This post tells of our dramatic welcome to Tirol and includes a few images of Alpbach and its surrounds.
There is a moment in the movie when the occupants of the car think the worst is over. The director creates that sense of space in time in which those sitting in the vehicle breathe out slowly, relief spreading over them, and then……BANG something lands on the windscreen. It’s the sort of thing that you associate with the dramatic movement in a story not with mundane reality.
So there we were driving along the A12 in Tirol and a storm – the Full Monty; thunder, lightening, strong winds – is causing chaos on the road. Lorries and cars were slowing down and having to negotiate their way around large branches which were being continually blown onto the dual carriage way, whilst some vehicles had simply being forced to stop on the hard shoulder by the winds and damage from the flying debris. Far to close, we could see whole trees being blown over by the force of the gusting winds.
We had just navigated our way around yet another obstacle in the road when we were again forced to slow to little more than a crawl as the car in front looked for space to pass more debris blocking the outside lane. At this point a lorry moved up alongside our car and we found ourselves in a welcome lull from the storm.
I have to admit I really did jump, it really was the sudden crash at that moment when we all thought we were in a safer, quieter, place sheltered from the elements by the high sides of the lorry next to us. I’ve driven through many bad storms over the years but this was the first time a branch the length of the car and the weight of an average person had ever fallen directly onto my windscreen.
Happily and somewhat amazingly I can report that all were unharmed and the car miraculously sustained no damage. Before I had time to react further the offending tree was picked up by another gust of wind and the last I saw of it was as it hit the ground on the oncoming road and disappeared behind a rapidly swerving car.
All in all a somewhat surreal experience but I will never again scoff at the ‘lack of realism’ the next time I go to the movies. This was a rather unexpected start to a long weekend in Alpbach, Tirol.
Whilst the storm abated the rain remained with us for the three days of our stay in the Alpine resort. However, it is a beautiful area and the locals are very hospitable, so the trip remained enjoyable if a little wet at times.
Some images of Alpbach and its surrounds: