Lookie here! A live update!

Just wanted to break in to announce all will be quiet for a few days. We are taking a mini-break from our adventure to recover from the world’s worst cold that swept through our camp this week leaving one of our family in a very polite though remarkably inefficient hospital for a whopping two nights.

Only we would take a vacation from a vacation.

We are on the mend but as overnight temps where we are have dropped to single digits (in C. I think it is low to mid 40’s in F) we are going to hang out where we are for about a week or so to sanitize the hell out of everything and giving our bodies a little more chicken soup before we move on. Cold nights make for slower recovery. Better safe than sorry, right?

Of course we are “stuck” recovering in a 5 star campground with a heated indoor pool and the most amazing play structure complete with air trampoline. I can think of far worse places to be right now. Like that campsite in Verona- which will probably leave you wondering when and why were we in Verona.

But that’s a story for another day.

Once we feel up to moving on, we will reconfigure our travel plans and take it from there. Expect radio silence for a few more days while we figure out what the heck we are going to do next.

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Day 58: Seefeld, Austria

message in a bottle This is a Message In A Bottle post.

I have written this post in advance. If you are following our progression daily, you are getting this as an automatic update because either I am nowhere near a decent wifi set up, too exhausted to write a live post, or there really was some magic in the magic castle and I am waiting for a hat to spring out of.

 

And now we slow to a crawl again. Tyrol is pretty much a ski area and as it is dead of summer and pretty much the opposite of ski season there is not much to do but walk around in the mountains. Walking around in the mountains with a one year old, a three-year old, and my way-too-old self in temps expecting to hit triple digits is, well, stupid. Really, really stupid. I mean, I really should have had a clue when the only thing I knew about Tyrol was that horrible and equally horribly catchy tune the kid’s tv channel Zappelin aired continuously over winter vacation. The video featured the children’s tv celebs cramming more people than seatbelts into cars, making inappropriate mouth gestures with sausages, and dancing on tables in their ski outfits while kicking their mulled wine over. I am a mom. What can I say? I notice these things. The song was called “Christmas in Tyrol.” Let’s recap. Things I know about Tyrol: Christmas, skiing, mulled wine, snow.

Yeah.

Clearly putting it down as a summer destination was not one of my better moves. So in an effort to fully embrace the not one of my better moves, we are headed into Seefeld where I saw a cute picture of a cute inn with two cute paintings under two of its windows. They sell beer there. Today’s itinerary is easy: See the inn, drink the beer.

In hindsight, maybe going to a winter destination in summer was a good idea after all. No frostbite, no crowds, and no shortage of beer.

Foodie mission: Since I am obsessing about beer, beer it is! Going for a white beer, or some other summer beer. These have less to no alcohol and are made to be refreshing and hydrating more than anything. Which means we can have a couple and still be way way way under the limit for driving safely and legally.

Day 57: Innsbruk, Austria

message in a bottle This is a Message In A Bottle post.

I have written this post in advance. If you are following our progression daily, you are getting this as an automatic update because either I am nowhere near a decent wifi set up, too exhausted to write a live post, or am still looking for the brook to get in (see what I did there?).

 

Finally! A walking tour jam-packed full of touristy things to tour! Todays walk clocks in at 1 hour, 38 minutes not counting any stops. As usually, we are only going in if there is free admission. However, most of the sites today are meant to be seen from the outside anyway. It should be our hottest day yet of our journey and a real test of our *cough* endurance. Here are the highlights of the trip, though old town is supposed to be packed with gems that we should see more than I have listed.

  • Hofkirche
  • Kaiserliche Hofburg
  • Dom zu St. Jakob
  • Golden Roof, Helblinghaus in old town square
  • Ambras Castle
  • Stadtpark Rapoldi
  • Hofgarten

Foodie mission: Tyrol is known for its apple strudel and today we enjoy a piece in old-town from a local bakery. If I can swing it, we each will get a different type so we can nibble through a variety of flakey apply deliciousness.

Day 56: Pettnau, Austria

message in a bottle This is a Message In A Bottle post.

I have written this post in advance. If you are following our progression daily, you are getting this as an automatic update because either I am nowhere near a decent wifi set up, too exhausted to write a live post, or fell in the Inn on the way to the inn.

 

There are exactly two things to see in Pettnau: an old Inn and an old Church. And those two things are about as far apart as humanly possible for a small town. I decided to give the church a miss and head for the inn. With any luck, they will serve beer and my effort for walking all that way will be its own reward. In reality, I expect it to be another landmark turned into private home and another round of calls to the police by the inhabitants complaining of a strange foreign family loitering on their front lawn and taking selfies next to Aunt Gertrudestein’s memorial rose bush.

But just for laughs and to say that I did plan something, here is our free Pettnau walking tour:

  • Mellaunerhof

And done.

Foodie mission: Honey. There are so many fresh fruits and berries available, but since we eat fruit daily this seemed too easy of mission. Since bread has a rich history, why not get something native to put on top of it?

Day 55: Schellenberg, Liechtenstein

message in a bottle This is a Message In A Bottle post.

I have written this post in advance. If you are following our progression daily, you are getting this as an automatic update because either I am nowhere near a decent wifi set up, too exhausted to write a live post, or have been pressed into headcheese.

 

There are five castles in Liechtenstein. We saw two yesterday. Two more are today. That leaves one unfinished, unless we somehow managed to pass it on the freeway coming in and stopped in. Who knows what will happen with my future self, but my present self who is writing this little message in a bottle hopes that I manage it.

Google maps, by the way, is still continuously telling me I am up to nefarious and evil deeds and keeps cutting me off. I probably wouldn’t have as many searches in such a short period of time if (a) I could type without errors, (b) they didn’t require very, very specific name definitions and I have to bounce between two languages in order to figure out which one they want, of course always picking the wrong one to try first, and (c) when I click and drag my little dotted trail from the highway to the walking path in walk mode it wouldn’t crash, forcing me to redo the same map over and over again until it takes or I give up and break down crying, again, about how Google hates me, the computer hates me, the internet hates me, and the bloody printer hates me. My poor husband. Nothing says sexy like a boogery, ugly-crying wife who is convinced inanimate objects and electrical impulses hate her. Yeah, I hope my future self is enjoying these castles. My present self is kind of pathetic right now.

Today is another two-hour hike in the mountains. It was an absolute nightmare to put together. I am going to list the Google map name with the real name in parenthesis. On the off-chance if you decide to visit these places, you won’t have to spend over forty minutes trying to find the damn GPS coordinates because Google will keep sending you thousands of miles away to somewhere else, near Yonkers, assuming that you mean that Liechtenstein and you are just an idiot.

  • Bäuerliches Wohnmuseum Historisches Holzwohnhaus Haus Nr. 12 (Biedermannhaus)
  • Ruine Alt Schellenberg (Untere Burg)
  • Obere Burg (Obere Burg)

Foodie mission: Torkarebl is a porridge made of corn-meal based dumplings and berry jam. Sounds intriguing. If I can’t find it somewhere pre-made, we are going to attempt to make it ourselves at the campsite. Probably to the extreme humor of the locals.

Day 54: Vaduz, Liechtenstein

message in a bottle This is a Message In A Bottle post.

I have written this post in advance. If you are following our progression daily, you are getting this as an automatic update because either I am nowhere near a decent wifi set up, too exhausted to write a live post, or accidentally trespassed and am now in a Liechtensteiner jail.

 

Did you know that Liechtenstein is the world’s leading producer of false teeth? Now you got something to break the ice the next time you find yourself in an awkward silence. You are welcome.

It also is, so far, the only country that not only seems to embrace free tourism, but demands it. “Oh, that national architectural treasure? You can’t go in. See our famous city hall? We are terribly proud of it. Residents only. The castle of our Prince? Yeah, private residence, no admission. Oh but there? Over there? That ruin? The one only accessible on foot completely uphill through a mountain pass? You can go there. Knock yourself out. We even made it free for you.” I think they also hate children. They have an official government map showing stroller friendly hiking trails, all of which dead-end several kilometers out-of-town. Basically they are just leaving you in the woods to die.

I bet there is a gingerbread house in those woods. Probably residents only and you can only see it from outside the fence.

However I am not to be deterred. We are a family made for Liechtenstein! Today’s free walking tour through Vaduz, capital city of Liechtenstein:

  • Government Building (no entry allowed)
  • Postage Stamp Museum (this is free, but attached to the national museum which is not. We will see when we get there if we have access or not.)
  • Prince of Liechtenstein Winery
  • the Red House (no entry allowed)
  • Castle Vaduz (no entry allowed)
  • Wildschloss
  • Vaduz Cathedral

The tour clocks in at a whopping two and a half hours, not counting any breaks and half of that is solidly up hill. We plan on having a long break and picnic at Wildschloss, which is a mountainous castle ruin. It is pretty much reduced to a pile of rubble in the shape of a rectangle, but who cares? We got mountains, we got woods, we got an invigorating hike, and we got free entry. I call that a perfect picnic destination.

Foodie mission: Since we are so near the Prince’s own winery, how could we not stop in for a bottle? I hope to be toasting with it at the castle ruins while enjoying the outlook.

Day 53: Lucerne, Switzerland

message in a bottle This is a Message In A Bottle post.

I have written this post in advance. If you are following our progression daily, you are getting this as an automatic update because either I am nowhere near a decent wifi set up, too exhausted to write a live post, or those magic beans didn’t give me the stalk I was expecting. I want my cow back.

 

I am pretty excited about seeing Lucerne today. While researching, I saw pictures. Ok, that sounds incredibly lame because seriously, how does one avoid seeing pictures when researching online? One doesn’t of course. What I meant was I saw pictures and they pictures caused me to be excited about seeing Lucerne. In old town there are murals and paintings all over pretty much everything. I am sure right now in text form this is coming across as the lamest thing you have ever read. But imagine this: classic story book pictures in full color covering the entire fronts of buildings. Now, is that grabbing your attention? How about this: those same buildings are painted blue and pink and yellow and green. I know, right? Sounds like you stepped into a fairy tale land. Now do you see why I am excited? I get to step into a fairy tale land! But for real!

Today’s free walking tour around Lucerne consists of:

  • the Lion Monument
  • crossing Chapel Bridge
  • Jesuitenkirche
  • SpreuerbrĂĽcke
  • Old Town
  • Hirschpark

The whole walk takes 45 minutes without any stops. The instructions mention a lot of stairs. Stairs means hills. This may be brutal.

Foodie mission: Lucerne is home to pear cake. From what I gather, this is a tweak on a jelly roll. The filling is mainly pears and figs, which is rolled in a puff pastry and baked. Sounds very intriguing.