The Großglockner Hochalpenstraße ... And An Idea Was Born

Großglockner Hochalpenstaße
some mountains
It all started in the beginning of February when I scrolled through this very site to find a mild source of amusement. Then I stumbled over a post from "The Prefect Roads" which pictured the Großglockner Hochalpenstraße - or Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse; depending on the language of your keyboard - a high alpine road on the Großglockner, Austria's highest mountain just two meters shy of the 3.800.

Destination: Großglockner Hochalpenstraße

Zwei Fords mit Sicht auf den Großglockner ; Two Fords with view to the Großglockner
some Fords
While picking the final destination was easy, which route would I pick?

I haven't put a lot of thought into this until mid-May. At this time I was chewing Barb's ear off about going to the Glockner, and by then we had formed a reasonable friendship - she would become a vital part in this journey. Surprisingly she fancied another trip to the high alpine road as well. As fate would have it, we decided to go together.

Since she lives in Stuttgart and I live in the middle of nowhere south of Vienna we would need a meeting point. I handily offered Zell am See - since I've been there before - she accepted. This settled my route to Zell am See: I would drive via the A1 and then turn South at Salzburg:

Leaving me with a route that is 30 minutes faster than Barb's. Then I began to wonder out loud "who do you think would get there first?"

This was actually harder to settle than the thought and so we decided to figure it out. We would not race as in giving it a boot full à la Forumla One, instead we'd go more WEC about it. This would be a marathon, not a sprint. It also raised the question of my 30 minutes head-start:

Is it fair? After all, I would be in much clean air most of the time, while Barb would hit traffic in Munich. She claimed that this is far worse than Salzburg. Then again, her Autobahn is unrestricted, mine isn't. Furthermore, I would need long pit-stops since I am not used to driving for such a long time.

These arguments went back and forth, at some points trucks with chickens and cyclists on Autobahnen became involved. However, in the end, we settled that I am allowed keep my 30 minutes head-start, since I am a rookie road tripper and I was prone to do something stupid that would cost me the time - correct. Hence I dubbed it my "Rookie Bonus."

The Teams:


The race would be between my beloved Seat Ibiza - aka The Little Mite - driven by me, and a Ford Fiesta - aka a name I am not allowed to share - driven by Barb.

Young blood versus old wise dog. Rookie versus experience. Austria versus Germany. Black car versus mustard olive yellow car. Seat versus Ford. Spain versus America!

Okay ... maybe I am getting ahead of myself here ...

Two hatchbacks

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