A Travellerspoint blog

Lost in Laughton

A few days with AJ & Tone

sunny 24 °C
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After a busy trip, we were happy to settle in for a few days of R & R with Auntie Jane and Tone. Drinking good English tea, chatting and enjoying the country. Dave got a few lessons on cricket from Tone and the big breakfast each morning. We did manage to get lost along the public footpaths that surround my aunt's home. A man, with his young daughters, had a map and sent us in the right direction. We might still be going in circles.

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Every day Jane feeds her birds, the ducks, the fish and often the foxes too. You are lucky to be an animal around here! Dave even likes to eat the bird's biscuits (cookies).

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This is the blue spruce my Dad snuck in his suitcase a few years ago.

We were lucky enough to be here to celebrate AJ's birthday with her. We enjoyed a lovely dinner with her friends and family. Happy birthday Auntie Jane.
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Posted by beachbuddies 22.07.2014 16:09 Archived in England Comments (1)

What would we discover in Salzburg?

A little bit of do-ra-me...

sunny 30 °C
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We loved this small city and we loved wandering through the streets to see what we could discover. Although we never took the Sound of Music tour, we did visit some of the sites where the Von Trapp family sang.

Dave sang to see me...."the hills are alive...." when we visited:

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Mirabell Gardens and Mirabell Palace: Maria and the children sing 'Do-Ra-Me'

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Residenz Square and Residenz Fountain: Maria crosses Residenz square in a bus on her way from Nonnberg Convent to the Trapp Villa singing 'I have confidence in me'

St. Peter's Cemetery: it was here that the dramatic flight scenes were filmed.

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Mozarteum Music Academy, which was used for the intimidating gates and front entrance of the villa which Maria nervously approaches.

The Sound of Music Pavillon: can be found at Hellbrunn Palace today, in the movie it was still located at Leopoldskron Palace. One of the most famous and romantic scenes was filmed here: 'I am 16 going on 17.' There were also trick fountains there.

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We must have seen the hill they climbed in the last scene after taking the Untersbergbahn cable car up for views of the Salzburg Lake District and surrounding mountains. Beautiful view in all directions.

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We came across this huge market full of fresh fruit and veggies, meat, baking and fresh cooked chicken. There were long tables to stand at to eat your fried chicken, potato salad and buns. Everyone was chowing down so we joined in the fun. Delicious and messy as you eat with your hands, and then wipe up after. Dad, it was even better than KFC!

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We discovered, Mönchsberg Cliffs and garden, a place that you can walk above the Old Town with a great view that leads to the castle (Schloss). A leisurely walk back down to our penzion.

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Our final night in Austria took us to the Marionette Theatre to see the Sound of Music performed by eight puppeteers. It was quite spectacular and amazing the way they can make the marionettes move. We loved this experience.

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The Salzburg festival, just like in the Sound of Music, began tonight with a torch light ceremony. There was some traditional dances and many people dressed in their Austrian finest, lieder hosen and dreidel dress. A fun way to end our stay....Auf Wiedersehen

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Posted by beachbuddies 20.07.2014 08:52 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

A View of Lake Hallstatt

....and the salt mine

sunny 28 °C
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We said goodbye to the lovely English couple who run Landhaus Lily B & B. Paul drove us over to the tourist office in Hallstatt where we were able to leave our suitcase for the day. We headed up, once again, to a viewpoint over Hallstatt. Crystal clear day.....perfect for photos!! Then a short hike up for the Salt Mine guided tour.

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They have been mining salt in Hallstatt for over 7000 yeas. We took an interesting tour through the mine and learned how they mine salt. Water mining was used for thousands of years ago and today. The most fun was going down the slides, which the miners used to quickly get from one level to the next. If you want to preserve yourself for many years, use salt. The man of salt was discovered in 1700's perfectly preserved after laying in a bed of salt.

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Glück Auf is the traditional German miners' greeting. The greeting also expressed the desire that miners would return safely from the mine after their shift.

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So Glück Auf, as we journey to Salzburg, travelling through the beautiful Austrian countryside.

Posted by beachbuddies 19.07.2014 09:08 Archived in Austria Comments (3)

What Goes Up?

A day on the mountain....

semi-overcast 13 °C
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Pretty much anywhere we wanted to go today had us climbing. A hill, a path, a road and many stairs. We have been using my Fitbit to see how far we go each day and today we climbed the equivalent of 172 flights of stairs and walked 28 000 steps. That was all in a day getting to and enjoying Dachstein Salzkammergut, which towers above Obertraun. We took a gamble on the weather but it never really cleared for the view all the photographers are hoping for. It was interesting being on top of the mountain as the clouds are rolling in, swirling around and changing the view very quickly.

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We hiked up to our first cave, Mammuthöhle for a guided tour. Its name describes it perfectly, 70 km of gigantic cave passageways and impressive rock cathedrals. Back down the first trail, up and up we climbed to the Eishöle, the ice caves. The humidity is extremely high and we were dripping before we reached the top. We soon cooled off in the caves which dipped to zero. The temperature remains constant throughout the year. New ice forms each spring as the snow melts adding 3-4 cm more ice each year. The greatest depth of ice was 25m in one of the caves.

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Back down the steep trail to the next cable car, which took us higher up the mountain. You guessed it, another climb to the Five Fingers viewpoint, 400 meters above the abyss. With water in hand, we made the next accent. It did feel like we were climbing a mountain! Clouds swirled around us and we caught glimpses of the lake and Hallstatt below. We saw nothing below us but fluffy clouds once we reached the five fingers. Magically a few seconds later, it cleared enough for the photographers to start clicking. Although we never saw the scenery in the distance, we enjoyed our time in the clouds. As it would happen, it cleared completely as we headed back down from our day on this mountain.

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Finally Dave can relax after his day on this mountain and a clear view as we headed back down.

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Posted by beachbuddies 18.07.2014 07:31 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

Slow travel

Off to Obertraun

rain 18 °C
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After dropping us off at the train station, our taxi driver was picking up the Stanley Cup from Kopitar's house in Bled to transport it to the Ljubljana airport. He presented it yesterday in a town 10 km away from Bled where he grew up and played hockey. Our taxi driver played tennis with his dad.

A bit of advise for train travellers in Austria. If you buy your tickets in advance you save many dollars. Once in Slovenia, even if the train website doesn't tell you, you can go all the way from Bled to Frankfurt, stopping in Salzburg. The train started in Zagreb. Even if you think you are on the correct train, ask a few questions to make sure. It all worked out for us today after a few tense moments. I wish I knew these things before we travelled so I wouldn't have felt so nervous. Download the train app on your phone and you won't have to worry about running to get your tickets during a short transfer. After an eight hour journey, a taxi, three trains and a bus we arrived in Obertraun in the pouring rain.

Here is our final ticket....
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But it was so worth it. Surrounded by mountains and green everywhere. A hike just waiting to happen.....

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Our kind B and B host picked us up at the train station and drove us through his small village. Hallstatt is the place many visitors want to see and Obertraun is 5km away at the opposite end of Lake Hallstatt. A quieter, less touristy place and our home for a few days.

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We had a bit of a rest and walked to the village restaurant which serves typical Austrian food. Warm, comfort food after a slow travel day.

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Posted by beachbuddies 17.07.2014 09:21 Archived in Austria Comments (3)

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