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Europe » Austria » Tyrol » Innsbruck June 21st 2013

Today will be our last whole day in Austria. After being warned about the coming cooler and wet weather we decided to spend the day in the city and take in as many sights as we could. As it has turned out, the weather has remained fine but a few degrees cooler than yesterday. It is very convenient having the hotel in the inner city as everything is just a short walk away. Firstly we walked down near the golden roof to the The City Tower and up 148 steps to the top. It has a 360 walk around tower under the clock so gives a magnificent view out over the roofs of the Old Town. It looks directly down over the golden roof building and the Hofburg Palace so well worth the climb up. We ... read more
The Triumph Arch
In the Hoffburg Palace

Europe » Austria » Tyrol » Innsbruck June 20th 2013

After the peace of the mountains, sleeping in Central Innsbruck certainly required ear plugs. We are in the quieter, backside of the hotel, but it's still noisey. The clock chimes every quarter hour and bongs on the hour. At 6.45am the jets are allowed to start flying and I think we might be right in the flight path, then at 7.00am the church bells start ringing - real close bonging!!! Wake up, get up! We stripped the inner out of the duvet to reduce heat in the room so had a resonably comfortable night despite bells. We gather there is to be another day of hot weather then things should cool down. Following the usual European breakfast of cereals, fruit, eggs, meats, cheeses, bread etc we headed out on Maria Theresien Strasse which seems to be ... read more
The Giant Hall in the Hapsburg Palace
The mountains as seen from the top Seilbahn station

Europe » Austria » Tyrol » Innsbruck June 19th 2013

Today was a day of travel. Firstly we said goodbye to our fellow guests and swapped addresses and then goodbye to one of our hosts, Lisa. It feels a bit strange as for the past 10 days we've felt part of the families we've stayed with. It's really a home away from home. The thunderstorm last night has caused some flooding in Hallstatt we heard with water and mud running down the mountain and into the market square. The traffic was held up and fire trucks that do that sort of service were everywhere. I'm not sure of the extent of the damage. Elsewhere seemed to be fine. Since Larry was to transport gear through to Ebensee for those moving on, he took us with him instead of our going to Salzburg. We went through to ... read more
Our hosts at Haus Hepi
The Triumph Gate in Innsbruck

Europe » Austria » Upper Austria » Obertraun June 18th 2013

Since it was to be another scorcher of a day we decided some more shaded paths would be a good idea and since we had not been in the valley above Obertraun we headed off up the road that would normally lead to Bad Aussee but it's still shut. There is more to Obertraun than initially takes the eye as it is spread right up the valley. Where the rail and bike path entered the gorge we parked our bikes and walked up to the Koppenbrullerhohle which is another one of the many cave systems in the area. This one doesn't always have running water but does have pools inside. We opted not to do a tour since it was just another cave and we have heaps of those at home. However, not far from the ... read more
The bike trail up the valley from Obertraun
Not a pretty sight on Lake Hallstatt
In the Charnel House at Hallstatt

Europe » Austria » Upper Austria » Obertraun June 17th 2013

It's another hot day today at 32 degrees and certainly not one to go biking. We walked up to the Krippenstein Seilbahn and were wet through with sweat before the day had barely begun. The cable way goes up to 2108m so it's long and high. It does it in two legs where the first stop is at the location for the Mammoth Cave and Ice Cave. Since it was a very warm and clear day it was best to go to the top first. Once out at the top station there is a huge expanse of mountains for 360 degrees. The Dachstein is the highest at just under 3000m. The vast area is a huge karst landscape of limestone and dolomite with the typical look of our Takaka limestone at home. There are some of ... read more
Me on one of the 5 Finger platforms
5 Fingers platform on Krippenstein
The ice cave

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Europe » Austria » Styria » Altaussee June 16th 2013

Because the road and rail is closed between Obertraun and Bad Aussee, Larry took us and our bikes to a top of a hill near Bad Aussee where he would pick us up later in the day. The start was ominous in that the first few kilometres was downhill flat out - which meant we had to bike up it later in the day. Once we arrived at Altaussee, we took the R61 bike trail to Blaa Alm which was several kilometres up a valley to a ski field, through forest and on to open meadow. It seems to be a popular place in the weekend with many cyclists and motor bikers coming and going. Coming back down to the ski lift we had lunch and headed back down to the lake of Altausseer See where ... read more
So incredibly hot

Europe » Austria » Upper Austria » Hallstatt June 15th 2013

Today is a rest day after many consecutive days of biking. The body is saying enough is enough but that doesn't mean doing nothing. We walked from Obertraun to the Hallstatt railway station which is about a 45minute walk. From the Schiffstation (ferry stop), we took the ferry across the lake to Hallstatt which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of it's unique position and history. It sits right on the lakeside between the water and the cliffs which doesn't allow for much room for a village which is essentially carless. Hallstatt is known for its production of salt dating back to prehistoric times, and gave its name to the Hallstatt Culture, a culture often linked to Early Iron Age Europe. It's human history appears to go back 7000 years still based on the trading ... read more
A house in the square at Hallstatt
A street scene in Hallstatt
A wonderful find in Hallstatt

Europe » Austria » Tyrol » Kirchberg in Tyrol June 15th 2013

Woke up that day feeling nervous because in a few hours I would be flying off the ground in a parachute and that terrified me because I am scared of heights. People were talking about the masked party the night before at the bar which was apparently a lot of fun. Some back story, Venice is known for its Masks which allowed in the old days people of nobility and peasants to go to parties. So last night's parties people had bought masks in Venice and wore them to the party. The bus left fairly early that morning because we had a long ride to Austria and we had to be there shortly after noon for the optionals. We were just pulling out when I realized I had left my jacket which had my passport in ... read more
Cable car up the mountain
Paragliding
Paragliding Group

Europe » Austria » Upper Austria » Obertraun June 14th 2013

Today we had to leave our lovely hosts, Robert and Catherine. We had so much enjoyed staying with them, but we must move on and cover the rest of the trip. The first leg was to bike back to Bad Ischl where we'd been a couple of days ago when it was raining. Today looked dicey too with a few spits but nothing major. We took an alternative route closer to Bad Ischl and guess what? We got off course again and had to backtrack to the right side of the river to get into town. We found the popular café known for it's cakes along the esplanade and ordered a couple of slices with coffee. Very nice. We had a walk through the central area and then figured we'd head across the river and up ... read more
Haus Hepi

Europe » Austria » Upper Austria » Ebensee June 13th 2013

After getting thoroughly wet yesterday, today is a beautiful clear, sunny and warm day. What a contrast! Our fellow cyclists from Arizona have finished their cycling holiday and left this morning. They will be replaced by another 2 people who weare yet to meet, but it will be fleeting as we leave for Obertraun tomorrow. After yesterday's long distance we decided on something a little shorter today, but unfortunately all uphill for the first part (so much for easy). Since it was sunny and likely to be hot we decided to take the Seilbahn (Cable Car) up to the Feuerkogl in the morning, a peak at 1600m which was along our intended route. I gather the name Feure refers to fire or hell - not sure why. On arriving at the top and marvelling at the ... read more
Alpine Flowers
More alpine flowers
Langbathsee




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