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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Austria, Lunch In Scharnitz

 

 

Map picture

 

After spending the evening enjoying Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, I wake up somewhere along the German and Austria border.

I am on my way to see Neuschwanstein Castle about a 2 hour drive south of Munich but take a slight detour to Austria.

 

CAN 200 With Austria so close by I decide to revisit.

In the late 1980's I had previously tour Austria by train, Innsbruck, Salzburg and Vienna all a part of my itinerary.

 

 

 

 CAN 202                                                                                                                   Unfortunately, that was in the days before blogs and inexpensive digital cameras. My visit this time is a short one but well worth it.

 

 

 

 

CAN 246 A beautiful drive along Highway 11 and the fall colors remind me of  Austrian countryside.

 

 

 

CAN 212 Mandatory pictures at the now non-distinct border crossing.

Only mere signs tell one country from the other.

No more guards or passports to show.

 

 

 

CAN 228 In Scharnitz, I seek out the first reasonable looking place for a good sampling of Austrian food and beer.

 

 

 

 

 

CAN 233

 

 

 

CAN 234At Gasthof Risserbof, I am greeted by an elderly couple and arrive just behind a large group of students on some type of field trip.

 

 

 

Fortunately, they are not ordering lunch and sit rather quietly in another are of the restaurant.

 

CAN 219 No competition when I order a refreshing cold Puntigamer beer.

 

 

 

 

Gasthof offers a daily lunch special but today I opt for the deer stew with potatoes, cranberries and red pickled cabbage.

 

 

CAN 237

 

 

The stew has a mushroom flavored gravy that covers the entire plate. I have had venison chili before but I never knew deer meat could be so tender. I am surprised at the wonderful sweet flavor of the dish.

 

CAN 238 At first I thought the sweet flavor was in the gravy but on further investigation using Chief Inspector Clouseau type skills, sacre blu, I discover the flavor is in the meat!

 

 

 

CAN 241 I show my disgust by returning an empty plate to the kitchen with no room for desert. This matter will be referred to the home office and taken up by Chief Dreyfus himself.

 

 

 

 

CAN 259 Austrian Countryside

 

I leave Gasthof  stunned and filled with culinary pleasure. My journey continues back along Highway 11 and with a full stomach the scenery seems even more beautiful.

 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Germany, Drivers Hauling A..!

 

CONVAR10 Leaving Europcar Rental garage at Frankfurt it is very easy to find my way to Autobahn 3.

 

 

 

I am on my way to Wurzburg and it is my first real introduction to German driving. With a posted speed of 120 kph, about 75mph, I am already allowed to legally drive about 10mph faster than the average speed limit in the United States.

Known by a few of my friends as “Grandpa” when it comes to driving, I am having a hard time pushing my feet down on the accelerator.

 

CAN 057 Thinking I would play it safe, I chose the middle lane but soon find my side and rear view mirrors filled with rapidly approaching headlights.

 

Although I am not concerned about road rage, I make the smart move and join the truckers in the right lane. Further along Autobahn 3 the overhead speed limit signs are extinguished and I guess all bets are off. The German drivers are hauling ass!

 

CAN 053 With much resistance, I decide to shed some of my “Grandpa” driving habits and now my Clio Renault  is doing about 130 kph!  Even so, I feel as if I am standing still.

 

 

 

CAN 052 A cargo van, mini van, moped and even a snail are just zooming by me with a blur.

 

 

 

Not to be outdone by a snail, I build up a bit more courage and push the Renault a bit more. Passing 150kph, I am still moving backwards compared to the other drivers on the Autobahn.

 

 

CONVAR43 “Captain, I think she can take some more but I don't think I can. Permission to change my shorts, Sir.”

So how far is it from Frankfurt to Wurzburg, Germany? It doesn't matter because if you are on the Autobahn, you'll be hauling ass!