09.01.2017 - 16.01.2017
We were relieved to leave the frosty Budapest, and venture to the capital of Austria where it was only -2 °C. Such warmth!
We arrived in Vienna to snow. After dropping off our bags, we went for a traditional meal at a pub down the road. Weiner schnitzel!
With Austria being the home of performing arts we checked out the State Opera House and jumped in line to get a ticket to that nights show which started in a couple of hours! All the fancy seats (like on Pretty Woman) were sold out so we only had a standing option which was a steal at €3 or €4. Being the high rollers that we are, we opted for the €4 tickets and went on in.
The inside was far more glamorous than the outside, and in our hiking boots and ski jackets we stuck out like dogs balls. But anyway, they happily robbed us at €7 for water. The show was actually a ballet which was cool. They had a full blown orchestra and a big cast. We estimated probably 50 people performing in total. Luckily Tim could keep up, cause at the first interval I had no idea what was going on. I must say, that while I admire the talent and dedication of the ballerinas, I probably won't be rushing back. But in all we both (yes even Tim) thoroughly enjoyed the evening.
The rest of our time in Vienna was spent exploring the city and learning a bit of history. Found the Art institute which declined the application of Adolf Hitler twice in his youth. To quote the local we were with "I think the world could have coped with one more shit artist". Anyway not much we can do about that now. We saw the palaces and walked the beautiful grounds. Had coffee and apple strudel (pretty much locals), met up with Klem who we had spent new years with, had a stein and visited an Irish pub (naturally).
From Vienna we took a (very scenic) train to the stunning town of Hallstatt.
Set at the base of the mountains and right on the lake this has to be the most picture perfect place we have visited! The houses looked like they had been iced, if I were Hansel or Gretel I probably would have tried eating them! We stayed a very peaceful (and pricey) two nights here and it was like being on holiday, the snow made it so quiet.
Regretfully, our budget forced us to move on from Hallstatt and we headed for the living hills of Salzburg. We really enjoyed it here, the compact town was beautiful and scattered with images of the Sound of Music. Of course we rewatched the film and went in search of the sites! It was a bit chilly for a picnic in the mountains but we sang and danced over the bridges (well Tim did).
On recommendation we visited the Augustine brewery and beer halls and had a stein. Such a cool place which was obviously very popular with the locals.
Our next stop was Innsbruck but only for a couple of hours of which it snowed the entire time.
We actually stayed up in the mountains about 20km away in a wee town called Fulpmes.
This town was at the bottom of the ski resort called Schlick2000. With a name like that, it was sure to be fantastic. So we hired gear and got a day pass. With a base ski level of very average and a break of over 2 years, naturally I was bloody fantastic and totally up for when Tim took me 'off piste'. It went ok at the start, and I enjoyed watching my skis disappear under the fresh snow, but i did come out at the bottom (a considerable amount of time after Tim) covered in snow.
Anyway, I actually had a fab day and even got some mean air in my first jump! Yee haaaaa. Look out Canada I'm going to be carving those slopes like a boss!
All in all a great time in Austria, up to Germany now where we have picked up a stray!