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My experimental trip to Austria

Raj

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Went to meet a friend in Innsbruck, Austria. He was there to attend a workshop and asked if I am nearby and can meet so I decided to drive there. Partly inspired by all the travel stories I heard during our camping meets and to test myself and my machine I took up this trip.
The inbuilt satnav has many countries so that was a plus as I don't have to rely on anything else for my trip. LandCruiser will get me there and back. Google maps showed less time and distance but was not sure of the internet connection while roaming so relied on car's nav most of the time.

On 08th, I packed my toolkit, diff oil, engine oil, power steering fluid, break fluid and other garage items and arranged my bed at the back. On the way to eurotunnel I stopped at Halfords and purchased some europe travel essentials as this was my first time driving in Europe. It started snowing here on the day I left from here.

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I drove off eurotunnel on 08th evening and started driving. Although I didn't sleep much the previous night, was very excited and drove off. Planned to drive halfway about 600 kms and sleep in the car at Aire de danne in
France and continue rest 500kms in the morning.
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By 2 AM after driving about 520kms, I felt tired and slept at other services. I didn't even get out of the car. I just parked and jumped on the bed at the back. My sleeping bag and the bed were warm enough so no problem sleeping.
I slept for 2 hours and at 4 AM I started driving. At this point Google was showing 2 hours less than the car's satnav so started driving with it. It was raining heavily and visibility was poor. Somewhere near Zurich at 5 AM google maps ditched me and stopped speaking so ended up going the wrong way. I drove about 20 km but it didn't pick up the signal so used the car SatNav again and reached Innsbruck at 10:30 AM on the 09th.

Roads in France were bad, and visibility was poor due to heavy rain. Thanks to LandCruiser I didn't feel any of that harsh weather and bad roads. Its lighting was more than enough, and breaks and control over potholes and water puddles at 70 -80 mph good.

On Thursday and Friday went to Munich, Swiss, and some Ski centers and lakes in Austria, and on Saturday morning I dropped my friend at Innsbruck airport and started the journey back. This time I used inbuilt SatNav and that was the best thing I did. If I used google it would ve got me on some AI-suggested quick routes and I would ve missed all those beautiful and adventurous drives Christoph took me through. The journey was about 3 hrs more but it was worth it.

One the way back I was driving since 7:30 AM. Plan was to cover 700 miles and reach eurotunnel by 11PM. I drove through some Alps, small villages, and snowfall. Sometime in the afternoon, I reached one of those highspeed German roads. These roads left me tired and exhausted. I drove for 2-3 hrs until 5PM on these roads maintaining a speed between 90 - 110mph. Occasionally I did take it 120+ for overtaking and giving side to cars speeding behind me.

After driving for about 2-3 hrs on these roads at that speed, I stopped for fuel and I felt dizzy and couldn't walk properly so immediately postponed the Eurotunnel ticket to Sunday morning and slept in a parking lot. Not sure if its common to feel that way at high-speed driving or if I am too tired with out proper sleep for 3 days.

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Overall it was good learning. I can take it further to Pamirs with a bit more planning now. :) I am thinking I can use LandCruiser in its stock condition for my needs for now as I will always be alone on long trips.
 

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Gr8Yota

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Sounds like a great trip and beautiful scenery. Yes you’re right the Autobahns are fast but tiring as you’re concentrating hard all the time for the Beemers coming up behind at 140mph! The 200 makes a great tourer.
 
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Shayne

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Well done Raj .

Tired because it was an entirely new experience so your brain is processing at 10 times its normal rate . That speed demands you be very alert with all your senses tuned in listening and looking for potential problems . And then your sleeping pattern was out the window made worse by your not planning stops to give your body a chance to catch up .

The destination is not the most important thing on this type of journey . With a relaxed schedule based on 3 meals a day (even if you don't eat that often) and a set bedtime you could keep going for weeks , months and years .

Stop for a pee or cup of tea whenever you like and its not going to make you late for bed so you have all the time in the world to take in your surroundings and enjoy the freedom of being on the road .

When it really doesn't matter if you arrive today or tomorrow its a far more relaxing trip .
 

Howmanygoes

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There goes your virginity and a soon to be bigger hole in your wallet.
Well done on taking the initial steps. Sounds like you had fun.
 

Raj

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Landcruiser is too big for German cities. I went to one multi-storey park and ride spot in Munich. It was so tight, I couldn't park comfortably in any bays. Just came out and parked at Lidl's open parking bays. I didn't get a good feeling about Munich due to that parking issue and my friend got a little concerned as all the streets were deserted. Its just buildings and cars with very less sign of life. It felt like a dead city so we didn't spend much time there. I saw similar thing in Spain as well. All deserted streets and just buildings and cars parked. I felt any city in the UK has more life than the places I saw in Europe.
 

Shayne

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Its not the speed its just the unfamiliar , wrong side of the road , different scenery , a million things you acknowledge all day every day without ever noticing , our subconscious logs the expected without letting it interfere with our direct train of thought . You have never seen the tree you drive past every day but you will notice if its gone .

If you went out on a commercial fishing boat you would be exhausted in just a few hours just because everything is moving snapping and banging , even the floor . Even if they don't throw up only one in ten come back for a second try . Its a different world and a lot to take in until you understand which is doing what and why .
 

clivehorridge

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A brave outing Raj, well done.
It‘s a bit of a coincidence, but last month we went to Solden (not far from Innsbrook) for a ski holiday - by road (our friend drove us because muggins here got his license suspended 10 days before departure for speeding).
Anyhoo, instead of sharing the driving, of course our friend had to do it all.
We had divided the journey each way with a stop-over in / near Budapest (remember we’re coming from the opposite direction from Romania).
If I remember correctly, it was just under 900 km (560 miles) on the first day, and that was enough with 5 of us in a medium sized car, the driver was starting to lose concentration and we were all suffering with cramped legs and square butts! We had a few stops on the way, but still it’s a haul.
The second day was more like 800 km (500 miles) and we had more stops.
Austria was beautiful - 7 days of skiing and wonderful mountain scenery.
The return journey was much the same, mostly motorway just to cover the distances in time.

So now you’re a seasoned overlander, don’t forget we welcome all members to visit us here in Romania in the summer. We started doing this in 2015 and had between 3 and 5 Land Cruisers every year till COVID hit.
2019 was the last visit. If you fancy kicking these visits off in summer 2023, you’re more than welcome.

Well done for your first trip anyway, you seemed to cope pretty well.
Most UK visitors split the journey here into 3 days.
 

Raj

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Thank you Clive for the invite. I don't plan things in advance, I might plan something up suddenly and visit you with 3 days or a week's notice. :)
Sitting and driving for a day in Landcruiser felt ok. It was only speed driving that exhausted me otherwise it was a good drive. As a bonus, I have the luxury of stopping the car and going to the back to stretch my legs without even getting out of the car. My journey was not too long one way. Its only 800 miles one way and I thought I would do it in 15hrs but took about 18-20 hrs.

During this trip, I also tested my lifestyle. I eat once a day and It's like having a long-range fuel tank for my body with less stops needed to buy and eat food. This is definitely beneficial as I ate in the UK while going and didn't have to worry about food until I reached Innsbruck (approx 800 miles).
 

Howmanygoes

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I eat once a day
Madness. Even sedentary an adult male needs around 1800 calaries a day and your better off little and often than one sitting. would help.with concentration levels.

I tried to break up 3k calories into 5 meals. Though honestly, now married with children I've given up counting the calories.
 
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Jon Wildsmith

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Love how easily big distances can be covered on European motorways. We skied in Italy in January, 14 hours door to door both ways with comfort breaks.
 
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