In the Mountains – Schladming, Styria, Austria πŸ‡¦πŸ‡Ή

Surprise! We are in the snow and mountains of Austria, having driven the full length of mainland Italy. We have a visit planned here on Wednesday, but more of that later.

We woke this morning to a hard frost in Venice as we did a longer walk to give the girls a run before a long day on the road. We had a jobs day yesterday to finally finish our list before we get into the much colder weather. I had hoped to get out on my bike and managed a couple of laps of the park but the hydraulic brakes are sticking and need looking at. We managed to get all jobs sorted though in time to watch the London Irish v Quins game so not all work and no play.

We set out across the flat plains of northern Italy, with the hint of snow capped mountains in the far distance, so faint they might have been clouds. The mountains came larger and larger as they came into view, no foothills, just straight from the plains into the mountains.

Heading to the mountains

It felt like Christmas again as the gorgeous little mountain villages flew by with their snow capped rooves. Hard to believe within the same relatively small country there is the sun of Sicily and the snow of the northern mountains. The empty autoroute with smooth tarmac (you could tell we were in Northern Italy) whisked us over the border and into Austria.

On entering Austria we had to stop to get a Go-Box for paying for toll roads as we are over 3.5t. I had pinned on the map where to stop, however, we planned to stop at a station for LPG first. Although, the signs and in fact the station was earlier than it seemed to be on the official website and we just managed to make sense of the signs to pull in. It was a fairly simple procedure after that to buy. But requires your V5 doc. Applied to the windscreen it appears to be beeping the expected once as we pass under gantries so we appear to be working.

Go-Box installed at the Go Box Station

We then had to double back to get to only 1 of 2 LPG stations on route to Schladming, the second already being confirmed as out of order online. We also tried in Italy near the campsite, but this confirmed what we had found out online and from other campers at the site. Italy is not letting campers fill up at service stations, something to do with different rates of duty. The Italian petrol station redirected us to a motorhome dealership 5 minutes away. We went there and they were closed Monday mornings. So onto this station in Austria and…..we identify the pump as we pull on the forecourt, pull up behind the van. Only to realise moments later the van is a fuel pump repair van and he is currently working on the GPL pump and shakes his head at us 😨. We really are having no luck on this as with the cold weather we do need gas.

The drive north through Austria was gorgeous. Empty roads and stunning snow capped mountain views. We arrived at our campsite late afternoon and have set up camp ready to explore tomorrow.

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