Tuesday 18th July – Strass im Zillertal to Krimml

Our plan today is to bike up the Zillertal valley to a place called Zell im Ziller which was 23k away. The weather forecast was for rain at 12midday and a reasonable amount at that, so we opted for an early start. Our earliest start yet at 7.30am.

It was great biking through the valley floor around all the hay barns and between the farmers crops with a slight dew on the ground and a sweet coolness in the air. We needed to put on our “arms” against the cold but otherwise we were warm enough.

Once at Zell im Ziller we waited an hour for the local bus to take us over the pass which is 900 meters elevation gain which we never intended tackling on our bikes. The first bus to arrive was absolutely chockers with people and there was no way they were going to allow a couple of cyclists on. We always knew that there could be an issue as in the documentation says at the “drivers discretion” when it came to bikes.

Our next alternative was to wait for the 11.00am bus which we hope we have a better chance of getting on as it originates at Zell im Ziller. Failing this, it is a taxi ride or a train back the way we came and which will take us about six hours. So, as you can see, it is rather important to get on the 11.00am bus.

Whilst queuing we were reminded just how unpleasant the Austrians are when it comes to taking your turn. We experienced the same thing on the ski fields where it is real dog eat dog. Hope we do not have to utilize our Chinese technique we learnt in China a couple of years back, where you employ your elbows as battering rams. It is strange how some cultures are just so different from other cultures. In England they are extremely polite in a queue and in Canada they would apologize for being behind you in a queue. We know which type of culture we prefer.

So the 11.00am bus arrived and yet again there was no room for us to get on. We rode down to the information centre and they helped us to organise a taxi over the pass. It was pretty expensive but once we saw the distance we were taken it more than made up for it. The taxi climbed up the pass and we got spectacular views back towards the Zillertal valley. The driver did not speak any English which was fine but between us we sorted out where we wanted to be dropped off. He had a lovely dog called Buster who went everywhere with him on his runs.

We then commenced our ride down from a place called Konigsleiten. It was 10k downhill with a 9% grade.

Lots of hairpin bends as well as the road going over on itself and hanging off the side of the mountain. It was a recently opened road and there was a toll on it but we were excused.

We then came into the Salzach valley on the other side of the pass into a town called Krimml which is famous for the largest waterfall in Europe. We will visit it tomorrow as we have two nights here and will climb up the waterfall and take some great photos – hopefully, as the weather is looking a bit suss for tomorrow.

Our accommodation for the two nights in Krimml is a family run affair with a little dog called Snickers. He reminds us of Toque as is very cuddly and likes to be held. The building is very typical construction of the area.

The hotel is not busy and we have a great room with views of the mountains all around us.

Oops, think we spoke too soon. We went down for dinner and all these people came out of the woodwork and the food took forever to get delivered. Beginning to think we have booked into Fawlty Towers for two nights?!?!😳




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