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London and Germany for work with a week in Austria - May and June 2016 - Page 5

Day 17 - Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Thousands of flying creatures

Somehow I deleted what I wrote here? No idea how. Oh well. I think it spoke about how I climbed the mountain swatting at various bugs.

My hotel includes breakfast, I think like China they enforce this on rich tourists. It was quite disappointing. The bun thing came out of a plastic bag of long life buns from Aldi. Other than that you could dispense your own cereal, or have a few bits of sliced vegetable.

Another day of view. Heavy rain they say? CNN specifically mentioned Innsbruck was in for storms on the forecast.

The tram comes only once an hour, so I had time to kill. Around the edge of the city is the panorama trail, so I ran up it to take this photo.

There is another ski jump up here. This one is regularly used.

You can also appreciate a statue of Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand, whos murder was used as a reason to start world war 1. Not sure why theres such a statue of him here, Wikipedia doesnt mention him being in or from Innsbruck.
However it does mention he enjoyed visiting Australia in the 1890's to hunt emus and kangaroos.

Redundant photo of the view, get used to it.

Half way up the mountain there is a house belonging to or supporting the Pirate Party. Ahoy there.

There is also the olympic bobsled track, I climbed up the observation deck to get a better look.

Now some view as I ascend the mountain.

The trail was easy, except for the constant winged assassin attack.

I didnt bring water, so I was glad it was easy, of course I was able to buy water at the summit.

There were however still a few small challenges.

Above the trees, time to enjoy some more view.

With the summit in site, ice started to reappear, despite it being 25 degrees. I was in shorts and t-shirt.

Yes more view.

And more.

As is common, the summit is a hive of scientific research stations and communications towers.

Also here you can see mountain bikers who have made the top, and now have the fun journey down. I am not sure I could make that ride.
On the way down I realised the road up is very very good, smooth and not too steep, but still, its a long way of constant up hill!

The pub on the summit was confused when all I wanted was water, you come from Australia and you dont want beer? What is this?

If mountain bikers can make it, why not a Mazda 2? At this stage I had not seen the nice road up, as I had hiked up a goat track, so this was interesting.

Two more regular sized photos of view!

Last one.... until the panoramas.

This is the road down, doesnt look so bad now. The cyclists coming up looked to be in great pain. I ran most of the way down.

Due to running I made the tram with seconds to spare, and was therefore all the way back down in time for a good lunch in a bakery. It was delicious.

Now we do the panoramas. 1 of 4, from the lower down 'panorama' area.
The mountain range across the valley is the one that towers over the city.

The back side of the mountain.

More backside.

And finally, all of Innsbruck.
You can see the airport on the left edge of the city, and the valley that way heads back into Bavaria, from where I came.

I promise no mountain photos

As the title suggests, I set out to especially not take any more photos of mountains, today.
The hotel I am in insists I hand the key to my room back to the front desk whenever I leave. It is a huge key on a brass key tag thing as heavy as a boat anchor, so its either hand it back or have my shorts fall down.
Anyway, each time I leave, theres a differnt woman sitting at the reception desk, asking for my key, and when I return, its a different person I have never met.
All I do is say '204' which is my room number, and they hand it to me without even looking up from whatever game they are playing on their cell phone.
So security here is very good, if you want a free laptop and ipad, just ask for my key and help yourself.

This evening I hung out around town taking in the non mountainous sites. This took me nowhere too far, as I realised my feet are a bit sore and I have done another 40,000 step day today.
Tomorrow I do washing, then go to Salzburg. Now onto the photos.

The local government has thoughtfully provided a huge skate park in a central square. All the street furniture has been designed to be skateboarder friendly. Curved like little ramps, with ridges and whatever.
This is the complete opposite to what most cities do with their public squares, where they actively install things designed to kill anyone on a skateboard.

Former site of a mens public toilet. Now boarded SHUT. The womans one next door was open. So theres no polite way to put this, me and a few other men just stood around pissing in the park. Enjoy my piss Europe, its your own stupid fault.

Tonights clock tower. Its not a mountain.

My dinenr was delicious. The menu just said 'Bauerngrostl - Tyrolean Speacialty'. All the other items on the menu had full English translations, not this one. But I saw someone eating out of a metal bucket as I came in and decided thats what I wanted.
It seems to be mainly leftover thinly sliced salty meats with thinly sliced potatoes and onions. Not sure what the meat actually was but I enjoyed it very much.

I bet I can find one.

Many stores have similar historic posters for sale.

I found another shopping centre, shut of course. Not even supermarkets stay open past 7pm, and there is no convenience stores here except at the train station.
There are about 10,000 people in the city square looking in closed shop windows.

Adolf Pichler. Close.

Do not illegally park your car here. The truck pulled up, and within 30 seconds had the things under the wheels and the car in the air.
I wonder what happens when you return to your missing car? Do you report it as stolen?

I am not ashamed to say I went to the train station specifically to get a skim milk chai latte from the mccafe, which is open until midnight!

I would rather die than eat that. It smelt terrible from a block away.

I have noticed each European city has a small casino like this. I guess its the kind of place they go to in James Bond movies. When I think of a Casino I think of Crown in Melbourne or the similarly sized ones in Macau, not these tiny little things.
It was however open, but you need your passport to go inside. And you probably need to be wearing a cheap polyester tuxedo.

mother on 2016-06-07 said:
I consider having to go to Mcdonald's for anything other than a dunny is a fail. I would go without coffee if that was all that was on offer. must try harder.

Jenny on 2016-06-07 said:
Yes panoramas are big, I have to scroll across and up and down to see the whole photo on my lap top.

I hope you are taking wet weather gear and warmer clothes with you when you climb so that you don't die of hypothermia if there is a sudden weather change.

Day 18 - Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Smallest hotel room ever

Now I am Salzburg, where I was greeted by thunderstorms.
This may alter my planned activities tomorrow, time will tell, hopefully they disappear.
Before I got here, I had to do my washing, I allowed 3 hours, it took 1 hour. So I had time to kill at the Innsbruck station.
This led to coffee and strudel.

Then I had the entire huge train to myself, I am serious, I walked the length of it and only saw train staff, no other passengers, and the bored staff were all down the far end to where I was sitting.
The train does go onto Vienna, and the first stop was Salzburg where I got off and a few people got on, but its weird that they run such a huge train with just me on it!

Now for my hotel room. I think we have a new winner. I have twice stayed in very modern space age cube hotels, once in London and once in Osaka. But those had bigger beds.
I think this hotel is the new winner for smallest hotel room I have stayed in.
It also has some other challenges I have overcome, the tiny desk has no accessible power. There is a power point in the wall by it with a cord going back into the wall. I unplugged that and the lights went out.
So I have found a way to use the bed as a chair and move the table which gets me near enough to the bathroom power point to charge my laptop / camera / electric shaver / phone one by one in turn.
Getting into the room was a logistical challenge as well, strangely it employs a double door system, and getting your suitcase into the narrow room through both doors saw me trapped in the middle of it all.

My washing machine experience was once again good. The dryers were the same as the ones in London, huge drums that you dont need to use heat with.
People who were using heat were drying their full load in 10 minutes. I fear shrinkage.

All train stations feature salted meat stores, and to highlight the fact its meat, they have red tinted lighting.

Another TERRIBLE coffee. It comes with a glass of water and a biscuit to get rid of the taste of burnt coffee with added burnt milk.

The coffee was so bad I had to have a strudel to further dull the taste bud trauma.

This is the train I had all to myself. It is very long. It briefly went fast too, but then there was track work and about a thousand guys in orange jump suits standing watching us go past at jogging pace.

Just me. I ran up and down for a while for exercise.

The Salzburg main station is actually quite far from the old city where I am staying. Of course theres a storm the one time I am not staying next to the station.
It looks old from here, but inside and underneath its very modern.

Zahir Hadid designed this bike shelter. She also designed the cable car station in Innsbruck. Everything she designed looks exactly like this.

This is out the front of my hotel, on an old street leading to where Mozart lived.

And now in all its glory, my mini hotel room. The wifi is blazing fast.

My view is of a cliff and beer garden. Could make for an interesting night of lack of sleep if its full of drunks.


The old city of Salzburg is built around a series of cliffs.
This makes the layout confusing. Then I discovered one of the cliffs is only a few metres wide, apart from the bit with the castle on it.
The city has a slightly higher population than Innsbruck, 145k compared to 122k, but there are alot more tourists here.
Old tourists, the place is teaming with groups of old people on their last tour of the world before they get euthanised on the way home. This makes progress frustratingly slow.
You are also faced with hordes of people who are in a permanent state of confusion, perhaps marvelling at how the buses here are red instead of green like they are back in Ohio.

Anyway, it might just be because its very grey weather, but I find the place a lot less colorful then Innsbruck, and generally lacking in vibrancy. There were no young people out and about skateboarding / jogging / or whatever, just a bunch of people selling tour packages, and signs pointing to where your hotel you didnt book is. Apparently thats a genuine scam, people turn up at the wrong hotel, get accepted as if they are at the right one, and then end up paying for two hotels.

This is a sort of nice garden. Its free. Tourists enjoy it. They need to mow the lawn though.

More free garden.

Salzburg is yet to cut the locks off their bridge like many cities have had to do after engineers discovered they were at risk of collapsing.

Theres the old city, and the castle on top of the hill.
Fun fact, inside that castle is the worlds oldest railway. Cable pulled, it was used to deliver food and goods from one end of the castle to the other. It is still in use.

Salzburg has these electric buses. Look closely you can see two poles that stick up and hook onto wires.
They are kind of like trams, except they can change lanes, the poles swing from side to side as they change lanes, except sometimes they come off the wire, I saw it happen today.
When this happens the driver gets out of the bus and uses a pole to push it back onto the wire.
China loves these buses too, but they now have really large ones with 3 folds in the middle which are twice as wide as a regular bus. Those however operate on dedicated lanes.

Now we start to see cliffs, these buildings back onto the cliff, but I think you can walk through to the other side of the cliff.

The whole left side of this skinny street is a cliff face.

More cliff, here you can see a lift to the top.

And a facade for the cliff paying tribute to horses that haul Chinese tourists around Salzburg for only 200 euros for 5 minutes.

I only realised it was so narrow when I saw this tunnel.

This is apparently where Mozart was born, or lived, or died. The issue is theres about 50 places making similar claims.

This might not look too big at first, but look closely at the people by the fountain, and the 100 or so portable toilets against the building wall.

Here he is, Mozart. He died for our sins, and his own, of Syphilis, thus preventing Alexander the great from advancing on Hungary due to fears that his elephant army would succumb to the disease spread throughout the region by Mozart.

I finally had a sausage dinner. More potatoes of course. The highlight was probably the sauerkraut. The sausage was fairly plain and seemed to be of supermarket quality despite the restaurants claims they make it themselves.

Many guns are made in Austria, including those used by the Australian army. I presume these are real guns, and that a smash and grab would be very easy to do, the store is closed and they are left on display.

Finally, here is the castle and city photo everyone takes. Theres a sign telling you to take photo now, and so we all did.

Not drunk mother on 2016-06-08 said:
No wasn't drunk just late at night and too tired to go back and check how to spell it. I can tell you though that the yellow building was where Mozart was born as it says so on the front. looks like you were doing an NHK Somewhere Street tour today. What are the rest of your plans while you are there?

David on 2016-06-08 said:
Salzburg is bigger than Innsbruck but not by much.
Not sure whats going on with your spelling, its not possible to go back and edit the comment, so you knew the spelling was hilariously wrong and left it as such, and added an apology.
I suspect you are drunk.

Mother on 2016-06-08 said:
Is Zalsburg as small as Insbrugh? Sorry spelling wrong.

Day 19 - Thursday, 9 June 2016

Record saturation

I have achieved a new record in the level of saturation achieved.
Despite dire warnings of flash flooding and constant rain, I decided mountain climbing was in order, cause its either that or castles and museums.
So I set off, on a bus, out to the countryside, believing that the rain wasnt that bad, and would surely stop soon, wrong on both counts.
My plan was to climb up and cable car down, cause down in the wet is dangerous, nice plan, but I got lost from the start.
So I never made the top because I ended up perched precariously on a ridge wondering where I was in the driving rain.
On the way down I did indeed slip a few times, but the only injury is a bit of skin off my right forearm.
Unfortunately, I have now discovered both my backpack and camera bag are not waterproof, and as a result my camera has seemingly stopped working some hours later. The power button wont work, it still fires up when I stick in a USB cable.

Anyway, after retracing my steps, I waited in the rain for the bus. I had a day ticket and noticed when people get on the bus, the driver never asks to see a ticket.
So the bus comes and I get on, and he yells at me in German, and eventually just yells TICKET! So I show him my ticket and he gets really annoyed. He was hoping I didnt have one so he could kick me off as I was covered head to toe in wet mud.
Anyway, I then noticed no one else got asked for their ticket as they boarded, except when we got to the black muslim woman in the hajib, for which our Austrian driver got out of his seat and examined her ticket in great detail before letting her board without saying a word.

The underpass has Mozart graffiti.

My bus ride out to the country was much less eventful compared to the ride back.

I literally got off the bus in the middle of nowhere, and had no idea where the path up is.
I jogged in both directions and settled on what appeared to be a path. It was not the right one!

That is really very steep, and theres a lake at the bottom I had to walk around.

I think I needed to be across there, on top of that ridge the waterfall is cascading off of.

Instead I ended up on this ridge, this is a nice flat bit. There were no signs, and certainly no people. The ridge got narrower and narrower until it kind of just stopped. There was a rock up there, so I am guessing that was the summit, as far as I could go.

View from somewhere.

More view probably from as high as I got, 2.5 hours only to get to here.

Once back down I found a village and a bus stop. I should have been up the top of there going by cable car to a different village, but it was not to be.

I was really very muddy and completely soaked through, even my undies. I wore shorts as its not cold, but this lets water into the top of my waterproof boots, so I had to try and start a fire with the hair dryer.
I will try it on my camera shortly!

After showering to cure hypothermia, it was time to head out for lunch. More narrow alleys.

Still more.

But I ended up in a graveyard surrounded by a church. Mozarts father is buried here somewhere, but also a big crypt with the bones of a famous alchemist in the open air, not sure why. Apperently he cured people with magic and potions.

The church walls had lots of elaborate designs for rich peoples crypts. They decided to wait until this guy had been dead for a while before calling the sculptor.

A very interesting spooky place. Now pray for my camera.

Supermarket is the only healthy option

Its still raining. It rained all day.
But in great news, my camera came back to life after a session with the hair dryer.
I bought snacks for my mountain ascent this morning, and despite not really ascending and therefore not burning 1000 or more calories, I ate them all. I say that, but I seem pretty buggered but I think thats from descending and the stress it puts on knees and things.
So this evening I accidentally had to climb the city hill. It was a bigger task than I realised and took 90 minutes. It was mostly under tree canopy so I didnt get wet. The view was great the path was one I couldnt lose, and I had the whole place to myself.

Despite city hill, I felt mountain snacks were still providing a calorie surplus, so I needed a healthy dinner. Germany generally is not healthy. Salzburg is the worst. Everywhere is for tourists, so everywhere has the traditional tourist German food. And I have had enough of that.
Please no more sausage or schnitzel. The other option thats everywhere is kebab shops, and no.

Anyway, I looked everywhere, and the only options that looked promising were shut, lunch time only things for workers as opposed to tourists.
So I ended up at the station which has a great supermarket open until midnight where I bought a plethora of delicious healthy things...and a small dessert.

I had no intention of going all the way up and along this hill, I literally turned up what I thought was a narrow street, and before I knew it there were stairs. I cant then not see where they go.

I enjoyed the walk very much. The path was mainly like this but there were parts that were puddles and mud.
However I did not need to slide on my ass at any point like earlier today, gloves were not requried, and I didnt get submerged in a waterfall.

Now we do the view, the old city and the cliffs where I am staying are to the left.

An hour or so later, I am at the highest point. Mission accomplished.

Now I realise this is the same photo.

Descending briefly showed me the other side of this hill, where you can see a different side of Salzburg. I know it does not look like it, but it was still raining!

Once back down, I saw the first sign of neo nazism in Germany. Actually along here there were a heap of buildings with the anarchy symbol graffiti, a record shop being run out of a bus, and an experimental dance institute.

And heres all my dinner items. It was delicious...or is delicious, I am continuing to eat it as I type this.
I have grown to love sugar free naked cowboy couple drink.
Also by eating in my tiny hotel room (which took some creative organisation skills), I can justify carrying my fold up cutlery set with me wherever I go.

Mother on 2016-06-09 said:
Dinner looks like a welcome relief from all the stodge. I think I prefer the food choices in Japan. How much longer are you in Zalsburg?

Adriana on 2016-06-09 said:
according to NHK the weather should be improving now. Hope they are right. I like narrow alley ways.

Page 6 is now a thing you might like to click on, probably the last page.


Latest Update

Day 1 - Sunday, 22 May 2016
  First of many meals
  Internet in the sky
Day 2 - Monday, 23 May 2016
  Dubai airport is quite large
  Manchester airport is quite old
Day 3 - Tuesday, 24 May 2016
  The cold light of day and night
Day 4 - Wednesday, 25 May 2016
  Cold and damp
Day 5 - Thursday, 26 May 2016
  A real city
Day 6 - Friday, 27 May 2016
  Trafficus horribilus
  London is quite familiar
Day 7 - Saturday, 28 May 2016
  Washing and walking
  Olympic food court
Day 8 - Sunday, 29 May 2016
  Victory lap
  British queues of madness
  Now in Germany
Day 9 - Monday, 30 May 2016
  Raining and busy
Day 10 - Tuesday, 31 May 2016
  I finally got to see where I am
Day 11 - Wednesday, 1 June 2016
Day 12 - Thursday, 2 June 2016
  Clocks and accordians
Day 13 - Friday, 3 June 2016
  Scene comparison
  Strawberry salad
Day 14 - Saturday, 4 June 2016
Day 15 - Sunday, 5 June 2016
  I made it in 9 hours
Day 16 - Monday, 6 June 2016
  Now in Austria
  Time for shorts
Day 17 - Tuesday, 7 June 2016
  Thousands of flying creatures
  I promise no mountain photos
Day 18 - Wednesday, 8 June 2016
  Smallest hotel room ever
Day 19 - Thursday, 9 June 2016
  Record saturation
  Supermarket is the only healthy option
Day 20 - Friday, 10 June 2016
  Dog piss department store
  Please buy us beer
Day 21 - Saturday, 11 June 2016
  The museum is overrrated
  Dinner time
Day 22 - Sunday, 12 June 2016
  The short flight