Day 28: Farchant, Germany to Landeck, Austria
These guys changed my route
I rode out of Farchant, headed for Italy via Brenner Pass. I knew it wasn't a great choice, since it carries LOT of traffic, but I thought it would be OK. Tonight I'm in Austria, well west of Innsbrook at Landeck on the river Inn. I met several groups of bike tourists today, and the first group I met, Germans from Düsseldorf, told me that Brenner was not a good idea for bicyclist on either the Austrian or Italian sides, and that I would be much better off taking a pass, I think it is called Resia pass, that was very near the point where Switzerland, Austria, and Italy meet. That would mean adding at least a day, maybe two, in the Alps - great sacrifice that! - and would greatly improve my riding conditions and add a lot of great scenery. Being sensible, sometimes, I got them to help me reroute and, instead of riding through Innsbrook, which I admit I wasn't looking forward too, I rode up the Inn River Valley today and tomorrow I'll ride into Italy.
The Inn River Valley
No picture can do it justice, it is simply stunningly beautiful
You can see B 171 to the left, the Inn in the middle, and the Autoroute to the right
Of course, Farchant wasn't exactly ugly!
And there was a lot of spectacular scenery today
this is the north side of the mountains north of the Inn
I had a great rain/rest day in Farchant. It rained all day, sometimes quite hard, and there were thunderstorms in the evening, but today dawned partly cloudy and stayed dry all day. It was much cooler - nice when you are climbing a lot and I climbed over 4000 feet today in 70 miles - and threatened rain late in the afternoon, but didn't actually rain till late evening. I hope the weather tomorrow is as good.
I rode out of Farchant, heading for Austria on B 2 which runs through the Partenkirchen part of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. I expected an uphill ride for most of the day since the land rises towards the Alps, but the actual ride to Partenkirchen was pretty flat. After Partenkirchen, there was a long climb and at the top of that climb I met the German tourists who rerouted me. We visited about a variety of things while we rode togeher to Klais where they headed off on a different route. It was good to get the improved route and good to get to visit with each of these tourists while we rode togeher on bike paths.
In Partenkirchen, 97 km to Brenner Pass
This is a small town between Farchant and Garmisch-Partenkirchen
note the tall church steeple
And this is the bikepath on B2 after Garmisch-Partenkirchen
I stopped in Mittenwald for lunch at a restaurant that had a wireless network and a nice laptop which I could use for email, but no floppy drive so I couldn't upload my last three web pages and corrected versions of the html files for all the earlier pages. That's one of the things I did on my rain day, and, someday, I'll get it, as well as this page, on my site < grin >. The restaurant wasn't very good, but it's single computer was the only public internet access in town and the owner was quite nice.
After lunch, I rode on south on B 2 which had a bike path for a while and then lost it. Traffic wasn't bad after the bike path went away, so it wasn't a big loss. When I came to Austria, the road changed a bit and there was a border sign, but it really was about like going from one county to another in the US.
Cruising on B 2 near Austria
A while later, the road started climbing and, a few hundred meters of vertical later, I turned off through Seefeld to go to the Inn River Valley west of Innsbrook instead of to Innsbrook. I had suggested this route to my German friends, and they had said "Good idea, most of the climbing is done before Seefeld." Now, seeing that Seefeld was almost at the top of the hill on the way to Innsbrook, I understood what they meant.
There were some short, steep, climbs getting from Seefeld to Mosern, a small town two km away, and then a great downhill into the river valley. Great that is, if you didn't mind loosing about half a kilometer of, hard earned, altitude!
The view on the way down was dangerous - I had to force myself to concentrate on safely getting down this long steep hill with many corners rather than staring, open mouthed, at the river valley. When I was more than half way down, I was stuck behind a slow truck so I stopped at a restaurant parking lot to take pictures of the valley.
Climbing to Seefeld
The south side of the mountains that are the north wall of the Inn Valley
seen from near Seefeld
The same tall church steeple in a town near Imst in the Inn River Valley
When I got down into the valley, I rode through Telfs and then made my way across the Inn to B 171 and then to a bike path. The path was nice, but slower than riding on the road and, when in ended a mile or two later in Reitz, I got back on B 171 and stayed there. I rode B 171 about 30 miles to Landeck, stopping for a sack at Silz and stopping again after Roppen to check my mapping software. The first ten miles or so that I rode in the valley was flat, but by Roppen it had started some serious climbing, and the rest of the ride was pretty hilly. I think there was at least 2000 feet of climbing in that last 20 miles. B 171 would climb hundreds of feet vertical , almost like it was starting up a pass, and then descend to the next town. This pattern was repeated for all the towns after Roppen until, after climbing out of Imst and descending to Schönwies, the road stays pretty much along the river to Landeck. There is one, fairly long but well lit, tunnel near Landeck and one, open at the side, roofed section of B 171. The river valley is getting pretty narrow here and B 171, the railroad, and an Autoroute all run through it and all have to deal with the steep sides.
Looking back in the flat section of the river valley
Looking back at Imst
The tunnel entrance
The Inn, near Landeck