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Austrian Castle

From Salzburg, I head out down in to Austria, where I spent the majority of the trip. Ironically, I did not keep a journal for the length of this time. I spent the days exploring various valleys in the Austrian Alps. I stayed for a couple of days at various small ski towns. I contented myself to write in my journal about emotion, and take pictures along the way., 

Typical Austrian View
Shed and Trees
My Wagon and Austria

The barns shown to the left and below are typical of many Austrian Alps' structures — from barn houses for hay to Gasthof's for tourists. They dig into the hillside on side, and then build on stilts on the other, all in an attempt to get a level floor. 

Typical Austrian View Austrian Barn

The larch (at least that's what I think they are). Their yellow is the perfect offset, especially when the sun shines on them. Similar to the aspen, but without the brightness in them, and their texture is like pine trees - the larch can cover an entire mountain side. 

Yellow, Mist and Waterfall

The Tunnels in Austria were amazing. Some main tunnels ran for several miles. Also frequent were Avalanche Tunnels, shown to the right.  

Avalanche Tunnel
Avalanche Barn

Obviously, avalanches were a way of life in the hills of the Austrian Alps. Notice how this barn is constructed behind a rock outcropping to maximize its avalanche survival rate. 

Typical Country Road

I first stayed at Mayrhofen - a very touristy town that was a 'tween seasons ghost town. November is definitely not the month to visit, unless your sole desire is to avoid people at all costs. I ended up staying at the only place I could find that had lights on (Edenlechen Hotel) and ate at the only restaurant I could find (filled with local teenyboppers who spent all of their time checking each other out.) 

Typical Austrian village
Town View #1
Town View #2
I love the Alps

While staying for two days at the delightful town of Solden, I spent several hours visiting the main church (seen directly above). The church clearly had a presence about it that separated it from the daily life of the town. While sitting quietly in the church, I was amazed when an entire class of preschoolers came into the church to act out a play and to sing songs, with the teacher playing the guitar. This was certainly NOT the United States! I had enough difficulty with the Bible Bus growing up in Viriginia. Here was flagrant commingling of Church and State! I headed out after a while and toured the gravestones surrounding the church. It appeared that most people were buried standing up. I loved the richness in the names. 

Road to the Ski Resort

I stayed at Solden for a night or two. It was the first ski town that has activity, mainly due to the fact that there was an "extreme-skiing" tournament in town. From there, I drove to the end of the road to Hochsolberg(?) and experienced the wind of a completely snow covered alpine expanse. Later, I drove to the ski resort at Solden, where there is nearly year round skiing due to glacier skiing. 

Skiing on a glacier
Solden Ski Lift Solden Ski Road
View above Solden

On the way, I stopped at some supermarkets to raid them for chocolates and liquers. I feasted on some cheese and brot, and then ventured to try a strange ball.of cookie-dough like material. I opened it up and dug in... ugh! Ack! ARGH!! Auurruggh!!! Holy mackeral! My God it was gross! I mean horrendous!, truly horrendous! It tasted like cow manure concentrated! And the bad smelling manure, at that - the kind that has stood in the sun fermenting with urine. I quickly spit out the foul substance, but could not get rid of the taste! I then moved on to eating a bite of nearly everything in the car in a vain effort to get rid of the taste from my mouth. I could still smell it, I had to toss itout the window. But the smell and taste still did not dissipate, even with the windows fully rolled down. I soon deduced that the small had permeated my hands during my brief handling of it!! Just a few moments of touching the substance without proper protection yielded my hands being entirely infected. Ten hours later, as I write this, I can still smell it! 

For dinner at Solden, I had Torggle Spiess - three types of meat frilled and served with a paprika sauce - Lenka would be proud. For after dinner, I ordered a glass of Edelbrande (Obstler brand). It was served in a tall shot glass that was wedged into some foam, served in a trough of fake ivy and grapes. The brandy wasn't too bad. Wow! the Edelbrande sure does burn the lips!

Did I mention that I tried to buy some lipbalm today and instead bough lipstick?

I sit now and write and ponder - being the emotional person that I am, being such a victim to the whims of my own heart - do I try to reduce the effect at the cost of losing the Emotion that so distinguishes me and drives me? 

Barn and Mist

(c) Geoffrey Peters,, 2002. For more information regarding this web page, please contact
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