New Years Eve BratislavaNew Years Day a very hungover group of us set off on the train to Vienna, the Capital of Austria. It appeared to be a charming city steeped in history, but in our post party haze we just couldn’t do it justice. This has been added to the list for a re-visit at some point when we’re feeling a little bit fresher!The rest of the trip was spent back in Bratislava sampling traditional Slovak food such as hearty meaty soups and stews with dumplings.FebruaryFebruary was a quiet month on the travel front, except for a cheeky girls trip to London to see Eddie Izzard for a friends birthday. Other than that it was full steam ahead with the planning and preparations for our big adventure. We began to think about how we were going to get to Cambodia, and more importantly we brainstormed and made some decisions on how we were going to fund the trip and what we would do with our house. Brainstorming to Travel, and Live and Work AbroadAndy completed a 120 hours TEFL Certificate, to enable him to teach English abroad. His YouTube Channel ‘GOING NOMAD…aka pigs on bikes’ was also born (his first vlog was a review of his TEFL course), and I began to create this blog.March
Indulge in a Käsekrainer for lunchBack in Salzburg from Mondsee, head to the University area to grab a delicious Kasekrainer for lunch. It's a massive sausage usually made of chicken and lots of cheese. Served with mustard or relish, it's about 4 euros and extremely filling. A little known fact, it's a great cure for a hangover!Enjoy an evening at the Old TownStart at St Peter's Cemetery which is one of the oldest in the region. Once you get out, you come to Salzburg's oldest bakery where a watermill is still in use. Walk around to the Salzburg cathedral and marvel at its beautiful dome. Then head to the city's main shopping street or Getreidegasse. It's filled with tourists but you can score some touristy bric a brac for a budget if one is keen. Gaze at the famous yellow building on the street which was famously Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's house. The composer was born there in 1756. Cross the Salzach and head to the Mirabell Gardens. The baroque garden is beautifully kept and if you're a fan of the Sound of Music, you'll know a portion of the Do Re Mi song was shot here. Then head to Schloss Hellbrunn. The alley by its side is where Maria and the children rode their bicycles while the facade of the palace is what's shown in the film as the Von Trapps' entrance to their residence. The gardens have the famous gazebo where Liezel and Rolf danced to '16 going on 17' on a stormy night. Relax there, drink a beer or coffee, read a book for sometime. Then, finally head to Schloss Leopoldskron where the boat scene was shot. Remember when they all fell into the water as the Captain stared? Yup, that's where you can take a picture of the lake. After all the walking around, if you're still in the mood, walk up to the Hohensalzburg Fortress to get a perfect view of the city!
1. Take a walking tower in Old Town, Innsbruck and enjoy the beautiful architecture visible in the house-fronts, doorways and windows. This town is one of the most colourful places to visit in Europe.
It was however time to move on and visit Hallstatt. Hallstatt isn't too far from Bad Goisern, but there is only train every hour. So after a brief wait at the picturesque and desolate Bad Goisern station, I got on a train to Hallstatt.Getting off at the Hallstatt station, I took a ferry. It is indeed the only way to get to Hallstatt and is quite convenient. Make a point to note the ferry timings though, as they are well aligned with the train schedule.Hallstatt is probably prettier in the summer than in the winter. This is how it looked.
Waking up early next morning, I went out for a walk. And to my surprise, Bad Goisern turned out to be a stunningly beautiful town.
Go to the church where the Von Trapps got marriedThe Sound of Music is a much-loved film. Remember the wedding scene at the church where Maria, the governess with the voice of an angel, gets married to Captain Von Trapp, the father of seven children she had come to look after? The scene was shot at St Michael's church in Mondsee, about an hour away from Salzburg. Local buses ply so transportation is not a problem. The church is beautiful and the images of Maria in her big floating white wedding dress keeps coming back when you go inside.