Monday, 30 June 2008

MONDSEE AND ST. WOLFGANG

MONDSEE


About 1am it absolutely lashed it down and although it had stopped by this morning it was a bit overcast. We had planned to go up to the Dachstein mountains but decided against it. Instead we went to Mondsee. I have been there twice before, the last time being a quick visit last year when we went on the Sound of Music coach trip. It is funny how your memory can play tricks on you, but I had in my head that the lake at Mondsee was very boring and the area quite flat, and I suppose compared to the other lakes it does tend to have rolling hills rather than mountains, that is only by Austian standards though. Anyway, it turned out to be a gorgeous day by the time we got there and after having a quick stroll round the village we went to the lake. It was a revelation to me, far from being boring I found it really beautiful and I just didn't remember it at all! John found a walk on his map which took us just short of half way round the lake then up into the hills and through the woods and back down through the Village.









I am not a religious person but you can't visit Mondsee without going into the church, the church is the one that featured in the Sound of Music. From the outside it doesn't look much but the inside is just amazing. Last year they were renovating a lot of the interior but that was not finished and the whole thing was looking beautiful and pristine. I don't think you have to be religious to be able to appreciate the craftmanship and the beauty of the interior.















We popped into the Konditori and immediately I saw this. Well it turned out to be like the cake I had been dreaming about since last year that I had in Gmunden only that one was a round tart shape. It was gorgeous - a real leg jiggler. John had the Sachertorte but said it was a little on the dry side so was a bit disappointed.




ST. WOLFGANG


It was another gorgeous evening and as there was some sort of event on in St. Wolfgang we decided to eat out. There were stalls set up all down the main street and a couple of bands playing. It was a really great atmosphere and we stayed quite a while just strolling and listening to the music. It is a very picturesque place and I have included just a couple of photos.

The shop above sells all different hand made soaps and smells gorgeous.


I couldn't resist this Gingerbread House below, It is the sort of place I would love to live in.


Here is a picture of one of the bands that were playing, complete with leder hosen, mmmm nice knees.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Went up into the mountains today and ended up at this little lake called the Hintersee which we had a walk round, it was only very small by Austrian standards, it was 4 miles to walk round it. In fact that is me in the photo.








Didn't know John had taken this one, but photos of myself are so rare thought I would put it on anyway. Having a little paddle, the water was freezing cold but very refreshing, you can actually drink this water as well.




After getting home and having something to eat we went out again for another walk but ended up taking the wrong turning but didn't realise until we had trudged up a very steep hill and ended up in someone's farm. So we went all the way back down again and walked along the road a bit more until we came to another track which we walked up - it was the wrong one again, so that was another steep hill which we had walked up only to find it was wrong, I am sure John does it to me on purpose! Have to say though that the view was fabulous so it was worth it.


We haven't been out really at night time but last night was such a gorgeous evening we went into Strobl. I had been looking out for he Chocolate cake that I had last year but couldn't remember what it was called and nothing on the memu seemed to say Hot Chocolate cake. Anyway I recognised the waiter from last year and described it to him and he said they still did it so I had to have one, after all, I hadn't had any cake all day. The other two photos are just from our walk. I love it that there is so much walking on the doorstep.


Mmmmmm chocolatey, I couldn't actuall eat it all and had to let John finish it off for me which is a first!

Saturday, 28 June 2008

WINDOWS

A bit strange maybe but I do have a thing about the windows over here. I just find them really beautiful with the flowers and they are all so different, so hope you enjoy them as much as I do.




SATURDAY 28TH JUNE

Today we went into St. Gilgen which is at the opposite end of the Wolfgangsee from Strobl and from there up in the cable car to the top of the Zwolferhorn. I had been asked for more photos of the beautiful scenery and am always happy to oblige if I can. It was a bit of a hazy day and as the photos were taken out of the plastic windows of the cable car they haven't turned out too bad. I hope you aren't afraid of heights!









Sorry, but we didn't have any cake today - shock horror!!!, but we did have an ice cream instead, I hope we are forgiven.






And, just for my friend Tracey......



Friday, 27 June 2008


FRIDAY 27TH

Another overcast day today, although it did brighten up mid afternoon. This morning we went to a Wildlife park, and guess what - A DONKEY BIT ME!!!. Can you believe it, I thought it was putting its head through to nuzzle me and it bit the top of my leg - ouch! Anyway, I didn't take a photo of it, although I am sure I could pick it out from a line up if need be. Now I know why there are so many horse trials. LOL.

There were some lovely little giddy goats though and here are a couple of them for you to awwww at.







John (in the new shirt I bought him!) and goat.
Magnificent, aren't they.



The park itself was very high up in the mountains and on the way back we came round a bend to the most amazing view, we had to pull over and walk back to have a proper look. It was a bit hazy so not the best of days to see it, but if that was the last thing I ever saw I would go happy. I did take a photo for you but as I said it really doesn't show it to it's best advantage, I don't think you can tell from the photo that just before the mountains in the background is a lake, you had to be there really and I wish you could have been.






On the way back we ended up going via Bad Ischl - AGAIN, and ended up in Zauners, I think we should have a frequent eaters card that entitles us to a free cake. Just as we got to there we noticed that the sky was really dark and, as usual, we had left the coats in the car, anyway we decided to eat inside for a change and no sooner had we choosen and got a table the heavens opened and everyone who was sat outside all dashed inside. Fortunately it didn't last too long as I was worried that once we finished our cake they would throw us out as they needed the table, but John said that we would just have to have another piece of cake, fortunately it didn't come to that. Anyway here are today's delicacies


Forgot to tell you, the other day we were walking along when a car stopped with two old ladies in, either Austrian or German, anyway they didn't speak any English but were asking us did we know the way to the Swimming baths, we knew the German for that. Anyway we didn't know exactly where it was but I did remember seeing a sign so we at least knew they were going the wrong way so tried to tell them that they needed to turn round, anyway we walked on and kept looking round for them but they must have continued on (this wasn't on the main road it was a little road that went to the children's playground and the tennis courts) just up ahead there was a big sign and on it said Swimming Baths so we waited for them to come back to point it out. So there we are stood next to the sign pointing to the bit that said swimming baths and waving as we saw the car coming, unfortunately it wasn't them, they gave us a right funny look, don't know why.

Anyway, John is waiting for his tea so that is all for now folks.

THURSDAY 26TH

A lot cooler today as it was quite a cloudy start. John was nipping somewhere so dropped me off in Bad Ischl to do a bit of shopping. Ended up buying a pair of Birkenstocks, I had seen these on numerous occasions on QVC but never sent for a pair. Anyway, I really like them, don't look particularly attractive (to me anyway) with a skirt or shorts, but they do look nice with trousers. Took this photo in the park







John met me at lunchtime and we went to Zauners again which is the best Konditori in Bad Ischl and probably the whole area. Today's cakes were really yummy, I knew mine was good because it made my leg jiggle!




And here is what John chose

Here is a photo of the inside of Zauners





And, if this works, an extra treat for you, Oh I am spoiling you today! I just hope you appreciate it as I felt very silly.

video

Thursday, 26 June 2008

WEDNESDAY, 25TH

Woke up to another scorcher of a day and has it had been so hot the night before was still really tired, we were going to the Dachstein area today though, somewhere we haven't been before so wanted to get a slightly earlier start. We drove first to Abtenau which is the largest Village in the area, but because it is mainly a winter ski resort it was very quiet with just mainly local people about. There were plenty of Cafe's and Konditori's to choose from in the main square


We eventually settled on one for our Cake of the Day


Now you will be really impressed here becaue I didn't have one!, it was a very winding road and by the time we got there I was actually feeling a bit sick. There were loads of bikers, as it is a really popular road with them. I did try a little bit though and it was gorgeous and light as a feather. As far as the scenery was concerned though it was gorgeous as you never knew what was going to be around the next bend. Sometimes you couldn't see anything then you would go round another bend to be confronted with a waterfall and open meadows. After eating we went for a walk round the village on the way back we were walking along a path with a steep embankment to the left and spotted a white cat chasing something, anyway, if you know me I had to go and have a look, here is the cat and here is what it was chasing


Get ready, everyone say Awwww!



Anyway it turned out they were actually friends and obviously lived together and were just playing. It was really tiny just about the size of my hand.

Here is a view from the embankment

It is so hard to photograph a view here because you see the whole panorama but when you take a photo you only get to see a little bit.

After that we went to Bad Goisern, another really pretty Village, which had a beautifully landscaped public garden which we walked round, it had a little river and ducks and absolutely no litter, either in the garden or in the water. As it was a blistering hot day we stopped at another Konditori for a drink and HE had another piece of cake!


I have spoiled you with so many cakes today.
Later on we had another electrical storm and the thunder was continuous, never heard anything like it before, it was as though there was a jet engine just revving away. Even though the rain bounced down it was still hot and sticky.



TUESDAY 24TH


Today we went to Gmunden and walked along the promenade



The Traunsee is a huge lake and seems to just to on and on. I love just sitting in the lakeside park looking out, I find it really relaxing. Anyway we found the little Konditori from last year and gasp horror, they didn't have the cake I had last year. Now okay, perhaps I was being a little naive to think they would still have the same cakes as last year, after all, they aren't made by Mr Kipling! So we ended up going to the large Konditori overlooking the lake for our Cake of the Day


Although it was nice, it wasn't as nice as the one I had last year so had to have an ice cream as well! So get's back to the house and decided to put some washing on so goes into the basement to try and fathom the washer, managed to get it going and came back upstairs to do tea. I went back down later to see what was happening and it was still going round, I felt the door it was red hot and I couldn't see any water - numpty that I am I didn't realise it was a Washer/Dryer. Panicking I tried to get it to stop and after pressing almost everything it did (I just hope it works again and I haven't broke it) when I got the washing out it nearly burned my hand it was that hot and as It was mostly John's shirts I started to panic, a couple of them looked as though they would be a tight fit on me! So what to do, it did cross my mind to say nothing, iron them and hang them in the wardrobe and try and keep a straight face when he next put them on, but didn't think I would get away with that so had to tell him. We decided to put them in the bath to soak and while they were wet we tried to stretch them then I hung them out sopping wet in the garden. Three of them were then okay, just one was a bit tight. Trust me! Won't make that mistake again.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Well, here we are, arrived safe and sound, which is more than can be said for the suitcases which look as though they have been dropped from a great height (several times!). Fortunately everything was intact but am really not sure they will survive the journey back. Anyway, the journey from the Airport to the house took about 2 hours but the flight itself, with Lufthansa, was much better, with lots more leg room and because it was a scheduled flight it was probably half empty as well so no one sat next to us or behind us, just a shame they don't fly from Manchester to Salzburg.

The house is beautiful, really big with everything you could possibly need and we have settled in really quickly. I can even get QVC and Create and Craft on the TV! This photo was taken from across the meadow looking towards the house which you can see in the middle of the picture with the yellow awning. The view from the living room is gorgeous but a photo just can't do it justice.





Up to now the weather has been very hot, it has been averaging 90 degrees F. and we have had a couple of spectacular electrical storms overnight which helps to keep it fresh.
Yesterday I spent my birthday in Bad Ischl where I had my first cake of the holiday - and here it is - the CAKE OF THE DAY!
It was completely yummy. The photo below is the park and the Town Hall in Bad Ischl, very posh.


Stay tuned for tomorrow's cake of the day!