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The view from the room.

The view from the room.

Where to next, for me the fun part because we are heading to the mountains. To Austria, an Alpine town called Schladming, at the foot of the Hoher Dachstein mountains. The trip across Germany turned into a bit of a disaster with a three-hour traffic jam outside Munich, planned road works apparently, pity they didn’t plan what to do with all the traffic. We still arrived in good time though, to see the sun go down over the mountain and get a cold beer before bed.

Once we were back on track, we stopped for a coffee and a driver swap, Jane took over as we headed for the hills, it’s safer that way, I can’t stop looking around at everything.

Motorway views.

Motorway views.

Castles flashing by.

Castles flashing by.

The road weaves through tunnels and passes, below castles and through wooded hills striped by waterfalls, all while we get closer to the hotel we shall be staying in for the week. We left the main roads to follow the river Enns to Schladming where it joins the Talbach. Hills rising on both sides of the valley, snow hanging in the high clefts, cloud rolling across the tops, I had the chance to take a couple of pictures before the light was lost.

Blue sky of a different sort.

Blue sky of a different sort.

Night.

Night.

Morning, and a first day without a drive ahead of us, time for a look around, to see where we have landed. A day to explore, to see the town and get our bearings. A day made for planning, for checking the weather for the week ahead and to see if we could find some way of watching Wimbledon. The town was quiet, normal I suppose for a Sunday in the early summer of a ski town. The cloud was low and rain forecast for the day. But standing again on the balcony, the panorama spread out around us made it all OK.

Looking out over Schladming and the Hoher Dachstein mountains.

Looking out over Schladming and the Hoher Dachstein mountains.

Schladming detail.

Schladming detail.

Doorhandle.

Doorhandle.

RC Church. Town centre.

RC Church. Town centre.

Rooftop views.

Rooftop views.

Coffee stop views.

Coffee stop views.

Looking towards our hotel from the church.

Looking towards our hotel from the church.

It’s always fascinating, to walk in a completely new place. Where even the language is something to be discovered. I had visited Germany when I was in my early teens, but very little of the language has stayed with me. We tried our best and the locals were friendly and not at all put out by our ignorance, we could at least say please and thank you.

Rushing water.

Rushing water.

More water rushing.

More water rushing.

As is normal, towns in the area are all constrained by the mountains around them and the rivers cutting through them. The two photos are of the Talbach, falling from its high mountain start. Unfortunately rain came, and we scuttled away to look about in the car, and finding some trails local to the hotel to see what could be done.

Waypost in the rain, the loneliest post.

Waypost in the rain, the loneliest post.

Drifting on a Sunday afternoon.

Drifting on a Sunday afternoon.

Looking down the valley.

Looking down the valley.

Private something??

Private something??

The next few posts will be about the walking around Schladming, sad to say, we didn’t visit the town much. The call of hills and lazy evenings in a comfortable room won out. We went in for food, for shopping and for information, all of which was provided admirably. The hotel was great, nice big room, and everything we needed to be relaxed, and friendly staff always willing to help and answer questions. I think we shall be going back, it was too good to do in one go, you need to visit a place twice I think to get the best from it. Lots of pictures in this post, hope they do the place justice with my random eye.

Happy trails everyone, enjoy every journey, even the unexpected diversions. It was interesting when stuck in a German traffic jam to see everyone having picnics, walking the dogs and children or strolling ahead to the services for refreshments. A good way to use the time, stretch your legs and get some fresh air, it’s about how you use your time isn’t it.

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