Eis, Eis, Baby!

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Europe » Austria
July 27th 2008
Published: September 30th 2017
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The Evil Fishmonger's even more evil, almost diabolical, fish sandwich. The fish was dry, and it was battered, and not breaded. The bun was tough, and the remoulade was dried up, and congealed. I think this was also the same crappy place that I ate at before boarding a night train to Prague, almost two years ago. Back then, I was tempted by their meatloaf sandwich, which if memory serves me correctly, was as dry as this fish abomination that Evil Fishmonger served me today. Evil Fishmonger also serves an assortment of roasted chicken, ribs, meats, and pizza. Avoid Evil Fishmonger at all costs!!! There's a nearby kebab joint which I should have tried instead, but it's entirely possible that the guy there was related to Evil Fishmonger, and might have been the Evil Kebab Man.
Geo: 47.6025, 13.667

Breakfast - my experiments with different food mixtures continue - canned pineapple, yogurt, and muesli. We have another winner! Too bad they didn't have any chocolate cereal to throw into the mix ... I also ate the usual vast amount of mundane breakfast foods, and again, felt sick after.

But I felt better after a group of senoritas sat down for breakfast - OK, everyone has heard me rave about how naturally beautiful Spanish women are, and today was a perfect example. One particular senorita was in her pajamas, hair in a ponytail, no makeup, and had obviously just rolled out of bed. Yet she was still as stunning as when I first saw her in the hostel last night!!!

Of course, it's possible that it's all a lie perpetrated by Spanish senoritas - maybe they all actually get up at 5 AM and spend three hours every morning to make themselves look so beautiful! And it's a good thing that they seem to be immune from having "morning voices" - their voices are still sweet, and still sound like a choir of angels and doves singing in heavenly, harmonious unison ... yes, I know - I have a

Dessert was a strawberry cake - four thin layers of white cake, with three layers of cream in between. Very sweet, with jello-glazed strawberries that were gross because of their gelatinous texture. Evil Strawberry Cake Baker put the final nail in the coffin of this horrid meal.
problem, and should seek professional help ...

Disturbing moment at breakfast - this giant fly landed on my table, reared up on its hind legs, stared at me, and started rubbing its arms together. It looked like it was readying to attack me, it was grotesque! It made it into my top three repulsive insect travel moments of all time (see blog entry entitled "Is that a cockroach, or a small dog?" http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/pwong/canaries-2007/1198797120/tpod.html?tweb_UID=pwong, and entry entitled "Halfway home and another year closer to death" http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/pwong/europe_2006/1157273400/tpod.html?tweb_UID=pwong).

It was another long train day - almost a seven hour journey, including three changes. Having a first class rail pass is nice on a busy day like today, because second class was almost full. I do prefer sitting in second class, however, because there are more backpackers that you can chat up, and first class isn't sufficiently comfortable to be worth paying an extra 50% over the second class fare.

I changed trains in the Munich station, and purchased a crappy fish sandwich that was NOT Nordsee-quality. I didn't realize at the time, but the worker (who I shall now refer to as Evil Fishmonger) gave me a crappy, unfresh sandwich that was in the back, not

On the ferry to Hallstatt.
the delicious-looking fresh ones at the front of the display case. Evil Fishmonger, why did you do that to me?

Another change of trains in Salzburg - it's funny, because I remember the train station, but not really the town, itself. Sometimes European travel is just a blur! This girl I boarded the train with asked if I could help put her rather-large bag up on the luggage rack. I told her not to worry, I could do it without her help, but she insisted. It's a good thing she did, otherwise I would've dropped it on her head! It was full of textbooks!

I was quite surprised to find out that she's from Buenos Aires, because she has a European accent that sounds nothing like a Spanish one. She's of Italian descent, and going to Welz to study to become an opera singer. Turns out her name is Virginia, the second one I've met in two days! Perhaps it's a sign that I need to start stalking a European girl named Virginia, and stop stalking a Spanish one named Isabel ... Having not spoken Spanish in a long time, it was very good to practice to chat with her for

the 45 minute ride to Attnang-Puccheim. But it totally put me in a Spanish frame of mind, and I almost said "excuse me" in Spanish to an Austrian guy as I got off the train.

Attnang-Puccheim - hot, probably almost 30 degrees. Everything was closed at the station, which is unusual, even though it was Sunday - usually something is open at the train station. I definitely could have used a drink. The final train to Hallstatt - beautiful scenery, but it was unpleasant because there was almost no airflow in the car, even though almost all the windows were open. The heat was making me pass out ... I couldn't wait to get out of there - I was stuck on trains all day and was very restless. It was one of those days where you wonder "why did I buy these tight boxers in Holland, and not the larger ones??

Finally, we arrived at the Hallstatt train station - but the journey wasn't quite over yet. The actual town is a short ferry ride across the lake. Having run out of water long ago, my first stop in town was the kebab joint for an iced tea. At first

Neat little church. The only reason I came to Hallstatt is because I once saw some incredible pictures of this church, seemingly hovering above the lake.
I thought the guy said it cost 4.50 Euros, but it was only 1.50 Euros.

I checked in at the Gasthof Simony, a neat guesthouse that feels like an old granny's home. Hallstatt is actually one of Europe's oldest towns, and the Hallstatt era (running from 800 to 400 BC) is actually named after the town. Hallstatt has always been famous for salt mining.

First up - the Catholic Church and Bone Chapel - boring. There are lots of strange bugs buzzing around town - I think they're flies, but their appearance mimics bees. I walked around town and came across a stall selling baked goods and candies. I tried some almond meringue candy and accidentally ingested some of the styrofoam wrap that it was made on. Mmmm ... I also had a cookie that seemed to be half shortbread/half cake, with slivered almonds and jam. Very soft, I kind of liked it. I had wanted to have an early dinner, but this cookie filled me up - I didn't realize that it was two cookies sandwiched together; I thought it was just the top half.

Dinner was a kebab - blah! Bad sauce, and it was served in a

Artsy photo moment: Not being an artsy kind of guy, it didn't turn out very well.
big hot dog bun. It was nice to eat it on the lake, however. Not feeling very full, I went back to the kebab shop for some awesome fries. They were twice fried, the secret to good french fries - incredibly crisp, and when you bit into them, they exploded into a powdery puff of potato ecstasy. Unfortunately, they were a bit salty.

Off for some eis, German ice cream. I love the name - it sounds so forbidden, like an illegal drug "Hey man ... wanna buy some eis?" I tried the panna cotta at Giovanni Eis - I was worried that it couldn't approximate the taste of panna cotta, but it was very close. It had the same creamy, rich depth that panna cotta has, and almost felt the same as when panna cotta melts in your mouth. Wow!

Overall, it was a quiet night - it's a peaceful little town, and I'll most likely be pretty bored here tomorrow. I'm going to have a hectic final week coming up, so maybe it's good to have some time to relax. I am getting a little bored and homesick in all these small towns - it's time to hit up

Mary loves these floatation tubes. If you see her, ask her why!
some bigger cities!

Additional photos below
Photos: 23, Displayed: 23



I love how when I'm traveling, Asians (whether from Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, etc.) come up to me and ask me if I am from whichever country they are from, not because they think I look like their kind, but only because they have no idea what the hell I actually am. Of course, I like to play with them by simply answering "I'm from Canada." But I need to figure out this situation - Asian women randomly ask me this in Europe, but never Spanish ones. Maybe I need to start wearing a matador's costume to encourage them to come talk to me. And what were these two Korean girls doing in this picture? They were taking a picture of their food, something us Asians like to do. Pretty pathetic, aren't we? But the only thing more pathetic than taking a picture of your food is taking a picture of someone else taking a picture of their food. I've sunk to a new low!!!

The bone chapel.

It's difficult to get your skull into the bone chapel, and this skull is the most recent one.

Don't stay at this place. I emailed them three times, without even a response! You could at least reply if you were full! What kind of customer service is that? Evil Fishmonger must have a brother that is the Evil Hostel Owner.

At the kebab shop - people left personal messages on these disposable plates. This one was written in Spanish, with a little heart, and looks like female handwriting!!! I've decided to quit this engineering gig and open up a kebab shop in Hallstatt.

Funny tree - nope, it's not fake. Apparently this wall absorbs a lot of the sun's rays during the day, and the tree likes the warmth, so it "hugged" the wall, and grew in a bizarre, two-dimensional manner.



Tempting - too many baked goods and sweets, too little stomach space.

They used to use wooden pipes to transport brine.

A public art display - is this some kind of sado-masochistic town that enjoys self-mutilation? Take a closer look - that horse-head staff is stuck through his thigh!

That's gotta hurt ...

Funny - this sign pointing to the bathroom was scrawled on the ground ...

... and it pointed directly at this!

I always carry a little notebook with me to capture my random, inappropriate thoughts for these blogs. I'm now on my second one of the trip. On the Baltic trip with Mary last summer, I treated it almost like a policeman's ticket book. Every time Mary would say or do something silly, I would pull it out and make a note of it. Tears would well up in Mary's eyes - "Do you have to write that down?", she would plead. Yes I do, Mary - I need to document your Mary-isms, Mary Moments, and Mary-endos (unintentional sexual references that she makes all the time), for future mankind. Funny stat - I used one and a quarter notebooks on this trip, but with Mary, I used 17 ...

I'm probably the only person on the face of the Earth that has never read the Da Vinci Code. Now, I finally will, because I swapped "A Tale of Two Cities" for it at the guesthouse. I've actually seen the movie, but I kept falling asleep while watching it. Every time I woke up, I saw an albino man whipping himself, so my entire understanding of the movie is that it's two hours of an albino man whipping himself. Sounds like a German fetish film ... hopefully the book is better!

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