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It wasn't supposed to snow! Seefeld in September

It wasn't supposed to snow! Seefeld in September

Oct 1st, 2019, 04:49 AM
  #21  
 
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Enjoying your report, and kudos to you for traveling with your parents. Up until June of this year we had lived in Vienna for 7 years (we're now posted back in the U.S.), and on three occasions spent time in Seefeld in Tirol, our first visit being at the Bergresort. We, too, had the Bergkristall Suite with half-board and our DDog and loved, loved, loved our stay. For us, the walk into town was manageable and good exercise for DDog, but I agree that it can be a little long otherwise.

We have taken the Rosshüttebahn up to the top and hiked down on our warm weather visits; in one July we were treated to the cows moving along with us, their bells ringing as they munched along. I agree that the food at the cable car station is not world-class, but the views more than make up for it. Further down, the food at the Hütte is more authentic.

Last edited by moderator9; Oct 1st, 2019 at 01:44 PM.
fourfortravel is offline  
Oct 1st, 2019, 12:47 PM
  #22  
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I bet your DDog loved it!We had booked our trip with a British travel company (actually Swiss owned), and they offered a number of organised trips. This sort of thing always has plusses and minuses – you are constrained by group travel, but they can also allow travel to places not easy to reach by public transport. I would generally prefer to diy, but sometimes it's not practical especially if you need to rely on public transport. The actual provider was Tirol Busreisen.

They offered a coach trip to Merano in the South Tirol, and I thought it would be a lovely opportunity to show my parents the delightful town I stayed in last year. The journey there was less attractive than expected – the Brenner Pass these days is basically an ugly motorway. However, it was interesting to see this view of Sterzing and Brxen, which I had visited by train.

However, it was a joy to revisit lovely Merano, and a lot warmer than chilly Austria! It was actually hot in comparison with temperatures in the upper 20s. We went into the charming little castle in the town centre, and strolled the covered arcades, but didn’t actually do masses, just walked along the riverside promenades, and had ice cream and coffee and lunch, but it was lovely. The river itself seemed lower than it had been on my June visit last year. My parents liked it of course, but my mum found it a bit too hot.

Towards the end I pointed out the Meranerhof, the hotel I had stayed at, and my dad insisted we went in. I was reluctant to do this, but remarkably the young man on reception remembered me, and invited us to use the loos unsolicited.
nonconformist2 is offline  
Oct 1st, 2019, 09:20 PM
  #23  
 
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nonconformist2, it sounds like you have had a lovely holiday. When you were in Seefeld did you notice anywhere to store luggage for the day? Thank you!
dreamon is offline  
Oct 1st, 2019, 09:27 PM
  #24  
 
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Hi nonconformist2,

Enjoying your wonderful report, as always!! I liked your report of Merano, and made many notes for a possible visit, so thank you again!

I'm glad you enjoyed my little town, Garmisch! I have only been to Seefeld one time, and didn't get to so many things that you and fourforttavel mention. I guess I have to go back!

Oh, yes, Flixbus is always late in this area...and I find it far less comfortable than the train.

Thanks for writing & posting!

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Oct 2nd, 2019, 01:39 PM
  #25  
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@dreamon - sorry, no. The station isn't staffed.

@swandav2000 - yes, we thought Garmisch was charming. I'd never used Flixbus before; it did have the plus of wifi on board.
nonconformist2 is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2019, 01:14 AM
  #26  
 
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Thanks for your reply, nonconformist. We'll make other plans for when we visit Seefeld.

We'd hoped to get to Merano this year but it's not to be. It sounds lovely.
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Oct 3rd, 2019, 02:36 PM
  #27  
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It really is.

Will continue this next week.
nonconformist2 is offline  
Oct 8th, 2019, 09:30 AM
  #28  
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Continuing the saga!On Friday my dad had decided he wanted to do the gorge walk in the Leutaschklamm to Mittenwald. I had seen some photos and knew it would not work for me – I can’t do steep drops, and at the top of the Rosshutte had to stay well back from the edge. I also advised my mum against it – she’s not as bad as me, but I knew this one would be problematic for her. Dad, however, was set on it. We decided to meet him in Mittenwald. He needed to leave early to meet his group (this was another trip organised by our holiday provider), so Mum and I had a relaxed late breakfast. As we left the hotel on the way to the station on a chilly grey day, I asked mum, “Have you got your passport?” “Oh! No! Do I really need it?”“I should think so, we’re going into a different country. We might need them to buy the tickets.” We had neeeded them for the Flixbus to Garmisch earlier in the week, although no one asked us for them on the way to Italy. I told my mum about the arrest on the other day’s train from Innsbruck. Suitably impressed, she went back to her room, and returned, somewhat agitated, to repot that she couldn’t find it anywhere and thought my dad had probably taken it along with her own. Oops.

There was nothing for it but to hope for the best and if necessary plead ignorance. Further down the road on our restarted journey, I asked mum what she had picked for her dinner (the hotel asked us each day to order dinner in the morning). “Oh! I forgot!” But we didn’t really have time to go back again, so proceeded on down the hill.At the tourist office we were relieved to find that no one asked us for passports, and I was delighted that my Tirol pass covered me up to Mittenwald even though it is in Germany. No one stopped us on the train or at Mittenwald either, so all was well.

On arrival in Mittenwald we found an Italian ice cream café with a particularly fantastic toilet. Then we explored the charming little town, and visited the very interesting violin makers’ museum, in the heart of the very prettiest area of painted houses. We had arranged to meet Dad at the parish church at 12.30, but were unsurprised that he wasn’t there yet – we were afraid that at 80 he might not be up to the speed of his group. We wandered around a bit more in the drizzle, and had a look inside the church, and then Dad showed up. He had loved his walk (and not held them up, he was pleased to inform us ��, and he confirmed that Mum and I would not possibly have been able to do it. We explored some of the shops, and my dad was rather charmed by a weird and slightly creepy novelty toy that recorded and echoed anything said to it. Mum bought some gloves, as she hadn’t really packed for cold weather.We had lunch in an Italian pizza place with sweet little resident dog Gigia, who hopped up on the seats and made friends with us. She was adorable. Even mum, who is not really a dog person, loved her. We did a little more shopping, and showed dad the painted houses, and then all took the train home.

While on the train, Dad asked mum what she had ordered for him for dinner, as he had had to leave before breakfast. He had, he said, asked mum to organise his dinner for him as well as her own. Mum did not recall this Oops again. We wondered if they would have nothing to eat other than the salad bar… Happily, lovely Gabriel said there was no problem in ordering then and there. I expect they use early orders to plan the numbers they need, but have some flexibility for new arrivals.
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Oct 9th, 2019, 11:06 AM
  #29  
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The middle weekend of our holiday was the annual festival of traditional crafts in Seefeld. We were rather looking forward to this. It was over two days, but as the Saturday highlight was a parade of old tractors and the Sunday highlight a parade of people in costumes from across Tirol, we thought Sunday would be the better one to choose. We passed through part of it on our way to the station, noting some of the demonstrations and a pen of sheep.I had discovered that the sheep were coming down from the mountains to Mittenwald today, so we headed back there. Unfortunately we couldn’t find them – not sure if we were looking in the wrong place or if it was cancelled due to rubbish weather (it was raining and cold and generally miserable). We mooched around town a bit, had a snack (soup - we needed something hot!), then missed the train we meant to get. We took the bus instead, and it was quite nice taking that different route back to Seefeld.

It felt like a bit of a wasted day to be honest. In retrospect we would have gone somewhere else - or even better, stayed in Seefeld and enjoyed the craft fair.
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Oct 9th, 2019, 12:31 PM
  #30  
 
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nonconformist, the Mittenwald Leutaschklamm has 2 options, we only did the flat lower path, at near water level. So no steep drop offs or ascent/ descent to manage. Really beautiful walk from town, too.
Adelaidean is online now  
Oct 10th, 2019, 12:39 PM
  #31  
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I think my dad actually did both bits We had planned on Sunday for the festival in Seefeld. It was, once more, cold and rainy, as we ventured there. We watched one of the brass bands in the bandstand for a bit, as we sheltered from the heavy rain. We watched a threshing display, some wood carving, one of the sheep being sheared, and explored a few of the stalls dodging showers. My mum insisted we take shelter in Nanni’s, our favourite café in Seefeld. It was really busy that day, but we just managed to find a free table and had a light lunch.

It rained some more. We looked at some more of the stalls, and saw some of the participants in the costume procession as they fuelled themselves with beer and cigarettes for what looked set to be a pretty miserable experience for them.

Then, the rain turned to SNOW (as promised in my thread title). First sleet and then actual fluffy white snow. Less flattering adjectives may have been applied to it at the time. A witty brass band changed the tune they were playing to strike up an ironic chorus of Jingle Bells, and people sang along.

Let's just say we weren't expecting actual snow. This was supposed to be a summer holiday! I told my mum it was her fault for saying a few days earlier she wished she could see what it looked like in the winter

The SNOW was just too much for my mum, and she insisted on abandoning our day out altogether and heading back to the hotel. I suggested we grabbed a taxi rather than walking back given the SNOW, so we ran to the station, and picked one up. We were fairly wet so all changed clothes, then spent the afternoon playing cards and chess in the hotel bar (which was fun, but we can do that at home), and I had a swim in the indoor pool (shame it wasn't bit warmer). It did feel a bit of another wasted day in terms of sightseeing, and in retrospect wish we had done the fair the previous day when it was only raining and we could have spent longer looking at the stalls. What we saw looked good, and we felt for the stallholders and demonstrators who had made a special effort to be there.

The snow didn't really settle on the ground – too wet, I think, but it didn’t let up falling for a while. By next morning the snow was most gone at ground level, but the mountains had a lovely coating.
nonconformist2 is offline  
Oct 11th, 2019, 10:08 AM
  #32  
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It was still fairly cold on Monday morning, but had reverted to rain and fog. We had a trip booked to Neuschwanstein Castle, so it was an early start, and we dressed in our warmest clothes. Our guide enlivened the long journey with his commentary, including pointing out a statue in Telfs he described as ‘Child Eats Stone’ – a remarkably apt title. The journey was quite long, but by the time we got there the rain had almost stopped; at least it was down to a very light drizzle.

We were offered the options of walking all the way up to the castle; getting the bus to just before the Marienbrucke, a bridge with a view of the castle and a shorter walk from there; and the horse and cart. We elected for the bus, partly for lack of fitness, and concern that we might not make it up in time for our timed ticket entry, and partly attracted by the view from the bridge. We had intended to use the loos at the bottom first, but accidentally got in the ticket office queue first, and found that having bought our tickets we couldn’t go back. This was my fault, and I was duly apologetic �� I was fairly sure there would be toilet provision at the top, so assured my mum it would be OK, even though none were shown on the map.

The bus was horribly crowded, and we had to stand for 15 minutes in a crush, but we dared not wait for the next one. The walk up to the bridge was a bit steep but not far at all from the bus stop. The views there were indeed very nice, although I found standing on the bridge really scary and couldn’t venture far along it. The bridge itself was not attractive at all – I had expected a beautiful old stone bridge but it was a rickety modern thing.The walk to the castle was a bit longer than we had anticipated, but not that tough. We were relieved to find loos at the entrance, and then rejoined our group in time for admission.

The guided tour uses audio handsets, which were quite good. I did feel that the groups were a bit big, as in some rooms you just couldn’t see all the things they were talking about. I knew Neuschwanstein was an unfinished pastiche rather than the real thing, but I was very pleasantly surprised at how gorgeous the interior was. Not to mention the fake grotto in the middle which was, er, unique. It really whetted our appetites for a planned follow up trip to Linderhof, which I understood to be better.Returning to the car park the same way we had come up, we had time for a small snack but would have liked longer to visit the museum.

Instead our trip took us on to Oberammergau. My mum had been keen to go there because she had visited it in the early 1960s with her own mother and another relative – my grandmother’s only holiday abroad in her life. Unfortunately there wasn’t really enough time here – just enough for ice cream and not to wander around. I suggested we could arrange to come back on our own, but mum thought the travel complications would not make it worthwhile.

The return home was interrupted by high drama. Fairly soon after we had set off, the woman in the seat in front of me asked if anyone had any antihistamine sprays as her friend had been stung by a wasp in Obermammergau, but no one was able to help. Some time later her reaction grew worse, and it became clear that she was losing consciousness. My mum is a retired nurse, and apparently this could be the absolute worst thing to happen as she could have ended up choking while unconscious and possibly dying, so she told the friend to keep talking to her to keep her awake while we awaited medical support. Mum talked to her too.

We were still the wrong side of the German border – the nearest medical facility was in Seefeld but an Austrian Red Cross ambulance would not cross it, which seems off in the days of the EU, Schengen and open borders, but apparently this was the case, and a German ambulance would have insisted on taking her back to Munich which would have taken longer. So it was called to meet us in Scharnitz and we hastened to get there. The poor woman suddenly went into a fit which was really disturbing, and then vomited spectacularly just before we came to another halt.

This in fact was the crisis which meant she was better, conscious again of her surroundings. She said she was fine now and didn’t really need medical treatment, but our guide insisted, just in case - absolutely the right decision. The coach driver removed the carpet tiles rather grumpily and washed them off while we waited for the ambulance, then stored them in the luggage compartment. At last the ambulance came, and the lady and her friend went off in it.We resumed our journey, and returned to our hotel rather later than planned. Luckily we were dropped outside the door rather than having to get back from the station.
nonconformist2 is offline  
Oct 12th, 2019, 01:05 AM
  #33  
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Tuesday saw the start of brighter weather. My mum was having her hair done today, so not wanting to wait until lunch before doing anything, I set out on my own. I wanted to have a look at the Oetzidorf in Umhausen as I had been unable to get to the similar place on the south of the border when I visited south Tirol last year. (It is an reconstruction of the archaeological environment of the ancient Tirol, at the time when Oetzi the ice man lived.) So it was on the train to Innsbruck again, changing there for Oeztal. The toilet at Oetztal station was the only awful one I experienced in Austria. There was a bit of a wait for the bus, so I had a drink at a local café. I was slightly surprised to find the bus was really busy, in fact it was literally standing room only for the first 15 minutes of the journey. Happily after that people started getting off.

I had found from the website that the Umhausen Feuerwehr was the closest bus stop, and that it was about 15 minutes walk from there. I duly got off. No signs as to which way to go (and no signal for my phone so I couldn't check maps). I walked back to the previous stop, in Umhausen village centre, as I had seen a small tourist information office there. It was closed. There were a few leaflets in the lobby, with a vestigial map, but it was not clear enough to work out which road or path to take. It was, shall we say, rather a *quiet* village, and there wasn’t anyone around to ask, other than some German cyclists who were tourists themselves and as clueless as me. I had two possible routes, but the map bore very little relation to what was on the ground.
Eventually, and perhaps rather feebly, I gave up and got the next bus on north into the Oetztal. It was beautiful scenery, especially as it got wilder the higher we got. I had intended to go all the way to Obergurgl, but looking at the timetable I relaised would have to turn around right away if I was to get home at a reasonable time, and I was starting to get desperate for something to eat. So I decided to get off in Soelden, which looked a reasonable size place with some cafes, and grab lunch while the bus went on, and catch it on the way back. Unfortunately, all those cafes? Shut. Maybe it was too late in the season for this ski and summer walking resort. So I wished I’d stayed on the bus to Obergurgl after all .

I got the bus back to Oetztal station. The next train was not due for some time, but lo! A bus was waiting at the station headed for Innsbruck. That seemed like a good idea, so after checking it was heading to the station in Innsbruck, I boarded. One plus was that this bus had free wifi. The minus was that it turned out to be a very non-express bus, which took about an hour to get back to Innsbruck. Oops. Part of it was quite a nice journey through some of the valley villages (including another pass through Telfs and its unforgettable child statue), but the last part was boring motorway.

I eventually got home and heard about my parents’ day. My mum was happy with her hairdo, but had arranged for my dad to come and collect her at 11 and pay on his credit card. He failed to show up. On ringing the hotel, it turned out he had been watching the BBC in their room and had been relying on the time shown on screen – forgetting the hour’s time difference. (He won’t wear a watch.) So she paid cash and arranged to meet Dad at Nanni’s instead. She waited in there for some time. Eventually they realised she was waiting inside and he was outside; both claimed of course they had looked in the other place. After a small disagreement, and lunch, they did the lake walk again and tried to feed squirrels, who were not very co-operative.

So a bit of a mixed day, but I did see some lovely scenery.
nonconformist2 is offline  
Oct 12th, 2019, 01:26 AM
  #34  
 
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Nonconformist, I was just looking at Obergurgl and the Oetztal just out of interest for a future trip.

“After a small disagreement”... re: your parents, THAT is why I took mine on separate trips, LOL.

Adelaidean is online now  
Oct 14th, 2019, 09:29 AM
  #35  
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We were distraught to find that the following day’s trip to Linderhof had been cancelled due to insufficient takeup. I investigated doing it ourselves, but it would have been a terribly time consuming journey (train to Murnau, bus or train to Oberammergau, bus to Linderhof) so it was a non-starter.

Instead, I thought Murnau itself looked like a nice option. So we got the train there (on the Munich line north of Garmisch-Partenkirchen). On arrival, we checked the times of the return trains and decided on trying to get the 3.06 back. We walked into town, and found the attractive pedestrian area, with painted houses. We had a nice snack in a busy café (warily eying the wasps after Monday's incident), and then sought out the Schlossmuseum. In my research, this had looked like a nice combination of local history museum and art gallery. We were interested in the top floor exhibit, which focussed on Odon von Horvath, a Hungarian born writer who lived in Murnau in the early 20th century, and which was very well presented, with captions helpfully in English as well as German. (I subsequently downloaded ne of his books in translation, and it was very good.)


Sadly, however, the rest of the museum was rubbish. The art was awful – a lot of it was the work of one of the artists who were based in Murnau in the 20s, and frankly a reasonably talented teenager would have had better skill. There were some nice older landscapes. Another specialty was reverse painted glass, which had sounded interesting, but again was disappointing in the flesh. The historical parts of the museum were uninspired – we had hoped for something more similar to the lovely museum in Partenkirchen. We did like the town itself. Unfortunately there was no time to have a look at the lake just outside town.

We had another snack and then had to sprint to get our train. The station seemed oddly deserted and there were no messages on the electronic board. A few disquieting doubts set in. I had another look at the printed timetable to reassure myself.

Oops.

Accustomed to British timetables which are the same every day but Sunday and bank holidays, I had missed the annotation that this particular train only ran on Fridays and Saturdays. Today was not a Friday or Saturday.

There wasn’t another train all the way through to Seefeld today until 5.28 – over two hours away. Panic and recriminations ensued (well, a slight exaggeration - more like panic and self-blaming).

There was, however, a 3.28 to Garmisch, and my Seefeld timetable indicated we could get a connecting train there. So disaster was averted, although (again accustomed to British trains, in this case their tendency to be late at the most inconvenient moments) there was a certain amount of fretting lest we missed said connection, which was quite tight – only about five minutes. Happily, not only did our train arrive on time, the connecting train was on the line at the other side of the same platform.

Last edited by nonconformist2; Oct 14th, 2019 at 09:30 AM. Reason: stupid software removed all my paragraph breaks, why does it do this????
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