme-vom-Campingplatz-mit-Blick-auf-den-Zeller-See-und-die-Berge.jpg.6f452815b56560231f7c1f20a85d3772.jpg

 

There are live webcams on the Glockner, so we can see what the conditions are like and if ts worth spending the day up there:  Right now its covered in snow, but this is what Im hoping for in June. Though there will likely be more snow.

1065713385_Screenshot2021-10-06at16_13_56.png.d01b8d4e941e9d908e8931651497debd.png

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Looks lovely. When I was in Kaprun I spent a day in Zell am see. Lovely place. Don’t know what it looks like naked though I’ve only ever seen it covered in a blanket of snow and that makes even the worse places look great 😂

How do you find a campsite with a covered area? Do you just wade through the different websites or pic what you fancy and contact them?

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15 hours ago, Slowlycatchymonkey said:

Looks lovely. When I was in Kaprun I spent a day in Zell am see. Lovely place. Don’t know what it looks like naked though I’ve only ever seen it covered in a blanket of snow and that makes even the worse places look great 😂

How do you find a campsite with a covered area? Do you just wade through the different websites or pic what you fancy and contact them?

Its usually in the description. and might be described as a TV room or games room/meeting room. They usually show photos of the main building and if there is a covered patio then that's fairly obvious. In Ireland nearly every campsite has what is called a 'campers kitchen' which was a similar kind of idea.. kitchen cum dining room for when the rain arrives. The place at Killarney we stayed at was really well set up in that regard. In fact it has to be one of the best campsites Ive ever stayed at on this side of the North Sea. Just the perfect place for a motorcycle tour.  When I plan these trip s I generally sort out places to base myself at and then look at the campsites in the area and decide what looks best for us. its not a difficult task. But, this was also the main point. or at least one of them of my solo trip to the dolomites last year. I also wanted to check out the region called the "Bavarian Forest" which is over near the Czech border.. and although it was nice, it wasn't nice enough to be worth the journey getting there. I also wanted a better look at Cortina d'Ampezzo, especially the supermarket. (which wasn't very good to be honest) and so, that's why I reckon its best to base ourselves close to the border in Austria. with an Aldi a 16 minute walk. (Austrian Aldi is called Hofer) or just call in as we return from a day out. stock up on beer and ice!!

279083806_Screenshot2021-10-12at08_50_42.png.ce2d20df3e21798819caa6a52e9912a8.png

 

The campsite at Zell is very nice too.. expensive. but that's ok just for a night or two. Its just so handy being only 15 miles from the Glockner Toll Platz. with fuel stops en route.

Might even treat myself to one of their breakfasts... with a view.

csm_sc12_0191_01_33d73adc33.jpg.910e161676c260bcf69e9cb741bb4337.jpg

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@Motobiker
That might be the best looking breakfast in the world 😂

Thanks for the info, very helpful. Are there particular websites you find better for locating good places to stay? 
Everyone bangs on about air bnb and ioverlander, I have no experience of either of these as I have always used google maps and stay at whatever’s near where Im planning on stopping (that trip advisor tells me is good) but I think this is an expensive way of doing things and whilst Im partial to the nicer things in life it can feel a bit wasteful!

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5 minutes ago, Slowlycatchymonkey said:

@Motobiker
That might be the best looking breakfast in the world 😂

Thanks for the info, very helpful. Are there particular websites you find better for locating good places to stay? 
Everyone bangs on about air bnb and ioverlander, I have no experience of either of these as I have always used google maps and stay at whatever’s near where Im planning on stopping (that trip advisor tells me is good) but I think this is an expensive way of doing things and whilst Im partial to the nicer things in life it can feel a bit wasteful!

Back in the 70's we'd sleep in ditches going to race meetings!

Never did me any harm!

Drunk Simon Pegg GIF by Working Title

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7 minutes ago, XTreme said:

Back in the 70's we'd sleep in ditches going to race meetings!

Never did me any harm!

Drunk Simon Pegg GIF by Working Title

 

9 minutes ago, XTreme said:

Back in the 70's we'd sleep in ditches going to race meetings!

Never did me any harm!

Drunk Simon Pegg GIF by Working Title

image.gif.d2cbf3b72d7c3d93f2f277680b433d8c.gif

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2 minutes ago, Six30 said:

Where’s the ditch 

They don't have ditches on race circuits! 

Mallory does have a lake.....I can remember a sidecar outfit ending up in it!

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If anyone is interested this is my plan, which I will be sending to the group in due course. I usually wait for winter to set in when everyone is a bit fed up as it gives them all something to look forward to.

Quote

 

This is my plan for next Year, which might easily be rejigged due to the weather conditions at the time.

Firstly, a major change to dates, instead of September, we will be crossing on or around the 25th of June and returning on July 10th. Mid summer and so close to the solstice. Very long hours of daylight. These dates are set to avoid the Austrian school summer holidays, which begin on the 11th. So, it will be a normal working week and we should have much quieter days on the passes, quieter campsites at low season prices. etc.

Cross to France early on the Saturday Morning. It will be about a 360 mile toll free day, so a 100 miles further than to the Eifel. And we will Ride to near the Rhine, most likely using the usual route as if we were going to the Eifel however we will say on the 411 and continue on and past Luxembourg then on past Saarbrucken into the Pfalz. Perhaps camping at Daun.

Sunday will be about the same though, once across the Rhine we will soon be on more free flowing German Autobahns for most of the day and so it should be a lot less stressful. Aside from, perhaps, near Munich. But, well before then the Mountains will be rising over the horizon, a glorious sight. We’ll need to crack on. So just a few pauses with a proper rest for lunch.

Ideally we will head for Zell Am See - Grossglockner  Have a very relaxed start to the day on Monday  and after lunch, a gentle ride in the afternoon staying fairly local. Then Tuesday spend the day on the Glockner and the fantastic southern loop. (Assuming a blue sky day!!)

Wednesday Morning - head towards Italy and the Dolomites, Thats less than a 100 mile ride and there are a few ways to get there, but will initially involve the Felbertauern Tunnel.  Which is a toll. €10  There really is no alternative.

I was thinking about staying at Cortina d’Ampezzo. But have changed my mind, mostly because I would rather stay somewhere with an Aldi or Lidl close by to help with the budget. Cheaper beer, Cheaper food.  There is also the cost of Petrol in Italy, very expensive.  So, I think its best all-round to base ourselves within Austria, close to the border (obviously)

And, I know just the place. Jack and I stayed there several years ago. There is an Aldi within a mile as well as a Shell fuel station. Austria has some of the cheapest petrol prices in Western Europe.

When it’s time to return we will head for the southern end of the B500 in the Black Forest, avoiding Lake Constance, ride almost its fun length (south to north) and then on into France for the tunnel. Via Eperney.  I will have the German Alpine route on my satnav just in case we have the time to include that as well. its a long very scenic route that follows the Austrian/German border. I've only done bits of it, but its great.

The most obvious downside with this plan is the very tedious slog south to the Alps, 2 days of motorway. Not something I’m relishing, however it will be worth it. Get there in 2 days and that means we can have between 5 and 9 days in the Alps. With a much more relaxed ride home. Wandering west over the course of 3/4 days perhaps.

Ideally we will stay in Austria, but there is always the chance that bad weather might force us either further south into Italy or further east towards Slovenia. Not a disaster if that were to happen though the trip would become more ‘ad hoc’ and we will just be following our noses (so to speak)

But, I really want to avoid being based in Italy, it is expensive and its amazing how quickly one can become tired of pizza.

Alternatively weather conditions might keep us in Western Austria, close to the Swiss border. Again this will be very pleasant as there are plenty of roads (like the Silvretta) at that end to entertain us and its easy enough to drop south into Italy for the day. Though again we will be based within Austria. We can always head east towards the Glockner if there is an improvement.

Because the Glockner is one of the high points of this trip, we will have two tries. Going and returning. If it looks clear (and we can check in real time by looking at webcams) then we will have a go. If not then we won’t hang about but head down towards the Dolomites and have another try as part of our return trip.

I really want to avoid the south of France as a plan B. and so, if there happens to be damp weather in our way as we head down to Bavaria then we will just have to get past it. I would only change plans completely if the weather was set to be heavy rain for days on end. But, we will cross that bridge when we come to it. A final decision made in the last few days before the off

It will be an early start on the Saturday morning, an early tunnel crossing, so we will do our usual overnight on the Friday at either the Premier Inn or Travelodge. and we can get those booked as well as the tunnel in the new year. Assuming we spend our final night at the wonderful campsite at Eperney.. then we will be 3 hours from the Tunnel and so can get a return crossing in the early afternoon.  And home before dark.  And that's about it. let me know what you think.

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1 hour ago, Motobiker said:

If anyone is interested this is my plan, which I will be sending to the group in due course. I usually wait for winter to set in when everyone is a bit fed up as it gives them all something to look forward to.

Blimey that’s a plan and a half! 
Sounds like you’re in for a great time with all those options available.
This is going to make my winging it across Spain look like a right hatchet job, fortunately enough time will have elapsed for it to have become a faded memory 😂

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The nice thing is that once you’re in Austria then so much is within spitting distance. A very easy days ride. The Germans love their scenic drives. So there’s the alpine route, the romantic route. The wine route and so on. The Austrians have a lot of toll routes most of which are closed to ‘traffic’ so tend to be quiet out of season. Some of the passes are the same. Unsuitable for a lot of vehicles. So aren’t used at all by “traffic” then next door you have Italy and Slovenia. Slovenia being a particular favourite of mine. Tuscany isn’t too far away either. Nor is Liguria. And Aosta. The entire region north of and around Garda is lovely too as well as the foothills down towards Venice.

the other thing that can turn out to be very important. The alps often act as a barrier to weather.. so it might be awful. Wet and horrible on the north side… but just travel 40 miles south and it’s like someone opened an oven door. An endless blue sky.

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My friends son ended up in Austria in Obergurgl a bit over 2 years ago and did one seasons ski instructing there, then Covid hit, it was fine for him and the other instructors for the first year, the slopes were only open to locals and the staff were kept on and mainly just partied n pleased themselves. Then there was an unexpected abrupt change, the bakery refused to serve them because they weren’t Austrian, then the butcher followed suit and in the space of one day they were completely persona non grata. Hungry and frozen out. Weird set of circumstances! Not that this has any bearing on riding to Austria but it will be interesting to see how things are when you get there next year. 

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I passed through Austria last year, in September... and although I didn't admit it at the time, I actually stayed overnight. Despite Austria at that point being on the 'naughty list'.  I ate at a kebab place in Landeck and camped at a quite awful site at a place called Prutz. - it was awful because it was set up originally as for mobile homes and caravans only. so.. the ground was incredibly hard and full of gravel. almost impossible to properly erect a tent. it was also noisy due to a main route to Italy close by as well as a very loud river in full flood!!

anyway, I had zero problems while there. but I didn't hang about.. I was in Italy next morning after a quick diversion into Switzerland as the road was closed.

I had a fair bit of rain to contend with too.. all day, until I got to Landeck.

But, of course.. cross into Italy and....  woosh. all change.

From this:

IMG_0084.thumb.jpg.df8f55ee6d737863ac518db96bf6053c.jpg

To this:

IMG_0085.thumb.jpg.0c5378720767b1bbc7b372dc9fa09428.jpg

And then.. further down that same road...

IMG_0091.thumb.jpg.a6b2a4ab70c98894dbc1663050d428dd.jpg

 

But, if memory serves didn't they at one point actually close the borders? maybe it was when that happened and then obviously attitudes would change markedly. very 'germanic'. "You shouldn't be here... go away. go home!!"

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14 minutes ago, Motobiker said:

I passed through Austria last year, in September... and although I didn't admit it at the time, I actually stayed overnight. Despite Austria at that point being on the 'naughty list'.  I ate at a kebab place in Landeck and camped at a quite awful site at a place called Prutz. - it was awful because it was set up originally as for mobile homes and caravans only. so.. the ground was incredibly hard and full of gravel. almost impossible to properly erect a tent. it was also noisy due to a main route to Italy close by as well as a very loud river in full flood!!

anyway, I had zero problems while there. but I didn't hang about.. I was in Italy next morning after a quick diversion into Switzerland as the road was closed.

I had a fair bit of rain to contend with too.. all day, until I got to Landeck.

But, of course.. cross into Italy and....  woosh. all change.

From this:

IMG_0084.thumb.jpg.df8f55ee6d737863ac518db96bf6053c.jpg

To this:

IMG_0085.thumb.jpg.0c5378720767b1bbc7b372dc9fa09428.jpg

And then.. further down that same road...

IMG_0091.thumb.jpg.a6b2a4ab70c98894dbc1663050d428dd.jpg

 

But, if memory serves didn't they at one point actually close the borders? maybe it was when that happened and then obviously attitudes would change markedly. very 'germanic'. "You shouldn't be here... go away. go home!!"

Possibly. 
You really do take a good bike landscape pic. To the extent I’m thinking you could pave your mobike path in gold?! 

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8 hours ago, Slowlycatchymonkey said:

the bakery refused to serve them because they weren’t Austrian, then the butcher followed suit and in the space of one day they were completely persona non grata.

Why?

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8 hours ago, Slowlycatchymonkey said:

You really do take a good bike landscape pic. To the extent I’m thinking you could pave your mobike path in gold?! 

I like that last photo on the shore of Lago di Resia, mainly because it gave me a view that I was sooo, looking forward to. which the photo only hints at, but.. zoom in:

IMG_0092.jpg

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