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Tuesday, 28 May 2013

And it feels like home

I'm sure I have said it before but it is an observation that still stands; Austria seems to have been designed as the perfect holiday playground for the two of us.  There is always somewhere to cycle or walk, the beer is good, the cakes amazing, the camp sites excellent quality, the meadow flowers are abundant, the public transport efficient and accepting of cyclists and it all looks stunning.
We are camped on the shores of Wolfgangsee, with a view across the lake to the mountains;  mallards and swans passing by and swallows flying overhead; it doesn't get much better in terms of location and after two days of rain the sun is shining.
After a morning of laundry a breaking-us-in-gently cycle ride was called for. This is our first holiday with mountain (rather than road) bikes and we bounced through the forest tracks happily.  We took the boat across the lake so that we could cycle around the northern half of the lake back to the camp site and as we toiled up the hairpin bends above the lake, we realised that the tourist information leaflet with the cycle routes on didn't show the contours, so much for an easy day.  Of course, no one said Austria was flat and if we were able to move here to play permanently we would soon get used to the gradients.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Everyone seems to know the score

As the European Cup final was between two German teams, FC Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, we didn't think it would be too difficult to find somewhere to watch the game while we travelled through Germany.  At Camping Hertenteich in Baden-Wurttemberg we found the perfect spot for some football action.  The jovial restaurant owner, not only served up excellent kasespatzle, the only vegetarian dish the Germans regularly provide, but also generously promised a free glass of homemade schnapps for every goal scored.  There were about 15 of us watching the match, including mein host and after the first half it seemed as if we wouldn't get to try the schnapps at all, as the score remained 0-0; one impatient group of drinkers could wait no longer and paid for shots to toast the first 45 minutes.  However, soon in to the second half the first goal was scored and 15 small glasses of colourless liquid were ceremoniously handed out for the guests.  No one drank until the restaurant owner had said a few words and then together, we downed our drinks in one gulp.  Fortunately, there were only three goals, otherwise we may have struggled to find our way back to the blue bus across a dark camp site that night; the ceremony was the same each time but the speeches got longer.  The European Cup came home to Germany that night and they celebrated.The next morning we visited the Steinheim Crater, an excellent example of a crater formed when a meteorite hit the earth 15 million years ago.  The photograph shows the central uplift of the crater (behind the village), an unusual feature in meteorite craters.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

2013 Holiday spending

As usual, we give readers a breakdown of our holiday spending.  This was a cheaper holiday than last year, as Italy tends to be more expensive and some of the countries we visited were much cheaper for food and cafes, although we didn't notice much difference with camp sites; in Hungary these were between €12 - €20 equivalent.

Total spending in Euros over 26 nights (2 nights on the ferry):

Diesel €542
Supermarket shopping €575
Cafes €221
Campsite €398
Other €72
Total €1808 - €69.50/day

Equivalent in sterling
Total spending £1540
Ferry Hull - Zeebrugge return with dinner £430
Total cost of the holiday £1970