LOCATION: Contiki Austrian Gasthof in Hopfgarten
This item is part of my Contiki Trip Series.
After leaving the amazing experience at the concentration camp, we were off for Austria. I have never heard much about Austria before, so I didn’t have any big expectations for it. As we left Germany the ride into Austria became more and more mountainesque. We were driving through the Austrian Tyrol. I’ve seen mountains with snow plenty before while living out West, but this blew my mind. Austria definitely had some amazing scenery to welcome us. We arrived at the Contiki owned Gasthof (guest inn). The Gasthof was in a quaint little town and logging community. The views really looked like something out of “The Sound of Music.” We were told to fill our water bottles with the tap water here. The water came directly from the Alps and it was the best tasting water I’ve ever had in my life. If I could bottle it all up, I would. I’ve never had water taste so pure…ever! After settling in, we all went for a 5 mile bike ride through the town. Being as sick as I was, it probably wasn’t a smart idea, but then again, nothing I was doing was exactly smart considering I felt so awful. The roads were really hilly, which proved to be difficult on my weak body, but I pushed through like a champ. The ride through town proved to be an equally gorgeous experience since we rode through mountains and riverbeds. Everything was extremely quiet, all you heard was the bike riding the roadway and rushing water from all directions.
After resting from the bike ride, we were served a traditional Austrian dinner. We were served beef goulash soup, which was like a tomato soup and felt so good on my throat. We were also served turkey schnitzel and apple strudel. After dinner, we all went to the bar to celebrate the trip. I noticed a large piece of wood with nails in it and a hammer that everyone was playing with as a drinking game. Intrigued, I had to find out more. The game was called Hammerschlagen and it was a traditional German drinking game. The log is set up waist high with the flat sides facing the floor and ceiling. A nail is about a half inch into the wood in front of each player. Each player must try to hit the nail in with the wedge end of the hammer in one swing in an up and down motion. The player to drive their nail in first, wins. Anyone who missed hitting the nail must drink. I definitely wanted to play this at home!
My experience with Austria was short, but definitely sweet. I realized how much I like tomato soups here and just how pretty the quiet countryside can truly be. My parent’s would love this area.
*Thank you Shiran for accompanying me on this adventure
WOULD I DO IT AGAIN?: Yes! Austria is SO pretty and I would love to explore even more.
Contiki Travel is HIGHLY recommended. I would do this all over again a million times. www.contiki.com