After Salzburg Kitzbühel seemed a natural next stop and as the home of the most famous downhill ski race in the world it was on our list of must-sees.
Austria is not great for motorhomes – or rather the Tirol region isn’t – apparently they don’t like motorhomes stopping anywhere there and they don’t provide anywhere (except proper campsites) for them to stop. However our trusty book also let us down so we ended up on a carpark in Kitzbühel – not exciting but quiet and not in anyone’s way.
Next morning we were rewarded with more sunshine and clear skies so we headed into the town on our bikes and took the gondola up the hill to where the downhill race starts.
I wish there was some way of conveying how steep the exit from the start point is, unfortunately pictures just can’t show it, but I wouldn’t even have tried to walk down because of the near vertical nature of the slope. Only goats should be allowed on that run but it seems that skiers with whatsits of steel are also allowed.
The view from the café where we enjoyed Strudel and hot chocolate was stunning and while I though Chamonix and Zermatt where gorgeous, Kitzbühel looked even better.
After lunch we headed further into Austria and towards Lienz however finding somewhere to stay the night became a bit of a trial but because of the lure of a rather impressive looking summer toboggan run we hid away on a side street, joined a while later by a little Italian van. We felt safe at that point although committed to being gone nice and early so we didn’t upset the locals.
Onto the toboggan run, and have to admit Steven and I are slight adrenaline junkies, we’ve been indoor sky diving, took up skiing in our 40’s and got stuck up a mountain overnight in the Dolomites on our first holiday together – but that’s another story! However we aren’t on the small side so some activities are limited and after our experience of tobogganing in Zermatt with both of us on one sled (we ended up in a snow drift!) we were a little cautious.
However bought a value pack of 5 rides to share between us and got on the chair lift (never a pleasant experience for me with my fear of heights), up to the top of the mountain and over to the start point. Steven on first as he would be faster and me following. First time down the brake was on nearly all the time for me, second time not so much. Third time (we bought an extra ticket so we could both ride 3 times) I didn’t use the brake at all, instead I held on really tight as we twisted and turned down the 2.7km luge run. It was well worth the risk of staying in Lienz for the night I can tell you!
After a cup of tea we headed to Lake Garda. Crossing the border from one EU country to another is generally a non-experience but crossing to Italy was very obvious, the roads deteriorated immediately and none of the generous turn off’s that we had experiences through Germany and Austria. However Italy has Italian food, Italian café’s and Italian