Wiener Alpen

History, architecture, and museums are all part of visiting a new country.  The other essential part of a holiday happens when everyone wakes up late and time dissolves into Vacation Mode.   We need to burn some energy!

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Zell Am See was perfect for that.

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Swimming, diving, hiking, biking, river rafting, and a huge floating trampoline.  It’s amazing how fast a trampoline can become flooded with young guys when there are two pretty girls like Ellie and Grace sitting out there…

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The beach club was a grassy park along the edge of the lake, with pools, a water slide, men with big bellies getting sunburns, and picnicking women in burkas among other things.   The kids took turns doing cannonballs off the high dive, and everyone was impressed when Will gracefully launched himself into the water.

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Jake and Eli had never been paddle boarding before but stood up for the first time with the encouragement of their cousins!

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Quite a backdrop for paddle-boarding.

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Mike got out there too.

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Mimi and Dede were busy taking pictures, thank goodness for them.  That is what makes the magic real.

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There are some other benefits to staying back on the beach too….

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When everyone was too cold to stay in the water any longer, we signed up for a white water rafting trip.  Because they give you a wet suit, and besides, it’s not really THAT cold.  Especially when you have really cute rafting guides with tan muscles and good hair, who give you chocolate and beer.

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We also rode the Rodelbahns!

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The Austrian alps are covered with them.  Every little town seems to have its own Rodelbahn.  Austrians are clearly known for skiing as a national past-time, but they can’t keep themselves off the mountains in summer, either.  Rodelbahns are huge toboggan runs.  You take a chair lift to the top then sit on a toboggan and fly down the slope in a concrete trough, or sometimes along a raised rail, like a roller coaster.  One of the rides was over a mile long.

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The views from the top are amazing!

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Some of the views along the route are pretty interesting too…

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Just be careful not to leave any of your skin along the track.  Ooh, sorry Ellie and Mike, that must hurt!!  Make sure you get that happy guy with the Bactine and the beer to give you a good spray before you leave.  Make sure he sprays the Bactine, not the beer.  And isn’t it funny, that we would never be able to do something like this in America?

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Exhaustion and injury, both signs of a good time.

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And we are definitely having a good time, every single day!

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