Who knows where the time goes?

7th June.

There is now a gap of about a week in this blog series as there really is nothing of interest to report.  I went for daily rambles round Kempten, spent much more time in the hotel bar that I probably should have, made friends with the staff at the excellent Peterhof Hotel, relaxed, caught up on this blog a bit in it’s previous incarnation and generally got my travel head back on.  I could have stayed there for a long time as it was still early June and Canada would not be “in season” for a while so all was good.

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By the time it came around (a pretty decent day after the dismal start as depicted above) I had determined myself that I really was going to have to shift or I’d be there forever and I had consulted Blablacar to see what lifts might be available on that day. Blablacar is the carpooling service I had been using quite successfully in various countries and I do rather like it as a means of transport. I had looked at the options and decided that Innsbruck looked like a plan and there was a young lady called Mona going that way with a decent pick up time, about 1300 if memory serves. The only couple of slight disadvantages are that drivers often like to pick you up on the edge of town so they can get back on the autobahn or whatever and also, so many of them want to leave at crazy hours of the day when I am not even awake usually.

The pickup was at a MacDonald’s out by the ring road which was a bit of a trek but I was travelling light and so it was not too much of a hardship. I even managed a couple of pictures which was a bonus. I also got probably the best view I had had of the town from an area of it that I had not explored despite my long time there.  Time for a quick coffee and Mona turned up with her friend, whose name I didn’t catch, and off we headed and it was a great trip. The ladies spent most of the time chatting away in German but I was just enjoying the outstanding scenery and revelling in the concept of hurtling down German and then Austrian autobahn in a comfy motor with two very attractive young frauleins. How bad can that be and proper Fergy travelling indeed.

Another bonus of the carpool that day was in that the friend Mona was going to see lived very close by my “hotel” and so she very kindly dropped me off at the door of where I was staying. Strange sort of a place, very institutionalised. I still cannot work out if it was a converted student dorm block or a facility for visiting workmen as I saw quite a few people that would have fitted into either or both categories. I suppose the name should have given me a clue.  I speak minimal German but I reckon it is something like “Technician’s House” or something similar.

What a difference a day makes as they say. The room was pretty spartan although clean and comfortable and the toilet / shower facilities were communal.  When I consider what I had left that morning for marginally less money, it made me think that Innsbruck, even off-season for the winter sports for which it is famous, might turn out to be an expensive decision and so it proved.

A quick wash and brush up and I was ready to go. There is a restaurant / bar attached here but I never once saw it open and so it was time for a wander. One thing in the Garni Garni-Technikerhaus‘ favour is that it does enjoy a central location. However and in the way of these things I got no further than about 100 yards or so when I spied a pub with some people sitting outside enjoying the evening and so I was in like a shot. Again, the planxty “nose” did not fail What a friendly bunch in what was sort of a cross between a takeaway pizza place and a bar. The entire staff and clientele appeared to be Albanian and we had a great old time chatting as a couple of them had decent English.  A quick internet check whilst writing this piece indicates it is called the Bistro HTL and has a Turkish website which would figure.  Whatever it is, it is a beauty, certainly not on the main drag but well worth looking out purely for a

I eventually decided I had better go and have a look round although I did not explore too far but I did run into the ladies from that afternoon in the car along with a large group of their friends and so we sat outside a bar having a chat for a while. All very sociable.

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Oh, the shame!

Wending my way back to “my” side of the river, the pizza place was long shut and there did not appear to be many options nor did I fancy trekking all the way back over the bridge to the centre and so there was nothing else for it. To my eternal shame, I had a Macdonalds! Ah well, apparently it didn’t kill me and so Iwas off to bed which, barrack like as it was, was at least long enough for me and fairly comfortable.

So why Innsbruck and why Austria? The way this trip was progressing the obvious answer would be, “Why not” but that was not the only reason. For all my wanderings in Europe and beyond I had never been there although I shall qualify that. I think we passed briefly through it on the bus in the middle of the night and en route to Memmingen and I vaguely remember changing trains about 30 years ago in Wien but I don’t really count either event. I had gone out of the station, had a quick couple of beers in the nearest bar and then caught the next train.  People had told me Innsbruck was lovely and so it proved and so it just seemed like a plan.

In truth, there was rather more sightseeing done of the interiors of the many decent bars on offer than of the undoubted attractions of the city. This is demonstrated by the complete paucity of images which again is unlike me and amounted to the underwhelming total of two for the next day, the 8th, both of which are reproduced here. The first is a rather odd piece of public art which I must admit did nothing for me and the second is the view along the river Inn, for which the city takes it’s name. This most certainly did plenty for me with that stunning mountain backdrop. I would love to visit when the snow has fallen. As an aside I should mention that the river is extremely fast flowing, I dread to think how much water flows under that bridge daily.

OK, little else to report so I shall carry on to the 9th in the next instalment.  Stay tuned and spread the word.

Did I tell you about travel inertia before?

This is going to be another “multi-entry” as there is no point in having you skipping pages every minute, you’ll all get RSI!

The 28th of May came around with me in my fourth hotel in as many days and I needed a chill out which I apparently had as my images indicate that I didn’t do a whole lot despite the weather being very summery.

I awoke in my very pleasant hotel room, showered etc. and made my way downstairs for a smoke as it is a completely non-smoking establishment although that was no major hardship as the enclosed garden area to the rear was not only a proper suntrap but also extremely pretty and immaculately kept. The water feature is particularly worthy of note and I hope the image does it justice.

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My poor attempt at being arty with the water feature which didn’t feature any water just then.

More in hope than expectation I went to reception to speak to the young lady there and enquire what time the rather fine bar opened at. No problem, as a resident I could drink all day every day which is a bit of a red rag to a bull for Fergy.

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I stared at that aquarium for hours.

 

With my pint of breakfast duly secured it was time for a sit in the delightful lounge and admire the excellent aquarium before settling down to a day’s internet, primarily TravBuddy which I was still contributing to at that time before it closed. With all the time I spent on it I could understand how I always managed to be so far behind.

I had decided that I could not just sit in the hotel all day, comfortable as it was, and so I took myself for a bit of a wander just to stretch my legs and take the air. Because of all the tearing about the countryside we had been doing I had had little opportunity to explore Kempten itself and I found it to be a most agreeable location.

A few more beers on the way and I retired for a relatively early night.

29th May.

The 29th of May was to follow very closely the pattern of the previous day and, judging by my images I did not even manage to leave the hotel but I did make the acqauintance of the three charming and extremely soppy house dogs that you can see in the image here.

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A bit of a slow news day as they say and so I shall pass quickly on.

30th May.

The 30th May was very much in the mould of the previous couple of days and I was in serious danger of getting into a complete rut of sitting drinking beer in the hotel and doing a bit on the internet. Still, it was pleasant enough and I really did not feel like going home. For a shutterbug like me I only managed two images the entire day which is very out of character.

That was nothing compared to the next day when I didn’t manage any at all. Things really were getting a touch out of control.

This sorry state of affairs (or happy depending on your mindset) continued for a number of days, until the seventh of June. I remember one afternoon meeting a group of Irish lads in the garden which resulted in a relatively short but somewhat intense beer drinking session which was great fun. I know I was going out but I was just pub crawling and I don’t seem to have got round to much in the way of photography but I did manage a couple of skyscapes which I do seem to have an inordinate fondness for and even some contrails which I also seem to be oddly attracted to..

The hotel continued to be a source of joy where I seemed to end up going to reception every other morning and asking if I could stay another couple of days.  They never blinked an eye and I really cannot find a bad word to say about the Peterhof Hotel, it is absolutely brilliant.  Forget any preconceptions you may have about Germans being slightly cold and robotic as the staff here are an absolute joy.  The hotel is delightful and very comfy and nothing was too much trouble.  Even with me extending my stay every couple of days I never even had to change room once.  Brilliant place and here are a couple more images of it.

Stay tuned and spread the word as I know I got round to doing various things later on and I shall jump to them in the next entry.