Travel diary: Pettenbach and Salzburg

Since we’ve both been battling minor colds, our week in Pettenbach wasn’t as exciting as it could have been — we basically just worked all the time! Our first few days in Salzburg have certainly made up for it, though.

Monday 22/4: Apart from working, I also went to the supermarket to stock up on supplies. Our accommodation was a good-sized apartment with its own kitchen, so we made the most of it for preparing dinners.

Tuesday 23/4: We were a day late in recording the podcast, but at least it got done! And since the topic was one of our favourites — New Zealand — there was a lot to say.

It was good to get off the flat.

It was good to get off the flat.

After a stirfry dinner, we headed out for a walk in the dusk in the hope of seeing some deer. Sadly, though, it wasn’t to be — all we saw was a large hare and a skittish cat.

Wednesday 24/4: The landscape near our hotel was as flat as a pancake for kilometres in every direction, so we headed towards the mountains in the afternoon to do some hill walking. The weather had heated up enough for us to feel like we really deserved our post-walk beer.

Thursday 25/4: We were thinking about renting another movie to watch in the evening, but couldn’t agree on what to see — I thought The Sound of Music would be appropriate, as our next stop was Salzburg, but Craig was ready with a definite negative. And I wasn’t keen on Planet of the Apes. So we just had dinner and read our books instead.

Friday 26/4: Final days in a place are somehow always hectic, and today was no different. However, we managed to check out without problems and get to the station with time to spare — only to find that there was no ticket machine and that we had to buy our tickets on the train. This was fine, except that the journey was quite bumpy and I kept being knocked around while I was buying the tickets.

Half a litre -- that's a small one.

Half a litre — that’s a small one.

We’d arranged to stay with couchsurfers for the first few days, so we caught a bus from Salzburg main station to Steffi and Sebastian’s house and joined them for a light dinner on their outdoor picnic table. Steffi had plans for the evening, but Sebastian invited us to join him and his friends for a couple of beers at a beer garden — and it was awesome! It was a beautiful 15-minute bike ride each way, and we spent most of the time trying to work out when we’d last cycled. We eventually decided that it was two and a half years ago, with Escapegoat tours in Adelaide. Luckily riding a bike is just like… Riding a bike.

After we arrived at the Augustiner Braustubl, buying the beers was another adventure, as they were served by a dour-faced older man straight from a keg. The options were big or small — big being a litre and small being 500ml. There must have been a thousand people in the beer garden, and Sebastian told us that it was a place for everyone: old, young, rich, poor, whatever. The environment was great and we had a really pleasant evening.

There were quite a few people there.

There were quite a few people there.

Saturday 27/4: Steffi and Sebastian had invited a few people over for a barbecue, but they wouldn’t let us help prepare for it. Instead, we went for a walk along the river we’d cycled over the day before, and got back just as everyone was arriving.

After a delicious lunch, Craig headed to a football game with some of the guys, while I stayed behind to chat and drink various cocktails with the girls. My afternoon was pleasant, but Craig’s was awesome — the game itself was good, but the fans really made it an experience with their chants and dances.

The fans were the most entertaining part.

The fans were the most entertaining part.

Sebastian supports Austria Salzburg, which has a very interesting history. It was founded in 1933 and played in the second division and premier league until 2005, when it was bought by Red Bull. Red Bull basically just wanted a ticket to the premier league, and rebranded the team with new colours, a new name, and a new logo, and cut ties with the club history and the loyal fan base — who decided to create a new team which kept all the old elements. Unfortunately the new Austria Salzburg had to start way back in the seventh division, as Red Bull had bought their position in the first division, but they’ve been working their way up the ranks steadily and are now in the second position in the third division — and they’ll move up if they finish the season in first place. Since Austria Salzburg won their game and the team in first position only drew theirs, the ranking gap has now been considerably narrowed — and the match finished with euphoria. Craig said he’d never seen so many men look so happy.

When the guys came back, us girls were still sitting around the table chatting. They joined us for awhile and then we all moved inside when it got too cool — which was at 9.30pm! Yay for spring!

The views were amazing.

The views were amazing.

Sunday 28/4: Since Steffi and Sebastian are going on a round-the-world trip later in the year, they’re trying to get rid of some of their extra stuff. So they got up at 5am and went to a nearby flea market — luckily they didn’t ask us to help as we would have been more of a hindrance at that time of day! We did go down with Sebastian at around 10am and had a wander around; it was interesting to see what was on offer. I saw a fair few dirndls and pairs of leiderhosen, though Craig wouldn’t let me buy any.

We went for another long walk in the afternoon before heading over to Germany for a pizza dinner with Sebastian’s mum and sister. All in all, it’s been another good week.

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