2013 Audi Q7 TDI: The Drive to the High Tatras Mountains – Review

By Jonathan Spira on 30 October 2013
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This is Part 2 of Grand Touring feature on the Drive to the High Tatras Mountains. The first part was The Drive to Vienna.
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Štrbské pleso

The Audi Q7 TDI is like an old friend.  I drove the Q7 for the first time four years ago and have driven it and its siblings (the Volkswagen Touareg TDI and the Porsche Cayenne Diesel) on many roads both in Europe and North America.

I started this journey to the High Tatras Mountains behind the wheel of the Q7 in Munich and since a straight-through drive would take over nine hours and cover 539 miles (868 kilometers), about a third of it in hilly or mountainous terrain, I decided to break up the drive with a stop in Vienna.

The first part of this journey, Munich to Vienna, had taken four hours at an average 71 mph (115 km/h) and the Audi still managed to get 26.13 mpg (9.0 l/100 km), an impressive figure given the allure of flooring the accelerator on German Autobahnen.  The second part of the drive, took us to the Grand Hotel Kempinski High Tatras hotel in Štrbské pleso in a part of Europe that I had never been to before, northeastern Slovakia near the border with the Ukraine and only 158 kilometers (988 m) from Kraków, Poland.DSC_0086

The High Tatras Mountains of Slovakia are a range of mountains along the border of northern Slovakia and southern Poland and part of the Tatra Mountains chain.  One of the most picturesque parts of the region is Štrbské pleso, the second largest glacial lake on the Slovak side of the High Tatras.  Indeed, the 17 tallest peaks, which reach up to 8,200 feet (2,500 meters), are all on the Slovakian side.

LEAVING VIENNA

Driving out of Vienna is fairly straightforward and I was on the B227 and then the Autobahn A4 fairly quickly.  The Ost Autobahn runs from Prater in Vienna to Nickelsdorf on the Hungarian border.  It is also known as the E60 under the E-road numbering system in Europe.  The E60, which is the second longest E-road, runs from Brest, France, on the Atlantic coast to Irkeshtam, Kyrgyzstan, on the Chinese border.

The A4 took us 38.6 kilometers (24 miles) to the A6 in the direction of Bratislava/Kittsee/Slowakei.  The A4 continues roughly 26 more kilometers (16 miles) past the A6 interchange to Hungary. Once on the A6, also known as the Nordost Autobahn (Northeast Motorway), we continued past Potzneusiedl, crossing the Leitha river via a 410 m (1345 foot) bridge, and then headed northeast towards Kittsee and then east to the Slovakian border.

Click here to continue to Page 2Crossing the Border, the D1 Motorway, and the Audi Q7 TDI

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