Written: May 2020
I couldn’t get enough.
While 2016s trip was amazing, the 4 days we spent at the lake was just too short. There is just too much happening, too much to see, too much to take in. 4 days simply wasn’t enough. I’m pretty sure I was planning 2017s trip on the way home in the car.
Flying to Munich reduced 80% of the journey. Our steed for the week would be the slowest vehicle of all time. An eco-boost Ford Fiesta, courtesy of Enterprise rent-a-car. I’ve never experienced a car to lose speed while on full throttle, but there we were, hurtling down one of the best motorway commutes in Europe en-route for Austria.
Our accommodation? Step forward Mr and Mrs Habernig, a lovely elderly couple who own Gästehaus Habernig, a beautiful alpine lodge nestled in the hills above Velden. Without one word of English, we managed to introduce ourselves, receive a guided tour of Wörthersee and two free passes to the Pyramidenkogel.
Instead of ranting and raving about how great this place is, I'm going to highlight some of the main areas surrounding lake Wörth, where many different meets and gatherings take place.
The world famous car park, that almost every day for 3 weeks straight is rammed solid with modified machinery, lies on the shores of nearby Lake Faak. Throughout the week we made the short trip over to the car park quite regularly, to spend a morning or afternoon strolling around, admiring the machinery.
Like most of Wörthersee, Faak is quite laid back and chilled, the atmosphere often broken periodically by a lad with an obnoxious exhaust on launch control. Opposite the car park is a camping site with a fairly strange shopping mall that is seemingly stuck in the 1980’s. The food isn’t great, as we found out in year one, with chips that would bounce off the plate.
Eni Tankstelle Mischkulnig
The famous fuel station serves as a popular chill out spot for washing and detailing cars, grabbing a bite to eat and topping up the tanks. However, at night it turns into a hive of activity. Grown men screaming ‘gummi’ at cars to encourage burnouts is pretty funny to watch.
Fun fact, the station has a slot machine where you can get the oddest tasting cup of coffee I’ve ever experienced. It’ll set you back €1, comes served in a tiny paper cup and is riddled with sugar but somehow, it is incredible. I probably drank two a night, every night.
While Velden has become the hub everything in Wörthersee revolves around, Reifnitz is the true homeplace. It also hosts GTi Treffen, which doubles as the official show and the official Volkswagen exhibition at the lake.
Reifnitz is very chilled. Cars are parked everywhere and the water is just metres from the road. It’s also a popular thoroughfare for cars visiting the Pyramidenkogel, the well known tower in the mountains.
A personal goal of mine that year was to shoot a few cars at the lake. The area is blessed with an endless supply of photo-shoot locations, as a photographer, it’s a dream.
We shot the cars you see here and met up with some fellow Irishmen, one in particular who took our rental Fiesta for a trip across a random field. Two minutes later an old Austrian man was screaming ‘Polizei’ at us so we thought it best to move on. Typical Irish.
These trips always felt like they ended just as they began but I guess that’s what keeps me wanting more. I’m a big believer in seeing new places and enjoying new experiences but Wörthersee is an exception. I’d happily return here as regularly as possible.
So in 2019, we did.
Location: Velden Am Wörthersee