Through Austria to Slovenia

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Day 3 (by Logan)

It was nice to sleep in a heated van last night, but especially nice to awaken to the view that surrounds us. I have imagined myself running through the Bavarian Alps for some time now and today is that day. A quick snack for energy, running shoes on and a stretch. Francy suggested a route for me to take, but I have a more challenging run in mind. With my GoPro camera in hand I’m heading down towards the valley, passing through the little village nestled in the side of the mountain surrounded by green rolling hills to a road. I follow that to the top, giving me two options. 1: continue along the road up the mountain or
2: head down another (which I later find out is the road to Austria, only 2km away).
I think I will go for a third option. I’ve noticed this little track beyond the fields that heads into the forest and up a very steep section of a nearby mountain. That’s the one. I’ve run as far as I can and now have to resort to walking due to the steep incline.

I keep noticing this deer every few minutes as I seem to be going in the same direction as him and must scare him off as I get closer. It is so fast and agile along this terrain, I have little hope of keeping up. It’s a shame I can’t zoom in with the GoPro and get some better footage.
Once at the top, it was back down through the forest and along a farmer’s field to the other side where I now can’t seem to find where we are camped. I’m sure I will find it.

Today we have decided to drive to Slovenia and possibly on to Croatia, instead of going straight to Italy.

Driving through Austria is awesome, however, we’ve realised that much can be missed by staying on the Autobahn (highway) all the way.

We’ve just turned off and decided to head around the Millstätter lake and a series of small villages. The Autobahn is very well designed with long tunnels that penetrate through mountains and bridges perched high up on cliffs, however it doesn’t even come close to this amazing scenery. This lake must be fed by the melting snow because the clarity and colour is just incredible. Combine that with equally blue skies, a mild temperature and a village with its style and architecture, surely belonging on the Discovery channel’s “must see destinations”.

Passing from Austria to Slovenia is through a 7km tunnel, which has a speed limit of 60km/hr. We just received a warm welcome from a local exiting the tunnel. He beeped his horn and waved his arm at us as he sped passed. I don’t think he appreciated being stuck behind a campervan driving so slowly for 7km through a tunnel. Oh well. I replied with a wave and a smile, which can sometimes have more effect than a finger out the window.

We’re quite impressed by the quality of the roads and highways thus far and after just a few hours we have reached our destination. Smlednik or as I pronounced it: Smellyd-?k. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but this village is cool. Surrounded by green fields and tree topped hills with the Alps not too far away, this little town seems to have so much pride and attention to detail in regards to all aspects of houses, buildings and landscapes.

The campsite we are staying at is actually a hotel with an area for campervans. It has been closed down during the wintertime and has the feel of a Bear slowly awakening from hibernation. For 10 Euros we get electricity, toilets and water.

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3 thoughts on “Through Austria to Slovenia

  1. How are you finding campgrounds in Europe? Via a web site or are you just driving to a destination and then looking? I am enjoying traveling thru Europe vicariously!

    • Hi, thanks for reading and commenting on our blog. Well we use different methods: I have a book with a list of campgrounds in Europe called “Board Atlas” also listing free campgrounds. Then we additionally search the Internet sometimes and other times we just drive wherever we want to go and then look for a nice spot. Today for example we drove along the Italian east coast and found a camping ground in azzurro lido right on the beach. Very beautiful. We enjoy traveling very much although still waiting for summer to come so less heating is needed. Have fun travelling yourself!

    • Hi, I think my former reply must have gotten lost. We use the board atlas, a book, listing free and non-free camp sites. Sometimes we also check the Internet. And lately we have quite often just spontaneously picked a nice spot as we are relying less on electricity (for heating) now than before in Austria. Enjoy your trip too! 🙂

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