Where: Austria; Flachau, Traun, Reichenau an der Rax and the Lake District
When: August 2017
What: no plan, a family tummy bug, our first workaway and meeting Grandma again!
So we crossed into Austria with no plan and a sickly 2 year old. We decided not to book anything, and just to wing it, because we are über chilled out travellers now! The closer we got to Salzburg, the stupider that idea seemed; everything was booked and everything was really expensive, since it was August.
We chose the town of Flachau to stop and search for a place to stay. We found a really patronising young man in the tourist office, who immediately turned his nose up when I asked for him to look for a cheap apartment for us. Luckily his colleague was much better at her job and found us a lovely apartment for €75 😱so we booked in for one night. The most expensive nights accommodation so far, but when your 2 year old is not well, and it’s pissing down, you just have to take it. We had a lovely night’s stay here and Arto was feeling much better by the time we got in. The next three days were a write off while the rest of the family caught the bug, one day after the other, and we stayed put in Flachau, doing pretty much nothing at all, except finding the local playground.
When we were all feeling up to a car journey we moved on to an Air BnB in Traun, near Linz, which turned out to be lovely after the initial issue of not being let in by the owner.
We spend the following day at the local outdoor swimming pool. It has a big slide, which neither Dylan nor Arto have much interest in, but which Jess is very excited about, we both take turns, it’s pretty cool, pitch black inside with flashing lights! Jess has several goes to ensure he has found the optimal position for high speed.
We hear back from a workaway request, and they are happy for us to come and stay from the following day. Luckily they are looking for someone who can do electrics and basic plumbing. We are really pleased as their profile looks great and sounds really interesting.
The next day we drive to Reichenau an der Rax to meet our hosts. We can’t believe our luck when we drive in; they have two massive houses, one outdoor swimming pool and a huge garden. Our hosts are Lise and Feri, a really friendly outgoing couple, who immediately make us feel welcome.
The work we do here ranges from weeding and gardening, cleaning, to electrics and plumbing, to beekeeping.
Jess really enjoys working with Feri and his bees 🐝 and we all enjoy eating the honey. Feri is a lot of fun, quite like a child, but in a good way, as he says ‘I am chaos’, and he really is! We eat so well while we’re here, both Lise and Feri are great cooks, and really enjoy hosting.
On our day off we get the Rax Seilbahn cable car up the mountain, it’s so expensive, but is worth it, for the ride, and the lovely walk and views from the top.
The boys have a great time here, Lise and Feri are really good with them, and they have so much to play with, plus a massive outdoor space to run around in. The boys are really sad when we leave and ask when we’re coming back.
After a fantastic week we have to move on. We have an apartment booked in Bad Mitterndorf, near the Austrian Lakes, and Grandma is coming to visit.
The apartment is really nice, the views from the balcony are amazing.
The nearby lakes are stunning, Grundlsee is our closest and is really beautiful, very quiet, and bloody freezing!
The next closest, and much busier lake is Halstattersee. It is impossible to park, so we head to Obertraun, on the other side of the lake, it is equally beautiful, much less busy, and has a huge grassy area with playground next to the lake. After a picnic we hire a row boat. We’re having lots of fun, Jess jumps into the lake a few times, until one of the boats stop to scream at us “that was the last time you will be jumping from this boat”, we ask him to what he’s on about, and he says that “it’s a €500 fine”.
We go out for dinner since Grandma is visiting, Bad Mitterndorf doesn’t have a big selection of restaurants, but we find one, and it’s really good, Restaurant Kirchenwirt. The next evening, since we have a babysitter we have a night out together, we end up in the same restaurant, as its either that or the really dodgy pub that Jess is suggesting! But we do find quite a cool hidden bar almost opposite the restaurant, so we feel like we’ve had a good night out.
The following day we pack up and head to Germany, squeezing Grandma and her big suitcase into the car too.
We spent much longer than expected in Austria for one reason or another, but we’re glad we did, as after an initial shaky start, we did start to like it, but we were very excited to be moving on to…Germany.
- Rax Seilbahn; cable car in Reichenau an dear Rax
- Beautiful Lake Grundlsee