Published: June 27th 2010June 26th 2010
Friday, 25 June 2010
Km so far: 3909
Awoken at 5 am by the hotel fire alarm. Very cold, no heating in the room so we decided more sleep was not going to happen and packed up to begin the journey across the Alps to Bavaria.
Leaving town at 7 am was ideal, a crisp clear summer morning. We took the road heading west from Cortina through a mountain pass and it was a thoroughly enjoyable drive with very little traffic at that time of the day. We came across a couple of animals that looked like small beavers; we think they are marmots, and they seem to be the local mascot. Stopped for breakfast in a mountain café at the top of the pass, amazing views including a charming corrie lake of turquoise water a few hundred feet below.
Thereafter the traffic started to become heavier as we came through the Dolomites and stopped for a break and coffee in Chiuso, before heading north to the Austrian border by autostrada.
Quite difficult to tell that we had entered Austria - we didn’t see a border sign. The Brenner pass motorway is very busy and only dual
carriageway so it was not a relaxing drive, with hundreds of Harley Davidsons mixing it with the trucks and caravans. The north end of the pass is Innsbruck, but we did not stop and turned west to take the Fern Pass to the west of the Zugspitz to reach Bavaria. It was a Saturday afternoon but this really was the worst traffic ever, crawling much of the way, the road defeated by sheer volume of traffic compounded by numerous roadworks.
Nevertheless, we were still benefitting from our early start and we arrived in Bavaria before 3 pm and went directly to the two Romantic Castles outside Fussen, Hohenschwanngau and Neuschwanstein.
We took tours of both castles. Both tours started later than advertised, in spite of the exhortations to make sure you turn up at your appointed time, but both were fascinating with knowledgeable guides and interesting subject matter.
Arrived in Fussën around 7:30. Went into town for some delicious but overfilling local cuisine. Fussen itself seems like a charming and relaxed little town, it was a lovely warm evening to sit outside in one of the town squares, thoroughly pleasant.