Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Austria - 2001 (Vienna, Italy, Switzerland) Final Entries

October 6, Saturday

We left Menaggio for Villaggio and drove the road along Lake Como into Como – what a zoo the city was on a Saturday morning. There was a busy flea market in the city and it was a very difficult traffic situation. Then we drove along the other side of the lake to Bellagio – a narrow, twisting road. It took about 3 hours, but we are glad we came. However, we should have taken a ferry over. That would have taken 20 minutes – live and learn.

This is a great place. It is very busy – lost of restaurants and exclusive shops and great prices. We will take a ferry out of here and save a lot of time and stress. We are here until Monday and it is a relaxing spot. Our hotel is the Firenza (Florence) right on the lake with a terrific room.

October 7, Sunday


We went to Mass at 11:30 in St.Giovanno, the little church we see (and hear) from our hotel room. The bells ring early Sunday and practically knock us out of bed they are so close. The Mass was all in Italian and I was able to dump all my Swiss change in the box for candles for Tom. We love our room – very highly decorated – one lime green wall behind the bed, all others an off-white. The headboard is trimmed with black and white 2” stripes to match the huge valance on the window in same stripe and white side drapes over spheres. The bathroom is typical Italian – 4”tiles (shiny) of black and white on the floor – walls white, tile with black cable trim – their tile work is gorgeous. Many artisans here make jewelry and hand made shoes and clothing. The shopping is fun as prices are so much better than Switzerland. We met a lovely couple from New York (Niagara) and stopped for a cup of coffee after Mass. He is a judge – previously the D.A. and we had a lively conversation until 1:30 pm when John and I took the boat to Varenna. It is pouring rain and it is a quaint and pretty small village set into the hillside, but it didn’t take long to see it.

October 8, Monday

We left Bellagio on the ferry to Varenna. It was a great short cut for us to head North along Lake Como where we drove East to Sondrio over a mountain, where a town named Aprica sits on the top – a town of condominiums all shuttered up waiting for snow. The hills are full of chairlifts but not a sign of life. We took the road South to Trento to avoid another mountain pass and then turned North toward Bolzano. It is a tall road, but they will take German, Italian or Swiss money. We stopped at Pension just South of Innsbruck.

Pension Sonnenheim – excellent. Least expensive so far – Exit 10 just outside Innsbruck. 5 star Inn named Searls is just down the road from our Pension Mieders (correct spelling)

Sonnenheim Pension
6141 Schonberg
Stubaital – Austria

October 9, Tuesday

From our Pension south of Innsbruck we drove to Salzburg. It was relaxing as the mountain passes are behind us and we have no itinerary. We have been to Salzburg before so we enjoyed the shops and revisited the beautiful church of St.Blasius. Then we drove to Mondsee which is on the Lake of Mondsee where se stayed earlier. However, we drove into Mondsee where we have been before and visited the church where the wedding in “Sound of Music” was filmed. It is a lovely town set on this exquisite lake. Austria is a gorgeous country and the people are delightful! I haven’t bought much as I haven’t seen anything I wanted. I did get a book for the trip home – recommended by the shop owner of “American Discount” books in Salzburg. The book, written by an American, Donna Leon, is about Venice. She teaches English Literature in a local college and is not published in U.S.A.

American Discount
Kargasse 6
5020 Salzburg
T +43-622-845 640

(book was uninspiring)

October 10 – Wednesday

The Panorama Hotel at Mondsee is great. We even had eggs for breakfast. We’ve had breakfast every morning as part of our hotel arrangement, even at Astron here at the airport. We drove most of the day to get here but we are all set to takeoff for home tomorrow. I am ready – have been for 5 days. The war news has me jittery, I’m afraid.

October 11, Thursday

Flew to Dulles – Washington – very smooth flight. 9 hours.

Good to be home!!!

War on Terrorism continues and from reports - shall for some time.

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