Weekend trip continued

Dornbirn Travel Blog

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This is the border crossing from Germany to Austria close to Hörbrantz, Austria.
After leaving the diary we went straight on to our hotel.  This was not without incident however, because just after crossing into Austria, we saw some signs with seemed to mean a toll of some kind, but no toll booths or anything.
So as we went through a long (~7km) tunnel we were worried that perhaps we might be in danger of getting ticketed.  We didn't get a ticket, but the next day we asked the hotel about this and they told us that there is a toll to drive on the roads in Austria and you must purchase a permit, but these can be purchased at the gas stations, so we got one.

We arrived at our hotel without incident.  We got upgraded to a suite on the top floor which means that the hotel was pretty full.  The hotel is right in near a shopping mall and other commercial areas, so looking down was not so great, but looking up and around was pretty cool.


We decided to go exploring a bit.  Eric's plan was just to point the car towards the mountians and take whatever road looked most promising for a good view.  Now that we have our GPS system we felt pretty confident that we could find the hotel again no matter where we ended up.   Turns out that we ended up following some signs to the Rolls Royce Museum situtuated in the hills right near a stream.  We got there about 5 minutes before closing time, but Eric thought there might also be some good hiking.  Following another family that seemed to also want to hike, we found a and some pretty cool waterfalls.  The trail went on, but as it was getting late in the day, we didn't venture to far along the path and it seemed that we were only meeting people returning from their hikes, not just starting.
  On our way back to the car though, we did encounter quite a few people starting the trail, so I guess we would have been just fine.  Eric however had also seen some cars and trucks coming down a steep mountain road and wanted to see if we could find that road just for fun.  So we went back to the Museum where we left our car, tooks some pictures of the cars they had on display outside and then set about to figure out how t to get to the mountain road. 
Our GPS didn't register the road, but we found it.  After driving up some crazy curves we began to wonder where the road went.  Our curiosity increased when we saw a "Land Bus" coming up behind us and realized that he must be on his normal route, so there must be a city of somesort further up the road.
Up a mountian in a little hamlet called Ebnit, Austria.
  We passed several bus stop buildings that seemed to be in the middle of nowhere, but the road kept climbing.  We came to some tunnels that I was convinced were too small for the bus to make it through, but we, the road and the bus continued climbing.  At some point in the journey 3 cars came zooming up behind the bus and after some time the bus let them pass.  Eric decided instead of leading the procession up the hill, to follow the 3 cars, so he also let them pass and then we continued our climb leaving the bus behind and increasing our pace to keep up with the 3 zooming cars.  At this point we encountered several more tunnels carved out of the mountain which were even more narrow and only wide enough for 1 direction of traffic and carefully manuvered around several cars coming down the mountain.
This is the road to and from Ebnit. The tunnels made me nervous!
  It seems the climbing cars get the right of way in the narrow areas.  There were many places to pull over to let oncoming traffic get around.
We finally reached what seemed to be the top at a little hamlit called Ebnit. After a few minutes of picture taking, the bus also rambled up the road.  At this point it was just the driver on board.  The bus continued up into town a little ways and then started heading back down -- still empty.  We decided to follow the bus down.  If you can believe it, going down seemed more harrowing than going up.  I tried to capture some pictures of the rock hewn tunnels and our route, but my pictures don't do them any justice.  I just kept reassuring myself that if the BUS could do it, then our little Fiat would have no problems.
Steep roads on the way down from Ebnit.
 

Once we reached the bottom again, it was getting dark so we headed back to the hotel.  We had been on the look out for a grocery store or bakery for some bread to have with our cheese, but hadn't found one.  On the way home, it was late and those types of places were closed so we had to settle for a convience store at a gas station. They had some packaged rolls that we puchased and took back to the hotel where we ate our bread and cheese while watching our Rick Steves Travel Tips DVD to prepare for our next weekend away. ;)
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This is the border crossing from …
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Up a mountian in a little hamlet …
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Sunset view from the 10th floor o…
Dornbirn
photo by: uswesty