Austria and the Alps

Trip Start Jul 22, 2013
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Trip End Sep 17, 2013


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Flag of Austria  , Vienna,
Saturday, September 7, 2013

The long drive through the Alps from Italy was lovely. Vienna was nice, where a visit to Schonbrunn palace and a walk around the old town area was great. The palace was beautiful and we could just imagine Andre Rieu and his orchestra arriving by horse drawn carriage to play to the large crowds in the stands.

Then to the absolutely beautiful Salzkammergut area where the lakes and mountains are spectacular – we stayed at St Wolfgang lake and we'd love to go back there to be able to spend more time, soak up the mountain air and explore the area. Nearby Salzburg was fantastic and even though it rained for much of our 2 night stay, we crammed everything we could do into our time there – the Salzburg tourist card made it even better.  The photo below shows the locks left on a main pedestrian bridge where lovers pledge to stay together and they throw away the key, there were 1000's of locks on the bridge! We really liked the trick water fountains at Hellbrunn Palace at Salzburg, such ingenuity and mischievous designs, and all because the Archbishop at the time had a good sense of humour (and lots of money)!

It was our intention to go to the Neuschwanstein fairy tale castle near Fussen (in Germany, just), but on the day it was absolutely pouring rain (have to walk a fair way), the mountains were all in heavy fog (best views of the castle are from afar) and it was freezing cold (it snowed the night before) so we’ll come back to this area again to visit the castles here and with more time to go to nearby Munich (Deutches Museum), (and yes, KG, we loved Austria and want to go back there too)!

Innsbruck was next on the agenda with one full day to visit before heading south back into Italy and to Milan to start the long journey back home. On the way back we visited Salewa world at Bolzano and dropped in on a climbing comp held at the climbing walls at the side of the incredible Salewa HQ building.

The holiday was really wonderful and all of our plans and arrangements worked out very smoothly. We loved being totally flexible with accommodation and a car for the whole time. We booked accommodation (mostly apartments) the night (or 2) before and even though we did not realise it, Michael booked us into the same place he stayed in Rome 30 years before with his Contiki tour.

The total kilometres travelled in the car was 7,546 km (in a nice Alfa Romeo Giuletta) and Michael did a particularly awesome job in the crazy Italian traffic! Karen (our GPS legend) helped us superbly along the way (actually ,we'd be completely and literally lost without her - particularly in Italy where the street signs are VERY few and far between). At least in Germany and Austria, the street signs were always visible, the buildings numbered - and the drivers were much better behaved.

We’ve also been in planes, cable cars, funicular railways, trams, trains, busses, 4WD busses, row boats, ferries and worn out a fair amount of shoe sole along the way.

Thanks for coming along on our travels and we hope you liked our stories and photos (of course we have lots, lots more of both!).
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