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Curves with a view

Weeks ago I already registered for a sing-along concert on Sun, Oct 1, 2023 in the community center Großklein, southern Styria. Friends of mine organize a cultural event there every first Sunday of the month. Arrive the evening before the concert, spend the night in Leibnitz, and return to Vienna on Monday at the latest, that was the plan.

It turned out differently. Better. The unbelievably long, warm late summer also promised lots of sunshine for the last weekend in September, especially in southeastern Austria, so it was soon clear that I would leave the car and ride the Kawasaki.

Saturday morning presented itself in Vienna still cool-damp, but, contrary to my usual habit, I left the rain suit at home.

Via Gloggnitz and Feistritzsattel to Birkfeld, I progressed so quickly that I decided to make a small turn to Gasen, from there to the Teichalm, and extended the route from Weiz towards Feldbach in eastern Styria. Cruising according to desire, mood and sun position … I discovered “new” places and stretches of land, climbed the lookout at Ottersbach, with a magnificent 360-degree panoramic view, tingled along the southeast Styrian Hügelland wine road in the direction of the Slovenian border. After Strass we went up into the “Styrian Tuscany”, along the South Styrian Wine Road.

It was almost magical: The numerous wine taverns in the region were tempting with stormy weather, wine and chestnuts, yet the streets and alleyways were hardly busy, as if the cheerful people standing in dense groups were stuck in the pubs.

On Berti’s recommendation, I enjoyed my afternoon snack at the Buschenschank Dietrich, located somewhat off the beaten path near Gamlitz. A picture says more than a thousand words!

Sunday, again radiantly beautiful, and especially in the morning incredibly quiet, opened up wide views of the entire region for me. Sausal, Kitzeck, Demmerkogel, a single Kurveneldorado with “Ah and Oh!” effects. The track over the Weinebene in reasonably good condition, only in the upper section of the Carinthian side weather-related damage with bitumen tapes patched – and I have a huge joy with my Bridgestones, which I had me at the Wima International Rally in France, at Dafy in Gap, put on!

On the Hebalpe, because enough time reserves, I swung in the beautiful place St Oswald monastery spontaneously northward, on a narrow connecting road to Bad Gams. Here, during half an hour of driving, apart from a few tractors and peacefully grazing cows, I encountered only the five members of a Vespa gang. Landscape, sun, view and road were almost my private property, and because it was so beautiful, on the way back again on the Demmerkogel.

Very relaxed and harmonious was the evening chanting and singing in Großklein, where I could have dinner with my friends in the café of the community center. I was spared the search for an inn in the already noticeably early dusk.

Monday morning we met for brunch, which the mayor of Großklein was kind enough to invite us to! The journey home from noon I dedicated to the motto: always the nose after. The Navi remained packed, the part of the road map I had also lost a long time ago, and so I pulled the curves according to cardinal direction and gut feeling. Always east of Graz me northward holding, over Sommeralm and Teichalm, Joglland, and for a change on the Pfaffensattel , where the sight of the completely run down rest house almost a bit of melancholy arose. The Semmering route appears anyway, especially since the completion of the tunnel, as a strange mixture of construction site exits between empty or decaying tourist monuments from earlier times.

950 kilometers in a sloping position, combined with a feast for the ears, eyes and palate, a long weekend at the beginning of autumn could hardly be more enjoyable. Even my travel-tested mascot Otto seems to have a mischievous smile around his eyes since then.

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