Big downhills, lakes and some trains

Bodonsee downhill

Our gasthaus owner in Lindau told us about the gondola up their big local peak, Pfander, so we added a day, biked back to Bregenz (Austria again), and let them carry our bikes to the top.


Then a 16km downhill run to the lake, punctuated by a few wee climbs, ever changing vistas of the lake, farms and forests. We slowed it down when we could, and I prolonged it further by leaving our lunch at the side of the road, giving us an opportunity to do some of it again. Easily the best ride of our lives.20181006_143553

Four countries before lunch

The weather was staying warmer than expected so we decided to go over the Brenner pass to Italy, taking a train to Innsbruck to get us started, and incidentally giving us the best train journey ever, anywhere. That gave us the choice of adding Lichtenstein to the list of countries as the only train left from Buchs in Switzerland, about 50k up the Rhine from the Bodonsee.

(From my Facebook post)

Four countries before lunch!

This morning we left Landau (Germany), rode across Austria (only about 20km at this point), hopped over to Switzerland to ride up the Rhine, zigged back into Austria to cross the border into Lichtenstein, then crossed back into Switzerland at Buchs to catch a train to Innsbruck (Austria). Mind boggling scenery all day.

Tomorrow we conquer Italy

South Tyrols

We took the train up from Innsbruck to save an 800m climb to Brenner Pass, and then had a 30 km downhill run to Naz, way up one side of the enormous valley. AirB&B’s exist again so we stayed in Naz, speaking English slowly to Maria, our host, as we cooked our own dinner at last.

Next morning’s downhill run felt like a 10000 m drop into the Dolomites, with more of that mind-boggling scenery that would have to be photograph by Ansel Adams to do it justice. A 1000m cliff with a monastery halfway up has to be seen or described by a poet. We stayed at Tramin the home of gerwurtztraminer and had dinner at Kastelaz Keller – google it – where Jill had a glass of the apparently lovely stuff.

More of the same the next day but we moved out of the German Italian speaking part into pure Italian and and stayed in the surprisingly interesting Rogereto in a 17th century apartment for only $NZ62. Cooked our own meal and ate in the terrace surrounded by old stuff and mountains.



Lake Garda

The biggest lake in Italy but you wouldn’t know it to look at it, limited as you would be by the 10km smog barrier. Avoin Riva del Garda unless you like resort towns, hop on a ferry to Limine, cashing in on its name by adopting a lemon theme, to ride their 2km suspended cycleway full of slow old (our age) pedestrians, then catch another across the lake to ride down to Garda along the shore path mostly. By then you won’t be bothered by the sight of the far shore, and you might, like me, leave your glasses at the beach side cafe so it won’t matter anyway.


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