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adventurous or insane? winter driving Germany/Austria/Italy

adventurous or insane? winter driving Germany/Austria/Italy

Sep 18th, 2010, 02:26 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,314
I am American but spent two years in Stuttgart and did plenty of winter driving...we toured the Romantic Road the week before Christmas and took two ski trips to Austria. As long as you have winter tires and are prepared for the weather, you should do just fine, just make sure the routes you want to take are open beforehand. I have always preferred cars to trains...just my personality...I enjoy the freedom and love to drive, even if it means dealing with the occasional Stau.

P.S. Prost, logos!
hausfrau is offline  
Sep 18th, 2010, 05:34 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 367
Thank you to those of you that posted - your advice and thoughts definately helped us make the decision. we've decided to drive this trip.

In the end, though I'll miss the social aspects that you find on trains - we're driving for the kids. Frankly, though they're usually well behaved kids, I don't want to always be on them about behaving properly including the trains. At least in our car the kids can totally let their hair down and relax for a little bit.
thanks again!
jujubean is offline  
Sep 18th, 2010, 06:27 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,572
As I said - and why not drive?

All the negative things we outlined are things that are worth knowing about, but they're only things that *could* happen - chances are that hardly any of them will happen.

The good will outweigh the bad umpteen times since you seem to have the right attitude.

Happy motoring!
DalaiLlama is offline  
Sep 19th, 2010, 10:21 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 9,017
Prost, hausfrau.
Water pressure is low again, wonder how much is left on the upper floors.
What are those Oktoberfestlers doing?? Drink, don't flush!
logos999 is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2010, 10:22 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,645
nytraveler, I think you have made some incorrect assumptions.

I love to drive. I spent two decades enjoying driving BMWs with a stick in Germany and the US, and with a rental in Switzerland. I like zipping around and zipping in & out. I cannot tell you how many hundreds of dollars in speeding tickets I wasted after coming back to the US after driving in Germany! I neither hate to drive nor am I a timid driver.

And yet I prefer the trains! For me, train travel is just more fun. I really cannot see how having a car makes the trip more fun. To me, it makes the trip more isolated and insulated, and more clautrophobic.

I guess having a car makes it easier to hit many different villages or towns in a single day -- but for me yuk.

Anyway, jujubean, I hope you'll be in a position to try them out for a future trip!

swandav2000 is online now  
Sep 24th, 2010, 02:59 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 7,711
If OP just plans to go Munich-Salzburg-Venice-Milan, there will be no "mountain driving".
It will be "freeway driving" on 4- to 6-lane motorways, in the valleys or thru tunnels, with a good supply of McDonald's drive-thrus on your way.
It's as "adventurous" as taking I-70 from Denver to Utah thru the Rockies -- but at only 1,500-2,000 ft elevation max., and minus the tons of snow.

If the purpose of transportation was only to get from Munich to Salzburg to Venice and so on, then the train would have been the smarter solution.
Now that you got the car, you should try to make at least some use of it and explore the regions/villages etc. and not just those 4 to 5 bigger cities.

The mountain pass roads will be closed at that time of year, but there are many areas that you can explore by car (and get at least a *bit* of mountain driving).
The Dolomites around Cortina d'Ampezzo are really nice for road trips but probably bit too far off your routing.

Around Christmas, there is a good "chance" that there will be hardly one snow flake on the ground in the lower elevations. But winter tyres are a non-negotiable must (and check if you can/must book those in advance).
Snow chains are not relevant for major roads. You'd need them to make sure to get to your chalet on some byway in the mountains, but not for driving on the major arteries.

If you want to spice your itinerary with a bit less crowded places (after all, you got a car and are flexible), you could squeeze in Slovenia on your way from Salzburg to Venice:
Salzburg-Villach-AT/SLO border-Lake Bled-Ljubljana-SLO/IT border-Trieste-Venice. Not as a route for one day, obviously.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Sep 24th, 2010, 11:26 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 9,017
>as taking I-70 from Denver to Utah thru the Rockies
Lots of snow standard "summer" tires eastbound Glenwood Canyon, people driving like s*it. That is adventurous.
logos999 is offline  

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