09/22/2017 Austria – Just Beautiful

Friday 22nd  September   –  Our campsite for tonight:  Fritzbauer – Saalfelden

 Around 25kms from Grossglockner to this little farm Stellplatz.  The farmers wife was just delightful and not long after we met the farmer.  He certainly was a real character.

Our farm camp even had its own church

Only a small Stellplatz but for €12 it included electricity so again took advantage to give batteries a boost.  Parking areas were mainly grass and given the amount of rain we have had over the last week, we were reluctant to park here.  The farmer agreed we could park next to the barn on gravel.

The farmer had a typically beautiful Austrian style house

Saturday 23rd September & Sunday 24th September

Woke up to the sounds of cattle mooing, donkey braying, and roosters crowing!!!  Didn’t realise that we were parked next to the animal shed – chuckle, chuckle.  This was a real farm and upon opening the door got a strong whiff of fresh air strongly perfumed with bovine essence – nothing like country fresh air.

Walked into the shed to have a look and there were at least 15 cows and one very vocal donkey in there.  Often wondered why they had such large sheds attached to their very large houses in these villages – now understand that animals need a place to stay during the colder months and at night.

Passed through so many areas where we have skied.  So many memories.  The beautiful town of Zell Am See- one of our favourite spots.  They certainly have grown over the years and are packed even now before the start of the real ski season.  Don’t believe there is a low season here as the ski resort camp spots are really expensive compared to the country spots.

We have met many people in our travels and when asked which country is their favourite – 90% say either Austria or Norway. During some of our late at night discussions, we too have agreed that Austria is a place we could happily live in (apart from home that is).

Both our daughters want to come to Europe early next year to see us and we think Austria might be the place to catch up and do some skiing – so many beautiful places, it will be hard to make a final decision.

Our campsite for two nights:  Panorama Gasthof Friedburg, Neukirchen am Grossvenediger

Saw this one in the Parkings APP and just had to come here.  The view is more than spectacular.

Perched high on the mountain, it overlooks snow capped mountains and beautiful valleys.  Saw hang gliders soaring over the mountains – counted 20 at one time.  Colourful chutes passing through fluffy white clouds, up and down they went carried by the thermal currents.  What a buzz it would be.

Picture does not do the view justice – it was stunning

The Gasthof itself is really quaint with a dining area inside and outside (when weather is warmer) overlooking this beautiful view.  The cost is only €8 per night but a discount of €5 is offered if you have dinner in the restaurant.

Ziggy is perched in the front row and in our deck chairs we sit and take in this amazing view until the sun goes over the mountain.  Then inside in the front seats with a hot toddy until dinner time where we just had to check out the view from the restaurant.  Another free night for the cook.

Rained during the night so our thoughts of staying on and doing some of the mountain walks diminished somewhat.  Best wait till morning to make that decision.

Some of the quirky decorations in the Gasthof where we had dinner

Not a good looking day and damp underfoot but rain has stopped.  Weather seems to brighten as the days go on so hoped this would be the case.   Had a late breakfast/brunch and headed off for the walk early afternoon.  Over 3kms – all a steep downhill run – what a breeze!!  Passed fields with sheep, goats and cows – with bells on.  Sounded like a small orchestra played with cow bells or was it the Hari Krishna – quite cute.

Stopped for a break for coffee and resisted the numerous fabulous cakes begging to be consumed. 

The hike uphill took five times as long as the downhill run – should have had the cake – certainly would have worked off all those calories.  Dropped two layers on the way up and probably a thousand calories but walking through the forest was so green, fresh and invigorating.

Quiet night I think, and hopefully no aching bones in the morning.

Monday 25th September

No aching bones this morning which was a surprise.

The roads are so wonderful, it is a pleasure driving.  With Autumn here now, the forests have changed from emerald green to all the Autumn shades of golden, orange, pink red and brown.  We are only travelling short distances now, as there is so much to see here.  Every little village is just so beautiful and we stop at many along the way.

Our campsite for the night:  Womo Stellplarz Fischergries, Kufstein

Kufstein is on the border between Austria and Germany and we crossed into Germany to do some last minute shopping before parking back in Austria for the night.  Dropped into Lidl and have to say this is the cheapest Lidl we have been to for wines and spirits.  Our favourite Marlborough Sav Blanc has been around $10 everywhere else but here only $6.  Captain Morgan rum 700ml $7.50 – can you believe it.  Needless to say we bought heaps of alcohol and a little food 😊.

Yes another castle – there are hundreds around here

The campsite is in a very large carpark attached to a massive sporting complex with sporting fields all around.  Only a small area dedicated for motorhomes.  There were no spots available at first so we patiently waited until we could squeeze into a spot.   The area was well away from the sports complex so had a really enjoyable quiet evening.

Tuesday 26th September

Took a walk across the bridge and along the riverbank to the town centre.  A very small old town which we wandered into and enjoyed a cuppa.

Found a pair of slippers in a local shop that did not cost the earth.  Not what I would buy at home, but no one is here to laugh at them.  None for the driver yet and we were even thinking of getting a larger size like mine but unfortunately did not have any large enough.  He looked like one of the three  sisters in Cinderella trying to squeeze into the golden slipper!

One of the many lanes where we went shopping

Headed off again mid morning and stopped in Hopfgarten and Soll – two of our favourite skiing towns on past trips.  Soll is just so beautiful and the gondola is already operating, though there was no snow on this side of the mountain.  The Gasthaus we stayed in at Hopfgarten has been demolished and replaced with a massive apartment complex.  Such a shame but that’s progress.

Our campsite for the night:  Koenigveldplatz, Schwaz

Again a mixed parking Stellplatz with spaces for around 10 motorhomes.  Just across the bridge again from the centre of the village, a very quiet area with views across paddocks to the mountains.

Beautifully decorated Town Hall

Made some friends with our MoHo neighbours – one from Sweden and the other a local Austrian man on his own.  Really enjoyed their company and shared many travel experiences with them. The Austrian chap gave a present – a handmade candle mounted on a marble stone from the local area – what a lovely thought.

Schwaz also has an old town and a beautiful church at the end of it.  Set on the side of a hill, we walked up and up and took in the beautiful views before coming back down to Old Town and then back home for another quiet night.

Schwaz Church