Day 99 - Sunday 9th July - Vienna to Heidelberg (Germany)

After the previous early night, we were awake bright and refreshed as we had a 700k run to Heidelberg in Germany. The forecast was showing that it was going to be another hot day, but as we were going over the Alps, I was unsure if the bit of altitude would keep things more in measure.

It was a run on the truck free Austrian and German autobahns. Trucks are not allowed on the weekends. I don’t quite understand this as every parking bay is crammed with then waiting for their release on Monday.

With good roads, the leader for the day wanted lift the pace to 120k, and so the group took off. We struggled with this. The suspension of my car had been set up with front and rear springs from and MGV8. This lifted the car and gave a couple of inches extra ground clearance. It was a great benefit on the rest of the trip when we sailed over all obstacles with out grounding. A couple of the Melbourne cars had not modified their suspension, with the consequence that they grounded one every pebble and one ripped of their exhaust pipe bracket multiple times. On the autobahn at 120kph their cars behaved beautifully, while the front end of mine started to float.

We were nearing the end of the trip. I would have been devastated to have come so far and not made it to the finish, so we let those who wanted to let loose (if you can call it that in a 1970 MGB) on the autobahns t go for it, while we drove at a more conservative 105 -110. In the end we arrived at Heidelberg a few minutes apart.

We experienced a bit of everything as we drove. Rain and sunshine. A cool start ending in a humid finish. Free flowing traffic to the usual snarls and roadworks you get, surprisingly frequently on the autobahns. Unlimited speed sections down to 10 kph just after we crossed the border a policewoman with an assault rifle checked the traffic as it passed. Porsches and Lamborghini’s shot past and we even saw a beautifully restored MGA out for a Sunday drive.

Heidelberg was a bit of a surprise, like most German towns a lovely altstadt (old town) with its narrow cobbled streets, the obligatory castle and medieval churches, and plenty of open air cafes serving cold beer. Sitting at one with a half litre of weiss beer was a fitting end to the day.