Early the next morning it was time to move on again. As much as I am loving my contiki tour and making some awesome new friends, it is definitely a bit of a whirlwind tour. Most places during this trip have only one or two nights spent in them at the most. But the tour also involves a lot of long drives between destinations which aren’t really mentioned on the contiki website. But logically it does make sense. Generally every second day has involved a long drive of at least five hours which is a little bit tiring. A few people in the group use this time for sleeping after partying the previous night. I find it’s a great time to work on drafting out blog posts and writing postcards.
This time the whirlwind left Germany and blew into Austria. The country where Hitler and pork schnitzel originated from. Just for one night we stayed in a wee town called Hopfgarten. Hopfgarten is a very cute small town similar to Queenstown in New Zealand with being settled in a valley among big beautiful mountains. The buildings are all very quaint* snow village type ones. It is the place to go for skiing and snowboarding so I am thinking I will have to come back around December / January for a snow trip.
We arrived quite early in the morning as Hopfgarten is only a couple of hours from Munich. Right after jumping off the coach, it was time for some exercise. A 25km mountain bike ride to be exact. Only about half of the group did this activity which I can understand. Certainly when I was huffing and puffing my way up and not even at the halfway point, I did wonder why the hell I was trying to make my legs fall off. At least I wasn’t alone. I think only a couple of people within the group didn’t struggle to make it up -the guides!
But once I made it to the top, it was all worth it. The views were just stunning. Riding down felt like flying and it was glorious.
Some pre-bike ride macho-ness
A waterfall just over halfway up. I am laughing with amazement that I’ve made that far so far
View at the top
Panorama of a curve in the road
A BBQ lunch on return after the three hour ride was just the icing on the cake. Feeling very satisfied, I started to prepare for the next activity -paragliding. Shelley had been in the morning, and her comments of it being the best thing she’d ever done made me really excited. Unfortunately paragliding ended up being cancelled for the afternoon due to unforeseen circumstances meaning I missed out along with half the group. G-U-T-T-E-D.
But there is hope. There is a paragliding company in Switzerland so depending on timing, possibly I still may be able to do what sounds like the coolest activity on this tour. Plus how amazing would be to glide over the Swiss Alps..
Instead for the afternoon, a group of us rode our bikes (with pretty sore bums owie) down to the local lake for a bit of an afternoon swim and relaxing in the hot sun. It was perfect.
Btw can you let me know in the comments section of this post if the photos turned out okay and display properly on a computer screen (I only have my iphone currently so hard for me to tell). Particularly the panorama one as I am experimenting with those. Love the way they turn out!