Austria, Germany, Swizterland
10.10.2007 22 °C
Matt typing now for your info! (ie Ted)
29th September - Tyrol
After our rather large evening at the P party we were up nice and early for the first thing that resembles exercise that we have encountered in the past 5 weeks. We hopped onto our mountain bikes at 9am and took off for what we thought was a relaxing stroll through the Austrian fields. WRONG we were huffing and puffing our way all the way until the reached the top of where we were headed. Didn't really get to see any of the sceniory around us as we were struggling our way up the hill. Once we got there we had a rest and then began our decent back down. This part was much nicer and the views very awesome. The fields and mountains made the trip to the top worth it (Mitto with your biking skills you have now you would have killed it) after 20 minutes of relaxing downhill riding we stopped for lunch and then made our way back to camp. They said to us that if you had a hangover at the beginning of the ride, you wouldn't have it at the end. Correct they were.
Once we dropped our bikes back we took at walk into town and made our way to a Trout Farm for some difficult fishing. For 7.20EU you get a rod, a fish (if you catch one), and then a meal as they cook it for you. Well this was a funny experience for both of us. First I caught my fish in record time (about 10 seconds) and then had to be the first one to kill their fish. I wouldn't have a clue how to kill a fish so I starting belting it with no direction or co-ordination whatsoever. After about 10 hits the boss came over picked it up and gave it a tap on the head and it was done. I defenietely am not a fisherman. Secondly Krystal caught her fish and I'm not sure if she had a trout or a shark on the end of her line as she was that scared of it. She managed to get it on shore but had to get one of the other fella's from tour to finish him off for her (See pic below, her face is a classic). Once we had them gutted they were cooked up and served with some vegies and it was fantastic. Well I thought so, Krystal wasn't a massive fan of Trout so I ate 1/2 of hers too.
After our fishing experience we wondered back into town to catch the endof the festival that they had going. Today was 'Cow come home day' Well i'll call it that cause I don't know the real name of it. Today was the day that all the cows come home from their summer up in the hills grazing. They come back all nice and fat and all the Austrian's line the streets and cheer the farmers while drinking lager. Any reason for a drink I guess. We sat down and had a few with them before heading back for some dinner. Krystal called an early one and I stayed out for a few drinks with so,me of the boys. We decided to play table tennis and loser has to buy the winner a shot. After a while everyone wanted to lose cause they were getting smashed! Called it a night around 12 ready for Octoberfest.
30th September - Munich
Today is called national Matt's day. That is because today is Octoberfest day! While majority of the group went white water rafting in the morning in Austria me, 4 girls, and 1 Contiki rep decided to get the train from Tyrol to Munich. For 30 Euro's I got an extra 6 hours at Octoberfest and considering I wasn't doing rafting anyway there was no guilt at all. Krystal decided to catch the bus in so a kiss on the lips later and I was on my way to the train station. We arrived into the grounds around 10:30 and it looked more like an amusement park than a beer festival. That quickly changed when I stuck my head in a tent and saw thousands of german's drinking, singing, stanidng on chairs and tables,all at 10:30am. We decided that we had to get to the tent where everyone else wouldbe that afternoon and try and get a table. We headed to the Lowenbrau tent and managed to squeeze on a table with a bunch of Aussies and Kiwi's and spent the next 11 hours not moving. If you don't get a table then you won't get served so we were pretty lucky that we got all 6 of us together. Once seated you can order 1 litre stiens and food to your choice. The beers were 10 Euro but was one of the nicest beers i've had before. For lunch I decided on some chicken. And thats exactly what you get. 1/2 a chicken on a plate with a knife and fork. Nothing else. The rest of the afternoon consisted of the same thing and Krystal managed to catch up with me around 6:30pm which by that stage I was well and truely into it. She had gone to a couple others tents with the girls so she was into the Octoberfest sprit also. By 9:30 we were done and we headed back to the hostel for some serious rest.
All in all one of the best days of my life and something I will be going to again next year for sure!
1st October - Swiss Alps
Up early and feeling a little seedy for yesterdays festivities we made our way onto Switzerland. The drive wasn't too bad considering I had a good bout of the Contiki Belly going. We stopped at Liechtenstein for lunch and a quick passport stamp. Somehow this place is a country? Its about the same size as Sunbury and Melton? These Europeans have a habit of making countries whereever they feel like it and they are so small we call them a town? Monaco, Vatican City, Liechtenstein, all far to small to be a country in my books. Anyhow, we headed out of there and made our way onto Lucerne. This drive was awesome due to the fact the size of the mountain ranges around us. These things were absolutely huge! We got to Lucerns and had a couple hours to look around and relax. Our lovely contiki manager took us to a watch and swiss army knife shop where 90% of the bus made somekind of purchase. If he doesn't get a cut then i'll bare my ar*e in Burke Street. Not to worry though, I guess i'd do it to if I was him. We managed to keep our money in our pockets and went and got a drink and relaxed by the river.
We left Lucerne and drove on for another 1 1/2 hours before arriving at Lauterbrunnen, our home for the next couple of nights. The resort accomodation was basic but the surrounds were awesome. Massive mountains all around us and a waterfall coming down made it a very enjoyable stay. Had an early night as the next day was going to be a long one.
2nd October - Swiss Alps
Today we had a optional extra where (weather permitting) we could take a train up the cog railway to the top of Jungfrau Mountain, the appart top of Europe. Luckily we were blessed by the gods and the sun was beaming down on us. We walked to the station hopped on, 2 hours, 3454m above sea level later, we were on top of the mountain. We views up here were nothing short of breathtaking. I can't really describe how good it is by words but the pic below will give you somekind of idea.
(will have to crop this image)
We wondered up to the lookout point and then decided to take a hike on the snow to another observation lookout. We had, well I had some serious dramas here as for some stupid reason I decided to where my boatshoes today. Absolutely no grip what so ever and I had to walk about 2kms on snow! Krystal had a ball of a time watching me slipping and sliding and cursing every 2 minutes. I managed to get there and back with ended up on my behind but due to the fact I spent most of the time looking at the ground my face got fried some the glare off the snow. We headed back down the mountain around 3 and back into Lauterbrunnen around 5 and decided that now would be a good time to invest in some hiking boots. $400AUD later and we had a set each that i'm sure will be very handy in our andevtures to come beginning with Egypt. Decided to have another pretty quiet one tonight and played some cards with a few others and tapped out around 11.
(can you spot matt in the stripey jumper going down on his arse???)