Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Days 227 to 233 - Vienna to Raab and HOME! Tues 8 to 14 Oct

Days 227 to 233 - Vienna to Raab and HOME! Tues 8 to 14 Oct
Sun shining again, not really cold. Before embarking on final stage of GlobalTrek 2013 with our drive to Raab /storage today, walked down to Paradise Gardens to see Ernst Fushs private museum in Wagner's restored house. Founder of the Phantastic Realist School, his work is fabulous, gaudy, glitzy with bright textiles, and semi-erotic statues. The multi-face metal statue in the garden was an amazing work. 

Austria is so beautiful, we have to come back and see all the arts, do walks, especially the woods. Stopped in pub/ cafe for breakfast, had to choose furtherest table to avoid smokers. Halloween decorations in shops, wreaths on doors - a time of harvest festival in Europe. Pumpkins abound in fields, church spires on cobblestones in middle of quaint villages, flowers in window boxes, castles on every hill, sunflowers and yellow grain growing, corn being harvested. Amazed to see miles and miles of solar panels on edges of fields and running alongside railway tracks. Bypassed Liszt, pulled over to have salmon wraps for lunch.

Arrived Raab mid afternoon and met Erich the Bremarch proprietor discussing storage, repairs, and documents for Austrian and German Customs.  Detailed the list of jobs to be done before we leave for Australia (for roadworthy) and whilst we are away (tail lights, reattach number plate, replace door lock, Webasto water heater, service on steps/ holder, wheel balance, replace neck of fuel tank to fit cap, repair electric motor that pumps fuel from reserve to main tank etc etc). He was happy for us to stay in his workshop and use toilets, power, washing machine etc for next couple of days - what a relief to be on site, and can sort, pack, clean etc around repairs. Met up with Guy and Cheryl as they returned from a foray into the village - they take the train to Munich tomorrow. Dinner at pub with amazing barmaid, giving us free aperitifs and telling funny stories about gypsies and how they (didn't!) use toilets.

Farewelled our erstwhile travelling companions. Erich’s sister Etti gave us a lift to Passau station, caught train to Munich, bus to airport and flew home via Abu Dabi and Singapore.
Year One over.
Hello Family, Hello House.
Year Two planning under discussion.
….and so it begins……

Days 225 and 226 - Around Vienna – Sun 6 & Mon 7 Oct

Days 225 and 226 - Around Vienna – Sun 6 & Mon 7 Oct
Sunday. Gentle rain on the roof woke us this morning - at least it's keeping extreme cold at bay. Drove to other side of Vienna and booked into caravan park. Even the first glimpse of Vienna the back way into town was enticing, passing a waste plant with gold tiles straight out of Klimt. 

Took bus, then train (good,clean, fast, quiet, on time, spacious....) into city centre - and would you believe - a turnstile ticketed toilet!!! (we have come SO far from SEAsia!!!) Wandered around looking at churches, statues (including Goethe), beautiful old buildings, open air conTENT exhibition setting up balloon tents in front of ornate national gallery. 

Opera touts, buskers, good eateries - kept running out of euros! City is on canal not Danube. 

Stood in awe of St Stephen's Cathedral "Gothic needle at heart of Vienna". Had Wiener Schnitzel for dinner (what else!) Came home easily same way in dark and cold on tender feet. Had to run vehicle for half hour to get battery power up with 2nd day of limited kms and no sun.

Monday. Not too cold a day. Took public bus and train to catch sightseeing bus for 3 hr tour (had 3E all you can eat breakfast by station, all caf├ęs full of morning smokers. Had hard boiled egg in holder - took us back to our childhoods). Passed architectural delights of buildings on the Ringstrasse - opera house, museums, art galleries, parliament and various monuments (they were happy Napolean had been defeated...) Such a pretty leafy city, apparently more than 180 parks.   

Schonbrunn Palace (opulence on a grand scale!) French garden, Tiergarten, orangerie, sun maze, Roman follies and pool, and Gloriette structure on hill. Must be expensive to maintain given the entrance fee and the coin slot on every toilet door... 

Not enough time - GirlRob wants to stay for a week!! Look forward to coming back to take in exhibitions/ concerts/ opera/ ballet, and go see famous Lipizzaner stallions.  Shopping for last of souvenirs and gifts. In evening walked by opera singers, buskers, blind baritone, and were serenaded by an accordion player on train going from compartment to compartment. Bittersweet coming to an end of this new way of life, but excitement building about going home.