October 13th - driving to Salzburg

Trip Start Oct 07, 2013
Trip End Jan 02, 2014

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Flag of Austria  , Upper Austria,
Sunday, October 13, 2013

Today we headed to a small town near Salzburg in Austria. We packed and cleaned our apartment and set off a little later than planned and drove into town to take some last photos. We wanted to capture the blue river running through town and some sights on the way in. We then headed off driving around Lake Brienz, we'd hoped to enjoy some beautiful views but there were many tunnels and we needed to be a little higher up also. Up a mountain we went and then down the other side where we were greeted with a beautiful view of another lake with a small town surrounding it from above. Took some photos and continued our drive to Lucerne.

Lucerne was very busy, but well worth visiting. We strolled along the lake to find tower bridge. We bought some jam donuts and coffee and enjoyed a walk over the bridge with ro capturing many photos along the way. The street along the water’s edge was filled with people as they had a special event on. There were many raffle ticket sellers, which you could buy for a chance to win huge gingerbread love hearts, loaves of bread or soft toys. The sellers were wearing leather shorts and blue shirt with white flowers on them. We strolled through and back to the car so continue our journey.

We had a lunch stopped planned near a lake called Wallensee, we found a spot in a town called Mols. It was hard to find a place to stop but we eventually did and we ate a quick lunch, while the kids skipped stones and ran from what think were European Wasps. Back on the road for our long drive. We stopped for petrol just before heading into Liechtenstein. The country side was changing. The distance between mountains was widening and there was less snow. The homes were changing too, moving to white with wooden trimmings rather than all wood. There were walking tracks and bike tracks everywhere and many people were using them.

We crossed the border into Germany. There were guards in uniform and it all was a little confusing as to whether we were meant to stop or not but we kept driving and nothing happened. We drove around the outskirts of Munich, a busy, congested area, seemed quite rundown and then soon we were in country side again. This time though we were on Autobahn’s. Rohan was a little excited. The boys were very keen for him to hit 200km, he nudged it at 195 but settled for a relaxed 160 as a comfortable speed for travel. It felt so slow when we had to do 100 as we passed exits, tunnels or road works. The landscape was much more open now, green pastures, cows and different coloured homes with barns attached seemed to be the norm.

We approached Austria and pulled over to buy a motorway pass called a vignette. Not far in we were passing Salzburg and then heading off the freeway to find our home for the next two nights. We were all a little sick of the car but Ro and I were loving the scenery. The pine forests here were filled with autumn colour and the homes and farms are just a lovely sight. Enjoying having a gps immensely but also a little nerve racking as you trust it to get you to your accommodation. We started driving through small towns on lakes which were so pretty as the lights were coming on. The drive to our home was through smaller and smaller towns past homes, up narrows roads, and up a hillside to a private home. We were in the right place but we were unsure until we were greeted by the owners. So it seems we were staying in their home, on the middle level which was a small apartment with kitchen and bathroom. They spoke little English but were lovely. Initially it seemed incredibly strange to be staying in someone’s home and I wasn’t feeling comfortable with the change in location, country, language etc. I need to get used to this, I’m sure I will, Ro on the other hand was loving it. This is what we wanted to be doing. Getting out of the tourist areas and seeing a little of real life in some of the places we are visiting.

So there is a family with 3 young children above us, very cute kids and her parents live downstairs. They have a small herd of cows and it stinks!!! The barn attached to the house is where they are milked and there is the most enormous mound of manure outside. The home overlooks the little town, it is a traditional Austrian home with flowers adorning  the balconies. Inside it is very warm, the entrance area is filled with deer heads, skulls, a beaver and many family photos in traditional Austrian dress. It is a very homely place to stay and a great experience to be in the home of Austrians, despite it all being a little unsettling at first. We had dinner by, eggs on toast, worked out our next day and went to bed.
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