June 26, 2014
I am sitting in my window seat on this glorious summer evening at the Trapp Family Villa in Salzburg, Austria.
Our day started with church bells welcoming the villagers to prayer in Patche at 7 AM. The quarter hour reminders nudged us out of our room to the breathtaking views from the breakfast nook on this sun-dappled morning.
Steaming kaffe with hot milk (they have it right in some parts of Europe) and oodles of strudel. Of course local cured ham and cheese were the centrepiece to the fruit and yogurt. I felt more Austrian just by eating the naturally sweet muesli and the milk that tasted like a neighbouring cow had just delivered it. A word about the eggs with their orange yolks – so fresh – we have no doubt the hen laid them that morning!
Feeling satisfied and energized by the day – we spent the usual time packing up and trying to remember essentials – like where we put the GPS. There is a Swiss group heading out with minimal supplies to Kurdistan because they had some time off work and hopped on bikes simply because they felt like it – paper maps and off they go! Not us!
The proprietress at the Barenwirth was so accommodating and welcoming. She and her husband were also motorcyclists with great experience. She shared some insider Alpine tips to make the trip to Salzburg challenging and interesting. Confident about our route, our packing and our goals, we left the charming village of Patche ready to ride into the sun.
We paid our E2.50 toll to leave (we had to pay to ‘get in’ as well) and we hit the first toll booth, albeit in the wrong direction…sigh…E2.50 to get ‘back in’ for a 2 kilometre ride. Another E2.50 to get out in the right direction! At least we were on the autobahn looking for our turn off to real farm life while wrapped in rock. How awesome to see the tree line end and solid rock to begin. I couldn’t help but be reminded of God speaking to Job and asking him if he was around when God was creating the earth. To imagine that He spoke these mountains into existence greatly comforted me as we were surrounded by His Almighty Hand.
We rolled through emerald green farmland dotted with chalets with colourful flower boxes. We ascended heights so high that waterfalls were crashing down toward the valleys. With a scenic photo stop we were blessed by a little trail that lead us to a (free) outhouse. That win fall gave us E1.00!
We saw mountain goats and cows in the weirdest places! When we descended into the valley villages – we selected a ‘markt’ stop where we not only enjoyed a value lunch but yet another free toilet! Another E1.00 saved! We high-fived each other.
We paid E6.00 for the privilege of driving on the tree tops. These tolls and toilets were unpredictable and at times frustrating. We were able to access the autobahn for the final hour or so to Salzburg having feasted on nature and fresh air. Typical motorcycling – a 3 hour journey – made for an 8 hour day and so refreshing.
After some confusion within Salzburg we found Villa Trapp (the original Trapp family home) and registered for our 2 night stay. We decided to keep things simple with an ‘in room’ picnic overlooking the beautiful yard. We were told in no uncertain terms that picnics on the grounds were not allowed. She didn’t specify in our room. Certainly the home has been modernized for Austrian commercial gain – but its a reasonable room rate within a comfortable commute of the ‘old town’.
We are now sitting in the living room writing email – and concluding this day. Even with toilets and tolls our day of pleasurable countryside and Alpine climbing cost us E80.00. Simple is ever so good!