Austria 10th July.
Our entrance into Austria from Slovenia was via a tunnel built during WWII by concentration camp prisoners to aid movement of German soldiers. From here the surviving prisoners were sent on to Matthausen.
This is Austrian hill country and very beautiful, lots of bush and small farms with beautiful houses and steadings, cows with bells and geraniums everywhere and also a lot of horses that I went and visited when we stayed in a little village just out of Klaggenfurt.
As we got closer to Vienna we dropped down onto a massive plain stretching pretty much to the Baltic Sea and the small cow farms changed to large scale cropping farms.
Our camping ground in Vienna was very handy to the city and large. It fascinated the children as it was very cosmopolitan, people from a huge range of countries. They spent a lot of time going around the vehicles seeing what country they were from. It was also the first time we had struck quite a lot of backpackers and I got chatting to a few Americans. I have got very interested in languages since we have been travelling, realising how inadequate we are when people we meet can speak 3 or 4 different ones and we can only manage a few words of anything other than English.
Our day in Vienna was a Sunday and we were in early so it was very quiet for a start. We arrived at Karlsplatz and saw the beautiful baroque church Karlskirke, then walked into the old town to find the Spanish riding school. I bought a ticket to a show in the Spanish riding school called Piber meets Vienna which showed Lipizzaners pulling beautiful guilded carriages and young stallions fighting among themselves also mares and their one and a half month old foals playing and having fun, it was INCREDIBLE.
While I was at that Mum, Dad and Liam visited the Imperial Palace and gardens, Stephansdom church and watched the clock strike noon in Hoher Markt. In the afternoon we went to the Haus der Musik and learnt about Vienna’s famous composers, Beethoven, Mozart, Strauss, Hayden and Schubert.
Later on we went to the Rathaus ( town hall ) which is a magnificent building and down in front of it was a huge area filled with street vendors selling meals and beer and tables all set up. It was packed with people and music was playing so we joined in and ate our dinner here and spent a lovely time watching all the people before heading back to camp.
It is a shame we couldn’t spend more time in Austria, we would have loved to explore the Alps and gone to Innsbruck but we have our sights set on Scandinavia so we are pretty much heading in a straight line up to there. Next stop the Czech Republic and Prague.