Monday, 11 June 2007

Austria-Italy-Slovenia

While on family vacation driving from Salzburg to Venice we decided to visit the ATITSI tripoint. We particularly wanted to find the geocache called Tromeja that is located there just inside Slovenia, especially since my son David (aged 12, who has his own geocaching account) had not yet found a cache in Slovenia and this would likely be his only opportunity for a long time to come.

The tripoint is located on the top of a mountain and accessible from the Austrian side by cable chair lift (starting from Seltschach - follow the signs to "Dreiländereck") followed by a 20-25 minute hike along the mountain ridge. Unfortunately we did not know beforehand that the cable car made its last run at 4pm - a fact we discovered to our chagrin when we drove into the carpark at the bottom of the chair lift just after 3pm. (At which point I started to quietly regret the hour we had spent at the Porsche museum in Gmünd on the way - a stop that was the result of a serendipitous find and had not been planned - but nevertheless appealed tremendously to David - so I didn't really regret it that much). Figuring that we could just make the trip in time though, we forked out the necessary 22 € and boarded the cable car.

On arriving at the top we headed out as fast as we could for the tripoint which our GPS showed to be about 950m away. Being at 4500 ft asl and there being quite an uphill climb for the second part of the walk, it was tough going to keep up the pace necessary to ensure we were not stranded at the top when the chair lift closed. We made it to the tripoint area at about 325pm and so we really only had about 10 minutes there to look around, take photos and find the geocache. Sadly we were unable to figure out the somewhat cryptic geocache description and so did not find it. However, we did manage some photos and a couple of short movies of the area which are shown below.

We made it back to the chair lift, puffing and panting, just as they were starting to close it up for the day. But it was only 355pm and so they had to let us ride it down as the last passengers for the day - phew!!

We rewarded ourselves with an ice cream at the little restaurant at the base of the chair lift before heading on to Venice.

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You can view the full size version of all the photos by clicking on these smaller versions.

This appeared to be the tripoint marker itself, having the three countries' shields on it. I later discovered that it is not, in fact, the tripoint - that being the marker at the top of the hill.


Just down the hill from there is this triangular monument that has an inscription on each side. I photographed all three sides without stopping to read the inscriptions since we were so short of time. This picture is taken looking northwards. You can see what I understood to be the actual tripoint marker in the background of this picture. At the top of the hill, behind that, is a hut, which appears to be just in Italy given the positioning of the border markers there. Austria is to the right of that hut. I am standing in Slovenia. In this first photo you can also see the first boundary marker for each of the ATIT, ATSI aand ITSI borders (clockwise starting from the one at the top of the hill). Later on I discovered that the marker at the top of the hill is the actual tripoint. We were so rushed that we really didn't have time to think about the actual layout in detail when we were there.





This video is of my son running around what I took to be the actual tripoint. As it turns out this was not the actual tripoint - but he had fun doing this anyway.


video


I also took a video from the top of the hill panning round almost 360° - sorry if my commentary sounds a little breathless - we were really rushed!! I have also realised, since filming it, that the starting point is really looking more at Austria than at Italy, notwithstanding the commentary on the video. The final comment about the marker being Austria-Italy marker number 1 does not give the complete story - it is actually the tripoint itself - which we did not realise at the time.


video


On the way back to the chair lift I took a few more photos:

Looking towards Austria (i.e. north east)


ATSI border is delineated with a rope fence. There are stiles inserted at various places (but not shown here I'm afraid).


David marching purposefully back to the chair lift, taking a better route than his parents did!!


An ATSI border marker plate (the post behind it is one of those holding the rope fence)


A restaurant just in Austria. Slovenia is to the right of it. There is a ski chair lift that appears to cris-cross the border on the right as well.

View from the chair lift on the way down


Horses (and feet) seen on the way down.


Looking back at the cable car run.

1 comment:

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