Those who cannot remember the past...

Trip Start Jun 23, 2012
Trip End Aug 02, 2012

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Flag of Austria  ,
Friday, July 13, 2012

Are condemned to repeat it......
Up again and it's raining. We went up to Eagles Nest, high up in the Austrian Alps it was a 50th birthday present from Bormann to Hitler. A beautiful drive up in special buses and then a 2 minute walk through a very cold hand blasted tunnel and then into a large ornate brass lined lift for the 47 second ride to the top.
Apparently Hitler himself seldom used the Eagle's Nest, finding the excursion up to the top too unnerving due to his fear of heights. The views were incredible and the rain had eased and the clouds disappeared. Perfect.....but not for too long. I made it to the nearby high point where the cross is situated before the rain started again. We were so lucky with the weather though and being the first bus of the day there were few tourists so we had the place to ourselves virtually which was great. Back on the bus and we are off to Vienna. Big blog today because its raining outside and I can do it on my iPad as we drive along and not wait until tonight when I am too tired to bother. A little more about the group, they are a great bunch. We are also spending a lot of time with Alan and Judy from Victoria. They live in a small town same size as Bute, about our age I am guessing. Les and Dorothy from Canada are farmers, Les has a hearing problem and he can often be heard shouting "WHAT" to Dorothy in his drawl, makes me laugh. He and Kevin are sharing farming stories. We have 2 ladies from New Zealand who are good fun, Denise and Wendy or Windy as she introduces herself! Her accent is very strong. Then there  is a South African couple, quite a bit younger than us, very nice but we have not got to know them so well yet. Also a family of 5 from Canada, the kids are aged between 12 and 17 and are lovely well mannered and polite, lovely family. Paula and Max from Victoria are also great company..he is the clown along with another Canadian man and his wife, John and Debra. This is not all the group, just a few. With only 27, it's a great number - spare seats on the bus if you want to stretch out and getting the group together is great. Everyone is always on time which is important and there is lots of fun and happy banter throughout the day. Could not be happier with my fellow travelers. Tour guide has his grumpy patches, but mostly pretty good. He certainly knows his stuff, from the history of the region to the timing of arrivals at attractions to ensure we make the most out of every visit. Overall my impressions of touring this time are that it is indeed grueling and a very fast pace and yes we are getting a snapshot.....but.....I don't have to think about anything, or organize anything, or try to work out the language, so all in all I am enjoying it immensely. And I am not worried that I am missing out on something major. And things will slow down when we begin our 2 night stops from today. And I am loving meeting new people and having fun in a group of like minded travelers. And it is simply awesome to be standing in spots I have dreamt of for a very long time!
We got into our hotel in Vienna at 3.15 which was fantastic as it gave us all a chance to do what we liked until our classical music concert that night. Kevin got a haircut, looks a new man!
We went to dinner with some of the group before the dinner which was a lot of fun.
The concert was sensational, we sat in the front in the centre and listened to the beautiful music of Strauss and Mozart. I kept thinking Hannah you should have this on your bucket list you would love it. . We all left on a high, we know now we are in Vienna. Even Kevin loved it, what a great night it was,
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Hannah on

Ah! Jealous! Definitely going on the bucket list, Beth :)

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