Thursday 1st July
We made quite a sight as we dragged our luggage through Prague Old Town across to the Intercontinental Hotel where we were to collect our hire car. We ended up with a Holden Vectra with a boot large enough to accommodate all of the bags so, I was happy. The Tom Tom worked too so everything was looking good for the start of our journey down to Salzburg. The trip ended up being a lot quicker than we had expected and that even included some confusing repeats of a large roundabout just out of Prague. The highway was new…newer than the software in our Tom Tom apparently. Anyway, she coped, as women tend to do, and she found us a new path to Salzburg.
The border crossing into Austria was a complete non-event…no one was even there so we didn’t have to stop. As you drive on a little though you can sense the prosperity in this country relative to the Czech Republic. The landscape we encountered was that of lush, green rolling hills dotted with pretty and well maintained homes and buildings. It is as if the local builders were not game to blot the beautiful landscape with any undeserving buildings.
We arrived to the apartment at around 5pm and were, once again, very happy with the choice we had made; large and sunny and close to shops and to the Old Town. The owners suggested we try the local Augustine Brewery for a drink and dinner. Mark needed little convincing of this so, after buying some supplies at the local shop, we headed off with Mark setting a fast pace (see the photo). The beer garden was absolutely enormous and totally packed. We thought we wouldn’t get a table but then three nice guys let us sit and share their table with them. It turned out that they were costume designers from various Opera Houses (Belgium, Vienna and Germany) working in Salzburg for a month in preparation for the August Salzburg Festival. They informed us that the beer garden was mostly full with locals who were out celebrating the surprisingly good weather. Apparently summer is often wet here, a fact which is not surprising given the colour of the local flora!
Mark was in heaven as the beer was cheaper than the diet Coke…again. He said he wants to return here each night. We’ll see. It was then back to the apartment to write this blog and to confirm our plans for tomorrow.