Posted by: Stevie D | September 15, 2012


We were heading for the town of Villach, in the heart of the Alps and not far from both the Italian and Slovenian borders.

As we got nearer, the amount of two-wheeled traffic increased markedly, as one would expect, because Villach this week played host to one of Europe’s major bike gatherings, at Faak am See. Organised by H.O.G.,this is a free festival of music, bike shows and dealer and other stands, selling everything from clothes to clothes including boots, waistcoats, ‘T’shirts, jackets, fancy jewellry, bandanas. Everything your sartorially correct biker could ever wish for, and a whole lot he wouldn’t be seen dead in. OK, rant over. I say this because I was hoping to pick up a new air filter for the bike and spent hours looking through the hundreds of stalls, but only a handful sold anything remotely useful, and hardly any had any replacement, mechanical, necessary bits. Zodiac had a stand but weren’t selling anything, just demonstrating what they could sell, if they wanted to.

Apart from that, the atmosphere around the place was brilliant. The noise and the general buzz was a world away from our lives of the last few months and it was enough to just wander around and soak it all in. There were, I think, four different music stages, and loads of food stalls selling plenty of variety to satisfy the taste buds of the bikers from a multitude of different nations. In short, it was brilliant, and here are a few photos…….

The trickle of fellow riders helped lead our way to the site. Thanks go to them.

Soon, the trickle became a stream.

By the time we had reached the vicinity of the site, the stream had become a river.

By the time we reached the log-jam at the main entrance, we had luckily found a place to park up just outside.

There were many show bikes on many different stands. My eye was drawn by this baby in the ‘Paintless’ category.

I guess it’s like a multi-lingual Sturgis.

Jayney watches the melee on main street.

Saturday was ‘ride-out’ day and Jayney and I decided to find a good spot to watch the procession go by. The police closed off the roads and before long, a huge snake of riders went roaring past. Impressive, hilarious, exhilarating. Watching the spectacle was all of these things, and before too long we were on the bike and riding with ’em. Being with them was just as impressive, hilarious and exhilarating as watching had been. The onlookers enthusiasm never wavered as they cheered and waved us along and most seemed to enjoy it just as much as we.

You see all sorts on motorcycles nowadays.

With the police having closed off the roads, smooth and rapid progress was maintained.

A good afternoon out for all concerned.

The event finished the next day and the air throbbed all day with the sound of riders setting off to the four corners of Europe to resume normal service back home. Meanwhile, Jayney and I saw a mountain and, in true ‘Notwithoutthebike’ fashion, we decided to ride up it. Fortunately the authorities had built a steep and very twisty toll road up most of the way and then a gentle stroll in the sun took us up to the top.

From the top of Gerlitzen looking down on Ossiacher See, beside which our campsite was situated. We ate our picnic on one of those benches.

Looking across towards Grossglockner, Austria’s highest peak.

Next day we left Austria behind and headed for a country which, for me at least, was very much an unknown quantity. And I like that.

An evening stroll down to the banks of Ossiacher See made you feel all sleepy and ready for bed.



  1. Great read, keep up the good work.

    • Thanks for that and thanks for following. I post when I can but sometimes, when you’re on the road, it’s hard to find internet or there’s just too many other things to do. Lovin’ this trip though.

  2. Great times mate – sorry we didn’t meet up! We went back accross the Grosseglockner and I will get some pics up on my wordpress site when I have a minute!

    • Yeah, it was some party Thornton. Jayney and I did the Grossglockner road some years ago. It’s quite a trip.

  3. An Austrian Sturgis…… RIGHTEOUS!!!! That had to be a trip. BikerMonkey

    • Hey, it ain’t Sturgis BM, just the nearest we get to it on this side of the pond.

      • Hey Stevie D! Finished the 2,000 mile in 2 days trip. In fact did it in 43 hours, with over six hours dedicated to sleeping. Plan to have the blog post done today or tomorrow. Also, there will be a 1080 HD video in the very near future.

      • Can’t say much about it BM. Just….WELL DONE!!! 🙂

  4. How fun to meet up with so many other bikers! That pic of Ossiacher is stunning! You should enlarge that and hang it on your wall! Beautiful!

    • Yes Shadowrun, it made a peaceful retreat after a day in the madness of ‘Bikeweek’.

  5. Hi this is kind of of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with
    HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding skills so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • I’m a bit of a technophobe really so you’ve asked the wrong guy. However, if you fire up your blog with wordpress, all you do is follow the instructions and it’s pretty plain sailing. Cat care and safety? We’ve a couple of cats ourselves. Any tips?

Leave a Reply to Stevie D Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: