Monthly Archives: Jul 2018

2018 Holiday – Time to head homewards Days 11, 12, 13, 14,15,16 & 17!

Monday 9th July 2018 Weyregg to Hessdorf.

Time to head home!

Got up, showered and dressed, spent about 5 minutes packing my case and returning my shirts to my overnight bag after being hung up all week in the wardrobe.

Downstairs for a good breakfast and Tea of course, and brought the car up to the back door of the Hotel from the Carpark, and started the up – down up – down routine of bringing the Cases, Computer case, Map and tourist book bags and then the Holdall overnight bags and the Tea, mugs, milk and kettle bag, then back up to check we’d cleared the room. Yes, all clear.

Down to reception, nobody there so rang the bell and the Owner and his wife both came out to let me pay and say goodbye! “But I thought you were here for a full week,” said Anna, “Well, we’ve been here 7 nights,” said Julie so I gave Thomas my Credit card and paid for the room. €626 for 2 people 7 Nights Bed and Breakfast, Not bad at all.

Out to the Car after a hug and handshakes and set the Satnav to go to our next stop of Hessdorf at The Aurora Motel.

Incident free drive up and past Nuremberg and off the Autobahn at Hessdorf, called in at the Rewe shop to get another bottle of milk and discovered they have a Coffee Shop in their Bake-off area, so of course, we had to try it and the quality of the cakes as well! The cakes were so good (This is late afternoon) that we went back up to the counter and got some different ones for our Supper. On round to the Aurora Hotel, booked in, 1 st floor again and overlooking the car in the carpark. Blimey, it’s hot! turned on the air conditioning, and changed into our PJs as they’re cool and dry! After a few Hours Kindling, sat up in the Hotel Chairs to eat our Cakes with a cup of Tea and the room door opened! (Good job I wear my PJ Shorts in hotels, I’d already shed my Tshirt) There stood a German Couple as amazed to find us in their room as we were to find them with a key card that opened ours! Both couples had Room 108. They went off to remonstrate with reception, and I put the chain on the door and slid across the deadlock. Never had that happen before!

Tuesday 10th July 2018  Hessdorf to Cologne.

Went up for breakfast ok, we managed to find a really quiet time so it was a relaxing meal, and back to the room to pack up. Err the room card doesn’t work! Took it down to reception, “Ah Yes, we cancelled both cards” And you didn’t think to tell us? Just reprogram the thing so we can leave PLEASE. went back up and packed, back down to pay and it turns out that they originally allocated us a twin room, then noticed that I booked a double and changed our room, unfortunately, they forgot to change the other couples room and didn’t notice when they checked in that the room was already occupied on their computer software! The receptionist was totally at ease with all this but I wanted to remain calm, I’ve still got 2 days driving ahead!

Left Hessdorf and headed up the A3 to Porz-Wahn and the Karsten Airport Hotel.

On the way, Julie worked out where the services were that we have used before and liked as She normally does on these journeys, the Lunchtime one very good again.

The Late afternoon one isn’t there! Nadda, Zilch, definitely not where we had it marked! So we arrived in Wahnheide earlier than anticipated and hungry! Couldn’t find anywhere to park in the village near an eatery, so rejoined the A59 North as the map shows services just north of here and we saw it on our way down! Called in at the said service station with a little trepidation as it’s a Shell Fuel station with a Deli-to-go, but with quite a few tables. I got us a Hot Bratwurst and a warm bread roll each and of course Tea, and very nice it was too, now marked on the map!

Continued up the dual carriageway and turned back south at the next exit, returning to Wahnheide and pulling up at the Karsten and parking right next to the front door, to quote my Facebook post;

‘You know that feeling when you walk into the reception at a hotel to be met by the owners adult daughter saying Aanndy, it’s so nice to see you again! then runs around the desk to give you a hug? Yup, been here a few times! after She also gave Julie a hug, we were offered PG Tips T Bags to take up to our room, because they get them from the English Shop in Cologne for their British Guests! Now that is what I call Service.’

That was Melanie, one of the Owner Anne’s Daughters, Her Sister Stefanie had greeted us with a hug last week! Booked into our favourite room here and ‘set up camp’ again for the last time this trip, left the key inside the lock inside the room, can’t think why! During the evening we managed to force down a cake each that we bought in Rewe in Hessdorf this morning as a consolation prize for not exploding in the reception at the Aurora!

Wednesday 11th July 2018 Cologne to Basingstoke.

We set off from The Karsten after a filling Breakfast and with fond wishes, we picked up the A59/A559 Northwards then the A4 West, retracing out Journey of 11 days ago.

The traffic was reasonably light for a Major East/West route through the Continent, changing to the A76, then A2(E314) and after about two Hours we stopped at Services near Heusden-Zolder in Belgium, Julie having a Glazed Ring Doughnut and I had a Muffin. Very fresh they both were too, absolutely delicious. I, as often in these Services had coffee, Julie only drinks Tea or Frappucino as the aroma up her nose is unpleasant, (not always the case, this is an ex Nurse who used to almost mainline coffee in the past, maybe her body is rebelling!) anyway it turned out that they couldn’t supply Milk (Despite there being a carton piped up to the coffee machine) so had given her Coffee Creamer GRrrr.

I bet they don’t put powdered coffee creamer on their muesli in the mornings, do they? When will these people learn that Milk goes in Tea, Cream in Coffee and the other stuff in the Bin?   (Don’t try Clotted Cream in Coffee, it doesn’t work!)

At the end of this Motorway we ‘Turned Right’ onto the E40 towards Brussels and after a short time Stopped! All lanes stationary, I had seen it up ahead and got into lane 2 of 4. The TMC on my Sat Nav had warned of Hold ups and stationary traffic due to a traffic incident on the R0 Brussels Ring. It’s not a Ring as it doesn’t join up at the bottom in Motorway terms like the M25 does, you CAN use local roads to do this but I have been VERY strongly advised not to try this by people who have and we do not have any close scale maps of the area so as Mrs Satnav didn’t come up with an Avoid strategy we sat there. We were glad we’d stopped at the Services as it was approaching lunchtime though.

Whilst we sat there we saw about 8 Police vans go past in our direction, so we knew it had been a major incident of some sort.  When the traffic cleared after about 3/4 Hour and we joined the R0, after a few Kilometres we saw some Police vans and staff on one of the overbridges looking down at the Central reservation, and that was all the clues we had to what had occurred. The R0 was absolutely packed especially after the hold-up and the fast lane held every speed freak in Europe each one up the bumper of the one in front! I’ve learnt not to stay in the slow lane of this 4 or 5 lane road so stayed in lane 2 most of the way round to exit A10 E40.

Almost Immediately West of the junction is the Services of Groot-Bijgaarden, and so we pulled in there for lunch. I had a Schnitzel of some sort with Fries and salad (with a very nice Balsamic dressing), and Julie had Soup of the Day and a roll. the next meal was to be in the UK.

After a good lunch and a rest, (The R0 really is the worst part of our travels in Europe, no worse than the M25 in Rush Hour, but I left that part of my life behind some 17 Years ago.) we rejoined the E40 Past Ghent, and Brugge and joined the A18 at the divergence for Oostende and the A16 at the French Border. These are still the E40.  The further we went on this road, the lighter the traffic got and the number of British number plates grew the closer we got to Dunkirque and then Calais.

We didn’t see any signs of displaced people wanting to disrupt the traffic or climb into vehicles thank goodness, though a number of the Aires have been closed and there are signs warning you to keep your eyes open for problems. Reached the Eurotunnel complex in good time, having an hour to kill in the Terminal before the Train that was given to us only 1&1/2 Hours Earlier than I had booked!

Through the Tunnel on the Train, and out onto the M20 Northwards through Kent with good weather and busy but moving traffic, M26 then M25 Westwards Clockwise, then stopped at Cobham Services for our evening meal.

Phew, nearly home! (Well, Julie’s home, mine’s another 225 Miles further West.)

Harry Ramsdens for Tea, Julie had Cod and chips and I had a Steak Pie, chips and Gravy with Mushy Peas in a little pot, we both had proper Tea as well. Very Nice it was too, not cheap but part of the Holiday so it doesn’t matter!

Rejoined the M25, Where’s all the Traffic? Ah! World Cup Soccer, England are playing, kick off in a few minutes so the road is almost deserted! Good.

Up as far as the M3 then picked this up heading West, only a handful of cars and vans on the road, maybe I like Football after all, just don’t make me watch it!

Off at J6, Basingstoke and round to Julie’s place. Carted the Overnight bags and Julie’s case up to Her Flat and….. Relax!! Early night and Boy did I sleep well!

Thursday 12th July 2018 Rest day

Got up, thought about cooking myself a Breakfast when Julie suggested we go out and get one instead, well we are still on holiday, sort of? We went over to a place just off the M3 J5,  https://www.newlyns-farmshop.co.uk/cafe-shop/  though we took the A30 instead, I’ve had enough of Motorways this week, and a tree has fallen onto the motorway closing two lanes Eastbound with an 8-mile tailback, I think most of them were trying to get onto the A30 instead! So we queued for a while, ok all 4 Miles we were on it but we were moving so not too stressful, but by the time we got to the Farm Shop and Cafe my tummy was rumbling! Very nice staff, VERY nice full English Breakfast, if expensive! (£10.99)

Returned to Basingstoke on the Motorway to rubberneck at this tree, the workers using Cherrypickers to cut back the branches of a VERY large tree that had made a right mess as well. Returned to the Flat and caught up a little with this Blog for a while,  and took my Case over to my Van parked outside the Eldest Daughter’s place as we’re going shopping tomorrow and the boot of the car is wanted for that! Julie meantime started washing Her clothing and my stuff from my overnight bag got done at the same time. (No, I didn’t ask, it was Her Idea.) I’ll wash my Stuff from my case when I’m back in Cornwall next week. We saw Jake our Grandson and Sue his Mum (Eldest Daughter) in the afternoon, then back to the flat and Zonked out.

Friday 13th July 2018  Shopping and rest day

“While we (Julie and Sue) are shopping at Sainsbury’s why you go into their cafe and have a breakfast?” Now that’s a lot safer than me using a Gas cooker on Friday the 13th!

So that’s what we did, the Ladies went grocery shopping, I sat and had breakfast, very civilised. I usually go round with them when I’m up here, I don’t mind shopping, in fact, I like it more than Julie does. We got the car washed by the Immigrants in the Carpark, £13? it’s a Fiver at home! then back to drop Sue’s shopping off and back up to the Flat for Tea and Cake.

 

Saturday 14th July 2018

PJ Day.

That’s about it really!

Sunday 15th July 2018   Go West Old Man!

Got up, cooked myself a breakfast then off to Tesco for my week’s shopping!

Got it all, and some Baking Spuds for Sue and returned to the Flat, loading the rest of my bits into the van and got ready to leave the Love of my life yet again.

After a Sad Farewell, walked over to Sue’s, started the van for the first time in 17 Days and regretfully left my Family behind and headed West. I hate this drive on my own, it’s hard to see where you’re driving through Tears and Tissues!

The traffic down was thankfully light, though I didn’t stop halfway as I had planned, the American Diner Route 303 car park was full, and Starbucks Honiton had some kids playing in the car park, and my Boss wouldn’t like blood all over the front of the new van! So I stopped at about 2/3rd way instead, at The Hog and Hedge cafe at Whiddon Down on the A30 at the top of Dartmoor http://hogandhedge.co.uk/  and had a delicious coffee, Toasted Bacon, Brie and Cranberry Sarnie and flapjack and a good rest.  The ethos of this place is just about right in my view, as well as the main cafe indoors, they’ve got an enclosed garden area with play equipment, a dog walking area, Baby changing rooms and Nursing Mother chairs. Oh and an area for meeting mates or family with comfy chairs etc and Free WiFi throughout. It’s a shame they are 80 miles from my place really, I’d be in here a lot more.

Continued on home and got here late tea time. Shovelled up the Junk Mail and Statements, bills etc, dragged my case and overnight bag in and got my Company Uniform out for back to work tomorrow. Rang Julie at 9pm as usual and had an early night. Couldn’t get to sleep for ages, I don’t want to be here on my own, never did it’s just that life and death gets in the way.

We had a fantastic time on Holiday in Austria, I still find it strange just how few Brits visit out of Ski Season as it is a stunningly beautiful country, lightly populated with caring helpful folk who are eager to show you their history and culture but will not shove it down your throat and do not shy away from nor promote the fact that Hitler was from there, his home city was Linz though his family moved around quite a bit in the region.

I don’t know when we will go back, if ever, but I hope we do. We will almost certainly be going back to The Karsten in Cologne, possibly for the Christmas Markets again.

My next project for this Blog is to try and find my Travelogue of our first trip to Weyregg some six or 8 Years ago and slot it in somewhere! It wasn’t published as a Blog and I can’t seem to find it on this Laptop so could have been on my old dead one, or may be able to find it amongst old Emails? If you’ve by chance got a copy of ‘Andy and Julie’s big adventure’ send it back, please!

 

 

 

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2018 Holiday Days 7, 8, 9 & 10

Thursday 05/07/18  Rest day

Why do I feel tired and worn out? I’m meant to be on Holiday! Oh, that’d be yesterdays excursion then!

The weather is damp today, Ok first thing it was pi**ing down but by lunchtime it had tailed off a bit so we took the car off in search of lunch, stopping at the shop on the way out of the village to get more milk for our Twinings.

We stopped off in Seewalchen am Attersee, the next village up and after parking had a wander in search of food (Cake). The rain had now stopped so we took an outside table at the Klimt Cafe by the Yacht club https://www.dasklimt.at/  housed in the ground floor of the Gustav Klimt Centre along with a chemist (Useful for Ibuprofen) and a rather posh Ladies accessories shop.

Gustav Klimt was a rather famous artist (apparently) who stayed in this area for part of his life and in most of the touristy bits round here you see references to his work, He used to sit in a boat on the Lake and sketch what he saw of the local scenes from there, so providing sketches and then paintings that were quite unique. I cannot even draw a house so I’m not qualified to criticise, so let’s leave it that I’m not enthusiastic!

The Klimt Cafe, however, I am enthusiastic about! As well as the indoor seating, there is a surrounding terrace with a glass canopy where we sat, a very large gazebo that abuts the canopy and a lawn with tables and parasols, we selected cakes from the refrigerated display inside along with a pot of Tea each. The Teapots we have seen before, being of the type that actually sits on top of the cup, the cup is about 3″ across at the rim and we got a good 2 cupfuls from each pot of good ‘English Breakfast’ tea and a small jug of milk each.

It’s quite a genuinely posh cafe, complete with the standard huddles of ‘Ladies who Lunch’ of various ages and very smart and well-spoken Waiting Staff in the obligatory Black and White, but we were made to feel very welcome and the cakes were VERY nice. I wish I could remember what we had this day, but I can’t!

After Lunch, we returned to the hotel and watched from our balcony then indoors as a storm swept through, didn’t mind really as it was forecast and did clear the air. The rain came in fits and starts all night so we took the car to the Sonne for our evening meal, sitting at an indoor table.

Friday 6th July  Still Resting, well, we are on Holiday!

It’s still raining this morning, though the wind has died down quite a bit and as the morning progressed the weather improved as forecast and we decided to go back to the Klimt Cafe for more Cakes and Tea. We sat inside this time as the Gazebo and the front canopy were full, and the other outside seating and tables had puddles and leaves etc from this morning. My turn to select the cakes, Julie got a cake slice, a Chocolate base layer with raspberry and cream layers, topped with jelly and pieces of fresh fruit, the outside being decimated coconut! It must have been horrible as She devoured it quickly so no one else had to, so thoughtful my Wife! I had a ‘Strawberry Omelette’ a disc of sponge about 4″ dia folded over with fresh strawberry cream filling and big pieces of very flavourful strawberries to top it.

Saturday 7th July  A surprise before Breakfast, Tour of some of the Lakes, some Winkles and an ‘athalon.

Most of this week, we have noticed that one of the Lady Guests at the Hotel has been coming into Breakfast with wet hair, Julie concluded that She’d been swimming in the Lake every morning as there were quite a few of the guests that did swim from the ‘Beach’ (Lawn with a swim ladder).

Well this morning I was leaning on the balcony looking out at the lake, just before we went down for Breakfast when I noticed somebody beyond the Willow Trees in the lawn walking towards the Swim ladder, Doubletake as I told Julie that ‘Oh, there’s that Lady going swimming now’,’ in the Nude?’. “Pardon? Where?” Yup, She was shielded from the road by the Trees, but not from our room balcony! Went down to Breakfast having just got a glimpse of the Ladies Rear-view, and sure enough about 30 minutes later in she came to the Breakfast room. Eyes front, look directly into your Wife’s eyes and try not to giggle!

We went for a drive today, clockwise around the Lake just past the Southern tip and turned left at Unterach to go Westwards for a little and then followed the Mondsee anticlockwise up the Eastern shore to Mondsee itself, then down the Western shore through Schwarzindien and Plomberg then Scharfling, leaving the lake at Eisenaueralm to follow the road onwards through Winkl (No tittering at the back please) to the Wolfgangsee at Brunnwinkle.

Ok, I’m cheating, in real time I’m sat on Julie’s sofa in Basingstoke toggling between WordPress and Google Maps and following the route we took. We didn’t have any set plans, just to see where we ended up!

After Brunnwinkle, we drove on through the town of St Gilgen and decided to stop at a lakeside Cafe if we could find one. There’s a Cable Car! Where? says I, Above that coach we’re following! and sure enough, there was, right across the main road. The coach turned off, and we followed it but couldn’t find anywhere to park within a reasonable walking distance of the lakeside or cable car so drove on down the lakeside through Franzosenschanze and Strobl and then after we left the Wolfgangsee onward to Bad Ischl.

We have already been to the Hallstatter See on our last trip to the area ((I Was going to post a link here, but just realised that although I wrote a travelogue, I wasn’t on WordPress then so it is only on my computer somewhere, I’ll have to try and publish it soon)) so instead of turning Right, turned Left to head up to the Traunsee, arriving at the Southern point at Ebensee. The road takes you up the Western Shore, the mountains coming right down to the lakeside in places so the road goes through tunnels at those places, though at Traunkirchen the old road still follows the lakeside whilst the modern wide road goes through the tunnel, the old road being for local traffic and cyclists only.

When we got to Altmunster, we were stopped by a middle-aged fellow who calmly walked out in front of the car and put his hand up! No uniform but a camera around his neck, and Loads of people milling around, quite a few of them carrying oars and sculls. The reason he stopped the traffic was to allow a young man carrying a single sculling boat out of the entrance of the rowing club and cross the road, where there were a collection of trailers for all sorts of boats lined up. He apologised before letting us carry on, explaining there was a race on today.

We followed the road on and into Gmunden at the head of the Lake, we’ve been here before and know an Italian Cafe on the promenade almost right next to the underground multistory car park that I actually remembered my way to! Traunseegarage, Kursaalgasse, Gmunden, Austria

Parked up on the lower floor, hoping there wasn’t going to be a flood as we’re 8 floors below the level of the lake (and it’s a long walk back to the UK from here,) and took the lift up and out onto the promenade, turned left and there was the cafe, complete with an empty table just for us. Cafe Kandur on the corner of Sparkassegasse

The promenade was very busy, people everywhere, inflatable arches and a P.A. system playing music, then a commentator who sounded like he was welcoming competitors home at the end of a race. Can’t be we thought, there’s no area taped off and crowds milling about everywhere. Can be! there was some form of ‘athalon ending here, some of the runners being accompanied by their Coaches on bicycles and fighting their way through the crowds to the finish line! Sometimes it is a real pain not understanding another language, and sometimes like this, it is quite an education, we would have stayed clear but missed the spectacle, and the lunch was delicious. (As was the cake for pudding.)

After a while of OUR favourite sport of People Watching, we went for a wander around the lower reaches of the town, finding most of the shops closed presumably because of the ‘athalon! Retraced our steps to the carpark and after finding out that the Lift buttons only cover 4 floors! We were told by a very nice man that floor -8 is really -4 1/2! Level -4 brings you out at -7 then walk down a slope to -8! We found the car ok (dry, thankfully) and made our way out of Gmunden, taking the Autobahn back across to the Attersee and onward to Weyregg.

A beautiful Sunset viewed from our balcony this evening

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Sunday 8th July.  Rest day

Having a rest day today as for the next 3 days I’ll be driving! We wandered along to the Eichorn cafe / Gelateria 4 door up for lunch, Julie had a Sundae and I had Waffles, Ice cream and Hot Fresh Cherries and Cherry Juice, the Waffle was in the round, with 3 scoops of ice cream as a ‘snowman’ in the middle and the Cherries and Juice were served in a mini gravy Boat. VERY nice.

Wandered back to The Strand and collected the car, drove to the Fuel Station to fill up with diesel only to find the Automat for the fuel has a blanking plug in the card slot, and I wasn’t about to put a €100.00 note in only to find it didn’t give or have the correct change! Instead drove on to Seewalchen and used the conventional petrol station there. I had my Union Flag stickpin badge on, and the Cashier addressed me in English as I walked into the shop, saves a lot of embarrassment this badge. Returned to the Hotel and chilled, then about 6pm we walked along to The Sonne and sat in the Garden for our meal, strolled back afterwards and decided that as we were not in a hurry, we could pack our cases and overnight bags just as well on Monday Morning.

The evening wasn’t as clear or the sunset as pretty on this our last evening though.

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We Start our journey back to Basingstoke tomorrow.

2018 Holiday Days 6 & 7

Tuesday 03/07/18  Rest Day (nearly).

Rest Day, we’ll keep it a local day. Ok, I admit it I’m a lightweight! I really enjoy the driving, especially over here where the major routes are so much quieter than at home, but it requires a lot of concentration,

a) I’m getting older, my reaction times aren’t what they were etc.

b) My Left eye is definitely substandard so to see in the opposite door mirror at all I have to turn my head, not just glance– when someone is approaching at the speeds they do over here, and you’re bearing down on the back of a truck or motorhome you have to plan very carefully to not become a statistic!

c) I’ve just spent 5 of 6 days driving, and a long day tomorrow.

After a lazy morning tryping and Kindling, we wandered along to the local Ice Cream Cafe 4 doors along the Lakeside road and indulged in treats, rather special Iced Cream sundaes for the two of us. (Come on, it’s Thursday am in real time now, I can’t remember what I had!)  Cue link to their live webcam… http://www.cafe-eichhorn.at/eichhorn_cam_stream.htm Looking out at almost the same view as our room.

Wandered back to the Hotel and collected the car, drove to the far end of the village to the Spar shop and bought some Skimmed UHT milk for our Teas in our room as the Carton we bought on Friday would be pongy by tonight, and got some cakes as well to go with the Tea. Driving back towards the Hotel decided to have a drive around the Lake and refresh our memories of some of the other local villages, pulled over a few times to let others pass as I was only going quite slowly and as I’m usually the one behind getting cross it was the least I could do!

On getting back to the hotel we relaxed for a while before walking along to the other hotel for our evening meal, we both had the ‘Sliced Pankake Soup’ followed by a Brisket roulade with finely chopped vegetables inside, served with Spiralle pasta and a lake of a delicious gravy. No room for dessert!

Back to the hotel for an early night Zzzzzzz.

 

Wednesday 04/07/18   The  Grossglocknerhochaplinestrasse.

The day those Colonials across the pond celebrate refusing to pay taxes to us Brits!

Right, now to carry out one of my ambitions, ever since I first came to this beautiful Country, I’ve wanted to drive along one of the most stunning routes in Europe. I’ve seen loads of photos, quite a bit of video of it and driven up a mountain before, almost up to the Snow Line in Summer but now it’s time to carry out this dream and drive the Grossglocknerhochaplinestrasse. (Big Glockner High Alpine Road)

The Grossglockner is a rather large mountain towards the Eastern end of the Alps, located south-west of Salzberg and without an alpine pass anywhere near, when the Chancellor of Germany annexed Austria in the early ’30s, it was decided to counter unemployment by a road-building program (Birth of the Autobahns) including building a road that heavy army traffic could use to invade Italy from an unexpected direction. Hence the Grossglocknerhochalpinestrasse.

I’m not going to get into the politics involved, nor the deaths incurred in building it, nor the outstanding feats of engineering using the technology of the day. Suffice to say that since first hearing about it it was something that I’ve just had to do and today is the day.

We set off after breakfast at about 9 am and took the A1 West for about 64kMs past Salzberg and then the A10 South for about 51kMs, coming off onto the B311 Westwards for about 32kMs to the junction just south of Bruck which takes you south on Grossglocknerstrasse towards the pass road itself which starts at Fusch. Whilst on the B311 we came across a maintenance crew who were shutting the road in stages to clear overhanging vegetation and trees that were in danger of falling onto the traffic and road, this was just before a tunnel so barriers were strung across at each end of the tunnel and just before they were working. No prior notice, you’re meant to know they are there! Still, I’ve been in traffic Jams in worst places.

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The Temperature according to the car was 27C at Fusch. 813M asl ( above sea level).

We set off on this road, not reaching the Toll barrier until we got to the ‘Wild and leisure park’ at Ferleiten some 13kMs in! The toll seems a bit stiff at first, €36.00 but you do get a car sticker, a small leaflet and access for a whole day to some of the most breathtaking scenery in Europe! (The cost of course, also covers the Park Rangers, road and carpark building and maintenance and Snow Clearance in the Spring.)

We reached the first important stop (Tea in, etc.) at Piffkar, some 1620M asl, the Temperature here was down to 19C. and we looked straight across from the Shop with outside tables directly at this view.

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And this is the view back down the hill so far from the layby on the other side of the road.

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That bright white bit in the middle of the picture isn’t a cloud, you’re looking horizontally through the clouds at a snowfield the same elevation that we are!

So we carried on, uphill all the way, some almost straight parts, a LOT of Hairpin Bends and even they were at a ratio of 1:4 Up.

Our next stop was at the Haus Alpine Naturschau at 2,260M asl where there was a really nice Cafe, an indoor exhibition of the rocks and Large lumps of various crystals, and a souvenir shop. (These shops were at every building in the park, not too heavily priced either.)

The following pictures show views from various laybys that I stopped in on the way further up before we turned off to go to the highest viewpoint at Kaizer-Franz-Josefs-Hoche.

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Quite how those Cows stay stuck to that hillside I don’t know!

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The stone blocks at the side of the road are the Crash Barrier, they are deliberately placed MORE than a Cars’ width apart, and are all that stops you going over the edge!

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Some of the snowfields are literally right next to the road, and people have carved their names in with their fingers or sticks.

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To stop the snow melt running across the road, they have small waterfalls to take the water down into a pit then it’s piped under the road and comes out the other side as a waterfall again! Pics I took of these have evaporated! Mind you, this Phone does take rather good pictures, even with me doing it.

Despite our elevation at this point, the flow of water over the falls is very powerful.

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The above is the view over the last Coach and Campervan park before you get to the  Kaiser-Franz-Josef-Hoche Glacier, for us mere car people to get to and from the cafe we would have to had to go down and then back up those stone steps, That’s the lower of 3 flights of steps, and no we didn’t!

The following two photos are not very clear, Yes they are in colour but dirty Ice and Scree doesn’t show up very well in these, You are looking at the bottom of a Glacier, the vertical wall is the end of the Glacier looking down from the observation pathway at the Kaiser-Franz-Josef-Hoche. (2329M asl)

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And turning around, we haven’t moved the Car, it’s parked in this 4 level Multistory car park!

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After looking in the exhibition next door to the car park, and around the souvenir shop, we were going to go into the Cafe/Restaurant next door… until we saw that the menu boards outside only showed overpriced meals and NO prices for drinks at all!

So we left the free carpark (€36 remember?) and drove downwards towards the next cafe, where we stopped for a light snack (ok I had plum filled Yeast Dumplings with Vanilla sauce (Germknodel)) and Tea for the boss & latte for me.

This was at about 3pm, we still had to complete the road and then get back to the Hotel!

We decided to continue South and find another way back rather than turn around, so we continued downhill all the way to Heiligenblut (1288M asl) at the bottom of the pass and rejoined ‘normal’ roads again.

The highest point by road on the pass is 2500M asl

From Heiligenblut we followed the B107 South then after some confusion (Roadworks, roundabouts being built/moved etc) we picked up the E66, B100 East towards Spittal and then the A10 North. We followed Trucks along the B100 nearly all the way, so it took what seemed like forever to do the 63kMs or so, but when we joined the A10 Autobahn North, I at least thought I’d be able to get a move on a bit.

We went through the first tunnel on this route, and found a full stop Toll Gate! and No, the barrier didn’t lift after seeing our Vignette! We had to pay an extra, €11:50 to use this stretch of Autoroute which includes the Tauern Tunnel which at over 5kM long seems to go on forever, we drove in from bright Sunshine and out into a wall of Torrential Rain! Can I get my money back, please? (I checked online since, and the costs of building the Tauern Tunnel is why there is the top-up Toll.)

We continued in the Really horrible heavy rain until we saw a set of services from a known brand, and stopped for our evening meal. Got wet, but fed ok.

The rain died off not too long after leaving the services and we followed the A10 until we re-joined the A1 going Eastwards towards the Attersee.

We got back to the Hotel at 9pm, Tired but have both had a VERY long but very good day.

 

2018 Holiday Days 4 & 5 Cologne to Weyregg am Attersee.

Sunday 01/07/18 Cologne to Heissdorf.

We left the Karsten http://www.hotelkarsten.de/ after a leisurely breakfast and rejoined the A559 South, joining the A3 further down, and almost pottered on down to Heissdorf. We stopped a couple of times on the way at Services that we knew were good, we marked all the services on our Europe mapbook before we travelled the first time, and any services that we stopped at we put a ring round the good ones and a cross through the bad ones.

Below are two Copies from my Facebook, What do mean that’s cheating? I’m the one on Holiday!

A3 Southbound, the Services are called Bad Camberg. Named after the nearest village it may be, but we don’t think it is Bad at all, in fact, we think it is rather good here! The only downside is the steps up to the Restaurant, the last visit 4 Years ago and I really struggled with my Knee, but this time was ok. Heissdorf tonight, a little short of Nuremberg then Austria Tomorrow. It was 23°C when we left the Hotel in Wahn-Heide this Morning at about 9:15, currently a bit HOTTER! (About 27C)

Hotel No. 2 Please The Aurora at Heissdorf https://hotel-aurora.online/ueber-uns/ …. got here ok, no Dramas. Nice surprise on arrival though, 1st-floor room facing away from the Autobahn AND Tea/Coffee making facilities provided. Ok 2 teabags, one Cammomile and one Darjeeling and Coffee whitener, but at least we’ve got a kettle and cups! Last twice we didn’t have despite being advertised, no longer advertised but provided…maybe my whinging on those review sites worked 4 Years ago? AND we’ve got a Large bed, last time it was 2 singles With Wheels! I’ll let your imagination work on what happened.

This is a lovely hotel, modern and in an ideal location for travelling, there’s an Aldi and a Rewe on the business park (and if you’re desperate a McDonalds Ugh). We’re only a short distance (relatively) North of Nuremberg here (24kM via the Autobahn) so an even shorter drive tomorrow.

Monday 02/07/18 Heissdorf to Weyregg am Attersee.

The lack of Teabags and milk doesn’t stop my Julie, we bring our own! She bought a Decent travel kettle Years ago and brings a sealed plastic tub and a screw top carton of skimmed milk with us. The milk is still ok as I type this (on Tuesday Morning) and we bought it on Friday! Never Ever get in the way of us Brits and our cup of Tea! I am happy to drink decent Coffee, especially when away from home or work, but Julie has gone off it over the Years, so we always have a supply of Tea at hand, and the Spar Supermarket in the Village sells all types of milk so that’s not a problem.

Now, where was I? Oh yes… After breakfast, (we don’t go back unless they offer Give you a good breakfast) we departed the Aurora and picked up the A3 South again at a leisurely pace (ok, 70mph but on a road with no speed limits and a recommended speed of 130kM/81 mph that IS leisurely) and almost immediately noticed the difference.

Sunday was a day when only commercial vehicles carrying Fresh perishable produce were allowed on the roads (you see hundreds of the other Trucks parked in every rest area), resulting in quiet traffic and few needs to overtake anybody, After a Saturday of British Manic Motorways, and French, Belgian, Dutch and then German Idiocy on our first leg, Yesterday was really pleasant and the Holiday laid back feeling came on.

But Monday? That’s when ALL the Trucks in mainland Europe are moving, especially the Trans-Continentals. There were enough going South with us to warrant a few overtakes of fairly long convoys, (Didn’t see any plastic chickens though) but Coming North? Wow, there were literally Tens of Thousands of them. Amongst the ones we recognised, a handful of Eddie Stobarts, The entire convoy of the Formula 1 Renault racing team and a few trucks and hospitality units from Mclaren and Mercedes teams. I can’t take pictures and drive, and to be honest Julie hasn’t used the camera on my phone before so no pics I’m afraid. It was the Austrian F1 Grand Prix Yesterday and they’re all travelling to Silverstone for next Sunday!

Of course, we met most of the trucks going our way at hills! Bearing in mind that a lot of the lower stretches of this Autobahn are two-lane each way and no speed limit AND the drivers of big Mercs and BMWs will not slow down, coming up on a convoy takes some quick thinking. You’re travelling at 120 to 130kM/Hr 70 to 80mph, the Trucks are at a Maximum of 100kM/hr 63? mph and the overtaking lane on a busy Monday is running at about 160kM/Hr 100mph upwards.

I found the best way is to start seriously looking for a gap about a Mile 1.6kM before you meet the Trucks, keep it in your peripheral vision and only accelerate when it gets near you, indicating just before when the last car before the gap is too close to allow you in. Floor the pedal and aim to pull out so you just miss his tail end, bearing in mind that you’re driving a 1.6Litre Deisel and an eco model at that! Our Peugeot 3008 Automatic is very economical, usually giving an exceptional fuel economy but ask Her to lift Her skirts and fly, and the raised eyebrows and open mouths of the surrounding drivers is a phenomenon that I take great pleasure in. Looks like a harmless SUV, Drives like an economical SUV, got a ‘Caution Grandparent Driving’ sign in a back window and goes like a scalded cat when you ask her to, She comes as standard with the same tyres as a BMW M3 for a good reason, as you’d never get around a bend without them at a time like this (or change lanes on an Autobahn).

The traffic eased as we went further south, the biggest problem being that the Services we set our minds on for our first stop were closed for a rebuild! We stopped at a later one, not far from the border and thought we’d have a drink and a leak then fill up with Deisel and buy our vignette afterwards. I followed the signs to the Car park, only to find that getting back to the filling station is impossible here! Huffm Stuffm Puffm!!! We went in and got ourselves sorted, then I walked around and bought our Vignette from the Checkout in the filling station.

This is a peel front sticker that you put in the top left corner of your windscreen (windshield), it must be stuck there or you will get fined, it proves you have paid a Toll to the Austrian ministry of transport to use their motorways for a fixed period of time. You can get 3 days, 10 days, 3,6 or 12-month ones, we want 7 nights here including today so a 10 Day one does it. 9 Euros — not bad at all really.

The Vignette is read automatically by gantry mounted cameras at various points around the network, and if you don’t get stopped and Fined on the spot by their Police then you get a Fine sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle. They do it, they enforce it and they don’t forget.

We left the Services and drove on down through to the border, the same road then becomes the A8 in Austria and after a few miles, we took the Right fork to travel and pick up the A1 Westbound.

We stopped for Lunch at a set of Services at Lindach and very nice they were too, the time passed 2pm whilst we were there and that was the earliest we could have checked in so with less than 30kMs to go it worked out pretty well. Apart from the cost of the diesel that is, €1:55 a Litre Ahem, as the last time we filled up was in Koln at €1:22/L that came as quite a shock! I know it is on the primary East/West route through Europe, this road goes from Hungary to France but even so.

Arrived at the Hotel at about 14:45, rang the bell at reception as Thomas the owner was serving in the Bar, and he greeted us with “Hello Mr&Mrs Windsor, I wondered if it was you two when the booking came through”! It has been 4 Years since we’ve been here, and to be greeted with a friendly handshake by both Thomas and his Wife really makes us feel welcome.

A second-floor room this time, but the stairs are wide and shallow and no problem at all even with the cases. I always book a Lake View room as we get the Balcony and of course the Lake View facing West.

The first photo (Panoramic) was taken this evening into the Sun, and the other Three were taken tomorrow morning from the same place.

And the last one? The top balcony is ours! The picture was taken from ground level.