Farewell beautiful Slovenia, just wish we could have stayed longer exploring this wonderful country.I know it’s crazy but we have extended what was supposed to be a one year year trip into almost 2 years and we are still pushed to see everything we want to.
Leaving Bovec we travelled up and around the Triglav National Park, briefly passing through Italy before reaching our next destination Austria and thankfully no issues at either border crossing. This motorhoming malarkey really is a stress free way of seeing Europe . We”ve done it before with hire cars, planes and hotels in 2012 for almost 5 months and this really has been the pants this time. We are very fortunate to have been able to do this. No waiting for planes, no queuing at hotels, no bag searches,, toting heavy luggage, eating every meal in hotels and restaurants………Happy days!
We were not intending to use any major highways we did not purchase a vignette. And we get the. Bonus of travelling B roads and stopping at spots we find interesting. You just miss too much on motorways .More fabulous scenery, picture postcard chalets, ornate churches, colourful flowers, pine trees, clear mountain rivers, green pastures and of course a large mountain or two . Everything is immaculate. Home owners take great pride in their gardens, it felt like you were attending the Chelsea flower show in some areas. After long Winter’s with snowfall, it’s no wonder they embrace the warmer months in Spring and Summer and mass plant annuals everywhere With lots and lots of colour .
Kotsach -Mauren is where we based ourselves for a few days. Summer and Winter alike , Austria has endless outdoor activities. You name it they have it… the hiking trials alone in the few areas we visited while we were here were vast and catered for all ages. The themed trials were great and catered for families .. we crossed a couple on one or two of our hiking days and I loved them ! The lovely, super friendly campsite Alpencamp complete with a spa and wellness centre, we paid a few extra bucks and upgraded to a quiet pitch with views and a beautiful soft lawn to sit and enjoy drinks and nibbles before dinner and you also get water, power and waste services on each pitch.and beautiful views.time to explore..and pick wild flowers along the way and for the past few weeks we’ve had huge Pine forests everywhere..Did not manage to get my sound of music hill top shot but very content with this.Al Pal not too impressed here , some days you feel like hiking and some days you just don’t !but the view was lovely when we reached the top and after a cold beer ..batteries re charged ..all was well.we had a great few days here.more great cycle paths through quaint villages with nice coffee and beer stops..love the fact in Europe , roses actually smell like roses. For some reason at home in Australia they have no perfume at all..the odd snake about enjoying the sun but nothing big ..Speaking of transport on two wheels, It truly is a motor bikers dream, Al was dreaming of his days when we had a Harley Davidson years back and the fun we could have had around these wonderful passes … I was dreaming of our gorgeous little Grigio the scooter which we had to off load last year due to carrying too much weight in our mo ho , I still miss her 😢 yes she was a girl.
As with all the other countries we have visited on our travels we have tried most of their local cuisine. I tried the Wiener schnitzel at the restaurant next to our campsite .. . It was awful, bone dry and just boring, wrong choice maybe, Al Pals veal was lovely .
Next stop Lienz, Tyrol with the back drop of the Lienz Dolomites …another region bursting at the seams with things to do and see .
The only thing missing are chairlifts and cable cars that are actually working ! Try as we may we are not destined do a high alpine hike on top on any of these mighty mountains ..either they have not opened yet for the summer season (seems to be late June ) or we are not there on a weekend when a few operate … or they are having Maintenace done ! the walk into Lienz from our camp site in Amlach.Pretty little town ..hiking days ..up we go ..lots of dairy farms up here and saw a lot of these these barns around, usually tractors and gear top floor , storage below and some very nice living quarters adjacent...pics above and below on one of the themed hiking trials that crossed our arduous one ! 😂so many of the cutest resting spots along the way , a great way to keep the children going if they are weary and for big kids like me of course 😊and to shelter from the rain too !! We were saturated through to bone this day but loved every minute. Hope that bird above Amanda’s head doesn’t drop a little good luck on her. .
Nearing the end of the hike , a warm cafe , strudel and some sort of Austrian doughnut. We opted for the different variation with strudel and chose one that had a very light almost ricotta cheesecake taste to it . The doughnut was just ok We are paying about $6 a coffee now so are considering beer instead as it’s the same price or a little cheaper…..decisions 🤣wet, wet , wet thank goodness the sun started shining.
The campsite Amlacherhof is just behind this building . First impressions as we entered were not good in fact we reversed and drove on. But decided to take a look as the picture in our Acsi book looked completely different.This actually used to be a summer residence for royalty years back but the owner of this site is slowly renovating the lovely building … don’t judge a book by its cover , behind here was a delightful camp site next to the horse riding school ( the horses were a little restless at night , but a great spot ) had a lovely pool too.I forgot to take a picture of the reception area but this was located just outside 😂 self serve beer, trendy bar, not..and the lovely little village of Amlach was only a 4 km walk into Lienz .the stables next to the campsite..where else would you find Pinocchio and Jimminy Cricket .We wound our way through the Hohe Tauern National Park towards Zell see am which would have been stunning if not for the torrential rain and low lying cloud. A bit of a challenge with all the mountain passes to negotiate.The long windy road suddenly ended and our trusty sat nav … (no not always ) told us to turn right onto a car train … yeah right ! Ignoring this we carried on and did indeed come to a dead end in the cute little town of Malnitz… Yes, unless we wanted to drive completely out of our way (85 klms) via a toll road, our only option was the car train , actually called the car shuttle through the mountain . The ticket office was manned by the grumpiest Austrian we have encountered (everyone has been lovely ) . Do you speak English I asked ? No came his reply … my sweetest damsel in distress face came to light , suddenly he could speak English but still a grump and finally told us we had two minutes to board pay 17 euros and hurry up !!
( Allen here). Tht”s not quite how it happened. I asked Amanda to go and ask the attendant how much it was and could they accommodate a large motorhome, and what time did the next train depart. She came back red faced like she’d lost $1000 and found a. Dollar saying the man was rude and spoke no English. I asked her to put her big girl panties on and go and sort him out………..2 minutes later she returned saying 17 Euros and the train leaves in 2 minutes so get going. Now that’s more like the Amanda we all know and love. It was ridiculously tight, raining heavily. And no time to waste, so no pressure then.hurry up ?? have you seen how narrow this thing is !!.After the exciting shuttle experience ,, onto Zell See am. My new best friend directing us off the train lol an alpine ski town situated on a lake.The day we arrived the weather was so bad we stayed in doors all day … glad really it makes us take it easy and chill out. We awoke the following day to much brighter weather , walked the 11kms perimeter of the lake stopping in the town for a light lunch . Must be heaving around here in Winter when the snow is around. It”s a little touristy and a bit like Windermere only a little more up market.
Fountain dedicated to the nine provinces of Austria.Al having his usual real estate fix...Our camp site Panoramic, indeed it was. Just stayed a couple of nights here .Our next couple of nights were at St Johann Im Pongau. We chose to stay here as it was near Liechtensteinki, a gorge walk but when we arrived it was closed due to a landslide last year … but also it was close to the train line into Salzburg..which we caught , an added bonus of a great scenic train ride through more fabulously striking countryside .In just over an hour we arrived in Salzburg.
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site (the old town) Birth place of Mozart, beautiful baroque architecture and many a Sound of Music moments…A leisurely 15 minute walk and we were amongst the beauty of this lovely city.
We decided to hit the old city first over the river Salzach which divides the city into two.Getreidegase is in the heart of the old city, a beautiful area filled with art galleries , high end fashion shops, restaurants, bars, and lots of arch ways leading off to make you want to explore. These beautiful ornamental guild signs are still hand made at the Weiber shop along this street.Mozart’s birthplace 1756 .. is also along here.The Horse Pond is where the Parade horses were once washed from Prince Archbishops stables. Allen wants to know why all (most ) women stick one leg out when having their photo taken like the girl in the photo above…… ..absoulutely loved St Peters church and it’s beautiful ornate cemetery and catacombs.
Founded in the 7th century sounds bizarre but it was one of our highlights in Salzburg.once again the ornate guild head plaques were exquisite .it had the most serene feel to it , the worlds prettiest cemetery ? Well it must rank high up there. This was used as a back drop during filming of the Sound of Music, when the Trapp family fled through St Peters cemetery before escaping to Switzerland , as too were many other sights in Salzburg. .inside the church was really very beautiful too..Pickle palace ? below is Mozartplatz and the Mozart monument .any one for a Mozart Schoko then ?Old Amadeus really was a talented lad. Not only a genius Composer and musician, but a chocolatier to boot. WHO KNEW ? Lol below is Residenzplatz square and the Residence fountain.Met these two very game young Italians who were travelling from Italy to Mongolia on their pushies . The one on the left in his Crocs ( he had cut his foot the night before ) had never been on holiday outside Italy and there ha was cycling over 11,000 km’s on his first overseas trip, his pal must have been very convincing. !! Hats off boys . cute children’s traditional costumes.Just a few of the many church spires in Salzburg.walked up to the castle and was rewarded by the wonderful view below. If you aren’t feeling energetic you can catch a little cable car to the top.the most under whelming sites for us was Mirabella Palace , in fairness we did not go in but the outside I thought would have been more elaborate. loved Salzburg !! I am sure in the evening the live music is wonderful in and around some of these gorgeous surrounds.
The trip on the train was pretty special too...Hohenwerfen Castle a bite to eat in St Johann before arriving back to our campsite located on this river, absolutely exhausted..St Johann twin spired church .umbrellas for a change instead of flowers .Our taste of Austria is now over and we head for pastures new.
Until next time love to all xx