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July 30th 1990
Published: October 1st 2017
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Geo: 47.7728, 15.3175

Being the first at breakfast, we caught the early bus to Salzburg. Here, without lingering, we rented our car. As we drove out of Salzburg, we saw hundreds of signs saying "Privat zimmer. Zimmer frei." Ah, we thought, this will be easy. The day was hazy, but still clear enough to see the peaks. We made one detour early on to see a lake -- cut into a crevase, deep blue. For lunch, we stopped in one of the oldest continuously inhabited towns in Europe -- again, beside a lake. We had a filling lunch, wandered along the streets before returning to our car. We tried to find a spa, but none was available. Ended up driving on a very closed road beside a resevoir in a gorge.

In one valley, we spotted a large religious building on a hill. We drove up, had a drink at the stand, then went inside the chapel. Ornate, of course. I lit a candle, much to Paul's distaste. We walked down to a Stations of the Cross rotunda, but it was in horrible repair.

Driving along, we saw storms in the mountains. We turned to cross a pass, and suddenly, were in the midst of a hail downpour. It was so powerful, we had to pull off the road -- we couldn't see where we were going. When another car passed, we followed, and soon were out of the torrent. We decided to stay at Mariazell, but could find no privat zimmer that were actually free. We ended up in a nice pension. Next, we tried to find dinner. We wandered up and down all the streets before we found a pub that served omlettes and goulash. Good, then to bed.


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