The Hills Are Alive

At about midnight last night Shelby said "you know, we don't have a place to stay tomorrow night." GREAT. We were to arrive in Austria in less than 12 hours and no place to go. It was too late to contact anyone about an Airbnb apartment, so I hopped onto Hotels.com and found this cute little hostel/hotel with one room left. We have our first communal bathroom experience, and a lovely view of a wall- but for one night, we should manage quite well. 

Austria. Is. Beautiful. I just can't get over it. I love it here. I think I just really love the mountains. My excitement is that of a child on their birthday feinding for presents. I had to hike in the Alps. One cannot come to Austria and be plopped in a small (actually rather large) mountain town and not hike. Shelby was worried about food and getting water, I only cared about finding a trail and setting off to galavant and sing about the hills being alive. 

We found a trail up a mountain ( I have quite the time trying to pronounce anything in any other language, so I've quit trying (not really)). We bought a bus ticket on the side of the street, but nothing was in English, so we had to guess about what we were buying and hop on a bus that we thought might be taking us in the right direction. Shelby and I have gotten used to the "oops we just went the wrong way" mishaps and now have the attitude "let's see where this takes us and hope we end up where we need to be." So we got on a bus and headed into the mountains. We did find our destination and got quite car sick on the stuff bus riding up the side of the mountain into the next town. Unfortunately the trail we were originally going to take was closed for the day, so we had to improvise. We ended up taking a cable car (I kept calling it a gondola - I think I'm already in Venice) up the mountain that we could then get off and hike the rest of the way. 

Amazing. Breath taking (literally and figuratively - high altitude). Last summer I hiked in the Rocky Mountains for the first time. The obvious next step would be to hike in the Alps. We hiked around, took some photos, had some laughs. I galavanted, danced, sang, and was my usual goofy self. Simply splendid. 

We are finding it rather difficult to find water throughout our trip. When we can, we stock up on large bottles (actually it's hard to find anything in small bottles that aren't overly priced). We've had some mishaps occur when it comes to finding plain water annnnd finding markets that are open. What is with Europeans loving sparkling water? Twice now we have ended up thinking we were buying plain water and getting a big gulp of sparkling nastiness( it's hard to know what you're buying when you can't read the labels). It's like water roulette around here. We will be leaving behind a very large bottle of sparkling water here in Austria. 

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I'm so very glad that we decided to stop in Austria on our way to Italy. We got to hike in the Alps, stay in a little hostel (I didn't fall out of the shower, but it was an adventure) and we got to see a quaint little town tucked in the mountains. It was a lovely stay, but Venice awaits. I'm adding Austria to the top of my list. Belgium was wonderful, but Austria is by far my favorite stop thus far. :)