Travel

Adventures and misadventures

Austria in Autumn

G and I went to Austria for 10 days in late October. It was unseasonably warm, and we got to see some of the country before the winter snow sets in.

First, we went to Zell am See, which is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. In fact, there are many visitors who come to this village precisely because they believe it is “Heaven on Earth” – with its pristine lake set against a backdrop of mountains, it just doesn’t get much better than this ….

Zell am See

After a few days exploring the region around Zell am See, we went to Kitzbühel – a favorite ski town of the rich and famous. We stayed in a fantastic Tablet Hotel – the Q! Resort – which is located right on the river just a short stroll from the center of town.

Kitsbühel

If you’re not familiar with Tablet, it’s a website that only features boutique hotels. This one did not disappoint: it was decorated beautifully and the interior was warm and welcoming. Upon our arrival, we were greeted with a glass of Prosecco by the fire!

Our next stop was Innsbruck, famous for its ornate and pastel-colored buildings. We strolled around the Old Town and then took the train up the mountain to see the city from a higher perspective.

Innsbruck

Innsbruck Church

Innsbruck Villagers

Innsbruck Panorama

From Innsbruck, we took a day trip to Seefeld, a small, charming ski village about 30 minutes away. Even the drive was beautiful!

Driving in Austria

Seefeld was getting ready to close down for a few weeks before the start of ski season, so we were lucky to get there when we did. All the outdoor cafés were full of people enjoying the mild weather.

Seefeld

Seefeld AlpenHotel

 

Charcuterie & Wine in Seefeld

We had to stop and try some delicious local food and wine !

Our last stop was Salzburg. On the way, we took a detour to visit St Johann in Tirol. It was November 1st, the Day of the Dead, and there were soldiers everywhere in full dress. It was a little unsettling, to say the least. (It didn’t feel right to take a picture of them.) The church bells were tolling, and the little cemetery in the center of town was full of people paying their respects to lost loved ones. We walked through quickly before driving on.

St Johann in Tirol

St Johann in Tirol

 

Salzburg was my favorite city of all. This year marks the 50th anniversary of The Sound of Music, the movie that some say put Salzburg on the map. But I don’t think it needed the movie to do that – it is picture perfect!

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We took an elevator up to the top of the mountain, and walked above these crazy houses which backed right up to the rock face ….

Salzburg Houses

 

 

I was so happy to get my castle fix, visiting Hohensalzburg Castle, one of the biggest – and oldest – fortresses in Austria. It was STEEP!

Hohensalzburg Castle

Hohensalzburg Castle

Walkingto Castle

 

There were some pretty cool exhibits inside …

Cloud Sculpture

Cloud Sculpture with Plates

Castle Warriors

Warriors

Chastity Belt - Ouch!

Chastity Belt – Ouch!

 

And the view from the top was a-ma-zing!

Church Spires

 

 

I now know where Mozart got his inspiration!

Cow

Categories: Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Shadows – Remembering James A. Michener

 

Does anyone remember James Michener? Amazing author of such works as Tales of the South Pacific, Caravans, Centennial, Chesapeake, and my favorite, The Drifters. His were among the first truly great novels that I read as a fresh-faced young woman, dreaming of travel, romance and adventure. He remains an inspiration to me and I just love how he turned a phrase. I hope you enjoy this snippet from The Drifters:

 

The world is but a place of shadows. The guest pauses but a few nights and departs confused, never knowing for sure where he has been. Beyond the horizon he feels certain he will find a better city, a fairer prospect, a more sonorous group of singing companions. But when his camels are tethered he will find himself engaged with still yet another set of shadows.

 

Camel Caravan

 

 

If you have never read any of his work, do it now. You’re welcome.

The Drifters (novel)

The Drifters (novel) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Categories: Travel, Writing | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

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