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[Austria (cont.)]



Abersee lies in the foothills of the Alps on the Wolfgangsee across the lake from St. Wolfgang, the town where all the women wear Dirnls and all the men wear Lederhosen! It is in the Salzkammergut, south east of Salzburg. 

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Here we rented an apartment. 



  Yep, that one at the corner, right across from the Schlecker!  IMG_3213.jpg


On the Water

Those who come to Wolfgangsee come primarily for water activities, so Joel and Tasha decided to learn to sail!  And guess what - they both passed!  They can now sail boats with sails of up to 15 m² in any German or Austrian inland waters! 

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Once they earned their license, they took us out for a sail.

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It was a little gloomy, and a little wet, and completely still - yep, that's Newenka, rowing!




There was also lots of swimming, rafting, and water skiing to be done on the lake.  For Joel's other favorite water activity, we went for a ride (on bikes) up the mountain to the Schwarzensee.  All of us non-mountain-dwellers pushed our bikes up the hill - Misch and Joel rode.  Actually, Joel pulled Anika! 


ZE2G2730.jpg Quick chess break in Strobl

ZE2G2794.jpg ZE2G2813.jpg Before the hard stuff, when we still had the energy for photography!


Once we got to the lake, Joel and Tasha jumped in.  Anika found the fishing line tangles in the rocks on the side of the lake.  Joel found the hook in the bushes.  And voila - fishing! 


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It's a tough sport, but Joel is happy to handle it for us :-)



Dorf der Tiere

We rode through the rain to the Dorf der Tiere with Anika.  She was ready to go home about 5 minutes after we started riding!  We prevailed and fun was had by all!  So much so, that we had to go back a second time with the rest of the crew.  Now this is not so much a Dorf (village) and not just about animals (Tiere).  It is all about having fun! 



Mischy fights off the goat for her snack!




Is that the cutest goat house you've ever seen?



Okay, one baby pig, who ran and jumped and rolled and dug nonstop!


Anika played with the bunnies for a long time - missing Babbit!


But now for the fun stuff: 

IMG_3230.jpg A (huge) teeter totter, couldn't you tell? 










Obertraun in located on the Hallstätersee, around the corner from Hallstatt.  It is a nice quite village, with quite a view! 




ZE2G3026.jpg Enough of the artistic - here we are eating dinner, in the rain!!!




On the Dachstein

The Dachstein is an alpine plateau out of which rise the amazing peaks around Hallstatt.  The plan was, ride a cable car up to the plateau, then hike out to a hut for a snack and hike back to the cable car.  This seemed very achievable, and easier on the knees than the alternatives.  We left the house early so we could get a discount on our tickets.  Then we found that the cable car we had planned to ride, which was a three stage system, was under construction and the middle stage was closed.  So we needed to take the Post cable car.  We walked down to the starting point for this car and the line was out the door!!!  Hey we've skied before, we know how this goes, these lines seem long, but they move, because it's a cable car, right?  Wrong!  This was not designed as most cable car are.  Here there were only 4 cars in use, two pairs of two.  And they ran in opposition to one another, like a teleferic.  The weight of the ones coming down helping to pull up the ones going up.  So each car holds 6, two cars at a time, that's 12 and they take about 10 minutes.  So that's 6 * 12, 72 people an hour.  There are about 65 people in front us on the line.  So that will take less than an hour.  So we wait and wait and wait.  We see cars coming and cars going, but the line is not moving commensurate with the number of cars.  What is going on?  As we finally entered the loading area, we counted the number of people in front of us - 12.  Perfect, so we'll be in the second set of cars.  A pair of cars comes and goes.  I count again, 7.  How can that be?  Ah, we are only using one of the pairs of cars, because the military is using the other set, and they don't have to wait in this line with the rest of us mere mortals.  So it takes another 2 runs before we get into a car!  In all it took us more than 2 hours to get to the Dachstein! 


Fortunately, the views were awesome! 


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So what was the plan, ah yes, to hike out to the Wiesberghütte for a snack - it's only about 4.5km and a rise of 75m according to the tourist map.  Let's see, it's noon, and the hike is 2 hours out and then 2 hours back and the last cable car leaves at 16:15 (so much for a casual hike).  The other surprise was the number of ups and downs on the hike...we marched up 50m and then down 50m and then up 75m and down all the way to the Dachstien (all in all, about +275m and -200m one way)!  You may think plateaus are flat, but let me assure you they only appear flat next to the very tall peaks and deep valleys that surround them!  Thankfully we had packed a lunch.  When we arrived at the Hütte, we had a very quick drink and then marched back to the cable car. 


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Of course there was a wait to get back down, but luckily the military guys had an overnight conference, so they weren't jumping in front of us.  We only waited about an hour on the way back down. 


Gosau und der Kleiner Grosse Donnorkogelklettersteig

On our last day in Oberstraun, Mischy and Joel decided it was time to tackle the mountain.  They collected up the necessary climbing gear and all six of us packed into our little Peugeot 407.  We didn't want to miss the spectacle!  We headed out to the Gosausee, in the next valley over from the Hallstättersee.  There they wanted to climb the Kleiner Donnerkogelklettersteig.  (Little Thunderkogel Climbing Climb, roughly speaking!)  The Kletterstieg is the latest thing - it is a path up the mountain that has been mapped out and the necessary supports have been provided.  (At least what a climber would find necessary!  We looked for the ladder to no avail!)  The man who provided the equipment suggested this climb as a good one, couple of hours, not too difficult. 


  There you have both the Grosser (big) and the Kleiner (little) Donnerkogel. 

IMG_3564.jpg Misch and Joel on the ride up the cable car to the beginning of the climb.


IMG_3575.jpgIMG_3582.jpg All dressed up and ready to go! 


They're off:






Well, they were up and away, so we left for our hike.  When we got to the cable car, 20 minutes later, we glanced up at the rock face, and saw them!!!


ZE2G3201.jpg  Can't see them near the top of the middle peak?  Look a little closer:

                                                                     ZE2G3198.jpg Still can't see them?  Look a little closer:


                                                                                                                                        Okay, if you still can't see them, click on the photo and we'll point them out. 


So the deal was, we go for a hike, then head home.  Mischy and Joel take the bus back to Obertraun, or worse case to Hallstatt.  Just in case, before climbing on the bus they would look in the parking lot to see if we were still around.  If we were, then we'd given them a ride - and we had the only key to the apartment.


Vital Statistics:  They started climbing just after noon.  Last cable car down to Gosausee: 17:25, last bus to Obertraun: 16:15, last bus to Hallstatt: 17:00. 


M&J spectacle observed, we decided to hike down from the top cable car station - about an hour, unless it's wet or you have bad knees, then it's about an hour and a half. 


ZE2G3229.jpg We had lunch, we wandered around the lake, ZE2G3262.jpg

we had Kaffee und Kuchen (that wonderful germanic institution), then some of us played in the fountains.



The next thing you know it is already 16:00 - no sign of M&J.  Strange for a couple hour climb, but they do need to hike back down from the top of their climb, and catch the cable car.  At 16:45, no Mischy or Joel on the bus to Obertraun.  Now they will have an hour long walk once they get to Hallstatt.  We may as well wait the extra 45 minutes... 17:00, no Mischy or Joel on the last bus out of Gosausee.  Now we should definitely wait! 


We sent Tasha around to see if they were on the last cable car.  Mischy reports that Tasha was a happy sight for tired eyes!  She, Joel, the up-mountain cable car operator and the up-mountain drink vendor as well as his garbage were on the last cable car.  Whew!  Mischy and Joel sprinted down the mountain in an attempt to make the last cable car.  Apparently they missed the exit for the Kleiner Donnerkogelklettersteig and went all the way up the Grosser Donnerlogelklettersteig!  That means the climbed all the way up to the top of this mountain, to where the cross is!  This is an all day climb! 




The next morning we packed up and dropped Mischy and Joel off in Bad Ischl, from where they caught a bus to Salzburg, a train to Munich and a plane to LA and then to Salt Lake City! 



On the Drive to Vienna

After leaving Bad Ischl, we drove around the Traunsee on our way to the highway.  This was an amazing lake.  On the south end is has high cliffs on both sides.  The wind was so strong that there were people surfing using parasails!  It was the most amazing thing to watch!  They were just flying across the lake.  All of us thought about how much fun Onkel Joel would have had trying that out! 



Time for a true Anika activity.  We read about a perfect park for a picnic lunch on our drive to Vienna - the Agrarium Familienparadies in Steinerkirchen.



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                  Anika has many more dinosaur photos on her page (link coming soon or look for it from her personal journal page). 





Sorry, the Austria page got too big so we've given Vienna its own page.   Vienna


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Last modified: 06/13/08