The Drive to Slovenia


I got up early and went to the gym before breakfast. Had red face for rest of the morning and felt slightly dizzy. Pretty sure exercise is unhealthy. Breakfast good again – we’ve had a nice time here (Sheraton Salzburg) it’s a shame to leave.

Drove south. Left main road and went through Alpine National Park. Worried that we hadn’t paid (you have to buy a vignette and stick it on your windscreen) and that we might be fined. But there was nowhere obvious to buy one. Then we arrived at the official entrance to the park, and actually it would be impossible to NOT pay, so that was an unnecessary panic.

Stunningly beautiful views in every direction. I want to live in Austria – they even like dogs, so Kia could come.

Followed mountain road to a glacier. Saw a marmot (looked like a groundhog). Lots of cows with bells, sheep, motorbikes and – surprisingly – cyclists. Not quite sure why anyone would cycle up a mountain by choice, but there are some weird people in the world. The road led to a huge car park, with toilets and cafes. It felt rather like a seedy service station on a motorway. However, it was functional, it allowed everyone to park and enjoy the views. Some people were walking to the glacier – not sure if they could actually walk on it; but they looked tiny from the car park, so I’m guessing it would be a whole day’s outing, and we were on the way to Ljubjana so didn’t have time. Perhaps when we live here ….(need to start persuading Husband).

 

R perturbed by lack of lunch. Found a supermarket at 3pm and bought bread and cheese.

Arrived at Grand Hotel Union (yes, that is the correct order of words) in Ljubljana. (This is pronounced libby-ana. But Husband insisted on calling it Lubbily-Jubbily, and now it is REALLY hard not to. Which will be embarrassing when I’m telling friends about the holiday.)

  Hotel is in the old town, which is lovely. Weather hot. People speak good English (which is lucky, as we are having trouble with even the name of the city!)

We wandered around looking for somewhere to eat. Husband tired after 8 hours of driving. Ate in an over-priced cafe in a square and watched the world go by. Lots of young people. Old part of the city is pretty, and full of bars and cafes and street artists. There are famous bridges, interesting statues and lots of people. For a city I had never even heard of, it is surprisingly well-known amongst tourists. Will explore tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.

Take care,
Love, Anne x

On Friday I will tell you what we see in Ljubljana – why not sign up to follow my blog?
anneethompson.com

xxx

Fuschlsee, near Salzburg – Family Holiday Diary


Day Three – Fuschlsee near Salzburg

Breakfast 9 am. Managed to sit inside today. Sheraton provides a good selection for breakfast – and S selects most of it. Today he poured chocolate powder over his eggs by mistake (same wrapper as mustard). We, of course, never mentioned it again, because we’re a tactful, understanding, family. R had a boiled egg, which wasn’t. J spent 3 hours cooking a waffle (had to restrain Husband so he didn’t go to “help” him.) But we didn’t break the coffee machine today.

Choices for activities today were: walking, rowing, golf, cycling, swimming. We, of course, had a voting system (20 votes per person) and made an Excel spreadsheet. Sometimes I wonder how I came to be part of this family. Anyway, rowing won.

Hired two boats (€10 per hour) and set off across Fuschl Lake. Made it to a jetty with a fish restaurant and had drinks. Had to walk across a scary floating jetty and down a plank of wood. I don’t generally do well with activities that involve balance. Used washroom – all public conveniences in Austria seem to cost 50 cents. Rowed back. It is harder than you might think to row in a straight line.

Family played golf (not me). Then we met for hideously expensive drinks in pretty hotel bar.

Had trouble booking anywhere for dinner, as it’s Assumption Day and everywhere is closed (would’ve been nice if hotel had warned us). Ate in The Grill at hotel. Nice food, very friendly waiter.

Day Four

Nice breakfast again. M and H swam before breakfast. ( M has clearly been abducted by aliens who are now impersonating him, but I rather like having a son who gets up before midday, so I don’t mind.) Drove to St Wolfgang and caught tourist train up mountain. Tickets so expensive Husband wouldn’t tell me the price.

Mountain very cold at the top. R wearing summer dress and sandals – interesting decision. We covered her in Husband’s hideous cagoule. Brilliant views, though one side was covered by cloud. The peak looked like a film set for a Nazi film, with a wooden house with flags for secret planning meetings.

 

Drove to Bad Ischl to a coffee house recommended by Trip Advisor. (When in Austria, you HAVE to visit a beer garden, a coffee house, and run across an Alpine meadow singing words from The Sound of Music. It’s the law.) Really nice coffee, really grumpy waiter. We wanted lunch, and when we asked if the menu had any vegetarian options, he told us to go to the cafe up the road! Used the washroom, which had a strangely placed mirror – I could not see any purpose for it, do people check their make-up while sitting on the loo? Very nice coffee though….

 

Saw some red phone boxes. One was filled with bookshelves, and was a ‘book-swap’ place. Nice idea.

It’s our last day in Austria, so I bought a cushion cover for my collection. Tomorrow we drive to Slovenia. Now, I just need to find a meadow to run across……

Thank you for reading.
Take care,
Love, Anne x

Why not sign up to follow my blog? anneethompson.com

Austria – Family Holiday Diary


Day One : Munich to Austria

Car arrived 5am. Everyone ready -unexpected -maybe some of them didn’t sleep. Flew Heathrow to Munich, all went smoothly, and everyone managed the automatic barriers. Eventually.

Collected minivan, and drove Munich to Salzburg. J made redundant from map reading due to rather efficient satnav.

Arrived at Sheraton at Fuschlsee, a lake near Salzburg. Staff at reception predominantly female, wearing national dress, which does make them very buxom. Impossible to avoid mainly noticing bosoms. H told M not to wear his glasses while we’re here.

Dinner in expensive hotel restaurant. Lots of antlers on walls, candles, flowers. Nice meal, but tired (me, not meal.)

  Everywhere here is SO pretty.

Day Two : Hallstatt

Nice breakfast, though I had problems with coffee machine and covered surrounding area with milky froth -rescued by very nice waiter who collected me a mug of coffee.

Drove to Hallstatt. Traffic terrible and nowhere to park, so we abandoned Husband and car, and walked into town. It was full of Chinese people, really full. Coach loads of them. All the signs were written in German and Mandarin, so clearly a regular occurrence. Also full of extremely expensive souvenir shops. Followed signs with a skull on them up a mountain (J in flip-flops, but still faster than people in hiking gear). Signs took us to a cemetery.

Found Husband and ate lovely homemade pizza for lunch. Read guidebook to try and find out significance of skulls and cemetery. Read that apparently, cemetery is very small – due to being half way up a mountain, so when it was full, someone had the good idea that they could dig up the old corpses and replace them with the new ones. Honestly, this was the solution they decided on! Did anyone object? Was there a committee involved? Anyway, this is what they did. While the bodies were waiting to be buried, they decomposed, and the bones were bleached by the sun. The skulls were separated from the other bones, and they are displayed in a side chapel. We HAD to go back and look. There they were, bones stacked neatly, skulls decorated with the name and patterns. Brilliant!

The rest of Hallstatt is also interesting. Lots of cute cottages clinging to the mountainside. Too many tourists and over-priced shops, but well worth a visit.

 

Walked around a mountain lake, Vorderer-Gosausee. So beautiful. Lake, trees, glacier, mountains.

Dinner in Fuschl. Parked in large town car park, returned after dark, and didn’t know how to pay. Husband set off in the dark to investigate, we sat in car, then decided to send S (largest male) to protect him. S detoured via barrier and tried to lift it manually. Worried he might break it, Husband would return with paid ticket but we’d still be trapped due to broken barriers. R worried there might be zombies (so glad she’s 25 and works in a bank – easy to forget that sometimes). D returned, barrier worked, all good.

Arrived safely back at hotel, despite best efforts of suicidal deer on dark road. Nice day. Tomorrow we plan to visit Salzburg (which is very exciting, as it’s where they filmed The Sound of Music – because it’s where the real family actually lived.)

Thank you for reading.

Why not sign up to follow my blog? Tomorrow I’ll tell you what we saw in Salzburg.

anneethompson.com

xxx

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