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I quickly wanted to pull out the obligatory envelope in the hope of getting the “rivet”. But not at all, I was awarded the contract, that’s what I got out of it – well, here’s the report:

Perfectly organized – beautiful route – good weather – great trip. Thank you very much and kind regards, Claudia No, don’t worry, such a short report doesn’t do this autumn trip justice!

I am always amazed at what beautiful streets and areas there are in Austria. This time Marion took us into Joglland with her well-written road book and Wolfgang behind the wheel. Most of us came to the Hotel Kutscherwirt in Vorau on Friday September 1st, 2023 to get in the mood for the weekend together with a champagne reception on the hotel’s roof terrace and subsequent dinner in the hotel’s own restaurant.

The next day, Saturday September 2nd, 2023 after breakfast, we found ourselves at the parking lot for our obligatory group photo. And promptly at 9 a.m., a total of 17 vehicles with 32 people and 4 dogs on board set off for the first stage of the day to the Vorau open-air museum. After a tour of old farm buildings in their original condition, in which we were shown the East Styrian working world of the past centuries, we continued to a typical Styrian lunch on the wonderful sun terrace of the BratlAlm in Wenigzell. Unfortunately, lunch was spoiled for one of our team because their X-Type literally broke down on the track. Radiator leak, nothing works anymore. However, thanks to two extremely helpful Styrian people, the poor X-Type and its passengers were quickly towed to the “BratlAlm” without much fuss. Many thanks at this point to the helpers in need that we do not know!

The X-Type remained on the “Bratl Alm” and waited patiently for the Yellow Angels, but the passengers were given asylum in a venerable S-Type and were therefore able to continue on the trip. The approximately 50km of the third stage took us over wonderfully winding paths to Herberstein Castle. What an honour! We were allowed to let our four-wheeled Englishmen rest in the castle courtyard while we followed a really interesting guided tour through the exhibitions in the castle on foot. Back from inside the castle, we enjoyed the champagne reception in the courtyard right next to our vehicles. After a few of us had marveled at the castle gardens, which were worth seeing, we moved on to the 4th and final stage of the day. Via Buchberg, Floing and Pöllau we drove along beautiful roads back to the Hotel Kutschenwirt in Vorau. Just in time, before the sky began to cry, we were able to park our English vehicles in the parking space reserved for us.

We ended the day with dinner, which, and this must also be mentioned, was really excellent. The night was short, the alarm clock was persistent and it was Sunday morning. Strengthened by breakfast and of course after the usual formalities of checking out of the hotel, we started our vehicles and set off.

The first stage of the last day took us via Waldbach, St. Jakob/Walde and Langenwang to Mürzzuschlag. I don’t think I need to mention that we were able to enjoy a really beautiful route on this route. When we arrived in Mürzzuschlag, we parked our vehicles in a row in front of the Southern Railway Museum. Afterwards, in the hallowed locomotive halls of the museum, we were introduced to the exhibition on the railway history of the Vienna-Trieste Southern Railway, accompanied of course by an experienced and knowledgeable guide. Likewise, the vehicle exhibition in the open-air area with the largest collection of handcars and motorcars in Austria.

With some new knowledge of railway history and fortified with coffee and apple strudel, we continued on to the second stage. The (I hate to repeat myself, but it has to be) the really beautiful route, this time via Kappellen, Breitenstein, Schottwien and Maria Schutz, took us to Semmering. A (and I was really surprised) parking lot that was specially cordoned off for Jaguar Club vehicles awaited us. So we parked our vehicles there and quickly went to the Hirschenkogel/Zauberberg valley station, protected by an umbrella and rain protection due to the weather.

We took the gondola up, where we had lunch (very good food, by the way) in the Liechtensteinhaus, unfortunately still in the rain. While we strengthened ourselves, the weather gods were kind to us and so some of us who were more daring were able to take the direct route down. Namely with the mountain cart! Although quite lowered on a route that is not entirely dry, it is dry from above. When the gondola riders below us reached the bottom, our mountain cart riders had already reached the valley station.

The winner, as expected – our Wolfgang. And for the ladies – Marion. Congratulations on this point!

Before the 3rd and final stage of the trip started, we (Karl and I) unfortunately had to say goodbye because our cat unfortunately became a bit incontinent.

However, of course I have a secret informant (named Heinz) who provided me with information, so I can also report on the last stage (despite my absence):

The last stage of around 100km (!) took 8 teams in just 7 vehicles (we remember, the stranded X-Type team with asylum) after around 2 hours of driving over a beautiful route over Kapellen and through the cold Kuchl to the Kari inn in Laaben, where the day ended comfortably with a delicious dinner. The informant couldn’t tell me with certainty whether it had rained on the last stage, as his and his wife’s memories differed. All the water on the Semmering apparently blurred the memories. Anyway, I would like to thank the organizing team!

Whether it was really 99% Marion’s and only 1% Wolfang’s work remains to be seen. It was really a very successful trip that made for a nice weekend.

Thank you! I’m looking forward to seeing you again!



Text: Claudia Schwoiser

Photos: JDOST©

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