It was another very early start from Kitzbühel – it was cold, dark, wet and miserable with the valleys full of low cloud. With the sides down, the tuk tuk steamed up immediately which meant Rachel was clambering over Bharat’s shoulder to wipe down the windscreen with kitchen roll every few minutes.
As we climbed the mountains near the Berchtesgaden National Park (we’d briefly crossed back into Germany), the wind picked up significantly and each gust was buffeting the tuk tuk across the road. As we got higher and higher it became scarier and scarier with an increasing number of yelps from the back as we were almost blown off the road.
We found shelter at Lake Königssee (‘Kings Lake’ in German), something we had seen pictures of previously which had not done it justice. We took a 30-minute boat ride down the lake to the remote St Bartholomew’s church and, as we sailed towards it, the captain stood out the front of the boat and played a trumpet towards the sky which echoed against the mountains either side of the lake – it was completely enchanting (except for the additional sound of Japanese tourists who hadn’t muted their cameras!).
Lake Königssee in Germany
After Königssee it was off to Salzburg (into Austria again!) where hours were wasted driving round and round in circles trying to get a good photograph of Sumo in front of an iconic building. We did our best, this is all we’ve got to show for it:
Hohensalzburg Fortress, Salzburg, Austria
Bharat has a tendency, when we have long drives ahead, to behave like the apocalypse is coming. The drive from Kitzbuhel to Linz was 250km (ish) and our longest one yet so with thunder and lightening predicted Bharat spent the entire day reminding us that the “storm was coming”. He was egged on further by a woman he met in a petrol station who advised him to tie the tuk tuk down for the night. So as we continued our tour of Austria we passed more and more beautiful vistas, all photo worthy, but were under strict instruction to urgently press on. Needless to say that, from midday onwards, we were driving in glorious sunshine with hardly a cloud in the sky…
We had not stopped much along the way (remember, the apocalypse was coming) and Rachel was taking some impressive racing lines along our Austrian country roads. Bharat commented on how Rachel’s Formula 1 driving would get us to Vienna let alone Linz, and before we knew it we were on the way to Vienna, only another 170km away…
It was a decision driven by multiple factors: (1) “the storm was coming”; (2) we were meant to be camping in the storm, (3) Bharat didn’t have the necessary equipment to tie the tuk tuk down; (4) the campsite was in some random village outside Linz and there was nothing to do/see; and (5) the sunset that evening was incredibly beautiful and our route was taking us along the River Danube.
Sunset drive along the Danube
Cruiseship on the Danube
It was the first time we had driven with the tuk tuk for any real length of time in the dark. It quickly became clear that Bharat had not put the beam deflectors on the Fiat correctly, which meant car after car, truck after truck, motorbike after motorbike would flash the support car and inadvertently blind Amy driving Sumo behind. Something to be adjusted before the next night-time expedition!
We pulled into our “Panoramic View Apartment” at 10pm having driven for over 15 hours. On the top floor, a good 5-6km away from the part of Vienna you actually want to visit, meant our panoramic vista was only of Soviet style blocks of flats. We’d been “flat-fished” (for those of you not in the know, see “catfishing” in the Urban Dictionary).
Monday was sightseeing in Vienna and trying (again) to get a good photograph of Sumo with our sponsor’s (see below) logo, but every beautiful building is either covered in scaffolding advertising flights to Malaga or has diggers, fairgrounds or ugly no parking signs in the way. So most of the day was spent scouting locations for Amy and James to go out early this morning and take some snaps sans cars, people etc – our blogging is almost live today!
View from the top of St Stephan’s Cathedral, Vienna
Every other tourist comes to Vienna for museums and Imperial palaces, but not the Tuk Tuk To Turkey team – the only touristy things we managed were going up to the top of the cathedral only to be almost blown away by the arctic cold winds and stuffing our faces with apple strüdel in a classic Viennese café.
Odd Wien Out : coffee and apple strüdel (or wine and sacher torte if you are Bharat)
Dinner was the classic Tafelspitz – boiled beef in broth with a side of bone marrow. James managed to eat half a boiled cow and Bharat spent most of the meal going on about how it would last him for the rest of the trip. As soon as we got home he asked about breakfast…
Low point of the day: Spent EUR20 on an overpriced parking space in central Vienna. Clearly we were charged a premium for having the luxury of being played Mozart over the crackling car park speakers.
Funniest moment: Rachel couldn’t see whilst driving the tuk tuk due the tears of laughter streaming down her face when she tried to say the name of a local town: “Windpassing”. She wanted to visit the town to get a picture of her with the sign, but couldn’t get beyond the word ‘wind’ without doubling up laughing and so then missed the turning much to her disappointment. Round 2 was at dinner in Vienna and luckily Amy managed to capture it on camera.
Sound of the days: The tinkling of cow bells everywhere you go! There’s something very reassuring about the sounds (particularly when driving on Austrian country roads at night).
Sponsor for Austria – Bannenberg and Rowell: Yacht designers. The company is the direct descendant of the convention-breaking studio established by Jon Bannenberg – the universally acknowledged father of modern yacht design – in the early 1960s. Dickie Bannenberg and Simon Rowell continue the vision of the founder, and lead the design team in new directions: working with all the major shipyards; designing residences for private clients and real estate developers; collaborating with furniture designers and developing other creative partnerships.
Thank you to our sponsor for Austria, Bannenberg and Rowell. We tried hard to get a nautical themed photo with the tuk tuk but were thwarted at every attempt to get the tuk tuk to a lake shore!
Highlight of the day:
Day 16: Going to bed knowing that we didn’t have to wake up early and drive all the way to Vienna.
Day 17: Bharat claiming that he will never go to the Amazon rainforest again because it was just “trees and more trees”.
Tuk Tuk Trivia:
Number of times Bharat has mused (out loud) that Arnold Schwarzenegger is the hero of Austria: 1
Number of times Bharat has been corrected that Mozart is the real hero of Austria and Arnie is American: 1
Number of people in traditional Viennese dress offering various tourist traps: 57 and counting.
Number of podcasts Amy and James listened to on the 15 hour drive: 6 – Freakanomics (one about how to be happy, one about why you shouldn’t open a restaurant, two ways to save the planet, one about who decided how much a life is worth, one about whether Lance Armstrong has finally become clean), and Serial Season 3, Episode 1 which is about the US Criminal Justice System.
Dunce of the Day:
Day 16: Bharat – we never experienced the apocalyptic storm he went on about.
Day 17: Amy – she was a ‘hangry’ (see earlier blog for explanation) monster today, even after a hot chocolate and an apple strudel!
Interesting fact: The Austrians really do wear lederhosen! Worn by young and old in a lot of different styles. One man we saw had some calf warmers which look similar to the “leggings” that Bharat bought ahead of the trip – to be revealed with the next cold spell.
Motzart’s Birthplace, Salzburg
Salzburg Historic Town
In the rain at Lake Wolfgangsee, Austria
St Stephan’s Cathedral, Vienna
Rathaus (Town Hall) Vienna with our sponsors logo Bannenberg and Rowell
https://tuktuktoturkey.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/IMG_2497.jpg35842688Rachelhttps://tuktuktoturkey.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Screen-Shot-2018-03-03-at-21.11.05-300x110.pngRachel2018-09-25 08:00:472018-09-25 09:18:58DAY 16 AND DAY 17