Category: Austria

Throwback Thursday: Fog at the Top of Timmelsjoch, Austria

Throwback Thursday: Fog at the Top of Timmelsjoch, Austria

In 2010, Kenny and I flew to Italy to meet up with our friend Pimmie and do some riding in the Alps. Our travels took us through the mountains of Italy, Switzerland and Austria. That trip still looms large in my mind as one of the most personally meaningful adventures I’ve been on. Travel changes you.

While in Austria, one of the passes we rode was Timmelsjoch (Passo del Rombo) not far from Innsbruck and on the way to the Dolomites.

fuzzygalore on timmelsjoch austria

Sadly our trip across the wiggly ribbon was ensconced in fog and rain. But, I suppose that is all part of the adventure.

pimmie on timmelsjoch

We’re going to be heading back to play with Pimmie in the Alps this year. I’m excited that our friend Ed will be joining us, too. Just think of all the Throwback Thursday posts! 😉

Great Roads: Kick-Ass Mountain Passes From Our Euro Trip

Great Roads: Kick-Ass Mountain Passes From Our Euro Trip

In September of 2010, Kenny and I met up with our friend Patrick in Italy and spent a little over a week riding around in the mountains. Our travels took us to Italy, Switzerland, the teeny-weeny country of Liechtenstein, and Austria. The trip was, in a word – monumental.

Even though months have passed, I still find myself reliving fragments of the trip in my imagination. The Alps are a motorcyclist’s paradise.

Though it was difficult to will yourself to stop riding, we did manage to snap a few photos of some beautiful roads along the way.

(Click all photos to enlarge)

Stelvio Pass – Italy

Looking down at the Stelvio Pass

Fluela Pass – Switzerland

Fluelapass Switzerland

Julierpass – Switzerland

Julierpass Switzerland

Splugenpass – Italy/Switzerland

Splugenpass

San Bernardino Pass – Switzerland

San Bernardino Pass Switzerland

Nufenen Pass – Switzerland

Nufenen Pass

Grimselpass – Switzerland

Grimselpass Switzerland

In Case You Missed It

Here are some posts from that trip:

How About You?

Have you traveled any of these roads? Which were your favorites? Are they on your bucket list for someday?

Riding the Alps with a GoPro Hero Camera: Is This Thing On?

Riding the Alps with a GoPro Hero Camera: Is This Thing On?

Kenny and Pimmie both rode with GoPro Hero HD cameras throughout our Alpine trip. Kenny mounted his on the side of his helmet for a “you’re seeing what I’m seeing” point of view and Pimmie mounted his GoPro on the front of his Tuono near the right mirror stalk.

Each day, they shot about 4 hours worth of riding video. In order to conserve the battery, this meant turning the camera on and off on less exciting stretches of road or during extended stops.

While looking through the videos, I found that many video clips start with a view of either of them looking into the camera with an “is this thing on?” expression. Kenny’s signature move was to look into his left mirror to see if the record light was flashing, while either Pimmie, Kenny or sometimes both had to look at Pimmie’s bike from the front see if his light was flashing.

It’s interesting to note some of the backgrounds, scenery, cars and bikes going by. This is like one big photobomb blog post. These photos are some of those video still frames:

click all photos to enlarge

Is This Thing On?

Kenny on Falzarego Pass Italy

Splugenpass Stelvio - Is this thing on? Alps Tour
Timmelsjoch - Is this thing on? Kenny Alpine Tour Heading to Jaufenpass

Is this thing on?

In the Dolomites Heading to Stelvio Riding in Austria
Motorcycling in the Alps Riding in Italy Riding in Italy

Stelvio Pass

Photobomb Gallery - Alpine Riding Tour Alps Tour Alps Tour
Alps Tour Falzarego Pass Heading to Falzarego Pass

Heading to Bormio

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From Innsbruck to the Dolomites and Corvara, Italy

From Innsbruck to the Dolomites and Corvara, Italy

Oh, Innsbruck. Our time together was too short.

On Wednesday morning, we packed up our circus in no time flat and said goodbye to the city. We were heading back up in to the mountains. Following yet another of my whims, we would be heading towards the town of Corvara, Italy.

Nestled snugly in the shadow of the beautiful Sassongher mountain, Corvara first sneaked into my brain from a photograph I saw in a travel ad. I tore the page out of the magazine and stuck to our refrigerator. I would finally have the chance to see this beautiful little village with my own eyes after looking at it for 6 months in my kitchen.

Steuibenfall in Austria

We left Innsbruck heading west where we stopped off at the Stuibenfall in Umhausen. It is the tallest waterfall in Tyrol Austria and a beautiful sight. The view overlooking the Ötztal valley isn’t too shabby either.

Snow on TimmesljochMotoring on, our route brought us up and over the Timmelsjoch Hochalpenstrasse. Like, Silvretta this roadway also had a toll. When we pulled up to the booths to pay the fee, we could see  misty clouds getting closer the higher we went. Just a few miles in to our ride, the fog thickened.

It was a chilly 4°C. It was the first time I remember seeing any standing snow on the roadway. I had to flip on the heated grips because my hands were starting to sting as the wind whistled through the perforated areas of my vented summer gloves.

Fuzzygalore on Timmelsjoch Hochalpenstrasse

When we pulled off at the summit to see the pass museum, we couldn’t see a blessed thing of the view. We saw nothing but an abyss. The rain started to fall as we descended the mountain. Between the fog and the water on my visor visibility was terrible. I crept along, making my way down through the tunnels and hairpins trying to enjoy the ride.

Timmelsjoch in the rain

Stuibenfall Austria KTM Supermotos on Timmelsjoch Pimmie on Timmelsjoch
Pass Museum on Timmelsjoch Heli's roadside eats Our hotel in Corvara

When we reached the foot of the Timmelsjoch, we continued on to the Jaufenpass in the pouring rain. Between the mixture of cold rain and tar snakes, it turned out to be one of my least favorite passes. When I look at photos of the pass in the sunshine on the web, I can honestly say I don’t remember any of that. I just remember gray.

Jaufenpass in the rain

When we reached the bottom, we pulled off and ate a roadside hamburger. We dried up a little and made a plan to make tracks to Corvara. The cold rain dogged us the rest of the way. Sadly, the rain and fog robbed me of my view of the town below the mountain, but I had high hopes to see it early in the following morning. The sunshine was on it’s way.

A Few Short Hours in Innsbruck, Austria

A Few Short Hours in Innsbruck, Austria

RumerHof Hotel Rum AustriaAfter a long day in the saddle we pulled in to the city of Innsbruck around dinner time. We found a nice,  inexpensive hotel on the outskirts in the town of Rum. We got cleaned up and went for dinner in the hotel’s restaurant. By the time we finished up, the sun had set and what was left of our evening was quickly ticking by.

We hopped in to a taxi and went into the old part of Innsbruck. Because our vacation was a riding vacation, we left home with no plans to spend time sightseeing or city touring. The fact that we were in Innsbruck at all was icing on the cake for me. So when the cab dropped us off, we did what we would do on the bikes and just wandered.

Cathedral Square Innsbruck Helblinghaus Innsbruck Austria The Golden Roof Innsbruck Austria

I’ve said it so many times before but, it really is the little moments that stay with you. We sat in the cathedral square talking and taking in the powerful façade of the Dom zu St. Jakob. We three just sat on a bench talking about history and the nature of people.  There were no city sounds – no traffic, no sirens, cars, no honking. As I sit here on my deck writing this, I can still feel the cool air of that night around me like an embrace. It was one of those perfect moments that I didn’t fully grasp the value of until it was long since gone.

Dom zu St. Jakob Innsbruck Austria

Given the late hour, everything but a few cafes in the old part of the city was closed. It was very interesting to walk around with the feeling that you’ve basically got the place to yourself. There was no hustle and no bustle, it was just us walking.

Being in that old place immediately filled me with a sense of romanticism. It was made up of nothing more than a group of lifeless buildings just like every other city the world over, but… it felt different than home. It felt faraway and special.

We walked to Maria-Theresia Strasse and had coffee in an outdoor café. When the waitress informed us they were out of apple strudel, it was like a dagger in my heart. Can you believe that? I missed my golden opportunity for strudel in Austria. I did have some manner of schnitzel for dinner though, so we’ll call it a draw this time.

So there we were – me, the love of my life and our dear friend.  We were a man and a woman from New York, having coffee with a Dutchman in Innsbruck, Austria. All because of motorcycles. I think that’s pretty cool. It’s in those moments I can really feel just how awesome my life is.

Cafe in Innsbruck Austria

Innsbruck Golden Roof WangRight outside of one of the most famous buildings in the city, the Golden Roof – there are 2… um… things… on the sidewalk. Yes, the Golden Roof is lovely and historical and all of that, but these just struck me so funny. While other people were nodding thoughtfully and taking photos of the building, we were giggling like schoolgirls over the sidewalk wangs.

I still have no idea what they were for but I think it’s probably best not to let the imagination wander too far on this topic.

Austria - Home of KTM! Austrian building is shocked by what it sees! Hadid Nordpark Cable Rail Station Innsbruck Austria
Hadid Bridge Rail Station A Bacon Store! Innsbruck Austria

It was around midnight when we grabbed a taxi back to our hotel. Our little walk through town was just too short. In many ways it pains me that I was in this lovely, fairytale place so worthy of exploring, yet we had no time to do just that. I can only hope that life will steer me there again some time down the road.

In the meantime, we had more riding to do.

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