2018 Day 53 – Austrian Alps

So long Lake Constance, we’re off to Austria, forging our way east towards Slovenia then Croatia. Well perhaps goodbye should not be said quite so fast – with its enormous length, it takes what’s left of the morning to drive past the lake’s waters. The drive takes us through Switzerland’s apple orchards for part of the day:

the borders are so close here that we cross from Germany to Switzerland to Austria within a few hours.

I’m looking forward to seeing a little more of Austria – we’ve driven through it briefly before, enroute to home and have always been taken by its green beauty and mountainous terrain.

Those of you who have been following our travels for a while, will know Chris is fearless. To this effect, he’s selected a path through the Austrian Alps.

Meanwhile, I’ll cling on for dear life – whilst the mountains are amongst my favourite places to be, their vertigo and terror inducing narrow winding roads are most definitely not!

Our memories of Austria prove accurate. Lushly green, forested and manicured perfection is offset all around by soaring peaks.

With pretty wooden houses and exceedingly pretty milk chocolate and coffee coloured cows wearing bells, it’s a fairytale setting.

We’ve arrived at an interesting time of year. With the advent of autumn, cows are being brought down from the high pastures to lower slopes, presumably for gentler overnight temperatures. At one stage traffic stops completely to allow large herd to pass.

As we drive up the mountain we can see the cows were brought down the bicycle track – can you imagine cycling up, trying not to have a heart attack, only to be greeted by a herd of cows thundering down? Evidence of their journey, both on the bike path and on the road can be seen the whole way up the mountain. Big cows, big poopsies.

Whilst Fearless navigates our path, I’m in photographic paradise – the scenery is utterly mesmerising.

It’s only occasionally, when I get a glimpse straight down, that I start to make squeaky noises. I’ve improved from my usual steady chant of “we’re all going to die” of prior years. I’m calling that progress.

We pass one gorgeous village after the other debating when and where to stop, endlessly greedy to see a little more.

Eventually though, we run out of steam at the top of a mountain near Stuben. It’s very late afternoon and fog is rolling in.

Even Fearless has his limits. I get the binoculars out, wishing for a little lynx kitten who is sick of having to catch his dinner. One who wants to come inside to be a hearth cat. Chances of success are exceedingly slim, but it’s nice to have a goal.

We spend a peaceful night, blanketed within velvety cloud.