Thursday, 8 September 2016

ALPS TO THE DOLOMITES AVOIDING TOLLS

8th September 2016

6th.September
Drove down to FÜSSEN and into Austria, in low cloudy drizzle , which cleared after we left the long tunnel before Nassereith, and we emerged into sunshine and warmth. A nice easy day and stopped in RIED IM  OBERINNTAL, a pretty little village and nice ACSI campsite, although the addition of €2.20 tourist tax  and €3.20 garbage tax to the €17 fee seemed a bit steep.. however there was a nice supermarket to replenish beer and wine.

7th.September
Another easy drive out of Austria into Italy....amazing how the neatness and orderliness of Austria disintegrates into the messy ramshackleness of Italy within a hundred yards of crossing the border. You know immediately that you're in another country. Stopped at the hydro electric reservoir at Reschen for coffee and look at the church steeple that still pokes out of the water after the villages were flooded between 1940/50 (it took a long time to build)and from reading the displays it still causes a lot of resentment as no one was ever compensated. Over the Reschen Pass into Italy, still a wonderful scenic drive and through nils of apple orchards as you travel south and down. Since FÜSSEN  the traffic has been nose to tail both ways, not least with bikers of all descriptions but mainly of the Harley Davidson variety. Have never seen so many in such large packs. To BOLZANO, best avoided, and then took the non - toll road which ran under,over and across the A22 motorway heading back up the Brenner Pass to Innsbruck. We have to head back north for a while to pick up the route to Slovenia. We stop at CHIUSA KLAUSEN...every town and village has 2 names herd in the South Tyrol, one Italian and one Austrian and all the shops and hotels have 2 descriptions. Obviously an identity crisis but wonderful for printers and sign writers. Confuses the hell out of the tomtom. Anyway we are looking for an Aire at Chiusa, but only find the campsite. After fainting when he asks for €39.80 to stay the night, I spot a notice about  a Stellplatz ( which is listed in the 2016 Camperstop book) and raise an eyebrow. It has been moved from outside the campsite to 100 yds away by the station but  only (only!) costs €16.90....a ridiculous price but better than €39.80. So we pay the money, get a passkey and stay there...exceedingly hot weather. Walk to village as the GF demands Prosecco, which is extraordinarily pretty and upmarket.

8th . September
Hot night. Leave CHIUSA,  non toll road back into Austria at San Candid,  and again the difference in the state of the countryside,the houses,villages and roads is remarkable within a mile. Also price of diesel. ...Italy  €1.45 Austria  €1.07. The queues at the 2 stations on the Austrian side of the border were enormous for obvious reasons. Lovely drive despite being besieged by bikers like wasps buzzing around.....again the traffic is constant, no doubt due to the lack of tolls. Also lots of cyclists on the cycle tracks which criss cross the valley. Lovely views of the Dolomites. At Oberdrauberg, we turn off the 100 onto the 111 and cross the Gailbergsattel Pass and drop down to KÖTSCHACH where we stay at an excellent campsite, Alpencamp Karten.

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