Two weeks ago a bunch of Europpos were hooning across central Europe for the Alpine edition of the 2018 Europpomeet. I will be doing a multi-part write-up of the events and stuff we came across during the meet. Today part 2!
Up to this point, the Alpine edition of the Europpomeet included many things, like culture and beer (part 1 and 2). We were lacking true alpine passes though. That was going to change on day 5, as this day would see us loop all the way from the middle of Austria, through Slovenia and into Italy!
Day 5 started off at the foot of the Großglockner, the highest mountain of Austria, which is blessed a few great stretches of asphalt (and cobble stones) running over its flanks. Perfect for a drive with a view!
Having scraped the ice of the windows, filled up the cars (with petrol, and a bit of oil for schaefft), and paid the toll it was time to head up! Sadly the road wasn’t completely empty, so we had to restrain ourselves a bit. But well, at least that allowed us to do plenty of stops to check out the scenery!
After driving all the way up the cobble stones of the Edelweissspitze, we headed down the other side of the Großglockner, and continued on the Helmut Pfeifhofer Porsche museum in Gmünd. On the way down we did start to notice the brakes of the Twingo, 505 and Lincoln started to smell a bit. Ah well, that’ll fix itself...
It’s just a small collection of Porsches, and doesn’t compare in any way to Porsche’s own museum in Stuttgart. However, what makes it special is that it was there in Gmünd where the first car was built 70 years ago. Ferdinand Porsche moved part of the company there in 1944, disguised as a sawmill, so that they could continue engineering without risking everything being lost to an airstrike.
Having spent some time there, it was time to move on, as we still had to drive to Slovenia, and from there into Italy. So to the Austrian-Slovenian border it was (without using highways of course, what would be the fun in that?) Having crossed the border (there was still a, presumably Russian, tank sitting there) we climbed the Vršič pass, a road with 50, cobbled, hairpins through the Julian Alps, which was built in WO I by Russian POWs.
It’s an absolutely stunning road, with amazing views, be it a bit too bumpy though where the cobble stones transition into asphalt, causing the cars to handle a bit iffy. Also the steep descent wasn’t that good for the Twingo’s brakes, which had decided they needed a smoke break... I decided to keep going though, as the wind would probably cool them down again.
Following the Vršič pass, we drove a few other smaller passes to cross the border to Italy, followed by what probably was world’s narrowest road. It’s a shame the Lincoln was driving in another group, because I would have loved to see it manoeuvre through all those turns. (Sadly no pictures, because we didn’t stop, and it was slowly getting dark.) After the sketchy descent of that road in the dark, we arrived at our overnight hotel. Because it is Italy, we treated ourselves to a good 4 course meal, with some wine, because why not?
Join again next time, when we start in Italy, for a dash to the Austrian border during sunset!