THE WONDERFUL SILVRETTA HIGH ALPINE ROAD: HAIRPIN BEND BY HAIRPIN BEND

The Silvretta High Alpine road is just as much of a tourist staple as the Colosseum in Rome or the Eiffel Tower. And justifiably so – it opens your eyes to the Alps.

There are roads which are heavy with meaning, and the most famous of these roads are to be found in the United States. Road 66 for example, or the Big Sur, which represent solitude, and freedom, and a time when the car and the motorbike were important for just those things: solitude and freedom.

The Silvretta High Alpine Road numbers amongst the most famous roads in the world. But if you want to find solitude here, you have to set off very early in the day, as the roughly 26 kilometres long road with its 34 hairpin bends is a popular daytrip destination. And the freedom you find here is also somewhat different.

It doesn’t lie in the disappearing horizon, as it might in the American deserts. It comes from the views that the road opens up, bend by bend. At one point you are almost directly in front of the gigantic Piz Buin, then you are struck by the turquoise of Lake Vermuntsee. Up on the Bielhöhle you find the great bareness of the Alps, but with every metre that you come down into Montafon, the woods thicken, the flowers at the side of the road increase in number.

Steep cliff faces and glacier fields alternate with one another, a thundering waterfall sometimes appears, or a quiet little stream shines through the thicket at the side of the road. And depending on where you turn your eyes, there is light and shadow, the clouds are sketched on the slopes or veil the peaks in mist.

Perhaps the best way to travel along the road is a relatively new one. With an e-bike even not-so-sporty types, who would have had no chance on a mountain bike and who don’t want to drive through this gigantic panorama with a car or a motorbike, can now manage the sometimes challenging gradients, too.