04 April 2010

Munich and Austria in a nutshell

Internet connections have been harder to come by than I thought (as usual), especially since my laptop doesn't seem to connect to them all. The place we stayed in last night (Haus Hepi near Hallstatt), being one of them. Other times I have manage to get a connection, I've been too busy trying to do other things (such as getting all the software I need on my laptop downloaded or keeping up with the world) to write a blog in that limited time.

So this time it's written off-line on the train to Bratislava, to be posted at the next place I can get a connection.

We arrived in Munich last week, and stayed with a couple of friends (thanks Fabio and Deborah) for a couple of nights, meeting up with a few others as time allowed, and magically staying out of the Irish pubs, which was unexpected.

In my time in Munich, I endeavoured to drink as many as of the strong beers as possible. Not all were easy to come by, since the strong beer festival had finished the previous week, but I did manage to get the following ones in:

Maximator – Augustiner (already had this one in London as well, but it didn’t stop me having another)
Aviator – Airbrau (got it at the airport, it’s the local brewery)
Celebrator – Ayinger
Triumpator – Lowenbrau
Salvator – Paulaner

The two I missed were Optimator, from Spaten, and Animator, from Hackerbrau. I spent about an hour before our train left for Austria running around Munich’s main train station trying to find them, but to no avail. I guess I’ll just have to come back next year in better time.

We left for Schliersee on Thursday. It’s a small place south of Munich which is great for a walk in the Bavarian alps. On Friday morning we got up early, had breakfast, and started a 5 hour hike. I don’t think we’d planned on it being that long, but we hadn’t really decided where to go yet that morning either.

It took us 3 hours to hike up to a place called Ankel Alm, 500 metres higher than where we had started at. On the way, we also found the Pfannilift:

But didn't use it.

It was pretty spectacular up there, and it felt like we were in a cauldron, as the mountains surrounded us on nearly all sides. It had been hard work, as significant minority of the walk was through 30cm snow. Luckily Audrey had the foresight to bring her walking sticks. The walk down was as tiring as the one on the way up, but in a different way, as you had to be wary of your knees and ankles, as well as sliding off the edge of a mountain.

We then headed back into Munich, as we were staying in a youth hostel called Burg Schwanneck, which used to be a small castle. It was very well organised and quiet. And they had a great slide:

Did I go on it? Damn straight!

Audrey as well, she flew down it.

On Saturday, we were both beginning to feel the strain of the 5 hour hike the previous day, luckily we had a 4 hour train journey to relax on. This took us to Hallstatt (really Obertraun, which is just across the lake from the UNESCO World Heritage site). Stayed in an excellent guest house, Haus Hepi (as mentioned above).

Tried a few Austrian beers, Steigl was excellent (and had a cool glass):

And I’ve just polished off an Ottakringer, which wasn’t anywhere near as good. Although it may be to do with the fact it came from a can rather than from tap:


Ryaner said...

The beard is coming on there Steve! Excellent work!

Ryaner said...

The beard is coming on there Steve! Excellent work!

Unknown said...

Steve all you need is a sweat band and you will look like a sports person from the sixties, it will match the beard perfectly. HIPPY!

Sokratees9 said...

Thanks lads, I'm keeping the beard going as well as I can, despite the constant pressure from Audrey about shaving it off.

She'll just have to learn to love it.

Ray said...

Steigl is indeed a great beer

Anonymous said...

I thought this was a cultural trip rather than a Steve drinking beer through Europe trip! P.