Zell Am See

Phase 2 of Gower Power.  On to the Alps!  They’re what make Austria famous, after all.  With cows chewing clover and flower boxes spilling geraniums, we were excited to reach our alpine chalet in Lake Zell.

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“See” means “Lake” in German, and the countryside is full of Sees, with ski slopes in winter and water sports in summer, and endless trails for hiking at any time of the year.  It makes you wonder if Austrians are part mountain goat?  You know, they really do put bells on their cows!  They clang as the cows wag their heads back and forth over the hillside nibbling wildflowers.  Does anyone here own a lawnmower, or do they just use cows to keep the weeds down?

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No road trip would be complete without stopping for one of these…

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Lake Zell was just perfect, exactly as we imagined and everything we hoped it would be.

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Beach, sunshine, water sports, mountain bikes, ice cream, bakeries, and a giant foosball table in the basement.  Matt and Will are pretty good at ping pong!

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Moscow mule, anyone?

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Or maybe you’d prefer to have something else?  Stiegl 1942, or Prosecco with a dash of Campari?  Maybe a Frucade or Orangina, or a big Bavarian pretzel?

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One hot day we were thankful for the cool, underground temperature of the Salt Mines in Berchtesgaden.  No cameras allowed!  Although Dede has gotten willful over the years and still managed to sneak a few.

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Back at Lake Zell we loved spending the afternoons around the chalet.  Not all of us loved the hike up and down the hill every day, but everyone with a Fitbit was ecstatic.  They all hit their targets without even trying, while Uncle Dave and Mike took turns ferrying others of us back and forth to the grocery store.  The walk wasn’t hard but all that beer and Almdudler can get heavy.  Besides, the chefs needed to conserve their energy to make meatballs.

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It’s a bit of a stream of consciousness to remember everything we did, but I remember pretzel rolls, swans, light shows, lemon ice cream; an OCD food vendor making Nutella crepes who never quite got them right.  More Monopoly, an oompah band, a street festival one night with guys in long hair singing Bon Jovi, a train running right through town that often separated us on opposite sides of the tracks.  You know those cigarette lighters that used to be in cars?  Will had never seen one before.  Austrians still smoke a lot, so all the cars still have them.  They get really hot.  Sorry, Will.

Maybe another trip down the rodelbahn or beating everyone at Monopoly will help?

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We hope the fingerprints grow back soon!!!!

We don’t hope this vacation ends soon, though.  Nope.  Ping pong anyone?  We’re just getting started!

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