June - July 2016
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  • Day33

    One last day in Zurich

    July 7, 2016 in Switzerland ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    We returned to Zurich for one day because this is our departure city. We checked into the same hotel, got the same room, and went to eat in the place we had eaten twice before.

    We kind of feel like we know this town now, even though we have sampled just a very small part of it.

    Russell went into work, while I putzed around and packed up.

    At one point I decided to wander around and take photos of where we found my purse that first night, starting with the trash can that was close to the location that both Russell and I decided to rummage around in the dark to see if it had been thrown there. I even reenacted where I eventually found it.
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  • Day32

    Leaving Salzburg

    July 6, 2016 in Austria ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    We were on our way to the Salzburg airport when we discovered that our departure time had been moved up an hour. Fortunately the flight was then late and the airport was easy. Forty minutes from hotel to gate, so we made it in plenty of time.

    This is the first airport where my wrist set off the metal detectors and then they proceeded to do a *very* thorough (but quick) check of my person.
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  • Day31

    Goodbye dinner (and surprise shower)

    July 5, 2016 in Austria ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    We all (well, except for the 4 people who had already left) ended up gathering in the hotel restaurant and sitting outside to enjoy one last meal together. Suddenly it started raining. We were all content to wait it out, thinking it was just a cloudburst, and we were under the shelter of trees, but the waiters, who know the local weather patterns, practically threw us out of our seats and ushered us inside, just as the entire heavens opened up. It was quite the deluge.

    Just before dinner, we recorded our last Competitours video that explained what we thought one of the ice formations we saw in the cave really looked like (as opposed to what the guide told us it was named). Here is our last video effort:

    After dinner, we gathered in the lobby to watch a video one of the group had cut together from all the photos and video she had taken on the trip. It was fricking amazing and I still don't understand how she could do it all so quickly, even though she pulled an all-nighter the night before:

    Then Steve announced the winners and we were shocked to discover we ended up in third place. Cash prize, woohoo!
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  • Day31

    Day 11: Trick water fountains

    July 5, 2016 in Austria ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Our final challenge was to go on a tour on the gardens of Schloss Hellbrunn and count all the water jets we could find. The guy who built this castle had a twisted sense of humor and he installed all these hidden fountains that he could trigger and surprisingly wet his guests. Now the guides take the tourists through in groups and do the same.

    Unfortunately, R and I just missed a few large fountains so our final count was way off. Oh well, that means we are out of the running for first place.
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  • Day31

    Eidelweiss tour

    July 5, 2016 in Austria ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    To get us from the ice caves to the next challenge, Steve arranged for a local tour guide group to provide us some transport in their vans. This organization evidently specializes in taking people on Sound of Music tours, since it was filmed in this region. Which meant the driver was constitutionally incapable of NOT telling us each and every bit of trivia about the filming of the movie as we passed every spot that had been used, or referenced, or appeared in the background, etc. It was kind of amusing actually.

    The other funny thing, is he points out this castle that was used in filming Where Eagles Dare, which is one of my favorite WWII movies (see it if you get the chance) and so I started asking him all about that and what parts of the castle were used for filming and he quickly responded, "I've never actually seen the movie. I have no real idea." Well, at least he was honest about it!
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  • Day31

    Day 11: Austrian Ice Caves

    July 5, 2016 in Austria ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Our first challenge today was to go through these caves in Austria with amazing ice formations. Once inside the caves, there were about 700 steps (up and then 700 down) and about a mile and half of walking to do the tour. However, getting to the caves themselves was an even more strenuous walk (and a short, but steep, cable car ride), but the views into the valley below were absolutely gorgeous.

    The ice formations themselves were quite impressive and the tour had a really funky vibe. They handed out these carbide lanterns with an open flame that looked like they were from a hundred years ago and when the guide wanted to illuminate something even more, he would light a piece of phosphorous. Very old school and gave you a bit of an understanding of what the original explorers saw when they entered the caves back around 1910.
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