Part 1: Traveling from The Netherlands to Austria
The last couple of weeks I managed to finish all my preparations. I found two partners for my trip who provided me with their products: BUMOT and Wunderlich. BUMOT provided me with their cases (two panniers, a toolbox and the top case) and Wunderlich provided me with a lot of accessories for my bike to make my bike more off-road proof.
At April 13th I finally left The Netherlands to start my trip. On my way I would get two more parts at the Wunderlich headquarters in Sinzig, Germany. I somehow got the wrong headlight protector (my mistake) and had to swap it for the right one. Also, I thought that I did not need a tank bag, but I found myself unhappy with having only the bag on the passenger seat behind me. I needed a bag that was easy transportable and where I could keep my camera and wallet.
Fitting these last parts to my bike took longer than expected because I don’t like to read manuals and prefer to figure out things myself… so I made some mistakes and needed three times to mount the headlight protector to the bike. Argh!
Finally I got on my way to Stuttgart, which would be a perfect distance to drive. I expected to be able to book a cheap accommodation when I arrived in Stuttgart. This seemed to be more difficult than I thought. The people I wrote to on Airbnb did not reply fast enough and the hotels in the city were fully booked. (There seemed to be a big event in the city) Unfortunately I ended up booking an expensive hotel room which costed more than 80€.
Last year I drove without a plan to Norway and the North Cape and I expected that finding a accommodation for the night would be even easier in a more populated area… but I was wrong. I had to plan this better, although I don’t want to have a plan because I want to keep all the freedom that I currently have. Today this “I will see what will happen”-thing did not work out for me but I’ll keep trying.
The next day I drove through the Schwäbische Alp and headed in the direction of Munich. When I got to Ulm I got back on the highway because I really want to cover a big distance in the first couple of days. Emotionally my tour will really start in Slovenia, not in Germany or Austria. Everything before Slovenia will just be ‘passing through’ because I will have the time to enjoy those areas later (on my tour or in my life).
Some pictures of the Schwäbische Alp:
Near Munich, in Rosenheim, I drove to Michael’s house. Michael found me on Instagram and added me on Facebook and we already had some conversations through Facebook. He would be able to help me out with giving me some tips for me route because he had done a trip through the Balkan as well. Plus, he knows where all the great passes through the Alps are. We spent the evening marking awesome roads and interesting places on a map and I was happy that he offered me to stay at his house. This trip is starting great!
The next day we drove to a bakery to get some breakfast. Michael drove on his Africa Twin and I on my GS. Michael showed me a few awesome photo stops where I afterwards would stop to get some photos. This part of Germany is really, really pretty. We got back to Michael’s house where I packed my stuff and got on my way to Austria (and the photo stops):
These are the views Michael is able to enjoy every day. He must be a really lucky guy! I continued my way to the Roßfeldstraße. This is the highest tollroad in Germany and hopefully I would be able to enjoy an amazing view over the German/Austrian landscape. Unfortunately there was so much fog that I was barely able to see anything. Everything was gray and I could not see more than 10 meters in front of me. That is quite tricky with a twisty road like this… It was still worth the 4,50€ though!
Back down on the Austrian side of the Roßfeldstraße, I asked a guy to take a photo of me with my phone. I switched from an iPhone to an Android phone last week and luckily I was not the only one with difficulties with my phone. (Maybe I should not have asked someone who just finished a phone call on a Nokia 3310) I ended up with getting 700 photos of myself. At least the burst mode of my new phone works well 😉
A couple of minutes later I entered Austria. The second country of my trip (not counting my own country, The Netherlands).
In Austria I got a vignette that allowed me to drive on the highways for 10 days. It costed me 5,10€ and made my trip through Austria less spectacular but also a lot quicker. I would even be able to completely drive to Slovenia today, but I decided to stay in Austria for a night, just before the Slovenian border.
I stayed in Villach, a stunning city but really annoying for anyone who wants to drive through the residential areas. The whole city is basically one big 30km/h zone, although the roads would have been perfect to drive at twice that speed.
The next post will be about Slovenia, the first ‘real’ destination of my tour. I already sorted out the photos but still have to write the next. The photos are really impressive. Please stay updated by liking my Facebook page or subscribing to the newsletter below!
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