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Road trip to Austria, April 2016

This web page records a visit to Austria, departing Plymouth on Friday 15th April and returning on Friday 22nd. There was a total distance driven of 2,207 miles, with 954 being driven on the return leg.  The purpose of the trip was to attend a special lunch in Innsbruck on Monday 18th and to see some old friends in Salzburg on the Wednesday - keeping promises made in 1998, 18 years ago.

Memories - photos etc. from my 16 trips to Austria (11 by car) .....

Some photos taken en route to an evening supper at Haus Waldfrieden .....




Seefelder Spitze, Harmelerkopf and Reither Spitze peaks - all out of reach at this time of year due to being between seasons and the railway and cable cars being closed.


Zoomed view.


Haus Waldfrieden, a home from home each year from 1983-1998; except for 1984.  I used to park there!


Dr. Ingrid Sitte, Ingeborg and Dr. Klaus Neumann, and Prof. Hellmuth Sitte - my inspiration in all things "cryo" which led to my own doctorate in 1991 .....


Another view with Prof. Hellmuth Sitte, Hon.FRMS (awarded 1993).


 One more toast!  Photo: Klaus Neumann.


A photo from Jo-Ellen Tison (Mager Scientific Inc, Dexter, MI, USA, centre), taken on the cryo-course in Seefeld, Sept 25th-Oct. 4th, 1986 - 30 years ago, when we were all younger.
Location: sitting near the cross on the summit of Seefelder Spitze, elevation 7,287 feet (2,221 metres).
One of the support cables can be seen at top-left.
There is a zoomed photo somewhere below of the cross, taken from the village.


A special Sunday lunch at Kranebitterhof, Innsbruck.....


On the table in a beautiful Tirolean restaurant, no half measures!


Hellmuth, Ingrid, Keith and Ingeborg ......


As previous photograph but with myself while Ingeborg takes the camera - the laughing continues after 33 years!


One more table scene.  Photo: Ingeborg Neumanm.


Time to go home afterwards.


A walk in the forest around Gschwandtkopf (summit only 1495 metres = 4905 feet), after it snowed in the night .....


View across Wildsee.


Path  sign.


Something unusual .....


Seefeld / Tirolean menhirs!


Just a view, with very low cloud.


As previous photograph.


Another view, one of a series of three zooms .....


Zoomed view, Harmelerkopf (left) and Reither Spitze (right).


Harmelerkopf, left, 2223 metres (7293 feet) and Reither Spitze, right, 2374 metres (7297 feet): the video looks down briefly on the mountain restaurant, Rosshütte.


Forest road on hiking trail no. 4.


The small tree in the centre just looked like a picture.


Hotel-supplied lunch bag.


Self-explanatory forest signs.


Grass is valuable in these parts - there are a lot of hay meadows and storage huts.


Hiking signs.


I should have been over on the right-hand slope, a bit of a detour!


Engl-Hof was an important landmark on this walk (a cafe).


More signs, in hours of walking!


Signs along the way - there were actually a lot of photographs of signs that are not being used on this web page!


A definite junction in the forest - go right!


It started snowing gently, silently.


This was a lot steeper than it looks in this photograph, why is that? We need stereo anaglyphs (like I used to do).


I went right at this junction that seemed not to be on the map; this was a mistake.


A hay meadow in the forest, with a shed. Inside was an old tractor (a small one) with a wide grass-cutter blade on the front.  Why didn't I go inside and take a photograph?


Cowslips?  These were coming up all along the track, where the cows had slipped?


Not a good place to get lost as afternoon wore on .....


Definitely locationally-challenged at this point, even with my trusty Silva compass not helping a lot, other than giving general direction that didn't agree with the tracks on the map.  As mentioned above, I took a wrong track back at that junction.  It started getting scary after the cloud/mist descended and I retraced my footsteps back to civilisation.  Without my poles, I would have fallen many times.  My friend Klaus was right when he emailed to bring snow tyres for my walking boots!


Dartmoor CAM movie. TIP .....
  • press F11 to make more "Full Screen", remembering to press it again to regain Normal Screen.

A movie of a clearing I reached after taking the wrong track! So much for "the main trail" mentioned in the commentary.  I ended up at a secure meadow and turned back.

Click the photo to download

File size: 5.7 MB.
Length: 34 secs


Where I walked: Google Satellite view of the area - including the GPS track of the walk.


Must have a log burner?


Some photos around the town after the snow had melted and the sun was shining .....


The 4-star "Alpenhotel .... fall in Love" - where else would one want to stay.  On my last evening, there was some merriment in the restaurant when I arrived at my allocated table for my stay, to find a second place had been set with a complete set of knives, forks and spoons.  Some evenings there were four knives and forks. A Tardis-like, huge hotel with just two single rooms! 


A wider view - this is part of Dorfplatz. There is a webcam that scans left and right of this area - it shows the edge of the church tower at extreme right with the hotel just peeping out to the left of it..


View along the main street to the railway station at the far end, mid-afternoon, so busy in the closed season!


St. Oswald Parish Church ..... with the big bell!


Sculpture outside the church .....


As previous photograph .....


As previous photograph ..... "Jesus is sentenced".


A feature on the wall of the church.


My hotel (left) and the parish church (right) - with the big bell.  The bell stops at 8.30 pm and starts again at 7 am (when all the "quarters" of the night play catch-up; quite good fun).


5.30 pm, on the church tower clock.


A typical, older Tirolean building.


View up a side street.


A square.


Thirsty dog and the only tourist horse carriage in town, doing very little business.  The area is "dead" in April, between ski and summer seasons.


In my day, this was the place to go, for food, drink and Tirolean music.


Train approaching .....


Here .....


And gone, on its way down to Innsbruck.


Railway station.


Cafe Elisabeth, an old watering hole where I once picked up the tab for about ten of us just having a beer, as a gesture, having just had my expenses paid - the guys were surprised when they went to pay.  I remember Günther Breitung (Zeiss, Oberkochen) saying next morning "That was a very 'Keith thing' to do" ..... whatever that means! 


The railway station, "Seefeld-in-Tirol".


The area in front of the casino ..... with the unicorn .....


Unicorn and crane .....


The Seefeld one horn
Dedicated from
Casino Seefeld
To the people of Seefeld
As a thank you for 25 years of good
Collaboration. June 1994. 
Designed: Jos Pierkner, of Lienz.


A fair image, after a lot of crouching and sidling - it's hard to catch these unicorns for a photo!


Three geologically "erratic" stones found in Seefeld, after movement by glaciers, with notes on their origins .....


The stones came from the places marked by the green circles: left is Albula Alps and right is Ötztal Alps (presumably the right-hand two stones came from here): this where the "ice man" known as Ötzi was found.


Gschwandtkopf ski slope: the ski jump is out of sight on the right.


Another view of my favourite mountains.


The famous Seefeld Seekirche .....


The Seekirche, completed in 1666 .....


A zoomed view to perhaps my favourite local mountain, Seefelder Spitze, elevation 7,287 feet (2,221 metres).  This is easily reached by mountain railway to the delightful restaurant, Rosshütte, then cable car to Seefelder Joch (elevation 6834 feet = 2083 metres) and then a 20-minute walk.  The other, higher mountain, Reither Spitze (elevation: 7789 feet = 2374 metres) is reached as part of a 2.5 hour "circular" walk with some iron handholds along the way.  The walk finishes at the Nordlinger Hut and cable car station, with a ride back to Rosshütte for a well-earned beer.

There is an excellent 'live' webcam at Rosshütte, with several viewing options along the bottom bar. Hover on the circles for information and click on "Peaks" to see the mountain names.


Seekirche .....


Seekirche .....




Advertising running and Nordic walking in the area. This area has hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 1964 and 1976. The 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games were here in 2012.


Photographs of the mountains around Seefeld .....

I can't name them but there are a lot of them.

The highest is Reither Spitze.


Looking north.


As a previous view above.


Left: Seefelder Spitze; centre: Seefelder Joch, right: Harmelerkopf; rightmost: Reither Spitze.


As above.


Looking north again.




North or north-west.


Zoomed view.


Zoomed view of a section that is in the previous photograph.


Harmelerkopf and Reither Spitze.


Seefelder Spitze.


A journey to see friends in Salzburg .....


On arrival in Salzburg .....


A thousand miles and no problem, but on stopping!


So, who drove across Europe to overshoot a house by about three metres, and then reversing back, touched a kerbstone and burst a tyre?


Closer view .....


What a day, with Prof. Günther Bernatzky (Uni. Salzburg) and wife Karin, friends from 1986 .....


Another sight from Salzburg: I had four hours with them, just sitting, talking and laughing - like old times.  I was told that I still had my "jokingness", which was nice.  We had a good light lunch in the warm sun in the garden - and it was good to see young Christian (now 25) and Katharina (22).  Where did those years go?


Laughing in the garden.


Naughty photographs taken while driving up Inntal (the Inn Valley) back to Innsbruck, through the windscreen .....


Photograph taken through the windscreen, first .....




There were 10 further car trips to Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands for various purposes. Overall totals: 26 trips, 21 by car (incl. trips to target shooting competitions).

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