Diaries - Travel - Photos

Previous Diary - Next Diary


Kitzbühel - On Our Way To Italy

September 4-5
Written September 5-6 and Oct 5

Dear Diary,

d120904_02_J_trunk.jpgd120904_04_M_trunk.jpgOK, we're on the road again.  Packing was straightforward enough: clothes and "other".  For John, the other is camera and computer gear.  For Marianne, the other includes an iPad, sketching material, and all the trip planning material.  And then we squeeze in several little things in the nooks and crannies left over.  When the trunks are full, it's time to leave.

d120904_00_Track.jpgd120904_06_Top_down.jpgThe drive down was only as long as we prefer: four hours, with stops.  Most of this was normal German autobahns, not particularly fun since traffic was frequently interrupted by summer road construction.  Eventually, we did make it into Austria and shifted to a smaller highway, one that permitted top-down driving.  The weather remained cloudy, so we could not see all the mountains around us, but it was nice to be in the open air.

d120904_10_Hotel.jpgd120904_11_Laundry.jpgOur first stop in Kitzbühel was our hotel, the Hotel Garni Entstrasser.  This hotel selection was my (John's) job and I may not have paid enough attention.  It was a kilometer out of town and pretty plain. I suppose the better view is that it was homey, even with air-dried (=rough) towels and sheets. Maybe at the end of this trip we will place all of our accommodations in order and, if so, at the time I wondered where the Entstrasser will rank.  (In fact, we gave the hotel a mediocre rating on the "Booking.com" survey and received nasty email from the owner in return.  Clearly put the Hotel Garni Entstrasser off our list of recommended places to stay!)

The kilometer walk to town was pleasant, past flower-encrusted homes and kitchey horse carriages.  Our priority was lunch and we stopped at the first spot we saw, the Huber butcher shop. Huber served full meals as lunch specials and we made this our big meal of the day, big and tasty. 

After this, we needed to walk for a few hours to work off the calories.  The old center of Kitzbühel was filled with tourists eating ice cream or just sitting on benches watching other tourists.  We joined them, except we chose white wine and cheese cake.  Good people watching, however.
We managed to tour three churches as well, and the associated large, well-cared-for cemetery.  I'm not sure these places are everybody's idea of tour spots, but we think they give an insight into local history.  Here in these Austrian examples, we first visited St. Andreas', with elaborate gilt statues. Signs of a wealthy period.  Next was the Johana Nepomuk chapel, ornate but small and somber.  Maybe a sign of s sober people and history.  The third church, the Spitalskirche, was simplest but had the most realistic 15th Century statues of Christ carrying his cross. A devout people.


The graveyard also provided a look at history.  In Germany, few graveyards have residents from before World War II, probably due to the complete upheaval caused by that war.  Here in Kitzbühel, there were headstones from the last 100 years, some quite elaborate, signs of relative stability over the years.  Nonetheless, there were also signs of past wars where the sons of Austria fought and died in far away Serbia or Russia.
After these somber observations, we took the mile walk back to the hotel and called it an early night.  Rain is forecast, so we don't know what tomorrow's tourism will bring.

We started the day with no plan.  I suppose we should have joined the healthy people and walked up and down mountains, but that's just not us.  Instead we got in the car, took the top down despite the clouds, and drove into those same mountains.  Easier.

We went south, through the foggy Thurn Pass to the small town of Mittersill.  There we shopped a little, looked at another church, and tried to come up with more of a plan.  The most exciting activity we could think of was to just take the long way back to Kitzbühel, so we headed west.


Not far from Mittersill, we passed under the aerial cars of the Panoramabahn.  This seemed like our way of climbing mountains.  We turned around and into an almost-empty parking lot.  Not many people choose to go up for a panorama on cloudy days I guess.  We did and, on the rides up and down,  enjoyed the scenes of cows, chalets, and hazy valleys.  On the top, we saw pictures of what the view SHOULD be, but still enjoyed the fog-filtered mountain light and hints of the far-off Alps.  We did have lunch in the hazy sun-light patio.  Marianne had curry wurst and fries and I had "German" pancakes and applesauce.  Comfort food.

After our strenuous day "climbing" mountains, we settled for a short drive back o the hotel followed by a bit of walking.  We walked to the grocery store and bought one of our favorite road-dinners: wine, cheese, and cookies.  It's our kind of travel.

Tomorrow we hope to get more sun, because we have plenty of panoramas left to see.  Maybe.

John and Marianne


Diaries - Travel - Photos

Previous Diary - Next Diary