Thursday, 18 September 2014

Sunny Salzburg

Apologies for being a slack blogger these last few nights. I trust I can make up for it now.

I write this sitting in what we would call a beer garden of what must be one of the most amazing hotels in Salzburg, if not all of Austria.  But let's rewind a few days first...

We left Dresden 2 days ago under more threatening skies, and on advice (thanks Chris) headed for a town called Pirna where we joined the Elbe River for the most lovely little cruise along valley into the Czech Republic. Right on cue the sun came out, the temp warmed up and we had to turn on the GoPro to show you just how pretty it all was. 

So join us if you will for a little run along the Elbe near the German town of Kongstein.

From there we said goodbye to a slightly understandable language, expensive petrol and Euro's and entered the land of funny money and reasonable priced petrol. And we completely lost the GPS.  No Czech maps it seemed.  Oh well.  Keep calm and carry on.  There's always Google Maps.

Here's where our prebooked accommodation plan failed us. It's a bit of a shock to be told that you cant check in till 6.30. Our plan was to drop our gear, secure the bike and go visit Prague Castle.  Didn't happen. We made a shot for the castle but leaving the fully loaded bike in a main tourist area was just too unsettling. We ended up finding a restaurant and waiting it out.

When we finally did get in it was so much less than we expected.  Lets me just say we've asked for a refund... watch this space.  Never did make it to the castle.  Made another attempt that evening but with no local knowledge, unfriendly tourist maps, frazzled nerves and just everything it was all too much.  We had a restless night and bolted as early as possible the next morning.  Very disappointing really. I'm sure Prague has more to offer than what we experienced.

So we pushed pretty hard to get across the border into Austria and after a quick refuel and maccas coffee stop to blow the last of our funny money we finally pulled into the beautiful town of Linz on the Danube river. This place was such a relief.  It was late lunch time, 28 deg, not a cloud in the sky and people smiled at us again.  We bought lunch, rode to bike into a lovely park and just lay by the Danube in the sun, soaking it up and contemplating our next move.  There's a couple of photos below.

In the end we decided to push to Sazburg and find somewhere nice to spend a couple of rest days.  It just felt like it was time to give ourselves a slow day.  So we set the unreliable GPS for the tourist info center at Salzburg and hoped for the best. Surprisingly we found it, but not after taking a few postcard snaps along the way. We looked through a brochure and based on 1 photo I chose this place.  Next thing we were winding our way up the single lane mountain road to the top of the world with a view to die for and a price that we just couldn't believe. (only 74 Euro a night incl breakfast).

So last night we drank fine Austrian red wine overlooking this most beautiful city, and today we got up at around 9, took a lunchtime ride into town to check out Mirabell Palace (where they filmed some of The Sound of Music) and then found a nice spot by the river for lunch.  Then back here for a bottle of red, a lie in the sun, and some more of that awesome view.

So, I'm waiting patiently for youtube to upload the vid of the ride up to this place but wont make it in time for this post, so tomorrow hopefully. Instead here's a selection of photos from Prague on the bike and from Linz and Salzburg.

Tomorrow it's time to go and find those Dolomite mountains everyone keeps telling us about.  We're over the autobahns now.  It's playtime!