A Travellerspoint blog

Episode 13

Germany & Austria

overcast 20 °C

Welcome to our Bavarian Beer Fest Episode! Featuring steins, old friends and a disco shower.

Posted by reinandleah 12:21 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

Germany & Austria

Day 242 to Day 254

overcast 20 °C

Our first stop in Germany was Düsseldorf where we caught up with an old school friend of Rein’s and spent some time watching the AFL Preliminary Finals on the internet and eating German food. After these relaxing few days it was onto Munich for Oktoberfest!

On our first day in Munich we walked around and saw the sights, and appreciated how the Bavarian’s like to build big buildings! We also enjoyed a picnic in the park with friends and watching people river surfing (weird we know but it’s quite famous in Munich!).

River Surfing in Munich

River Surfing in Munich

Oktoberfest takes place at the end of September and start of October and originally started out as a pre-wedding party 200 years ago. It now attracts around 6.4 million visitors from all over the world, and estimated 6.9 million litres of beer would be drunk over the 3 week period. There are 14 beer tents that are set up at the very large grounds, all beers from the Bayern-Munich region. There are also many rides and snack stalls for the non-beer drinkers. It felt a lot like the Melbourne Show but with beer drinking as the main attraction!

HB @Oktoberfest!

HB @Oktoberfest!

On our first day we had a beautiful sunny afternoon and we made use of it and caught up with some long-time friends from back in Australia. As it was mid-week there were plenty of tables for our group. We journeyed to 3 tents sampling the local larger from steins and some of the traditional food.
We met up for round two the next day; however, the weather wasn’t so pleasant (think torrential rain non-stop for a few hours) and we all got soaked! Unfortunately for some people that had already drunk too much (it was only 1pm) the slippery ground meant for lots of people falling over. We luckily managed to find a table in a beer tent to get out of the rain for a couple of hours.

Old Friends @Oktoberfest!

Old Friends @Oktoberfest!

Rein drinking Beerstein @Oktoberfest!

Rein drinking Beerstein @Oktoberfest!

After our 2 busy days we took a train south to Salzburg in Austria, where the 6 of us had decided to rent an apartment for 4 nights. The first day and a half were recovery, but on the Sunday, being a member of our party’s birthday, we had a busy day of sightseeing planned.

Old Friends @Salzburg

Old Friends @Salzburg

Our first stop was the cable car up the Untersberg Summit. Part of the Berchtesgaden Alps, it is 1973m (6,473ft) above sea level and about a 30 min bus ride from town. We took the 10min cable car up through the clouds and to the summit. It was very beautiful up the top with the only thing seen being a cloud blanket with the other Alps peaks popping through. Then we had to go back down the cable car, which was even scarier as I knew how high up we were.

Rein, Leah & Henry @Untersberg Summit

Rein, Leah & Henry @Untersberg Summit

After the adrenaline of the cable car ride we were all hungry so stopped at Wasserspiele Hellbrunn and ate our packed lunch. We had a quick look around the gardens, including the Sound of Music gazebo. Then we jumped back on the bus to head back into the heart of Salzburg.
Once back in Salzburg we took a tour of the Salzburg Fortress, the largest and best preserved in Europe. After a guided audio tour we took in the beautiful views over Salzburg and headed back down the hill to visit Mozart’s birthplace.

Old Friends @Salzburg Fortress

Old Friends @Salzburg Fortress

Our final destination for the day was at the Stiegl-Brauwelt Beer Experience, which is the largest in Europe. We had a pretty long and action packed day so most of us were unable to fully appreciate the museum (which was large and very informative) but we thoroughly enjoyed tasting our three free beer samples of our choice at the end (One of which was coffee beer to keep us perked up).

Henry Beer tasting @Stiegl-Brauwelt Beer Experience

Henry Beer tasting @Stiegl-Brauwelt Beer Experience

After a quick rest period back at the apartment we headed to Augustiner Braustubl (another brewery) for a birthday dinner. It was a great time spent with old friends, memories that we can go home and reminisce about. Our next stop is Prague and a tour of the Eastern Block.

Posted by reinandleah 12:57 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Episode 12

SCOTLAND

overcast 15 °C

Our busy 10 day bus tour around Highland Scotland, the Orkney Islands and the Outer Hebrides.

Posted by reinandleah 00:56 Archived in Scotland Comments (0)

Scotland - Argyll

Day 187 to Day 225

semi-overcast 18 °C

Our last month has been spent working at a Bed & Breakfast, Melfort House, 30min drive south of Oban in county Argyll, Scotland. Here we have been able to experience rather than just see a place.

Melfort House from Loch Melfort

Melfort House from Loch Melfort

Our host family was very hospitable, very informative and fed us very well. Our first weekend was very busy with the Melfort House garden open to the public. The main point of interest was Melfort House’s poly tunnel, a form of greenhouse needed in the Scottish climate to successfully grow a variety of vegetables all year round. During our stay our daily tasks were to set/clear breakfast, service the guest rooms, and cleaning of the communal areas. It was busy as August is high season; however, we were still able to go on walks and borrow the car to see some local sights.

Loch Melfort from Melfort House

Loch Melfort from Melfort House

Leah, Pippa and Molly

Leah, Pippa and Molly

Oban & Isle of Seil
When we needed anything, our closest shops were at Oban, a town with a population of 8,000 which has fluctuated to 25,000 during the summer. It was nice to walk around when we had not been out for a while. On the way back one time we went via the Isle of Seil, where you have to cross the Clachan Bridge to get to the isle. The bridge is 200 years old and is more commonly known as the "Bridge over the Atlantic" as you have to cross the Atlantic to get there.

Oban

Oban

Clachan Bridge "Bridge over the Atlantic"

Clachan Bridge "Bridge over the Atlantic"

Inveraray and Carnasserie Castle
One afternoon we drove to Inveraray, a place we had passed through on our way to Melfort House. It looked very good; however, once we got out of the car and walked around it was not as impressive as it had been from the bus window. We continued onward home via Lochgilphead and through Kilmartin where we decided to stop and check out Carnasserie Castle. The castle was built over 400 years ago and was home to the 5th Earl of Argyll. It was captured and partially blown up when the 9th Earl of Argyll was rebelling against James VII. It was restored and is in great condition. We got some great photos around the castle as the sun was setting.

Highland Henry @Carnasserie Castle

Highland Henry @Carnasserie Castle

Fort William, Ben Nevis & Glencoe
Our biggest day trip was when we travelled north to the next biggest town on the west coast, Fort William. There are many hiking tourists around Fort William as it sits beneath the UK’s highest mountain and end of the West Highland Way walk. We went for a short walk at Ben Nevis to Steall Falls. We walked along the cliff face until we came to an unexpected clearing where the waterfall appeared at the end. On our way back, we visited the MacDonald memorial at Glencoe where in 1692 the MacDonalds were massacred for not supporting the crown. Our final stop was at the pass of Glencoe, were we sat and took in the sights before making our way home.

Leah & Rein @Steall Falls

Leah & Rein @Steall Falls

Argyll Highland Games
During our time at the B&B, the Argyll Highland Games were on. We all took the day off and went to Oban to watch. There were standard track and field events but the throwing events consisted of only heavy throwing of objects such as Cabers (logs) and a variety of heavy weights. Other events included Highland dancing and Pipping. The weather was perfect and there was a great crowd.

Argyll Highland Games @Oban

Argyll Highland Games @Oban

I'm a Highlander

I'm a Highlander

Host Family

Host Family

We have now left Melfort House and will be traveling north and seeing the rest of Scotland over the next 10 days.

Posted by reinandleah 11:59 Archived in Scotland Comments (1)

Episode 11

Estonia

sunny 25 °C

Here it is, the one you have all been waiting for. The episode where we travel around Estonia with my family. Will it be another travel video or interweb soap? click to find out.

Apologies for the delay in posting. We are now working at a B&B in Scotland.

Posted by reinandleah 11:31 Archived in Estonia Comments (0)

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