Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Austria May 2016   (part  two)

Salzburg and the return journey.

Day 13 Salzburg. Panorama Camping
Photo by Gerd Fruhwirth

Headed for Salzburg via a Hofer in Hof ( Aldi) . We had a bit of bother as the credit card wasn't accepted so Pete had to go back to the van for money. We got to Camping Panorama- we've been there before - and parked in the front row with fabulous views of Salzburg and the mountains. It's a lovely site but internet is expensive so we didn't bother. Friends Gabi and Gerd came to collect us and we went to a traditional restaurant in town where we had Augustiner beer...wonderful. We did more talking and laughing and catching up.

Day 14
We woke to sunshine and cycled into Salzburg. It was bustling and there was a market where I stood ages looking at the flower stalls.We went into the Sternbrau  beer garden .....just to look! Well okay, we needed internet.....and it would be rude not to drink some beer. We then walked more around this lovely place and just accidentally managed to find the Augustiner Braustubl...a favourite place with the most wonderful beer. Of course, if you drink, you should eat. So we did.

After all that hard work drinking , eating and cycling, Gerd took us up to the top of Gaisberg, a mountain to the east of Salzburg and a place he loves for skiing and mountain biking. It is amazing. I'll let the photos tell the story:

There were people gliding from the top.......too exciting . We had to have a drink and a plate of mixed meat and cheeses in the restaurant behind the campsite to get over all the excitement.

Day 15
It was a public holiday so Gerd and Gabi cycled to meet us and we did a cycle tour of Salzburg , seeing where they used to live, where they work, the Casino ( a beautiful mansion house) The Red Bull  stadium, one of the 'Sound of Music' settings and Hanger 7 where there is a collection of working planes, racing cars and helicopters. We went to the Stiegl brewery for lunch and I fell off my bike....nothing to do with beer- it was tram tracks in the road. Undamaged, we cycled on to the Augustiner Braustubl again to meet more friends. We sat in the lovely beer garden till it was getting dark.....and we had no bike lights so we cycled back to the site for a Cuban rum to end a super day.
'Base camp' Camping Panorama

 Day 16.
Sylvia and Michael left early to cycle to highest road in Austria- the Grossglockner  Pass. We cycled to the shops! Gerd took us to a bike shop to try out some new electric bikes- it was a strange feeling trying to ride a bike around a roof top car park but I couldn't manage the brakes on the pedals so we will keep looking. 

Day 17
We got up ear;y to go and park the van in Anthering for  Gerd's birthday party later. We collected Sylvia and Michael and Gerd drove us to Konigsee. What a place. We parked and got a boat along the lake - it was bit like being in a fjord with snowy mountains towering over a brilliant blue and turquoise lake. The boatman played a trumpet at one point and the echo was incredible. 

Gerd showed us where he does some ski tours. We got off the boat at St. Bartholomew and got another boat  on to Obersee where we walked a little way to see a wonderful waterfall and the incredibly green lake. We went to an Alpine hutte for beer- we didn't like the idea of drinking the buttermilk there. We sat in the shade as it was very hot. When we got back across the peaceful lakes , it was a shock to see how many people were arriving to have a boat journey. We drove around to look at the ice toboggan piste with Gerd being tour guide again. We went back to the van and had a quiet hour before people began arriving for the birthday party. 
What a wonderful evening! Sets of Gerd's friends did songs about him, told stories and we had an evening of laughter and smiles. We were so pleased to meet people we had heard about and see people we had met in Finikounda, Greece. We also had lovely food.  As Gerd said ' You can't buy this'.  We said our goodbyes to everyone as we had to leave the next day.We had a quiet night not hearing people leaving in the early morning. 

Day 18 Gunzburg
We drove a pretty route back to avoid the motorway border queue. After a coffee stop we headed up the motorway to Gunzburg and we met up with Karen and Phil at the stelplatz. We had lunch in the sun under the trees. Then a thunderstorm came over and the rain was torrential.  Karen cooked a lovely meal and we had a good catch up and chat. 

Day 19 Wintrich ( Mosel)
It rained all through the night and lightning lit the sky. We said our goodbyes as we won't meet again till December and headed via Stuttgart, Karsruhe, Pirmasens and up the road to Trier. We planned to stop at Annweiler but the rain made us change plans and head to the Mosel. We settled on Wintrich as it's like a camp site, big pitches with electricity and wifi all for nine euros. We had a walk along the swollen chocolate brown river. 

Day 20 Wintrich
We had a lazy morning and a bit of a clean around. We spent the morning looking at electric bikes on the internet. We had an afternoon walk by the river but not on the river path as it was under water.  We went into the village shop and treated ourselves to a cake each. There were no barges going along the river.

Day 21 Remich
A little bit of weak sunshine came out and we headed for Remich. We had a couple of wrong turnings as sat navs gave up and my map wasn't detailed enough but we got there. We parked next to the river after a shopping session and a diesel fill. We watched herons fishing close by and went for a walk after lunch but had to come back as the rain did it's thing again. We gave in and watched a dvd.

Day 22 Dover
It rained all night again. We left but rain and spray on the road made it an unpleasant drive to Dunkirk. We got to the ferry at 3.30pm but there was no space on anything but our booked time of 8pm. We were told that the ferries were running an hour late due to the poor weather. The port has changed a lot since October with a new terminal , lorry scanners and more checks. It was very blustery but we had a reasonable crossing getting to Dover in time for a late drink and were then lulled to sleep by restless waves. 

Day 23 Home. We'd had a really lovely trip.

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