LOFER

Sunday morning 9:45 Raststätte Bedburger Land. After a lousy night with hardly any sleep I woke up at 6:50, ten minutes before the alarm I had set. I had not slept much due to a sore throat which  had started the day before but I got up and followed my morning routine of eating shaving and showering. I had packed most things on Saturday already so it was just a matter of finishing off and saying goodbye to my dad and my dog Sophie before I could leave. 

Officially my vacation had started, but I was not feeling 100%, so I took my time. After all it is vacation. But I did not yet have the vacation feeling, not at all. 

My dad helped me to carry a few last things to the car when I was as rolling my suitcase. Caring as he was he had packed a few things for me to use while driving. Some water, chocolate milk cookies. You know little nice to haves just in case. 

A few minutes after 8:00 I drove off, on my vacation to Austria. My first address in Austria was just over 920 km, so I had decided to make a stop in between. I did not want to spend the whole day in the car driving and arriving tired, or even more tired after not having slept well last night. 

I will stop in Nürtingen, a small place 575 km from Breda. 

The first hour and forty-five mins driving went well. The weather was ok. A bit cloudy but here and there a watery weak sun would come through the clouds and made the day look nicer. I was on my way to enjoy some time off, traveling again. I love traveling, seeing new places and meeting new people.

Like I said it is vacation so I am taking my time to have a relaxed cup of coffee while sitting in the shade of a small parasol overlooking a children’s playground in repair and dozens of other Dutch people strolling over the parking lot entering the Raststätte. 

It must be a poplar place where they receive lots of Dutch people as the even had place d a small windmill. Then again… it would make sense as this is just a few hours driving.

After driving the rest the of the day under a hot sun I arrived at my location, Nürtingen. 

I saw the pension in my back mirror when passing it driving into the destination street.

I parked the car and looked for the entrance. It was open so I entered and saw some other guests. They told me that the receptionist wasn’t there but I could call the number on the door. 

So I went back out, they closed the door and I called the number. 

I received the code from the owner and entered again the pension. Only now for the second time inter lobby, I saw the keys hanging on the board.  

The one with number 14 had my name on it. A piece of paper with a guest name was taped to the back of each key. 

I took the key and re-parked my car at the front door. When entering the room the it was exactly like the description on the website.  Small but clean. 

For me perfect. Indeed it was very clean. Just the way I like it.  A bit larger would have been nice but overall for me a perfect place. Close to the highway in a village, clean and affordable. 

For the rest of the afternoon I walked through town taking a few pics and just passing my time. I was surprised how quiet it was. But also about the architecture. The old center was a combination of ancient buildings and modern architecture. 

I had a bite to eat at the terrace of a local Chinese restaurant. Sitting there gave me a nice overview of the square and the children playing while watched by their parents. When finished I returned to my room. Took a nice shower and laid down on the bed. Not feeling 100% yet after having a really sore throat and not having slept good the night before I did not feel like doing much. I watched some tv and went to sleep early. 

I woke up quite a few times that night but woke with a better feeling. My throat wasn’t 100% yet but better than before. 

I showered and went out for breakfast that wasn’t served at the same pension. Two rolls a large coffee fresh grapefruit and an egg later I was paying my bill and returned to the pension where I packed my things, thanked the owner and left. On my way to Lofer. 

It was only 350 km to drive that day. There was no problem with traffic. A few times a little slow driving but moving is moving.

Just before I reached Austria I ignored a road detour. I never take a detour until I really can’t go any further. I only believe it when i see it. 

Here as well I could drive for a bit until indeed the road was blocked.  The police was talking to the guy standing there but although he opened up the road he send back all people standing there. 

So I had to turn around and go back. After a small detour which my navigation made, the other way one had no more signs to follow, I returned to the main road I was on just after the same village where before I was told to turn around. 

I am sure that here as well there was no problem and for sure my detour was not necessary wasn’t it for the police. 

From this point forward it was just about 20 mins more before I reached my destination for the day. A farmhouse in Lofer. 

I had not problem finding the place and walked to the front of the house where a white envelope with the key in it was waiting for me. In it also a small hand written note in German explaining where they were and where I could find my room. I packed my things from the car and went up the room.

A few minutes later the lady of the house came and greeted me. How nice is that. Can you imagine? Leaving the key at the front door. If I would do that here in the Netherlands, the chances of finding your place empty when returning home would be significant.

The rest of the afternoon I walked though town and saw why my mom must have loved it. My parents were here so many years ago. Now it was my turn to see. 

After looking around where to eat at night I returned to the pension for a nice shower. 

I changed cloths and in the early evening returned into town for a small dinner. 

The room I was staying had a separate toilet and shower, but were all clean and comfortable. 

I watched some tv and went to sleep early. 

At night I woke up a few times. Don’t know why but I just did. But I couldn’t complain about the bed. It was very good. After a delicious breakfast I went for my first walk in the mountains. 

I walked down to town to take the lift up the mountain to the area where many walks started. 

I choose the highest point from which I would think I could take some nice pics and started walking. Makes sense right? Not having walked in the mountains and straight forward choose the highest point.

It was nice to be out and about in the mountains again. The fresh clean air filling my lungs when going. There weren’t many people on the trail. It was at times quite a steep climb but over all a very doable walk. 

Something inevitable when going up the mountain, is the descent. I don’t like the walk down hill. Never have. 

When doing so, I came to a crossing where I could walk to a second viewing point. 

After having relaxed my feet and dried up my socks I walked further downhill again towards the lift station.

Earlier that day I had seen a small place that looked like it was serving drinks and food. 

Although the larger restaurant was much closer I walked a little up hill again to have something to drink there.  

It turned out to be a small barn with some cows as well as a terrace.

When sitting and enjoying the food and drinks you could hear the cows relieve themselves from whatever they had to. Too funny.

The food was delicious. I had some kind of donut pancake. Delicious. Almkrapfen mit preiselbeeren. Delicious. 

It is only 14:15 now but I don’t feel like walking much more. Perhaps from the top station back the middle one. I will see. 

I can still go home and take the car to have a nice drive around the area. 

A the end I decided taking the walk from the top station to the middle station. A good choice as this was the best trail of the day. A beautiful scenery with here and there a view of the water streaming down. It was gorgeous.  

Also fun for the kids is that there were many interesting interactive activities. 

But man was I happy when I finally arrived at the station. When I sad down pffff my knees were jubeling they were so happy. 

Standing up in the cable car to take a few pics wasn’t easy. When I finally arrived at the base station I walked straight to the pharmacy which I saw yesterday. 

I had realised I had forgotten my voltaren gel. 

It was still a 20 min walk home and when I arrived the first thing was changing into shorts and cooling my feet I. The cold water outside the house was a perfect place to do so. Yesterday I had seen some people do the same, so I followed their good example. 

Around 18:00 I woke up again to go fro dinner. A man needs to eat something. 

I did not want to walk to the village or supermarket so I took the car. Thank good I had a car 🙂

After a nice beer and a local delicacy I walked, for as much as you can call it walking, before returning to the car. 

 

Although it is good to sit down here on the wonderful terrace it does get boring. I see many people passing by which is always interesting but having to sit here alone is not good. 

How nice would this dinner have been when sharing it with somebody. Actually it wasn’t a dinner. 

I had a meal to feed me and cary me through the night. 

A dinner is a nice full meal with all the usual and someone to share it with. 

Here I just a beer and a plate of food to eat. 

Again I had a really bad night. I just could not sleep at all and I woke up several times. What to do 

I was expecting to sleep good after the whole day outside waking,  but perhaps I was simple too tired to sleep

I had my breakfast and had decided not to go for long walks today. I wanted to give my legs a rest after the over kill of yesterday. 

Not to worry, as there are plenty of other things to see and do which require not walking up a mountain. In area nearby Lofer there are three very nice caves/walks to do.

I went to the Seisenbergklamm in Weißenbach for a beautiful walk. Fantastic to see. How much my mom would have loved to see this once. Green, water, trees, old houses, a romantic a area to walk. Who knows.. my parents might even have see this one when they were here.

After that I went for a visit local cave number two, but where the last one was outside, this one went underground into the mountain. Just outside already you could see the beautiful clear water. Inside it was cool so I had to wear another shirt.

It was fun walking inside. Here or there really tight and small to go through. It was also a nice opportunity to try my camera in some super dark environments. 

I guess many people are visiting the same 3 caves as I was, as here I could see some of the same cars parked outside and the same people inside. But it wasn’t busy. Not at all. It was comfortable to be there.

When I came out I went to he 3rd cave walk. It was only a few mins drive. Being a little hungry I decided to eat first. Just a noodle soup. 

This last tour was so so. After having seen the first one Seisenbergklamm this one is a little less exciting. Although still very impressive. If you see how high these stone walls around you are, you can’t be less than impressed. The combination of the three walks was perfect.

The way up was quite steep and for a minute I thought I was wrong but then the sign showed. 

I did realize that the way I also had to walk down again, but after all it wasn’t that bad. My knee held up fine. 

When back at the car I went back home to my gasthof. Just in time to take down some laundry. It started raining. 

I went to town after a brief conversation with the owner, to pick up some money for tomorrow. Before I left I had asked at what time they were milking the cows. 

So I made sure to be back on time to take some pics and have a look. It was a relative small farm, with, at the time I was there, only 11 cows. Milking was not done by a huge milking robot, but still cow by cow with a small milking device. 

I loved it.  Just talking to my wonderful hosts while watching the animals. Although I felt bad watching them work while all I wanted to do is roll up my sleeves and join them in the work. 

After about 45 mins to an hour I went back to my room to fresh up before dinner. 

As it was raining I took the car down to the village for dinner.  

I wanted to go to the restaurant I went to two days ago but they were closed. 

Driving around I did find another place. Although while sitting here I regret coming in. 

I should have gone to another place. 

Entering I saw quite a few tables filled already, and when passing the waiter he did not greet me. 

Even by the second time he walked by me he could not be bordered to welcome me. 

Nevertheless I sad down where I should have left. 

When ordering I asked for a beer and later, after looking at the menu I ordered a main course. 

He looked at me and asked “is that all?”. Not suggesting an appetizer or making any effort to check if there was anything else I might like. No, just on a rather rude tone “is that all?”.

For pete sake. I think I know myself and know what I can eat. If this one dish wasn’t enough for him I can leave. There are plenty of restaurants that do like my euros.

Sometimes you don’t do the things you should. I stayed never the less. But when I saw some food coming out of the kitchen I knew enough. 

Ladies and gentlemen we have a deep fryer. Many things seems to be cooked using it. From the fillet I had to the chicken my neighbors were eating. 

Not very tasty, as was my reaction when he came to ask if everything was ok. 

I should have told him I wasn’t impressed with the frozen deep fried food I had.  But I didn’t. Somehow I could not be bordered.

My neighbors now ordering a desert it confirmed only my suspension that there was no chef in the kitchen. 

They orders some layered mouse with sauce on top. 

Straight from the freezer.  I have seen it so many times before. So far I have yet to see some fresh food coming out of the kitchen. 

A sad experience. I hope before I leave Austria I experience some delicious fresh cooked Austrian delicacies. Time to go home. 

I spend a couple of minutes outside the house enjoying the scenery and making a quick call to my sister. That night I slept better than before. Finally. 

In the morning I woke up on time again and packed my things before going for breakfast. I got to taste the wonderful breakfast cereal the lady of the house made yesterday. 

Once more I had an outstanding breakfast. Simple but very tasty and served with care, today by the daughter of the house. 

I said my goodbyes and left for Hopfgarten. Had I not booked the tour I would have stayed longer at this farm. 

I enjoyed it. The surroundings of the village from which I had seen too little, the comfortable cozy house like feeling I had when staying there. I did not want to leave   

KAT Walk Day 1
KAT Walk Day 2
KAT Walk Day 3
KAT Walk Day 4
KAT Walk Day 5
KAT Walk Day 6