Austria

I left Garmisch Partenkirchen early on the Monday morning. I wasn’t the last to leave the Motorrad Days site, but not far off. The tearing down of the site itself was well underway and the town was a different place without the continuous hum of BMW after BMW passing through. It was actually quite a peaceful place.

I had plenty of time before I needed to be in Belgrade so I set my satnav to the opposite, south-east, corner of Austria, which gave me a destination of somewhere around Graz. I also set it to stay off autoroutes and prefer curvy roads rather than the fastest route.

This means that I don’t get anywhere fast but should be a lot more interesting than the autoroutes. I stopped at the services on the German/Austrian border and was debating whether I needed a vignette or not. I wasn’t intending to use any autoroutes but as it was only €5.10 for 10 days I bought one anyway, because you never know. I had a few hundred metres of autoroute after leaving the services to reach the minor roads, but as I came around the first bend the five or so cars in front were slowing down for a police checkpoint. I could see the officials looking for the vignette on the cars windscreen. One of the cars was pulled over, probably to face a heavy fine or sending back at the very least. I was waved on by. :-)

Sankt Koloman, Austria

As well as the curvy road option, to make it a bit more interesting I also chose not to avoid unpaved roads. Well, road or byway at Garmin HQ must be a very loose term. Interesting it certainly was, I was guided down gravel lanes, through quarries, weigh stations, what looked like driveways and some roads that were just wide pavements. More than once the road was closed during to roadworks, but I sneaked by in any case as there was no one around.

Great spot for a picnic

The paved sections were pretty good too, the general direction was south east along the E351, which is a very nice road in itself. Then every so often the satnav takes you on a little detour, it could be unpaved or it could be a little twisty bit up or down a mountain. Then you end up back on the E351. Who needs Stelvio? there are great roads all over Austria, without the Stelvio traffic. You just need to find them.

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