Getting accustomed to this mobile home malarkey now, which means there’s actually a bit of a routine and time to look at the blog. So, a very quick summary of the past few weeks.
After collecting the van from dealers in Germany – and thanks to Allen for helping with that, and providing an invaluable mobile instruction session on the minutiae of motorhome ownership – it was back to UK to pop into see everyone, leave the Passat with Stan in Hereford, and then return to France to load the van. Oh, and to deal with the dreaded French burocracy to register the vehicle. Actually, it wasn’t that bad and all the French officials were very helpful. At least in France one still has local offices to visit, rather than have to deal with Swansea!
So once the new registration document was received in the post, and the new plates made at the village garage first thing next morning, it was off on the travels within the hour.
I had 5 days to get to Austria, to meet Julia off the flight at Graz before visiting friends in Graz, Murau and Ossiacersee.
It was lovely to see the Austrian friends again, after 35 years, and to receive their well-remembered hospitality.
After that, Julia & I struck out on our own, with stops at a couple of campsites and more remote parking stops. The highlight of which was undoubtedly Maltaberg which we found entirely be accident; “I wonder what Maltaberg is like?”, when noticing the sign. Well, a series of serious hairpin bends, causing Julia not a little anxiety, revealed the answer. A tiny parking area with quite wonderful views down the valley and of the surrounding peaks. The title of the the blog “Wherever it takes us” had proved correct!
An enquiry at the local Gasthaus revealed parking wasn’t a problem, so we stayed for 2 nights, and once the daytime walkers had left, we were on our own. The first night’s dinner in the Gasthaus was accompanied by the singing of a group of local farmers enjoying themselves. But this was real singing, quite beautiful with voices from high falsetto to deep bass. The sound acting as a reminder of how close this area of Austria is to Italy. An evening to remember.
Bobby would have been very happy to, but we couldn’t stay for ever as Julia had a flight to catch from Innsbruck, but not after some great walking in the surrounding mountains.
After dropping Julia off at the airport, it was a couple of one-nighters on free parking next to the river Inn and in the carpark for a ski area gondola (you may notice a pattern emerging here:)) at Schoppernau. A short détour into Germany, hoping to get the electric step fixed proved fruitless with most of the staff on holiday! Back to Schoppernau for a second night to enjoy their hill and valley walks again, then via the Arlberg Pass towards Switzerland. A one-night stop on a village carpark at Apples and it was goodbye to Switzerland to head for France.
Just on the border with Switzerland is a cluster of small ski resorts in the Haute Savoie. It looks just like Austria, but with a French twist. It’s quite beautiful and this will be our 4th night at Chapelle d’Abondance. Again parked gratuit on the council provided Aire. This is definitely becoming a reconnaissance for prospective skiing haunts next winter, and this is very likely to be one of them!