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Slovenia and our exploding tyre, then into Austria

Photos do no capture the whole picture.

In Slovenia all roads lead to Ljubljana and to go either north or west the motorway passes close to the capital. We had been to Ljubljana three times before so visiting was not on our list. After the busy day before we decided not to drive very far and headed in the direction of Hotel Kanu, in their carpark they have a motorhome place for 10 euros which includes showers, toilets, wifi and a place to fill up with water and empty the toilet. We have been here 3 times before and the price is still 10 euros, good value!

Exploding tyre

We had just passed Ljubljana and were driving on the motorway about 8 kms from our destination when we heard a loud bang and a flapping noise. After stopping to investigate we found one of our back tyres had exploded, sounds dramatic but when your see the photo of the tyre you will understand that it was not just a flat.

As you can see it was not just a simple puncture but a complete deterioration. We couln't drive as it was because the loose flap kept hitting the underside of the vehicle.

As you can see it was not just a simple puncture but a complete deterioration. We couln’t drive as it was because the loose flap kept hitting the underside of the vehicle.

Luckily the rear tyres are dual and we could easily pull over. We tried driving slowly to get to the exit ramp but as the tyre had a large section peeled off every revolution meant that it hit the underside of the floor. We had to get the tyre off! This meant pulling over as far as we could to the side of the road as the traffic was coming past at 130kms per hour, then putting our reflective triangle out to warm the oncoming traffic and wearing our reflective hi-vis vests.
We knew that there was a service station only two and a half Kilometres just past the off-ramp, so we took off the damaged tyre and made our way there to find a tyre place. Luckily they told us there was one at the end of the village and at the tyre place they gave us a quote for 4 new tyres.
The rear tyres had all been purchased in Spain on our first trip and if my calculation are right have done about 75,000kms and are 6 years old so they were all due to be replaced, we didn’t want another tyre problem especially in a more difficult place. The tyre man ordered the new tyres and we went to Hotel Kanu for the night.

Good having the hydraulic legs it makes changing the tyres easy.

Good having the hydraulic legs it makes changing the tyres easy.

A small bracket also needed repairing and he fixed it was a pop rivet.

A small bracket also needed repairing and he fixed it was a pop rivet.

North or West ????

We were at the cross roads where we could go west through the top of Italy or north into Austria into Germany, across the top of Switzerland. The weather forecast in the places along the way suggested it was going to be very hot and not having air-conditioning we thought we would head north into the mountains, it’s good to be flexible. The tyres were fitted in the morning, a bit poorer in the wallet but feeling confident we headed off towards Austria.

We have been in Eastern Europe for most of our trip and it was an eye opener to see the roads full of traffic with caravans and motorhomes everywhere. Previously we would go for days without seeing another motorhome and now the roads were awash with them. When we see all the Dutch cars, caravans and motorhomes we always joke that Holland must be empty.

Into Austria

In the past trips we have travelled through Austria as a way down to other places and it is usually going north/south or south/north. This time we decided to go through the middle, east/west and after driving north for while we left the motorway and took the secondary road towards Lienz.
Austria uses a vignette system but there are still some places where they also charge a toll the first one is the Karawanken tunnel just as you come out of Slovenia and into Austraia this was 7 euros and at the toll booth you can also buy the vignette which is about 8 euros for 10 days.

We were heading north and as you can see our lanes have a few cars, whereas the traffic going south is bumper to bumper. At one stage there was a 6 km line up.

We were heading north and as you can see our lanes have a few cars, whereas the traffic going south is bumper to bumper. At one stage there was a 6 km line up.

Glad we were going north.

The traffic coming south was a constant flow of traffic as it was the weekend and the start of the holiday season. The Karawanken Tunnel was only a single lane either way and we were fine as the traffic was light going north. This was not the case going south, at the end of the tunnel we saw the traffic was backed up and when we calculated it was for about 6 kilometres. The two lanes of traffic had to slow for the toll booth and then form one lane to drive through the 7 kilometre tunnel.

The road leading to the Grossglockner. Further along we found our spot for the night.

The road leading to the Grossglockner. Further along we found our spot for the night.

In Lienz we took the road north towards the Grossglockner in search of a place to stay and also take in the scenery. A small clearing next to the river was spotted and we turned around to check it out. It turned out to be a pleasant spot and Ewout took the opportunity to get into the river to rinse off, luckily the water was not icy cold. In the evening we were joined by an Austrian motorhome which also makes us feel like it was ok to be there.

Overnight place next to the river.

Overnight place next to the river.

Ewout having a rince off in the river. The water was cold but not icy.

Ewout having a rince off in the river. The water was cold but not icy.

Sunday 19th July
Crazy busy traffic in Austria

There are several ways to cross through Austria where we were from south to north. The Grossglockner, The Brenner Pass and also the Felbertauern tunnel are some of the ways to go. We have travelled the Grossglockner, and the Brenner Pass in 2005 so we thought we would try the Felbertauern. It was Sunday and the weather was fine and it seemed as if everyone was out for a Sunday drive especially the motorbikes who love the windy scenic drives. There were also plenty of prestige cars doing the drive as well. The tunnel toll was 10 euros and we paid the same as the cars did which is a change as most times we are more expensive.

This is a Detomarso Pantera. These were built between 1971 and 1974. There were plenty of other newer prestige car to been seen.

This is a Detomarso Pantera. These were built between 1971 and 1974. There were plenty of other newer prestige car to been seen.

By mid-afternoon after driving for quite a while we stopped at Schwaz in a small aire near to the town centre. It normally cost 4 euros for the night but an Italian family had decided not to stay and gave us their ticket. When we arrived there was only 2 motorhomes at the end of the day it was full and people were coming and had to go elsewhere to find an overnight place.

Austria is always a pleasure to drive through the scenery can be breathtaking, the roads are all good and the traffic is normally not too crazy. Photos just don’t seem to capture to views and how the place feels.

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