Nothing beats the feeling of gliding through the streets like a spaceship, absolutely silently, with just the music in our ears. This is what the future feels like, but it’s today, it’s 2019! And we get to be among the first to test drive the new fully electric Mercedes EQC through Austria.
Be it dusk or dawn – the EQC has catapulted itself on the top of our car wish list!
(If only we had a garage…)
With the EQC we couldn’t even get distracted by the wind hammering against our windshield anymore, because this piece of glass is soundproof as well! We’re not easy to fall in love with a car anymore (since we sold our last car in 2012), but this one is now on top of our list. What a car!
Driving silently to the world’s first slow food travel region in Carinthia
But first things first: We decided to take the EQC on a roadtrip to Austria’s world-famous slow food travel region “Alpe Adria” in Carinthia. Here guests enjoy to be off-the-beaten path in one of the most remote and serene parts of Carinthia, in a valley that greets the sun from East to West everyday.
We couldn’t have thought of a better place to take the EQC and combine the silent electric driving experience with a trip to a region that is dedicated to slow food and calming down!
Now, in case you’re wondering – this part of Carinthia is quite a far stretch away from Vienna, over 420 kilometres from our home to be exact. Driving an electric vehicle always comes with the debate about how far you can go with it. The EQC can drive up to 471 kilometres with just one full charge. We got the car with a charge of about 80% (as it was delivered from the Mercedes headquarter to our home). So in our case we had to charge the vehicle once on our way to Carinthia.
The “Mercedes me” charging card is the gateway to a wide array of
charging stations throughout Austria (and many more countries).
Ionity superfast charging stations
We made one stop along the way at one of the brandnew Ionity charging stations, that charges ultra fast. The station we used was located near Graz, right next to the motorway, and we charged the EQC fully in under 50 minutes (with up to 140kW, which is amazing if compared to some of the competitor’s charging systems with their 22-50 kW!). While we ate a quick lunch the car was charging so fast, actually faster than we even had our meal 😉
The EQC has a battery with 80 kWh, which is bigger and therefore also provides a wider range than many of the competitors.
Just in case you’re wondering – we didn’t know this before – but Ionity is a joint venture of the car manufacturers Daimler, BMW, Ford, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche – so finally the big companies understood that they have to join forces to create a network of high power charging stations, that is truly abundant and fast.
They are currently running over 200 charging stations all over Europe (from Lapland all the way down to Palermo) and plan to operate 400 high power charging stations by 2020. We believe that this investment in the infrastructure will enable electric mobility to finally start to grow exponentially!
Ionity charging stations provide super fast charging to electric vehicles.
Finally the infrastructure is catching up with the demand for electric mobility!
Organic hotel “Der Daberer” – our refuge for 3 days
And this is where our sustainable roadtrip brought us – a hotel that has been on our bucket list for many years already… Why? The family-run hotel has dedicated it’s philosophy to an organic lifestyle as early as 40 (!) years ago. In 1978 to be exact. So way ahead of any trends. And with this decision they have forged a legacy and the hotel is now truly world-famous for their incredible organic kitchen and all-around eco-friendly philosophy.
The hotel “Der Daberer” is centered around it’s organic philosophy and dedicated to slow travel, regionality and seasonality.
There’s much to be said about the hotel, from it’s transparency about energy consumption to it’s wide-reaching impact on regional suppliers (everything from cheese to honey is coming from the Slow Food Travel region). But from a guest perspective the most important parts are how it feels to stay there. And let us tell you, it is a true sanctuary right at the edge of the forest in the tiny village of St. Daniel. There are many hotels with fancy interior or good kitchen, but there aren’t so many where the atmosphere is as inviting as it is at the “Daberer”.
Not only the sunrise & sunset views are breathtaking at the “Daberer” hotel…
You can also end the day perfectly in the forest sauna in a cozy wooden cabin.
The Daberer family has managed to create a place that seems to be equally inviting for guests (long-term and returning ones all along!) as it is for their staff (many of whom are working for the hotel since decades).
The atmosphere at “Der Daberer” is perfect to calm down and relax.
The interior at the Daberer is based on natural materials and creates a warm atmosphere.
As (slow, organic) food is really at the core of the organic philosophy of the Daberer we want to give you an insight into the menu as well. There are vegetarian options every day, so we got taken care of fully 🙂 They also cater to vegans of course! Our favourite dinner came with these items:
- Baked green olives with salat, yoghurt and herb pesto
- Horseradish cream soup with apple and rucola
- Root vegetables from the oven with homemade pickled cornelian cherries and fermented cabbage
- Citrus tarte with raspberries and citrus sorbet
This menu left us not only happy, content – and not overly stuffed, but just appreciative of what our Mother Earth can provide for us.
The cuisine at the “Daberer” is based around regional organic ingredients.
A taste experience at Herwig Ertl’s pleasure factory
Speaking of food: One of the “Must Do’s” when visiting the Slow Food Travel region is to get a taste of the local products. And there’s no better place to get a good overview than the gourmet shop of Herwig Ertl, who is one of the pioneers of the slow food movement in Carinthia.
Let us warn you – he is quite the character 😉 But his enthusiasm for food and craft is unparalleled and absolutely infectious! The tasting experience was supposed to last 1 hour, but we marched out of the shop after almost 4 hours with bellies full of delicacies and a bag filled with items for home. We couldn’t have left without some of the most amazing products – all from pickled lily flowers to a savoury sauce made 100% from tomatoes, an apricot vinegar and an organic olive oil that is pressed with entire lemons.
An exploration of lake Weissensee
Lake Weissensee lies still at sunrise…
After all this incredible food there was only one more item on our to do list for the trip: We wanted to check out the famous lake “Weissensee”, which is also dubbed the Caribbean of Carinthia. With it’s crystal-clear turquoise water we now get why! We came on a glorious autumn day and the lake unfolded in front of our eyes at sunrise like a multicoloured and multi faceted gem.
Impressions from our visit at lake Weissensee with the Mercedes EQC
The biggest asset of the lake is that much of it’s lakeshore is unspoilt. Unlike many other lakes in Austria they managed to keep a huge portion of the lake natural. We made a decision right then and there to return in summer one day to swim in this incredible water. October was bit too cold for this experiment 😉 Hopefully we get to return in a Mercedes EQC anyhow! 🙂
Final thoughts on the new Mercedes EQC
The new Mercedes EQC felt like a peak into the future for us. It doesn’t get more comfortable than checking the battery status in the app, getting in the car and driving into the day – silently, effortlessly and still so dynamic and comfortable. The cockpit is elegant and understated, but offers everything you’d ask from a luxury car like this. From a heated steering wheel to all-electric seat adjustments, voice commands, a head-up display in the windshield. There’s nothing to be missed! We are now hooked for life (and comparing every other car to this 😉 ).