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TDB2015 – Day9: entering the alps

our day starts early again. after a hearty breakfast, we check-out and are personally seen off by the owner of the guest house.

"exit" in bavarian dialect

“exit” in bavarian dialect

as a first, today, heavy rain instead of sunshine awaits us as we get into TW560.

no sun?

no sun?

one design drawback of a twike is the canopy which opens to the front. during rain, this exposes most of the interior, allowing it to get wet. when it rains, twike pilots are able to get into their vehicles very quickly, thus keeping the rain entering to a minimum. less ideal is our case where we have to pack the twike – this takes much longer than the 3-4 seconds required for normal entry. TW560 was quite wet by the time we got in.

a grey and wet start for today

a grey and wet start for today

as a result, we had our windscreen fogging up constantly during the next hour or so. fortunately, the rain stopped shortly after.

slowly things get better

slowly things get better

we enter the quaint little town of rattenberg. (rat hill, i always wonder how places got their name…)

entering rattenberg

entering rattenberg

rattenberg from outside

rattenberg from outside

our road takes us up the inn valley – we have very variable weather. from short rain showers to bright sunshine.

austria's inn-valley

austria’s inn-valley

austria's inn-valley, just a short while later

austria’s inn-valley, just a short while later

not quite sure if the blue skies will stay

not quite sure if the blue skies will stay

arriving in jenbach, we head to the only place that makes sense: siko solar. siko has been in the solar business since the early 80s and is still doing 100% of its business with solar products. even 100% of their hq building is covered in thermal panels.

i really like their by-line

i really like their by-line

also, 100% of their electricity is solar, with on-site storage.

a company that takes solar energy seriously

a company that takes solar energy seriously

we start charging as it starts raining again – we’re having problems getting all phases up, since the touch screen seems to have issues. one of the guys from siko then tells us to come with him – he offers us to charge in their production hall because it’s drier and there are tri-phase plugs there.

this is the stuff we like - serious infrastructure!

this is the stuff we like – serious infrastructure!

tri-phase from siko's production hall

tri-phase from siko’s production hall

waiting for tw560 to charge gives us a moment to look at its exterior which is extremely dirty from many dusty and dirty roads we’ve driven on since our start in tallin more than a week ago.

pan-european dirt

pan-european dirt

pan-european dirt, part2

pan-european dirt, part2

during our charge we also have to decide on how to go ahead from here. according to our general plan, we would be heading into the mountains from jenbach and driving across some passes, in and out of germany. the road i chose is exceptionally beautiful and june is the best time to attempt it – it is inadvisable during summer or – even worse – a summer week-end. another reason why i wanted to leave the inn-valley is because i’ve driven trough it what feels like a million times.

today, however, looking up the valley we would be taking, low dark clouds are waiting for us. we’re not in the mood to cross multiple passes whilst driving through low clouds and potentially lots of rain. we decide to stay in the inn-valley after all.

we’re rewarded with the sun staying with us and we relax whilst driving along the valley. as we slowly reach the end of yet another charge, we decide to leave the valley for a little trip up to the mieminger plateau – just to break the monotony of following the valley and drive to a multi-mode charging station just beside a tyrolian gasthaus.

obermieming on the mieminger plateau

obermieming on the mieminger plateau

as we arrive at gasthaus stern we’re pleasantly surprised on more than just one level.

the charging station is serious allowing simultaneous AC and DC charging. > which we have to try although the hotel offers a red CEE plug, too. (i’m always curious if my DIY-non-standard Type2 plug works)

tw560 & hotel rental ev

tw560 & hotel rental ev

i get the rfid card from reception and with a swish, we’re set.

lots of meta information

lots of meta information

brilliant.

no discrimination here

no discrimination here

the charging station offers, besides 100% co2-free electricity helpful advice on what to do with ones’ time during a charge… 🙂

we're having a beer, ok?

we’re having a beer, ok?

entering the hotel for our beer, we are greeted with hotel stern’s USP‘s:

who could resist? (especially if a high-power charging station is part of the deal) :)

who could resist? (especially if a high-power charging station is part of the deal) 🙂

hotel stern is extremely committed to sustainability – besides having been in business as a guest house for over 300 years. (which in itself is proof of sustainability)

in their publication one can find facts about how many kg’s of co2 every guest produces during their stay, what the hotel has done during the last 20 years to reduce their foot print and their offerings towards guests which reflect this conviction. during their recent renovation, most of the materials used were up-cycled from existing ones.

below you can find a high-res pic from this publication – click the picture if you want to read the content.

hotel stern's sustainability manifesto

hotel stern’s sustainability manifesto

situated in beautiful landscapes, i would love to come back one day and sample their offering in full.

our usual tri-phase charges are completed within 60 minutes – no different this time. instead of driving back down to the valley, we decide to keep heading west via tarrenz and are rewarded with beautiful views and sunshine.

tarrenz valley

tarrenz valley

we then continue towards the place we’ve decided to stay for the night.

st. anton am arlberg - dramatic views

st. anton am arlberg – dramatic views

shortly after taking this photo, we’re back to torrential rain. we drive to st. anton am arlberg at the foot of the arlberg pass and check into a rather empty but nice hotel where i go relaxing in the sauna for a while before joining jc at the hotel bar for some drinks and a bite.

we discuss our options for tomorrow, since we still can drive part of our original route tomorrow via lech and zürs, given nice weather – keep your fingers crossed!