Honestly, we were like children on Christmas morning when we awoke on Saturday. Blue skies, sunshine, and a forecast of 15° for the Großglockner has us decorously hurrying through our (delicious) breakfast in order to begin the day.

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IMG_2226  About an hour into the drive, our first glimpse!IMG_2229

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The aptly named, Großglockner Gate.

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We did not know what to expect on this outing, and were wowed with the drive and the breathtaking views at every turn!  Literally. That we were treated to postcard perfect weather only added to the beauty of the day. (And, of course, our ongoing love affair with Tirol only fueled our excitement.)  Numerous stoping points made it easy for Tony (who was driving) to stop and appreciate the scenery, as well.

At the Kaiser Franz Josef Hohe, the highest viewing platform, there is generous parking several hundred meters downhill from the viewing area. This elderly woman kept pace with us, and we watched as she patiently waited for others who had cut in front of her for their photos.  I offered to take her photo with the Großglockner in the background, and the smile on her face is a cherished memory of our day.

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A second photo gallery of beautiful scenes from our drive. Including our stops at scenic vistas, we spent nearly four hours driving about one-third of the 48km alpine road.

We reached a point in our drive where our capacity for visual stimulation was maxed, and decided to head off the pass and into the nearby village of Heiligenblut for a late lunch.
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It seemed fitting that our lunch should include a grand final viewing of the Großglockner peak.

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We are humbled by the privilege to be able to travel, even more so now that we live in Europe. While enjoying our afternoon pause back at the hotel, we both declared this drive to rank among the top places we have visited, and one that, in having experienced it, we would have been sorely disappointed to have missed while living in Austria.