A Travellerspoint blog

November 2010

Sautner Kathreineler Festival

27 November 2010

sunny 10 °F

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DSC00502


Another beautiful day took us back to Obergergl for some more skiing. Today it was much colder and it wasn't long before we were inside for hot chocolate! That is my favorite thing about skiing. The ski day went to crap when we went to the far side of the mountain to meet our friends for lunch. In order to get up the slope you had to get on a t-bar. Just trying to get on the thing I fell over and Curt ended up going up the slope without me. I then had to go around through the entrance again but my ski card would not work so I couldn't get through. I had to get the worker to help me get on. So then it is just me on the thing so I drift to the right the entire time. My legs and hips were so sore trying to hang out this insanely long slope. In the end I hit a snow bank and fell off. So then either way I look to the right and left is 2 feet deep snow. I am about 3/4 of the way up the hill so there is no going down. Plus if I went down I would just have to go up that god awful lift again because it was the only way to get off of that slope. My only real choice was to walk up the hill. It was so embarrassing with all the people who managed to stay on the lift passed me. By the time I got to the top I was exhausted and just done skiing.
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DSC00530


Shortly after we left and were able to rest a bit before the Kathreineler festival in the town. Supposedly town people dress up like these demons and they are to punish or capture the bad kids and make it safe for santa to come. The entire town is gathered for the event with beer stands and tons of kids.
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DSC00508


The show starts with fireworks and a bonfire being lit. Then the "monsters" come with torchs and dance around the fire. Eventually they rough up some of the older kids.
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DSC00515


Another group came running up with a cage and then more came on a cart. A stunt monster rappelled from the third floor of a building to a nearby tree - with a torch!! It is amazing the whole town didn't go up in flames. Another guy rappelled down from the top of a crane. It's quite an interesting thing to see and we just happened to be in town for it. We capped the night with more pizza from the restaurant down the street.
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DSC00536

Posted by ErinDriver 10:09 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

Solden, Austria

26 November 2010

snow 25 °F

Solden

Solden


Looking out the window this morning was quite a suprise. The ground, road, buildings and cars were all covered in snow and huge white chunks were still falling heavily. The mountains directly in front of the hotel were not visible. Right then the decision was made that skiing was not in the picture for today. After breakfast and the other crazies went off to brave the mountain we were back to sleep.
By lunchtime hunger set in again and we walked to the pizzeria down the street. With full bellies we drove about 45 minutes to Solden for a shopping expedition. We did well with Curt getting a jacket and I got a new ski outfit.
The weather was starting to snow again so we picked up some wine, cheese and crackers and went back to the hotel. The rest of the skiers joined us shortly and later went back to the pizzeria for dinner. I should NOT have two cappuchinos before I go to bed!

Posted by ErinDriver 22:43 Archived in Austria Tagged skiing Comments (0)

Obergergl, Austria

25 November 2010

sunny 35 °F

empty slopes

empty slopes


The beauty of driving down to Austria on the curvy roads in the dark on wednesday night was realized on thursday morning. The day was gorgeous and the slopes were empty. Since Thanksgiving is not a european holiday we were the only ones off on a thursday to go skiing. It was probably the most enjoyable skiing I have ever done. The day was gorgeous, the snow was perfect and the runs were empty. The runs here seemed long and wide which is perfect for us.
Obergergl view

Obergergl view


Lunch was on the other side of the mountain from where we started but pretty darn good for ski food. The pommes were just like McDonalds. We skiied a few more hours before heading back across the mountain in the lift. Except for about half way through the ride we realized we were going down, not across. Nearly the rest of the afternoon was spent trying to figure out how to get back to where the car was. The ski bus ended up taking us back to the start and we got one more really cold run in before calling it a day.
curt and i in austra

curt and i in austra


Back at the Hotel Fernblick in Sauterns the rest of the group had made a thanksgiving dinner so we feasted on turkey, stuffing, potatoes and pumpkin cake before calling in a night.

Posted by ErinDriver 22:10 Archived in Austria Tagged skiing Comments (0)

Rursee Marathon

7 November 2010

rain 40 °F

Curt at start of Rursee Marathon

Curt at start of Rursee Marathon


The landscape of Lake Rursee did not dry out any overnight so we run a very challenging and damp marathon. About 250-300 people are at the start for the marathon and I swear we were one of the youngest people there. The route went one lap around the lake to start and finish at the same place.
Rursee on marathon day

Rursee on marathon day


The route is like running over cobblestones with wet leaves on top. It is a small miracle that we don't fall and injure ourselves during the run. There are several uphills where we just give it up and walk. This was our first trail marathon and it was also our slowest to this point. The scenery really was very pretty even though it looked like the skies were going to open up and drench us at any moment. During the run it got misty but did not start pouring until 2 minutes after we finished.
All females at the end got a rose which was a nice touch. The medal is pretty and overall I really liked the marathon - now that its over.
Another small miracle occurred when we went back to the Haus Panorama and the key was still in the back of the door. We were able to quickly take a hot shower before getting on the road. Our shortage of calories in the past 5 hours was relieved at the Cafe de Post with some more spaghetti.

Posted by ErinDriver 10:13 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Rursee Lake in Einruhr, Germany

6 November 2010

overcast 40 °F

statue at monastery

statue at monastery


Breakfast in a kloster was actually quite good – they even had our name at the table! Its raining today so that’s not good for marathon weekend. The two hour drive to Einruhr on Lake Rursee is not fun in the rain either.
The town is small and there is a tent set up to pick up start numbers and the towel you get if you are doing the marathon. A restaurant close by has spaghetti bolonognes so we do the ritual marathon thing. The Haus Panorama has an apartment room reserved for us but we have to meet the owner at another location. At first no one answers the doorbell and I call the number on their sign but the man that answers does not speak English. Finally the lady comes to the door and leads our drive to the hotel. It is right on the lake and only 50 euros with free parking !!
Rursee lake

Rursee lake


Rest for our legs is our top priority so the day is passed cuddled up in the arm chairs with our kindles. We miss the pasta party but set out later to a little bar that has pizza and soccer on tv for Curt.

Posted by ErinDriver 10:11 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Burg Eltz

5 November 2010

overcast 45 °F

entrance to Burg Eltz

entrance to Burg Eltz


Today is off work so that US Army Europe Soldiers do not get two four day weekends in one month. The powers that be won’t let us have thanksgiving and veterans day. The Rursee marathon was already scheduled for Sunday so today we head that direction.
Burg Eltz painting

Burg Eltz painting


Burg Eltz is billed as Rick Steves’ favorite castle in Europe so it has to be seen!!! Unfortunatley I did not read his book and find out it was closed from November to March until we were already on the way. The three hour drive to Moselkern was uneventful and the town was deserted. The plan was to start here and hike to the castle, about a 90 minute walk. Lunch was brats and pommes with some mosel wine – we were the only patrons in the restaurant.
sign for Burg Eltz

sign for Burg Eltz


The hike was low key and solitary which was wonderful after our castle experiences in Romania. They actually recommend hiking in a skirt according to the sign. The path follows a stream all the way to the castle. Burg Eltz has been in the same family for centuries and was never attacked. It is nestled in the woods so I think its because no one could see it. Anyway of course it is covered with scaffolding but looks well taken care off.
Burg Eltz hike

Burg Eltz hike


There are a few other hikers at the top but nothing like the summer experience I’m sure. Based on this picture I think Curt really enjoyed it.
Burg Eltz

Burg Eltz


Back at the bottom the coffee shop had no one in it so once again we were the only customers drinking giant cappuccinos. Twenty minutes later the Kloster Maria Engleport was in front of us.
Kloster Maria Engleport

Kloster Maria Engleport


It is out in the middle of no where but a gorgeous building with a great staircase and start rooms inside. The advice for dinner is to go back where we just came from so we wind around the roads once more to have some pasta for dinner in Tries-Kreiner.

Posted by ErinDriver 10:06 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Back in Bucharest

2 November 2010

overcast 37 °F

Curt in Bucharest

Curt in Bucharest


Finally not an early morning!!! And finally a run – there hasn’t been one in 4 days so the park a few streets away gives some nice scenery for an hour.
park walkway in Bucharest

park walkway in Bucharest


The dinner our first night was so delicious we can’t wait to get back to Caru’ eu bere. The grub is just as delicious with meatball soup for me and bean and bacon soup for Curt. The chicken and cheese crepes provide the next course followed by crema de zehar and cappuccino’s. All this is about the equivalent of $22. I think Curt will be sad to leave the Romanian food today. The hostel gives us a ride to the airport for 15 euro and before we know it we are bundled up in coats in Germany again.
wood bridge in bucharest

wood bridge in bucharest

Posted by ErinDriver 12:17 Archived in Romania Comments (0)

Sighisoara

1 November 2010

sunny 42 °F

Sighisoara

Sighisoara


The bad part of the party came when we had to meet at 0900 for more touring.
Vlad the Impaler's birth place

Vlad the Impaler's birth place


We walked around Sighisoara and saw the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler. His father was Vlad Dracul which in Romanian means devil.
Deer building

Deer building


It is a very charming town with a beautiful clock tower. This building was called the Deer building because of the head sticking out the side.
covered walkway[i

covered walkway[i

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The town has a covered staircase for when the snow is bad in the winter and at the top is the school.
school in Sighisoara

school in Sighisoara


It sounded like our party the night before – the school had loudspeakers on the building blasting out American pop music. The kids were all outside smoking cigarettes! It was quite an unusual sight.
Lower Sighisoara

Lower Sighisoara


street of Sighisoara

street of Sighisoara


After passing around upper and lower Sighisoara we were released to shop or have a coffee.
Beer from Halloween party

Beer from Halloween party


Due to last night’s events were went looking for a cappuccino. We found one along with another crazy sighting. At 1000 on Monday morning this coffee/pub was filled to the brim with people smoking and drinking beer. Definitely not expected!!
Old Lady's way

Old Lady's way


This is called Old Lady's way because it is covered and flat, making it easy for older ladies.
guard tower

guard tower


street in Sibiu

street in Sibiu


Sibiu was our next stop and the European Capital of culture in 2007. It looks similar to Nurnberg but has a wall around it like Rhotenberg.
big square

big square


They have a big square and a small square and similar towers to the other places we have been. For the first time on the trip there is time for lunch. Curt is able to get some meat with cabbage rolls and I meet by hunger for pizza. The weather is gorgeous and surprisingly warmer than Germany. The tables outside are in full force and it may be the last time I get to eat outside this year!
ursus beer

ursus beer


By 1600 we are back on the bus and don’t get to Bucharest until 2100. The drives are long but the landscape is so charming. The Carpathian Mountains are beautiful and we pass cows in the road, horses with wagons, cattle eating from hay stacks and tons and tons of stray dogs. The gypsy villages are also pointed out to us.
I get irritated with Go Romania Tours because our paperwork says our endpoint will be our hostel. So we expect to be picked up and driven to the hostel just like the start of the trip. Instead the guide says we can get you to this point and then take a taxi. Luckily the stop is right next to the taxis and we get one for about $1.50. The Romanian Lei exchange is about 4:1. Things here are pretty cheap.

Posted by ErinDriver 12:10 Archived in Romania Comments (0)

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