Arriving back to Venice it was like Christmas in July as we had a special delivery from Bumot Motorcycle luggage in Bulgaria! Finally got to put our rather large collection of stickers on too! So stoked to have the newest luggage system from Bumot!
We picked up the 650 from BMW. They found that the front wheel bearings needed to be replaced and that the swing arm bearings just needed lubrication to fix the noise. They did a great job at Motorsport SRL Mestre. Thanks so much to Gigi the head mechanic who speaks English perfectly and helped us so much with translation. He is also super excited about his Choral group.
Now for some serious walking in the vehicle free city of Venice.
On our second day we concentrated on wandering the smaller neighborhoods. We also visited the Jewish Ghetto area.
Today we are going north again thru the Italian Dolomites and our original plan was to stop in Lienz Austria just over the border, but we arrived there at just after 2 pm and decided to press on to Zell am See and go over the Glossglockner pass.
“The Grossglockner High Alpine Road is the highest surfaced mountain pass road in Austria. It connects Bruck in the state of Salzburg with Heiligenblut in Carinthia via Fuscher Törl and Hochtor Pass at 2,504 m (8,215 ft). The road is named after the Grossglockner, Austria’s highest mountain. “
The weather on the pass yesterday was poor, today’s forecast is cloudy, but not rainy and for tomorrow it may or may not be better (or worse). We decided to go for it in case the weather is poor and we miss the iconic road that Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear said was “The best driving road in Europe”. We also planned to meet fellow rider Mario (Tradex56), who has followed our RR on ADV since the beginning. He posted to the RR that he had been sorry to see we had ridden very close to his home on our way to Bassano del Grappa. It was Fantastic of him to ride the 100 km to meet us for a coffee in Cortina d’ Ampezzo.
We headed north from Venice on the SS 13 until Treviso and then made for the even smaller roads thru Pieve di Soligo and over the Boldo pass to Trichiana. Here there are a number of run of the mill switchback, but as you come towards what looks like a dead end you can see a ladder of switchbacks in tunnels that go up the mountain side. It is a one way at a time system controlled by traffic lights.
Then you ride thru the Parco Nazionale della Dolomiti Bellunesi and thru Agordo, Cencenighe Agordino, and Alleghe. From here we headed to Cortina d’Ampezzo. It was so cool to meet Mario in person.
We crossed the border into Austria and stayed on the small roads since we had not yet bought a toll vignette. This is a sticker you must have to take the highways. It is 5 E for 10 days per bike.
There started to be more clouds, but we went for it and continued past Lienz. Riding north from Lienz is very scenic and you get to Heilgenblut am Grossglockner without paying any tolls.
The 48 km Grossglockner has an outrageous toll of 25 E, but it must be done and “at least they give you a sticker!” After paying the toll you head up the first set of switch backs and at the T intersection you go left first towards the Pasterze, Glacier.
We had about 3 minutes of rain and then the sun dried the road. Here at the end of the road there is a 5 story car parkade and a separate motorcycle parking lot so it must get busy. They even have free lockers for helmets and gear. We checked out the view and lots of other riders checked out our bikes.
Then you back track to the T and go on towards Zell am See. This is the “high mountain” road with lots of switchback and sweeping panoramic views.
There is a small peak (Edelweißhütte) who’s summit is called Bikers point and this is reached also by a series of tight switchbacks on a cobblestone road.
The descent from the Glossglockner is also very scenic and again with lots of switchbacks. It is now after 630 and we have not had lunch.
The plan is to head to the camp ground at the north end of the lake, set up and hope they have a restaurant. If not it is a 5 km ride to the town. We arrive to the packed camp site, but found a patch of grass in one corner just big enough for our tent. We started to set up and a couple of Dutch riders came over with a plate of grilled meats, vegetables, and bread for us. They said “ you have arrived so late (7 pm) that you must be starved and you must eat this”. Then they said “ We are just over there and we have beer so see you soon”. Super nice group of Dutch and Swiss riders that we spent a very nice evening with. Luckily the tuk shop was still open and we could get some beers for them as a thank you.