June 21: Zell-am-Zee to Techendorf
We broke camp at Zell-am-See, again under gray and rainy skies. We were camped right on the lake for two nights but we never properly saw the lake because of the continual fog and cloud cover.
We drove to St. Johann-im-Pongau and across the small road to Radstadt. We proceeded to climb the Radstadter-Tauern Pass. The road on the approach was really pathetic - we decided that it must have taken some diabolical intent to create such a bad road. Apparently the asphalt had been poured without preparation of the roadbed and then patched innumerable times. I drove at about 20 mph and then it nearly shook our teeth out. The pass was quite steep - we had to stop once to let the car cool. After going over the top there was a stretch of good road where they are replacing the entire roadbed with a new modern highway.
Worse was to come on the approach to the Katschberg Pass. It was the steepest paved road that we have tried to negotiate. We traveled in 2nd gear up much of the approach and had to stop twice to cool the car. Again this was mostly on a poor, rough road. On the south side of the pass the steepest part had been replaced by a new modern road, but it was still steeper than the northern approach with a long stretch of 15% gradient and a couple of short stretches with 17%.
After we got down into the Liesertal the road was nearly flat and had a good surface. It followed the bank of the river all the way to Spittal and was a very attractive drive.
From Spittal we drove to Greifenburg. This was the flattest, straightest road that we have seen in Austria. From Greifenburg we took the road to Techendorf on the Weissensee. We really hadn't expected a mountain road here, but what we found outdid the Katschberg Pass approach. Most of the distance was on a 17% gradient with switchbacks so tight and steep that the differential was spinning the inside rear wheel on the turns. Aside from getting hot, the old Morris Oxford has performed admirably on these roads.
We camped at Campingplatz-Muller just to the west of Techendorf. The camping ground is located very attractively on several levels on a hill by the lakeside. There is a good view all around and a tremendous number and variety of wildflowers are in bloom. The facilities of the campground are new and clean.