07 Jun Crossing the Alps
So, salzburgrooms.com, despite its lack of ‘soul’ was a triumph – clean, comfortable, and with sufficient kit that we could self-cater for dinner. And we both had a fantastic sleep setting us up perfectly for today and the next leg of the journey….. Which is –
Into the mountains, Hannibal and his moll set out to cross the Alps. Stunning but short train journey on the 10.12 from Salzburg up the valley between mountains that get bigger and higher the further the train sweeps along a track running beside the river. The river full, opaquely grey-green and gorgeous.
Underwhelmed by Schwarzach, where we got off the train, our final destination conformed much more to the picture in my head of a little alpine village, notwithstanding a slight concern about its name – St Veit im Pongau! Tiny, colourful and very Austrian especially today when there was a wedding in the village. By the time we had dropped the rucksacks off at our Gasthaus and made our way the 200 metres into the village, the guests were arriving to join the bride and groom at the local bar where it seems they get thoroughly tanked up before parading up to the church for the nuptials. All the men going first followed by all the women and accompanied by church bells and minstrels. The whole village was there, it seemed, and everyone in traditional costume (apart from the bride and groom). So the biggest collection of lederhosen and dirndls I have ever seen gathered together in one place. Such a strange juxtaposition of the dirndl with a nattily tattooed ankle showing beneath!
Tomorrow we stay put – at least, no trains! We’re off for a hike in the hills.