The Hills Are Alive

What followed, the next six days, was a journey through a part of Austria that doesn't get a lot of visitors. On two stops I had to really
use my German: Kein Englisch hier gesprochen.       And not a lot of grand history, cathedrals, memorials — the region was always
a hinterland to Vienna, Salzburg, and the Danube valley.—— But the scenery was wonderful.












From a gradual climb into the hills I could
look back towards Klagenfurt in a
patch of sun twenty km behind me.






On the Packerbundestrasse
from Griffen to Wolfsberg.

A bundestrasse is a secondary highway often paralleling an autobahn.

It seems this winding road is a favourite with motorcyclists. The valleys
were filled with the buzz and howl of hot bikes all afternoon.









June 21st, the summer solstice, and there's a dusting of fresh snow on the peaks.











      Just after noon, at Twimberg there was a policeman by the roadside shooting speeders with his radar gun.
I pointed up and... No, I said "Entschuldigen, sprechen sie Englisch?" and he said "Of course!"
and I pointed up and asked if I would be allowed to take my bike on that road up there.

He said "...afraid not. Turn right and up through the Packsattel. It's more scenic." Packsattel is the name of the pass, about 1200m.



    I saw a lot of these fences just around this part of the country... a local folk craft.

On the way down the other side, another glimpse of the autobahn, the E66. 'E' means it's a euro-route, part of the continent-wide network of top-level highways.

This one gets you from Milan to Vienna in about 8 hours. In Austria it tunnels through mountains for about a quarter of its distance. No expense is spared for bridges and viaducts either.










This is something you see a lot of in Austria and Germany.


Hunting, german style.
The hunter sits up there above the field and waits for prey to come out of the woods.



...not that much different than ice-fishing in Canada



      Steep, steep steep descent into Graz.
      Here's a bit more about the Kunsthaus.  

The Murinsel (Island in the Mur) is a floating amphitheatre for concerts and plays.


        If you're interested in architecture, like I am, click /hrough.














    Perched on a crag above this castle, another example of Graz architecture, a little way further up the Mur valley on my way to Bruck.





      An easy ride. The valley gradually narrowed to a gorge, but the grade was easy. Any time you share a route with a rail track you know the grade won't be more than a few percent.








    Constant rain and rising river. The Mur flooded its banks but didn't reach the road.