Pension Hochsteiner, Glödnitz, Austria!May 22, 2017 in Austria
Today was the start of our 'Swallows' Flight' up to Göteborg (Gothenburg) in Sweden where we would meet Will's sister Sue and our brother in law John, in 11 days time. It had been too hot in the van at times, especially for old Poppy, so it was time to fly north to cooler climes.
We were sad to leave Slovenia, but bubbling with nervous excitement for our big journey, the new country and adventures that awaited us!
Will had been busy planning a route and researching places to stay along the way. With 2032km to go, it was a slow but beautiful start to the trip, travelling the winding roads of Slovenia's northern valleys, past hayracks drying cut grass and people handworking the land. After a short time we passed into Austria and the rounded hilltops of mixed deciduous woodland gradually morphed around us. Definite peaks formed at the tops of the hills, whose tree coverage was now more coniferous in nature. The houses became larger, the plains more vast and ornate roadside shrines more frequent.
We stopped near the Gurktaler Alps at Pension Hochsteiner, a B&B that allowed vans to stay for €3 a night, a charge that was waived with the price of a meal. We'd planned to eat with them but unfortunately Monday was their 'ruestag' or rest day, so this option wasn't available.
The gravel car park looked out on a rolling meadow with two low hills intersecting at their base beyond a handfull of homesteads. It was brilliant sunshine and hot when we got there but after a while, steely grey clouds formed over the hill behind us and the rumble of thunder could be heard. Shadow covered the van and the meadow, silver flashes of lightning bust forth from the sky, heavy raindrops beat down on the roof and the temperature dropped to 8°C. The storm continued for hours, but near the end, a sunburst shone over the tree tops behind and a rainbow began to form, increasing in intensity until its two tips joined into a glorious arch and the beginnings of a faint double could be seen!
Will used the afternoon to whip up some homemade scones to go with his homemade strawberry jam and whipped cream (lucky Vicky!).
Pension Hochsteiner opened at 9am so we went in to see if they had a pastry for breakfast as the mist was rising from the hills. We came away stuffed with fried egg, bread, honey, jams, cheese, ham, OJ, yoghurt etc. For €14 with a peaceful night's stay included it was great value!Read more