We arrived in Austria on Friday!
We were relieved to move on from Fussen, although we loved Bavaria, our apartment was a bit small and we couldn’t relax because there were too many stairs and the baby girl kept climbing!
When you enter Austria you must display a vignette (a pre-pay toll road sticker) on your windscreen otherwise you can face a hefty charge. So after an hour of hunting for a garage in Germany that sells them, we finally found a garage on the border. In fact that took longer than the journey, but had to be done.
The drive through Austria was incredible. Mountains and hills, castles and dangerous looking cable cars stretching up into the sky. It is too beautiful to describe. The sun was out shining down on the glades and valleys, it was dry and clear so we could see the mountains. The roads wound on and on through the mountains and the houses changed shape and size.
The mountains domineer the small towns that sit at their feet and I think it must be easier to keep perspective on the important things in life growing up here. It would be hard to take nature for granted or doubt its importance in such a dramatic landscape. We drove through some lovely towns and villages that have definite centres. I have found in some parts of Germany that there is no centre to a town, there is perhaps as barber or Sparkasse (cash point house) but nothing else and you have to hunt for the bakery or grocery shop.
We arrived at Scharnitz just after lunch and we were all relieved to find a great apartment waiting with incredible views on both balconies.
Frau Reidl made us welcome and commented on Papas german being ‘sehr gut’ (very good). She is a very tiny gentle, sweet lady who reminded me of my grandmother in so many ways. The house is huge and we have the top floor. All of our accommodation so far has been so clean, the standard over here is very high.
Here is the view from our balcony on Saturday (yesterday):
And here is the view from our balcony this morning:
Yes, you thought I had misspelled the title! But no, it is all white today! It has snowed all day and the children have had their prayers answered. I think I was counter-praying that it wouldn’t snow but hey-ho it has been decided. I always associate snow with getting stuck but I have been assured that in Austria, unlike the UK, everything carries on as normal. Motorways don’t shut down, people don’t get stuck overnight in their cars because somebody just stopped in the road due to the snow, shops don’t sell out of bread and milk from panic buying, and cars don’t suddenly pull off the road and ring the AA. In Austria snow is normal and they are equipped to deal with it – so I’m told.
The children had a great time in the snow today. Of course we were so well prepared for this sort of weather, we did bring water-proof coats, wellies, hats, gloves and extra jumpers but guess what? Its all in our car, which is being fixed, in Erfurt! So we are coping with what we could find. H forgot her coat the night we broke down but luckily I had two. None of us have wellies and H only has shoes but we managed. We can’t really go on proper walks into the wilds but we are doing OK all things considered.
Also I am praying that we won’t get stuck here in Scharnitz (as lovely as it is) and that Papa can still get his research done in the nearby towns. We are really enjoying Austria so far.