June 25, 2014
Why is it when everything is SO together and ready that every time we begin a motorcycle trip – no matter what country – day 1 promises AND delivers RAIN?! Following great rest and a typical Euro breakfast (meat, cheese, bread), we cab it to the Harley dealer and we are launched. Having done the paperwork the day before, the only task was to load the bike. This was an incredibly smooth process – much easier than in France in 2013. It seems we have become experts at packing and loading for all weather.
It started lovely, but cold – my GPS expert deftly got us to our first autobahn without any issue. Today was planned to be a very long drive in order to spend our first night in the Alps. It was hours od driving at unrestricted speed. 140-160 km seemed like nothing. As we flew toward the Black Forest, I actually dozed and dreamed. (It is possible to sleep on the back of a motorcycle). By the time it was lunch, with cold temperatures and rain looming, we decided to stop at a ‘rastehause’ off the highway – no picnic today 😦 We went to Burger King! That’s right – I admit it! Sometimes these things are opportune. Never turn your nose up at a free WC (bathroom) or a warm place to sit as a motorcyclist. At a couple of gas stops the toilets are cordoned off with turnstiles that consume E.50. Makes you want to be 36 inches tall as children get a free pass.
In the distance the foothills are before us – the rain is upon us – we pulled over and donned rain gear – 5th layer of clothing for me and I was grateful! My beloved had planned our night’s stay at a chalet in a village in the Alps – Barenwirth Hotel. It took some navigating but as I looked up at the hill outside of Innsbruck, Austria – a magnificent rainbow was its crown. Glorious in the rain and sun.
Eight hours of autobahn (consider this is a great distance not only for a motorcyclist but for a typical European is unheard of to do such a trip in one day, if at all) – we were ready for Austrian comfort food within the chalet walls. No matter where you look, the view is majestic splendour.
The engaging innkeeper assured us of bounty at dinner. We received English menus and at first we were disappointed because ordering the ‘top two’ menu items and getting a surprise seemed like a fun to go; however, promises of ‘tastes of Tirol’ did not disappoint! A platter of locally smoked meat, fish and cheese were delectable as a starter to bacon wrapped pork – sweet and tender brussel sprouts and spaetzle in a savory sauce. Mouth-watering bite after bite – we felt a little self conscious and carefree all at the same time. The meal would not be complete without locally made pastry which they referred to as a doughnut along with ample coffee.
Having ridden in what one doctor called ‘grade A’ air all day, and a very satisfying day at that we went back to our room to settle in for the night feeling as if Grandfather and Heidi were our neighbours. The cool mountain air is ideal – no air conditioning needed.
Our European beds made with crisp, individual duvets (Typical for the region), were made in the shape of hearts – clever, creative. The hotel was great value – Rick Steeves (www.ricksteeves.com) would be so proud!
We spent euros on gas, food and lodging – a total of E138 for the day.