Austria

Fail whale castle

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The trip to Neuschwanstein castle from Munich took 2 hours one way on in the train, and the whole day to negotiate the travel and explorations. Being the inspiration for the Disneyland castle, it’s something I’ve always wanted to see. Imagine our surprise when we discovered it was covered in scaffolding and wrapped in plastic! Ive attached a photo of what it should look like and what it DID look like. Only the front of the caste was unwrapped for inspection. It was a little disappointing from a photographic perspective but the tour through it and the walk down into the waterfalls and rainforest type gardens below was beautiful. The tour guide was concerned about the climb up to the castle but our hostel in Munich had a broken elevator and we were on the 5th floor (102 stairs) so the climb was no problem to us billy goats.

After Munich we arrived back to Austria to Innsbruck, which is a mall village surrounded by enormous snow capped mountains. Sophie had found a special deal on the Hilton hotel so it was pretty exciting and a nice break to stay there and eat a REAL breakfast. We even had TV WITH English speaking channels and movies woohoo! We ate so much breakfast that we didn’t need lunch and had an early tea at 4 pm instead.

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It rained for the whole day we were at Innsbruck but we walked up the mountain to the Alpine zoo regardless. Being a weekday and raining meant we pretty much had the zoo to ourselves and the boundaries between the people and the animals were almost non-existent compared the the Melbourne Zoo so we got some terrific photos.

Goodbye to Germany and Austria. We have conquered 7 countries now in 4 weeks and are about to explore our 8th, starting with Venice in Italy where the temperatures are soaring higher up the 30s and we will stay with my Twitter friend in her B&B.

I'm writing this in the bus on the way to Venice. Already the contrast from Austria is huge. Apart from the magnificent scenery across the mountains, the roadstop along the motorway was very different to the 'orderly' German and Austrian ones. It was hot, messy, loud and confusing. Bring on the new culture I say:)

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High on the hills is a soaking goat herd

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Salzburg has raindrops on roses tonight as the run of weather over 32 degrees ended in a huge storm. Unfortunately Sophie and I got absolutely drenched in it but it cooled us down nicely if there is positive side.
We started the day with The ‘Sound of music’ tour, which was full of cheesy jokes and a well worn dialogue but we really enjoyed the scenery and the thought of the movie being filmed here. Our dreams were shattered when the home truths of the movie were revealed with the apparent help of Hollywood and its tendency to fabricate and glorify the truth. Who would have thought that Rolf the Nazi postman never really existed? We saw the gazebo, the lake, the home, inside the church they married in and the gardens where do-re-me was filmed.
After our ‘Sound of Music’ tour we ventured up to the fortress high up on the hill.. The clouds looked rather worrying but we ignored them as it was 32 degrees and the fort was terrific. Of course we got absolutely drowned once the storm hit and had to walk back to the hotel. I was the laughing stock when I arrived in the foyer looking like a drowned rat. We then watched the circus out our window where the flooded roads were causing chaos. Cars were driving through water up to their headlights and one had to be pushed out. An Ambulance almost floated away and eventually they closed the road.
Off to Munich tomorrow for more adventures!

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Schnitzel and strudels

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We’ve seen ‘Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels’ galore and plenty of doorbells but not sleighbells. As for schnitzel with noodles, it usually comes with potato salad but ‘whatever’. It’s been 32 degrees here in Vienna and Sophie is burning to a crisp like a good little snowflake Aussie.
Yesterday we caught 3 trains to the Summer palace and explored the gardens and took a tour of the inside of the palace. The gardens were ringing with the sound of a rock band, which I would have expected to be a Mozart orchestra but apparently not. The rendition of Metallica ‘ Nothing else matters’ in German had to be heard to be believed. Shannon would have cried! Sophie couldnt wait to snap my ‘Fuji moment’ when a group if Asians asked me to join them in their photo. At first i thought they were talking to someone behind me but soon discovered i was to be ‘Wheres Wally?’ in the photo. I certainly felt like a Wally thats for sure.
Other than that, the palace was lovely and the gardens equally as lovely. Afterwards we walked over Vienna and ate Maccas and chocolate for lunch and tea. As you can see, we are on a health kick. Today we are having schnitzel and strudel. Tomorrow we diet.
We are off to Salzburg tomorrow and spend the following day on the ‘Sound of music’ tour. We have our costumes ready, created from the curtains in our room;)
So far we haven’t been thrown out of our accommodation, but with all the rules we have to follow its a wonder. No laughing or singing after 10 pm, no throwing things out the window… ‘even accidentally’ . There are 3 pages of rules and we are very afraid to breath which just results in muffled hysterics.

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