A Travellerspoint blog

DAY 113 - Friday 21st August - Murfeld to Graz to Oslip to

... Modling 'Attack of the Wasps'

It's so quiet around here that i manage to have a little lie in before using the electrics a tad longer to write up some more of the blogs. There's a breakdown recovery van here for one of the motorhomes and it makes me think of Bongo as she's doing remarkably well with all of the mountains we've been up, down and around with the short to long journeys each and every day, she's not really had a day off. Once we've done Austria I think it's pretty much flat grounds around Germany, Belgium and Holland so we're on the straight and narrow running home.

We have a clear out of the van (when i say we i mean Ellie watches as i do the hard work), get rid of the smelly waste water and get some fresh in the fridge and sink water tank. When getting rid of the waste, whilst walking Ellie, i threw it into the skip but as i did i think i hit about 20 wasps in there as they suddenly started buzzing angrily away and I did wonder if they would follow us! When we got back to the van there were about 3 wasps in there, wasps are everywhere in Europe in general, but on this site more so coming in to join us for a ride. I swat out the 3 ... oh no wait, make that 5 (!) that are buzzing away and we make our way to Graz for our next stop.

Through the fields, a very narrow road made for one on some stretches, i can see (like i did yesterday) pumpkins just sitting on top of the soil. This part i didn't get as some were just sat there in rows and on some of the rows they were mashed to a pulp. Couldn't quite figure out if the farmers were particularly angry with those ones or thats the way that the crop can start again. Some fields i saw had pumpkins as a whole, and some with them all mashed, all in rows...maybe need to google that one!

Also in Austria i'm finding that at a lot of bridges, each intersection or on street paths, that there is always a Jesus on a cross statue for you to look and pray at. Just everywhere! Then there are the tall trees, the height of a telephone towers, with just the bare trunk and tiny branches up the top with decoration. Not sure what they are for either! Then there are the tennis courts, lots of clay tennis courts and clubs around.

Suddenly as i'm looking out to the surroundings i see a wasp appear on the windscreen. You've got to be kidding as i'm sure that i got them all out when i left, but obviously not. I just don't like them buzzing in a closed space, especially when they go near Ellie as she can't really defend herself and whilst driving i can't brush my hand at them to get them off her. I open all the windows possible and like all other flying bugs when they come across a window they don't understand the difference between the open ones and the glass that you can look through but not go through. Why is it they always want to go through the glass and not through the open ones?!!

So driving and wafting at one wasp to get out of the side windows isn't doing much good and it gets worse as suddenly i see another come down from the top of the main windscreen, there must be a gap to the top bunk of the roof above. Then there's another that pops its head down, and other...turns out I now have 5 wasps buzzing around the main windscreen. Where did they all come from, did they form a nest in the night at the campsite as i'm sure i got rid of the ones in the van before we left?!!

Ellie wasn't too sure what to do either, and i certainly didn't. I closed the windows as when you're going top speed (well 85 kmph in the Bongo!) as they fly to it they get blasted by the wind and back into the van again. Then next, as they went onto the window, i opened them only half way and I managed to get them out one by one, slowly...took about 15 minutes but eventually the attack of the wasps was over and we won 'Game Over'!

We come to Graz and find a parking spot with not too much of a hassle and have a walk to explore this city of which is the 2nd largest city in Austria, second to Vienna. It has a long tradition as a student city, its six universities have more than 44,000 students. and it's old town is one of the best-preserved city centres in Central Europe...that you could definitely see. In 1999 Graz was added to the UNESCO list of World Cultural Heritage sites...of which part of it took 205 steps to get to it, another climber!! I know this as it pre-warned you before you put a foot on the step, there was a lift a) you had to pay and b) i'm sure my legs will survive as it has done through the training, the marathon and the whole of Europe so far. Did i mention previously that i've run the London marathon?!!

Graz done and we head on back to the car where i see a parking ticket inspector looking at it in great detail, not because my ticket had expired as i was back in time for that, he was just having a good look. Then i saw a cyclist go on by and slow down to do just the same and i guy getting a ticket at the machine nearby...my van certainly does get more attention than it would have been if it was my old TT parked on the side of the street. Into TomTom we put in Oslip which is free to park up for the night but you can get free electrics also so off we went and it amazed me that on the radio, on one particular station, that they had the presenter talking in Austrian but the news lady read it out in English. Didn't quite get that, especially when the news reader had a coughing fit part way through and they laughed about it in Austrian...then as soon as she was coughed out she read in the perfect newsreader way of English to finish it off?!

We got to Oslip and there were no other motorhomes here, not really anyone here in fact and i couldn't see any electric boxes to feed the van, not too sure if it exists anymore as a place to stay so we inputted another place closer to Vienna so we can make an early start there. Off this time to Modling which is by a sports hall and as we go off onto the roads once more it makes me smile when i see a 70 year old on a scooter wearing her helmet but dressed in a dress for the journey, speeding at 20 kmph...if she and the wind picks up speed i'm not sure what you'll see! As i get closer to Modling i look at my phone and i see a text message 'Welcome to Hungary' ... when did i go through Hungary for Vodafone to say 'as a eurotraveller...' etc information?!!? I know we're close to the boarders here but i don't remember going through any sign that i did...oh well, another country i can say i drove through...well kinda!

Getting to Modling and there is a closed gate in which TomTom is saying that we need to get through in order to get to the car park bit...but the gate is closed and there is no other way in. At this point i'm not inputting another place to stay as a) its getting late and b) if things really do come in three's then the next one i'll be doomed at also! So i look at TomTom and i see what looks like a park area just north to where we are so i head towards there. I find a spot with the park over the road to my left and a parking space to the right with street lamps all around so it looks safe enough to park up for the night. Not sure if you're allowed to park up on the streets and sleep but with the screens up and blinds down you can't be sure anyone is in this thing to sleep in. Once settled every now and then i wondered what the light was shining through the top of the windscreen cover as i thought it was the start of thunder and lightning ... but it was one of those smiley or non smiley faces that flashed if you were doing the right speed limit or not. But then then lightening did come as the rain thrashed down once more, don't think they'll be too many people walking, cycling or running past the van now at this time of night with this weather, wondering what a GB Bongo is doing.

Time for bed and i look at the photos, deleted the rubbish ones, and settled into the duvet for the night. Trouble was that when i revisited the day in my head i then remembered the attack of the wasps...was it really 'Game Over' i suddenly thought. In the day they were coming out through the gaps between the roof and the windscreen...are where there others still up there waiting for their time to make an appearance. Suddenly a horror film was formulating in my head, being trapped and stung by wasps. There was a gap open, because of the a latch opening, from the ceiling of the van to the top of the roof to where i was now sleeping...could a swarm of wasps descend down to sting after being angry being so far away from home, away now from their family, loved ones and friends, to a place they do not know and have to start again?! Then i thought of the duvet i just climbed on under...are there some that came into here during the day to sleep whilst it lay in the roof and sticking my feet in it now will disturb them...not sure exactly how much sleep i'm going to get tonight, lets see!!

Posted by emmabrown1014 02:30 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

DAY 112 - Thursday 20th August - Gurk to Wolfsberg to

... Klagenfurt to Burg to Murfeld 'Up Into The Clouds'

Well nothing in Europe is more a-tuned than the church bells starting the day for everyone, and everyone is at 7am of which the Gurk Cathedral was no exception so 7am it is and i'm getting up. The clouds are still with us but the rain is holding off for a change so lets see what we can get to before it descends upon us once again, and i'm sure it will. So Wolfsberg it is and with the amount of organisation i've been doing these last few days to make sure i fit it in i'm disappointed with what i see. Not that it was listed as a place to come and visit but its a city that has a castle and is the 4th largest in Austria which was first mentioned in history in 1178.

So with just a castle to see and a tiny bridge to walk over we were done in less than 5 minutes flat...well at least i've seen this place should anyone ask about it, well not in this lifetime or some shock of a story to hit worldwide news becomes of it!! I have to say that the route taken to get to here was just amazing to see, a beauty to remember, one in which i wouldn't have seen coming from the other way so i'll take that as the means to an end, the travelling instead of the sightseeing in town. We climbed to the very tops of the mountains, so much so that we were above the clouds, with isolated farms houses up the top with land all round them and the cattle grazing on the bright green lawns in the midst of the deep green colours of the trees.

Next we're off to Klagenfurt and the skies were finally becoming blue, so it seems we are seeing what's left of the summer now in Austria and not what i thought was the first of the autumn! The sun was shining and as i went to park up some guy was right up my bottom that i couldn't reverse into the space even though my lights were on as i saw it in good time...he weren't moving. Oh wait, hang on he is now....and into my spot!!! Git! So i went round 4 more times on this one way system and finally spotted one, a tight one but manageable of which i could see a woman giving me a nod as i did, think i was doing something there for women drivers it seems with that nod of being impressed!

In the end i was glad that i saw Klugenfurt, it was pretty and i saw that very statue I was talking about with the man and the dragon in the middle of the main square. In-between buildings there were umbrellas hung up on strings from one side of the other, not sure what that was representing, or was that their version of the sun gods to keep the rain ones from coming as its working so far with the sun shining...finally! Through the cute streets we made it back to the van and next on the list was Burg where there is a medieval castle some 160 meters above the valley and its Austria's most important medieval castle. After a turbulent history, the castle - first mentioned in 860 AD - was captured by the Khevenhullers, and was enlarged by 1570 in the face of Turkish invaders. Never captured by a foe, the castle has remained in the Khevenhuller family since.

We made it to the car park, saw the outside, as well as 2 of the 14 defensive gates to the beautiful arcaded courtyard where there is a little chapel with its wall and ceiling paintings from 1570 and the church at the southwestern end of the castle with its high alter dating from 1729. Cost 20 euros to enter, and no dogs allowed...so the outside was pretty enough! The day is starting to bake also which is a nice change from the cold over the last week! So now it's a good couple of hours drive to Murfeld where they have electricity, wifi, toilets and showers included at a grand price of 10 euros. Bargain...and needing a good shower!

On route we come across a tiny village in which you could hear the church bells in the distance chiming in the direction we were heading. Then as we turned a corner we saw a procession of over 100 people walking behind a boy in a white chruch robe holding a cross and a coffin on a cart being wheeled by the mourners. As we let them pass, as really only room for one and they really should have right of way (!), i'm praying that Ellie doesn't have a barking fit seeing all these people so close to the home, well the van, in which she protects. Shhhh Ellie, its all okay, lets not frighten the people and have something else to cry over with your lack of respect! All went to plan, Ellie had the treats in my hand which took her mind off things going on next to her!

Moving on from the village i come across a railway barrier but then i realise its not like the others, but mind you as i close my eyes going over the railway lines with barriers to stop you, should one be coming, this may not be so different. What i've come to realise that in Austria there are some railway lines that you pass in which have no barriers to come down at all, just a white cross of a sign and a red light flashing if one is coming our way past us. That's it...a red light for a speeding bullet of a train?!? It's not people, cars or bikes going across us on a red light...its a speeding train!! So i do the usual, close my eyes and hope for the best...yes if the red light was on i'd stop but i close my eyes anyway!

Onto my next addiction to make sure i buy before settling in at our new place for the night...and that's Mozartkugeln (meaning Mozart ball) marzipan, can't get enough of it! Its about 3 euros 50 for a bag of which holds around 12 balls of deliciousness and i eat it in one day. It's a small, round confection made of marzipan, nougat and dark chocolate and created by Salzburg confectioner Paul Furst in 1890, obviously named after Mozart himself. This addiction started on day 1 when i stopped off at a supermarket for water only before heading to the car park for the night...hopefully it'll end as i leave Austria as i can't begin to look at the calorie content for each one! If it isn't ice cream in Italy, Lindt in Switzerland then its this in Austria...is Germany, Holland and Belgium going to save my diet. Oh no, what are the Belgium's famous for again...i'm doomed i tell you, doomed!!

So we finally turn up at the campsite and on my phone i see that there are three internet sites to log onto, could i log onto any of them...of course not! I try my computer as the electrics are on, nothing; my kindle, nothing. Darn it!! So looks like the internet will have to wait some more before i can get my blogs and photos updated...it'll come i'm sure! But the site is very clean and tidy with showers and toilets i can use with free electricity so its not all bad. The man comes on his bike for payment and has limited english but we get on okay, and Ellie finds a new best friend as it doesn't matter what language they speak as when they are holding a bag of treats and handing over the whole of the bag they are friends for life! Look good ones too as small ones in which they will last quite a while.

Posted by emmabrown1014 01:14 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

DAY 111 - Wednesday 19th August - Ferlach to Klagenfurt to

... Maria Saal to Gurk 'Unplanned Stop'

Normally the sun starts to shine through now at around 5.30-6am but with days leading closer to the Autumn and with the clouds that won't seem to go away then i'm left to sleeping in a bit longer than normal, especially as no one at the parking area was moving anywhere fast too with the constant rain! The rain started the day but we had a bit of a break mid morning so we went off for a walk before breakfast and i used the toilet sneakily once more on the side of the Tennis club clubhouse.

The internet is still going strong here in the park and i'm still trying to find a place where the electricity and wifi will work together in order to put more blogs and photos up as its been over 3 weeks since the last revelations...and that was Milan in Italy! A lot has happened since then but trying to find the two together and when i don't have people over it's becoming the holy grail right now! I have electricity here, the internet on my phone stops just as i walk out of the park area and into the car park with the motorhome car park is another 50 yards up...can the internet reach as the computer is so much better at picking up wifi than an iPhone. So i move the van, moving it to the nearest point i can to where the internet stops on my phone but i'm still a good 50 yards still away, but the furthest point away from the electricity stand for my 25m cable to plug in. Couldn't try it before as someone was there previously but they've just left.

A euro in for 10 hours worth; electricity on, computer on....no internet :( , so close! It did find it once on the computer only for it to disappear as quickly as it came. Oh well, drafting more blogs it is until i can get to another place that i can upload all of these blogs...and my Facebook page will have over 20 status updates for you all to wonder if it's just gotten stuck refreshing the same one again and again and overloading your feeds.

Back over to the park once more to use the internet and i decided to triple check that i've got all that i need to see whilst in Austria. Turns out that i've added to the list quite a lot now and so i save the places onto my phone and their locations. Turns out that i'm still able to see them all even with travelling 6 1/2 hours yesterday to come to here. Oh hang on a minute, it seems all but one and that's 'The Grossglockner Road' which i should have taken on the way down to Klagenfurt from Innsbruck yesterday but a) i didn't know about it, b) its a toll road so i avoided it without realising it and c) the weather was so bad i wouldn't have been able to appreciate it anyway. I'll figure out later if i can do it at some point but at the moment it would mean a 5 hour round trip which i wasn't feeling. Apparently it's the most magnificent mountain road in Europe taking you through Hohe Tauern, Austria's highest mountain. Originally it was a Roman road and rediscovered with the advent of the automobile due to its numerous panoramic views, running for 22kms through the mountains at an altitude of more than 2,000m with long succession of turns leading up to the summit tunnel on the Hochtor at 2,506m and then down into the valley on the far side...hmmmm reading this its a must, and it'll be a challenge for the Bongo but hopefully not the last challenge it'll face before the engine starts to be smothered in grey smoke! Oh and the engine is positioned underneath where i sit...that'll be interesting!

As i sat in the van blogging away the rain has stopped for a while and I felt i just needed to do something with this day than spend my time here so with the hope that the rain stayed off i headed on off. It was 4pm so i needed to go now or never! So I looked to what i saved this morning for places to visit and Klagenfurt, The Pilgrimage Church in Maria Saal and the Gurk Cathedral it was which bought me closer to Wolfsberg which was my next original destination. Once i've been to Gurk though there were only 2 places to stay but they were a) not in the direction of Wolfsberg and b) a good hours away from getting to them but away from Wolfsberg. So i headed on off and i'd decide later where to park our heads for the night.

Klagenfurt has an airport here and the city, as legend has it, was founded after a couple of brave men had to slain the abominable 'Lindwurm', a winged dragon in the moors adjoining the lake, the staple diet of which is said to have been virgins, wbut which did not spurn the fat bull on a chain that the men had mounted on a strong tower. The feat is commemorated by a grandiose 9-ton Renaissance monument in the city centre...yes if i believe in that story i believe in Santa and the Tooth Fairy!!

So into Klagenfurt but a) as i drove in and around without being able to find a parking space, b) the rain starting once more, c) it being cold to walk around and, d) time getting on, i decided that a drive around was enough...so off to Maria Saal just a 30 minuts from here. The rain was easing and as we approached Maria Saal we managed to park just below the church where the steps were to head on up. It was a really cute square in which it's set and not a bad setting for the police station i saw and i couldn't help but think how busy they wouldn't be around here! The Pilgrimage Church in Maria Saal it one of the leading places of pilgrimage in the state of which Bishop Modestus consecrated a church from which the surrounding area was Christianised around 750AD.

Next stop the Gurk Cathedral and after thinking the rain would stop for good now how wrong i was as it started to belt it down once more, wipers working at full speed and the spray banging onto the windscreen. Still managed to see the mountains (only just with the clouds surrounding most of them) and going through well decorative villages that it wasn't all that bad. Less than an hour later and we come to The Gurk Cathedral which was built between 1140-1200 so only 60 years to make....who today would take on that length of construction?! Mind you thats small compared to some of the other cathedrals i've been to. It has wall paintings dating back to 1250 and its the final resting place of St. Hemma who was a noblewoman and founder of the religious houses in the Duchy of Carinthia. She is venerated as a saint by the catholic church and as patroness of the current Austrian state of Carinthia. Not bad for a woman who was alive in 1100's, buried in 1174.

Cathedral seen with the rain still beating on down and as i put the engine on ready to go to who knows where I look to see where to head to but it just didn't seem right to go to any of them to get to Wolfsberg in the morning. Also as the skies were dark, thunder approaching and rain still trying to see if it can cause a crack in the pavements so i think it's best just not to move. What made that decision even more so was that there was a motorhome i saw parked up when i arrived, was still here and looked like it was all settled for the night. It was still parked on up in the buses section of the car park by the side of the cathedral walls and so i joined them too.

As the rain kept on coming, and i settled the van into night time mode, it was definitely the most sensible solution. Also with parking up the neighbours next door and being next to a cathedral in a tiny religious town then i feel safe enough. Then in the morning we can head over to Wolfsberg and start early. As i kept peering out to see the neighbours it was still dark in their motorhome, for the whole night i didn't see any movement or lights coming on...but i must have neighbours surely! I'll soon find out tomorrow, maybe they are doing like i do and trying not to show too much attention but mind you the cars going past will be concentrating more so on the roads to get them home with this weather.

So i decide to make a plan this evening, as with all the new places i've added to the list i need to make sure i get to Salzburg by next Wednesday for my hotel (of which the air con i thought would be a lovely reprieve originally doesn't seem it so longer...heating is the thought now) and Sound of Music Tour. 'Doh' as i'm looking at the list!! In getting to here it seems that i've missed one on route, i didn't go through the list fully before i departed today. Okay so list is made and as i felt i didn't really give Klagenfurt a go back South we go tomorrow via Wolfsberg. Not the best planned route in going back on myself but i'll be on different roads seeing different surroundings. Also it means i can stay at the only site around this area that i'll divert slightly in order to head into Graz the following day that has electricity and the internet...finally i can get those blogs on!

Posted by emmabrown1014 06:25 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

DAY 110 - Tuesday 18th August - Natters to Airport to

... Innsbruck to Ferlach 'Bring Me Sunshine...'

Would you Adam and Eve it, on Stef final morning here in Austria the sun was actually shining!!! At one point last night Stef was going to wake up at 6am to do everything she wanted...then we moved it to 7am before bed with both our alarms on. 7am comes and the alarms are going off and i wake up but can i wake Stef....nope!! I called out, i prodded, i stuck the alarm closer to her but nothing! Well that's the swim by the lake gone...then it got to 8am and she's still not stirring as i'm pottering around. Well that's the mountain walk gone...can we still fit in the breakfast at least?!

Finally just after 8.30am she wakes and we head into the showers and get the van ready for the off. At 9.40am we are ready to leave but it takes 20-30min to get to the airport and we need to be there by 10.30am at the latest so even for breakfast now we're pushing it but can stop off at least and grab something on the way. Oh and seeing Innsbruck...yeah that idea went out of the window last night! I did mention on route that i did try to wake her but i'm meant to be sturdier with her apparently, to tell her to get up but that's not quite my style!

We stop off for some croissants and eat it on the way to the airport and at the drop off we feel the sun is warming our face and looks like its here to stay for sometime yet. Saying goodbye once more and once again i'm not enjoying these parts of the trip, hate saying goodbye! Once Stef steps inside the airport i look to see where i'm heading to next and it turns out Klagenfurt is a good 6 1/2 hour drive away!! Well that'll keep me busy for a while yet although i'll do a drive though Innsbruck at least and if it looks like a good one i'll park on up for a bit and walk on round, well may as well as the sun is shining to take advantage of it.

Innsbruck does look beautiful as it turns out as its surrounded by mountains, the Alpine mountain range so not a bad setting. It has a duel kind like personality as on one hand you have the medieval town and the sophisticated urban section so very close together. Here has one of the Austrian famous landmarks of the Golden roof which was a house constructed for the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximillian I. Decorated with thousands of gilded copper tiles to create the appearance of pure gold.

Back to the drive and in the back of my head i keep mulling over some of the places in the guide that i can stop over at but as i come to them i just keep on going even though i'm feeling rather tired! Think i just want to get to Klagenfurt and figure out what to do later and there is electricity near to there, at a place called Ferlech, to do my blog whilst its pouring down outside.

On this drive it took me back into Italy once more and i wondered if i could grab myself that last Peroni Riserva beer and an ice cream but it wasn't quite Italy as i'm use to, it definitely has a feel of Germany to this part. The villages were just so amazing to go through, all colourful houses with art painted on the front. At one point there was a farmer and his wife crossing the road with 3 of his cows i had to stop for, much to Ellie's confusion! On the mountains you could see waterfalls everywhere, the sun was shining so the shadows from the mountains to the valley's below were a spectacular sight to see, castle's high on the hilltop. At every turn you make you can take another picture and with each picture you take the justice of what the eyes can see is not shown. You really have to be here to see this, to take it all in.

As i'm half way through the trip the heavens open up once more...so close to having a day of sunshine! Oh well, we got a morning at least to see that it can actually be sunny here in Austria as i was beginning to wonder! I'm sure in the pictures and in the Sound of Music movie of this place that there was sunshine to be had! The clouds wouldn't be so bad, its the now thunder and lighting that comes with it so i'm guessing it has been hot here for it to rumble like this!

Finally we make it to Ferlach and put some warmer clothes on as its starting to get cold out here. First thing first and that's to find where the toilets are and there is a park next to where we are which normally is a great place to start looking at. Once in i see that i can get free internet out here in the park area at least...but it doesn't reach to where i've parked on up. There's a tennis club on here and looking around its the only area with a toilet so that's the one to use, and its hidden from the courts and main seating area so i can use it sneakily in case someone notices!

Back to the van and back to my book to catch up on too with having visitors. Its definitely time to put on some pasta for a hot meal and to stay indoors whilst the rain is pounding outside. Lets see what tomorrow's weather brings!

Dear Stef,

From the decision that you could actually come and see us i hope that you saw as much as we could in the days you were with us. It was so amazing that the one person who's been in the van the most in the UK that you were able to do the same in Europe with us and have a different kind of experience with the Bongo. Sorry about the rain but i'm still blaming you for bringing it over with you from the UK!! Thank you for introducing me to cheese fondue and being a fellow lover of chocolate and marzipan for us to share lots off! Great memories and laughs will be remembered whilst you were here with us, thank you for making it memorable. Next time i'll drag you out of bed to explore and push you in the lake to experience!!

Posted by emmabrown1014 06:01 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

DAY 109 - Monday 17th August - Oberstdorf to Hall in Tirol

...to Natters 'Rain Rain go away, come back another day...'

We wake up to another overcast morning and i wonder if i'll ever see the sun again at this rate...kinda missing it now! So by 10am we need to get the cash to pay for the bill for last night, the embarrassing time of going to pay but finding that we have no way in which to do so and after seeing the kitchen being cleaned on our way in i knew we couldn't wash the dishes as payment either! I went to the village where we parked just in case they had an ATM but failed in finding one and when returning i saw a woman next to her car who asked for payment for us parking there that night. Erm, i have no money i say, but i'm just off to get some for the restaurant if she could wait a few moments. She was heading off in 10 minutes and knowing a card machine won't be in the boot of her car (!) i say that i could possibly rustle up 10 euros from the change kept in my van. She said that even 8 euros would do and as luck would have it i had just over 10 euros so managed to pay her coins out of that!

Down to the villages below for an ATM machine and petrol as we were below the red line at this point...come on van, its all down-hill so we'll glide our way down there if need be! Petrol found and then an ATM machine so jobs are done ... slightly later than planned but by 10.30am we were back at the restaurant to pay the bill. Feeling loads better now that's done! Next onto the road and into Austria once more and the sights again were just amazing to see on route. There was a castle that looked up to the mountain and the car park was packed as we went in as everyone else did but found the exit to continue our journey instead. Not sure what it was but it looked amazing.

Entering Austria now and the mountains are filled with trees and the greenery of the mountains and the valley were something from Technicolor even with the darkened clouds. Stef is still looking for the deers but i see that its also a ploy in which to turn her head out of the window to pretend she's looking out for them for her to close her eyes and sleep! You can see the nod of the head as i was driving and suddenly a waken voice says something to pretend that she hasn't been asleep at all!! I see that trick Stef Wallis and pulled her up on it! Turns out the fresh air was totally and utterly knocking her out, and you could see that from her eyes so the next time she just fell asleep without having to come up with an excuse to turn her head, she could just sleep with her head facing forwards instead!

We finally get into Hall in Tirol for us to see first before Innsbruck which is the largest preserved historic district of North Tyrol. Walking around you can see the history from hundreds of years and we sat down in the middle of the area for a drink with a waitress who didn't know if she was coming or going. I asked for a larger and a coffee for Stef and then she went on to serve someone else and then another to pay...then back to us. Then i asked again for a larger but stated a pint this time as she didn't ask the first time without running off to another customer but she said she couldn't, she already put it in the till for a half. She seemed to be multi-tasking and failing miserably as what would have been easier than her running around like a headless chicken was to serve one person at a time, fully asking for the order, serving the drinks, then asking for the money and then job done. But she seemed to be splitting all this up, and clearing up tables before others have their orders in...obviously how she works!

So we sit on down with our drinks and i google, as i've been meaning to the last couple of days now as in Austria, the castle that inspired Walt Disney's Cinderella Castle...erm so you know that car park we entered and then exited at the same time, looked like it was this!! Doh, we went straight past it!! Hmmm, i wonder if i can see it on my way back towards Munich in Germany, could work but probably meaning over an hours diversion to do it but so worth it. And i need to take that photo for you Holby lot as the day in which we started the jigsaw puzzle of this place i said that i was going to go there...and i will!

Next onto Innsbruck but the rain was heading on down quite rapidly now and we weren't feeling getting out of the van again, maybe we could see it in the morning instead. So up the mountain and see a supermarket to get some drinks in before heading to the campsite. Turns out this was a fully fledge 5* campsite with its own lakes with inflatables in there with a restaurant and pizzeria on the lake, mini supermarket and a bistro area for drinks and nibbles. All looking quite posh...well it would be if the rain wasn't making it look quite so mucky! In the campsite were a couple of original gypsy vans you could stay in or the new looking ones, and also there were bungalows on sticks to look out to the mountains. We parked on up and went for a little wander and the toilets were the best i've come across....and in one section there was a room just on the outside of the block i couldn't work out. On the side were steps leading into a bath at your waist height in front of you and a shower head....what is this?! Looking at the door sign, couldn't see it on the way in as the door was open, it was a doggy washing area....love it!! First i've seen at a campsite and if we have time Ellie can have a wash tomorrow too!

At the place in which we parked there was a tent next to us with a couple huddled under the cover to the toilet / shower block in front of us (not the plush one we went to earlier) looking drenched. Then i realised i didn't want to be in a tent ever as they would only make their tent wet when they went inside and that they had no place to cook their food...so they were huddled by the toilet blocks with their food and stove. Don't think they ended up cooking anything as it wasn't the best place to prepare your food!

So next its food time and as we decided against cooking in the van with the pouring rain so to the restaurant by the lake it is! Also its Stef's last night so with the drinks we bought in our hands we had them before eating. At the restaurant we had 3 courses as we were that hungry and the prices were not too bad...well after Switzerland nothing seemed so bad! Great time had and Stef didn't want it to end just yet so we headed over to the Bistro bar and ordered an Austrian white wine...never having that again!! It was okay but their Chardonnay is the one in which i don't like, like the French. Now it's bedtime and Stef wants to swim in the lake in the morning, go for a walk to take in the woodlands and mountains around here and have breakfast at a place we saw yesterday...but we need to be at the airport by 10.30am at the latest!!! We'll soon see in the morning after all those drinks if she feels the same!

Posted by emmabrown1014 05:12 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

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