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Published: October 7th 2007
Hey all, I am once again very very behind so this will proberly be a fair long update! Sorry about that….
So hear we are in Austria now and have been for 11 nights and tonight is going to be our last before heading to Switzerland tomorrow.
The city that we first visited here was Salzburg just on the border with Germany and is a very nice city. It has two parts, like most, an old and new city area so we mainly just cruised around the old part checking out the old churches, buildings and the markets along the river which Kylie really liked! Also we went and had a quick look at where Mozart was born with a couple of thousand tourists as well so didn’t hang around long here. Above the city is Festung Hohensalzburg and is the old castle over looking the town. There is three very good museums inside so spent a couple of hours there plus it has fantastic views of the Alps and once again the sun was out so it was a very nice afternoon. But the highlight for me would have to be getting a message from Dutchy saying he is in
Salzburg and where was I! That was brilliant so got to catch up with him for a few hours and we went to a beer hall (of course) which is in an old church and the beer is brewed by the Monks and was sooo good!
Next day, this might worry the Mums, we decided to give hitching a go. The trains over here are so expensive and we though we might try and save some cash. So off we went with our sign to a spot that looked pretty good and we were just standing there then this old creepy guy came to us and asked if he could hitch with us! We said yes but knew our chances were out the window now, who would stop and pick us two up and an old creepy guy as well. An hour later though he just said that he will let us have a go by ourselves so he went away but kept seeing what we were doing and two minutes after he had gone a car pulled over for us. Then all off a sudden the old guy was in the car before us! It didn’t really matter though
Old town hall
but he was making some very strange noises during the journey but the bad thing was that our lift could only take us half way so once again we were stuck with the old guy. He followed us everywhere we went, when we were trying to get a lift, to eating lunch, to trying to run away from him he was always there! In the end though we got rid of him after a few words and hit the road and got a lift in five minutes. So that is our first hitching experience together, a very interesting one!
Now we had arrived in Vienna the first thing we did was have a quick look around the city then going to our new hosts. When we got there they were just about to go to a concert so just left the house in our hands so had a lazy night and tried to watch a little Austrian TV but had know idea what was going on so had a early one.
All the main attractions in Vienna are really close we found out so just planned a route on a map we got and walked around the city for the
Top of Mt Hohe Warte
day. The main attraction is the Stephansdom and was built in the 13th century some time and is a gothic church. It was very impressive inside but the out side was under construction so couldn’t see a great deal. All the old building were great but our favourite would have to be these two churches we found in the middle of no where and inside they were amazing and what made them better was that there was no another person in each! Also we had to try the Vienna coffee, well Kylie did I just had a hot choc which was maybe the best ever! I couldn’t believe how thick it was, it wouldn’t even drip off the spoon! Kylie said that the coffee was pretty good but couldn’t really taste the difference. When we got back to our hosts there was a couple from America there who were staying as well so we went and had a traditional Austrian meal which is a Veil Snitzel, just like home it is deep fried so doesn’t taste like anything really. After tea we headed in the city and it really comes alive at night! The building expectually are very nice when
all lit up so wandered around for a couple of hours.
We caught a train the next day to Graz, was going to hitch but started to rain so couldn’t be bothered with that. Our host Klaus was waiting at the train station for us and went back to his place and dropped our bags off and went into the city for a look around. We first went up the Schlossberg which is the hill in the middle of town for 360 deg views and there is the Glockentum (clock tower) up there as well. Getting up the top of the hill is very easy as there is a lift in the middle so we took the lazy option but walked back down. Just walked around a little and there is also another lift in the city but it goes to no where! It is just in the middle off a square a goes up to the level of the buildings! Looked very strange.
The following day we went for a hike that Klaus had planned for us, so off we went for our first hike in Austria. It was not far from town and it turned out to go
mostly above a river on wooden bridges and the night before it had rained pretty heavy so the noise of the waterfalls was very loud in some parts but great. The walk took a few hours and it was cut short because it started to rain very heavily when we were in a hut in the middle of no where so was stranded with a couple of other people. That night Klaus asked us if we would like to go and meet his parents for a night back in north Austria, we were heading that way in a couple of days so worked out well.
The town that they live in has only 3000 people but is surrounded by mountains and is really beautiful and once again the sun was out so it was a great day. On our arrival there we had to have welcome snaps which are like vodka straight but they have home made snaps over here and the first was made from plums our throats are still burning from it! It is 40% and always has it straight. I can rave and rant about all the great food they feed us for the next two days
and there was plenty of it! But the most interesting thing that I had would have been a cow tongue! It is a delicacy over here so I had to give it a go but the taste buds on it really freaked me out so just cut them off. Another great thing they have here is Strum and that is wine that is not fully fermented so is still bubbling away and just tastes like fizzy cordial. There was 12 litres of this stuff and was all gone in less than a day between 5 of us. Also we had 5 different types of snaps as well, pear, peach, nut, apricot and a special one made from the trees on the hills. Also during our stay we went on a small boat cruise up Klouser Stoussee and the next day went up to a skiing resort with no snow but it had fantastic views of the Dead Mountains which are a part of the Alps.
Klaus dropped us off at our next destination which was Stainach and ever a smaller town with only 2000 people here is this is really a picture postcard place! We were originally going to go
and see some ice caves but they were closed which is annoying but we still had a great time here. Went on another hike and it was kinda the same as the last with us going over a river and was nice again and we headed to a lake up in the hills. This took us about 5 hours to finish so we had a little time to look around the town. Out for tea that night and it was very nice, then a few drinks before hitting the hay.
Now for the town that we are currently in Innsbruck... It is where the winter Olympics have being held a couple of times so can imagine the place. It is a city completely surrounded by snow capped mountains and is soooo nice. It is just the start of the new semester here so the place had a really good buzz around the town as well plus it is about 22 deg so very nice. I was hoping to do a fairly big hike here and was spoilt for a choice but finally decided on one just out side the town. So had to get up at 6am and head on
Birth place of Mozart
the way to the base but the bus driver dropped me off at the wrong spot so had to walk for ages untill i hit the forest. It was a nightmare trying to work out where to go through the forest, not one sign in the whole area and I came to at least five intersections so had to do a fair amount of guessing but choose wrong. Two hours later when I bumped into a sign I realised I was no where near I was supposed to be and heading up a different mountain that was even higher than the one I had planned. Kept on going and I saw some Gemse (see pics) and when going up the mountain there was some Steinbock and they are rock-rams with massive horn things and I found out that it is lucky to see them. Well the climb was nothing like I had imagined, soooo hard all the way and really steep. Near the end I was climbing up over ledges and I was crapping it for awhile and thought of just going on back home because my whole body was aching. I thought it was going to be fairly hard
as I had never gone this high, so when I finally got there I was so relieved! Plus the views once up there were brilliant and not a cloud in the sky so well worth the effort.
Today we are leaving for Switzerland so our time in Austria is over and another country down but would like to come back here in the winter and have a look around. Everywhere we went it was always really green and didn't have to look far to find a snow capped mountain.
Once again it has taken a few days to finish this and we are currently in Luzern...
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