Friday, 3 June 2016

Fri 3 Jun 2016. Vienna to Marchegg

Fri 3 Jun 2016. Vienna to Marchegg
Slept in for first time - how luxurious! Baked beans for breakfast, showered, washed hair, picked up fresh rolls and stamps from office and put postcards in Yellow Box on way out. Navigated the spaghetti highways with Garmin (definitely the travellers friend in the city!), and we're pleased to hit the rural countryside north of Vienna, on our way to visit Julia and Eskil's friend, Hannelore. 

Our timing was just right and we arrived at her niece's gasthaus in time for the smorgasbord lunch. Delicious pork, meatloaf, chicken legs, sauerkraut, and a variety of other hot vegetables and sauces. Hannelore brought over wine spritzer, and mostly via charades and single words, talked about her town as we finished our meal. March (Mark) is the name of the river and egg is "bend". Her family has been here for generations, and the restaurant used to be her fathers before it passed to her older sister. Apparently the train to Vienna takes less than an hour from here, we decided to try and stay to avoid driving through the capital again tomorrow in order to see the Spanish Riding School. She gave us directions to the railway station, the Slovak Tower Bratislava on one side of the river, Austrian on the other, and gave us pamphlets about the local castle, museum and stork colony (the latter capturing GirlRob’s immediate attention!) Well armed with hats and water for an afternoon which got steadily hotter, Wanderoos took off to locate the train station, checking with some schoolboys how to use the machine for tickets in the morning, which platform, and train times. A boy who was from Slovakia attending an Austrian school, was most helpful. 

Off next to the stork colony in the Nature Reserve which provided an excellent experience, many storks and chicks in high nests scattered through the forested area. We took the binoculars and camera up to the top of the viewing platform and were rewarded with excellent views of storks cleaning nests, flying out on food hunts, and feeding (or ignoring!) demanding chicks. The poor parents of a family of four were kept busy and looked downright frazzled. Also saw a couple of yellowhammers loudly singing, with their distinctive orange spot across their backs.

Tower Gate at Marchegg city walls 
Guarding the Millrace Bridge


Going shopping...

Took the long and very picturesque walk along the river for a couple of hours, stopping to try and spot the frogs or beavers promised by the pictures (but no luck!). 


Hannelore knew the Burgomaster and got his permission for us to camp in town overnight. She came to get us to come and visit her family for afternoon tea, walking past the yellow Schloss and old stables.

Hannelore lived in the "green house near the peace statue" (war memorial) where we met son Hannes (?) a nurse, and daughter-in-law Tina a doctor (who spoke good English), with their 2yr old son Paolo and 5 week old baby. Had rose tea from a charming china teapot. With the three dogs (2 of them hunters) explored the lovely long garden, plants, flowers and fruit trees. Paolo was very entertaining killing all the bugs on the concrete, eating all the strawberry buds on the plants, and stepping in the dog poo. Hannelore showed us the wine cellar under the house, which used to be a "peace cellar" (air raid shelter) which had survived when the first house was burnt down.

We said our farewells and went back to the parking lot near the stork colony, watching the storks settle for the evening from the viewing platform. The chicks will need all the flying lessons and rest they can before their long migration to Africa, and eventual return to found their own families. Apparently the flock can fly at 50km ph. Once back at our camp, sat inside for a sandwich supper to avoid the mosquitoes. The heat abated with the sun going down. After all the late dog-walkers had said hello and finished their perambulations, it turned out to be a most peaceful camp.

Hi rise apartments
Bringing home the bacon...

Feeding time

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