Guten Morgan zum Lindau,
As predicted, Linda has fallen in love with Austria (“ I thought Italy was beautiful . . . “). It’s not so much the countryside (“It’s so green, it’s kinda like it’s fake.”). No, not the quaint villages (“look at that dear little town”). It’s not even the lakes (“Look at that lovely water! “). It’s not the superb road system (“so civilised!”) It’s not the astonishingly good roadside restaurants (“so amazing”). And it’s not the people (“so helpful that they all speak English, isn’t it?”). It’s not even the music (“so calming”). And while the food (“divine”) draws a special comment, that’s not it either..
It’s the mountains (superlatives exhausted early in the first hour of the road trip).
The Austrian Alps
The Austrian Alps are impressive and imposing in any season of the year, partly because they are so close. They rise up from verdant valleys, the ridges clad in clouds a lot of the time. The highest peaks are usually bare rock and the foothills are covered in thick pine forests. Linda is in love with these mountains.
This is when we learnt what it was that inspired Kate Bush’s notorious, monosyllabic song from the late 1970s: “Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, unbelievable!” Linda is looking in all directions, marvelling at the magnificent peaks, some of which still have snow on them. She even starts complaining after a while, bemoaning the fact that when we are travelling through tunnels she loses sight of the view. Her last complaint was of the paucity of the English language: “not enough adjectives for this landscape”.
For the last two nights we stayed near Inns’ Bruck, a stone’s throw from one of those quintessential beautiful lakes and in sight of imposing mountains in every direction. Two of those quaint – and remarkably neat – villages are between us and the city. Their names are Mutters and Natters. Is this his and hers in code?
two sides of the valley
Inns’ Bruck (I haven’t yet discovered the reason for the spelling) is in one of those idyllic Austrian glacial valleys. Some of the buildings date from the 17th century and many of the exteriors have that characteristic Germanic painted design between the windows. Each building from The Baroque period is coloured differently to the adjacent ones. Each has arched portals with enclosing semi-indoor footpaths. They would need the protection during the severe winters. One side of the valley has ten peaks all considerably higher than Mt. Kosciuszko (Australia’s highest). And that’s only one side of the valley!
The postcards promise snow in the centrum during winter and local girl, Gisela says Inns’ Bruck is “one of the best places for snow skiing”. Linda suddenly has an urge to get into the skiing.
If Italy had Linda in raptures and Austria has her swooning, the smart money is on Germany making up the trifecta this week.
Auf Wiedersehen zum Lindau