Part 2: Dobbiaco - Grossglockner - Karanjska Gora
Among the nice things one can enjoy at Dobbiaco is waking up to a view like this:
Yes, I just had to step out in the balcony for this one. Needless to say no one could complain for a hotel like the one we all stayed at but the rest doesn't look that bad either:
We leave the room to get our breakfast and...it's actually too epic. "Too" goes for the fact that I stuffed my stomach to its very limits unable to resist the extra wide and delicious variety of goodies. Good enough to keep me from staring at this gorgeous Slovakian waitress who was running to refill a buffet suffering from the attack of 20 hungry bikers.
2 countries waiting to be visited by us on this day, Austria and Slovenia, so we don't hesitate to jump on our bikes. In the cold and humid morning our engines break the silence. 1,2,5,10...all 20 of them working and off we go. We take the SP44 where the beauty of Aurina National Park obliges us to stop for a few pictures at Passo di Stalle, just above 2000m:
This is our point of entry to Austria and soon we catch the 108 to Grossglockner and...oh my...the beauty is obvious from the very beginning at the tolls:
This place goes easily in the highlights of every traveller regardless how well travelled one can is. It attracts a lot of traffic though which can spoil the driving fun a bit but the scenery pays back effortlessly. As we send the funniest guy of the group to buy our tickets (guys call him "disastro" for a reason) I take a couple more shots at the spot to help pass time till he comes back (he also got a discount btw):
We enter the park and go up the mountain in rather heavy traffic but the view is outstanding. The pictures from the first stop we make at Fuscher Törl (2407m) speak for themselves:
It's obviously freezing cold as you can tell from the pictures, the coldest beginning of July I ever had in my life so far so we enter the local restaurant up there to warm us up. I take the chance to picture this unique place from the inside which in the heart of the summer is more frozen than the worst winter ever at my birthplace:
After some drinks and snacks I go out to capture this amazing place from the parking lot:
The few craziest of us (me included) decide to ride up to the highest point of Eddelwiesspitze at 2571m where it started to snow! I won't forget this short but freezing cold ride in the mist:
One of the most impressive parts of Grossglockner is the glacier. A vast area of ice that on early July we can see it melting on its downside. Older guys around keep commenting on how much larger it used to be decades ago. Signs of the times:
Though it was magnificent to fill our eyes with this spectacular images we can't wait to go back to more sane temperatures and conditions so we ride South East on 100 to make it to Slovenia. The last km are quite rainy so we make a short stop to make way for the storm and after a hard day riding we finally make it to Kranjska Gora. As soon as we all unpack our stuff at the local hostel where the limited personnel does its best to serve a large group like ours, we don't hesitate to go out looking for a restaurant hungry like wolves as we were. We pass through the central church on our way:
And shortly after we find ourselves a restaurant. Food is a thing there. The local kitchen is quite Austrian influenced and the portions are huge. I said huge. I share with another mate a mix grill that was supposed to be for 2 but this is easily a generous dinner for 4 hungry persons.
At the end of eating and drinking both in large quantities my friend Antonello comes to my ear saying "you know this area is famous for their strudel, would you like one if they do them here?". You bet my answer...but you'd be surprised by what arrives at my table later. That strudel has the size of a shoe box. Of course I eat it despite the lack of space in my stomach for it but there is always space for such a thing. I'm drooling each time I recall it. Back at the hostel some of us have to share a bed with another two guys for the first time in our lives as our group flooded their rather small property. I bet last time we'll ever sleep like this as well :)
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