I’ll just start by answering that question with a huge spoiler alert – a roadtrip from the UK to Austria is soooooooo much fun! It isn’t necessarily the most obvious road trip route we would have thought of (in large part because we in the UK live on an island physically disconnect from mainland Europe) but it was absolutely brilliant every step of the way!
There are a few reasons for this though… 😄
First off, the car! For this road trip, we partnered with BMW (who are the official sponsors of Snowbombing Festival… more on that later) where we were given our very own shiny BMW X3 to drive from the UK to Austria!
There are undoubtedly so many cool features about the BMW X3 – you can find all the details on that right here (right down to the tech specs) but my favourites part were probably the ‘smaller details’.
Like how you can control the entertainment in your car with just touchless gestures (felt a bit like using a magic wand).
Or how there’s a wireless charger in front.
Or the heated seats for ALL the passengers in the car (not just the driver and the passenger up from).
Or how if you cross the lines on the road without indication, the safety feature allows the wheel to steer you automatically back into the main lane you’re driving on.
Oh, and I particularly loved how we drove all the way from the UK to Germany (*our first stop) without needing to stop for fuel once (we did stop for a ‘rest’ but that was just an excuse to get waffles in Belgium).
There’s so much more to discover and each day, we just kept finding out more and more details as we went along. I’m just a sucker for things that make my life easier and found this car such a treat and a delight to drive to Austria.
The second reason why this was so exciting was that we were going to be driving to Snowboming Festival – a fun-filled week up in the Austrian Alps with the best music, parties and all around good fun anyway could ask for!
I don’t know if it’s just here in the UK but it’s just one of those festivals that almost needs no introduction whatsoever. Ski by day, party at night (or you could just part by day and night).
That’s not all though – turns out, it’s a massive tradition every year for festival goers to organise a road trip from the UK to Austria so the party starts even before the party starts!
This year’s theme was “The 90s” and pretty much everyone showed up dressed in their favourite 90s-inspired fancy dress! We’re talking Spice Girls, Ninja Turtles, The Mask, Toy Story, Jurassic Park – the works!!! Cars were painted / stickered / made-over – all for the road trip and festival.
As relative novices, we showed up totally unprepared and expecting just a few people on this road trip, only to find ourselves thrown into the most colourful crowd ever!
Thankfully, my FOMO dissipated quickly as one of our fellow road-trippers (who had come very prepared) gave me extra props they had (wigs, costumes), allowing me to transform into what I can only describe as a ‘fringe-dressed rocker’. 😀
After grabbing breakfast, picking up our festival passes as well as other goodies (…and a few impromptu boogie sessions), we all began our journey from Canterbury towards Dover (40 minutes-ish), where we would catch the ferry to France and embark on the next leg of the drive in mainland Europe.
Even the ferry crossing was fun as we all piled on in colourful outfits, much to the delight and surprise of other passengers on the ferry who were most certainly not expecting the colourfulness that was our road trip entourage.
In France, we had quite a few options for the drive as we could head down South (well, relatively South – we were in Northern France so this would have taken us more towards central France), or we could head up towards Belgium.
After much, “Umm”ing and “Aah”ing, we finally decided to go for the latter route through Belgium, deciding at the last minute to pop into Ypres – a historic town I knew very little about prior to making the snap decision to visit (Lloyd was a bit more clued up on Ypres than I was).
Although our visit to Ypres was a fleeting one, it was definitely one that left us impressed! It’s such a beautiful Belgian town and a reminder that we definitely hadn’t spent as much time visiting Belgium as we perhaps should have.
In fact, I can categorically say that we left Ypres feeling like we definitely needed to spend more time in Belgium come summer!
The streets of Ypres as surprisingly quaint – especially so for a town of its size and there’s so much history in the town, of particular poignancy is the battle here during World War 1 that is still till this day a very important part of the town’s identity (you’ll see lots of references and memorials to the war dotted across the city – not to mention that a lot of the key buildings in the city were rebuilt shortly after the war in their original style).
Leaving Ypres, we stopped off briefly in the city of Kortrijk (another “saw-on-the-map-and-decided-to-visit” stop).
The main reason we decided to pop in was to check out the famous Broel Towers in the city…
…though finding this house here made me wanna stay even longer! Hehehe! (Just imagine owning this Belgian beauty).
With that, we decided it was high time we headed for our final stop for the evening, the German town of Saarbrücken!
I can’t really say that there’s much to see or do in Saarbrücken – in large part because we didn’t arrive till around 9.30pm anyway and went straight for dinner right after in the hotel and promptly to bed after that. 😀
The next day, we got up bright and early to hit the road (after breakfast, of course). Today, we would be heading straight to Mayrhofen – the Austria town where we would be based for the Snowbombing festival but as with any good road trip, we soon found a distraction in the form of the German town of Augsburg.
Augsburg is one of German’s oldest cities and boasts some rather impressive German architecture.
It was promptly decided (after a little gander at the city), that we would have to have lunch here and with that, we found ourselves a good old fashion local restaurant and picked seats out in the sunshine for lunch.
Lloyd went for the Schnitzel (because, why not? 😀 I know we’re not in Austria yet but might as well get started on the Austrian food)…
…while I went for a traditional German meal of dumplings and a side of pork with gravy and sauerkraut. (Love those dumplings! I can’t really tell you why I do actually, I just seem to always enjoy them so much whenever I have them).
Lunch over and done with, we just went straight on to Mayrhofen, which we arrived into, just as the rest of the group were arriving.
As more people arrived, a celebration of sorts kicked off, with a live music performance – before something of a victory lap in Mayrhofen.
Now, if you thought we were the only ones excited about the road trip and arriving in Austria for Snowboming, you’d be seriously mistaken. 😄😄
Turns out, there was a huge crowd gathered in town waiting for the procession of cars, 90s fancy dress costumes and our fellow about-to-be-revellers to welcome us all in grand style!
I’ve got to admit, I was slightly surprised by the turnout! I had no idea there would even be anything like this and the excitement in the air was contagious.
My surprise very quickly gave way to over-excitedness and much car-dancing, with high 5s doled out to the crowd from our (very slowly) moving car (also worth noting that for this part, we actually had a driver so we the dancing and high-5’ing wasn’t done while driving).
Eventually, we bade the procession farewell, and headed off to our hotel to check in, before heading back into town for a night of drinks and good food with our fellow road trippers!
The next couple of days brought in skiing up in the mountains in the mornings (It was nearer the end of the ski seasons but this had to be done! Even in that foggy weather, we had on the first day 😄).
One one of the days, we stayed up in the mountains for lunch at the Schihütte Schneekar restaurant, with a panoramic view over the mountain – which alas, we couldn’t really see thanks to the fog. (Ironically, it was only foggy for that one day we had lunch booked up here and totally cleared out the very next day! 😀 )
Lack of views though did nothing to dampen our lunch as we tucked into delicious steaks, burgers and the biggest pancake dessert ever!
Post-lunch daytime was spent exploring the nearby area (which has some pretty stunning views – some of which, alas, we couldn’t access as the roads weren’t open yet for summer – they’re closed due to avalanche risks in winter).
The roads that were open, however, showed off the beauty of this part of Austria. It’s just such a gorgeous place and hands-down one of the most amazing venues for a festival.
Evenings were spent flitting from venue to venue, enjoying one of the most fun festivals we’ve ever been to!
You could almost show up anywhere without knowing anyone and leave with a huge horde of new friends. It was brilliant!
Alas, eventually, we had to say farewell to Snowbombing and hand back the keys to our epic BMW X3 (we were gonna fly back home to London though I’m pretty sure there’s a return road trip leg to this).
We’d actually wanted to do Snowboming for years and were disappointed a few years ago when we couldn’t organise mutual time off for our group of friends to go together to do it (it was like herding cats that year) and in a lot of ways, I’m kinda glad we didn’t get to do it then as getting to experience it the way we did, with the road trip and that beauty that was out BMW X3 (which I filled to the hilt with as many road trip snacks as possible) was just such great fun and easily one of the best ways to do that road trip. 😀
It was just the brilliant farewell to winter I didn’t even realise I needed and just the most amazing, crazy, colourful fun few days in the Austrian Alps. 😀