The universe says… Salzburg here we come. 

This morning it was time to get up early as we, M ,the welshman and I, had to get to the train station in St Valentin to catch the fast train to Salzburg. We got on the train and travelled at up to 200kms an hour to arrive in Salzburg. The train was very comfortable, toilets, coffee cart with drinks and snacks. It was an enjoyable trip through countryside and any fears of high speed were allayed by the smooth ride! ( i must say that going to the bathroom on a train travelling this speed was a little intimidating. However, it all went well no accidents to report lol )

From the minute we got off the train my brain was in overload. The river Salzach has many bridges and is really picturesque. We strolled along crossing finally to enter the old city.

Every street here preseents a view for a postcard. The shops are like storybooks each with their own tale to tell.

As we made our way we are suddenly outside the birthplace of Mozart. His family lived on the third floor and had only three rooms. He was born here in Salzburg. 

Then round a corner we enter a plaza filled with hammocks, bean bags and chairs and tables. There are bookcases filled with books and a couple of food merchants. A space in the city designed for you to grab a good book, a comfy seat and chill awhile and read. How good is that!

Next stop was the Dom zu Salzburg. The cities Cathedral has 3 dates on the entrance. 774AD when the Abbott and Bishop Virgil came from Ireland to consecrate it. 1628  the old building was demolished after a fire and the new was consecrated by Archbishop Paris Lodron. 1959 an erial bomb destroyed the dome October 16, 1944 and rebuildin occurred during the difficult post war period with the cathedral finally reopened May 1 1959. 

This is a building of exquite workmanship with beautiful paintings many depicting the passion of Christ. 

Ouside you can go for a ride in a beaitful horse and carriage. I did get the feeling though that on a 34C day these beautiful animals deserved not to be out in the midday sun.

By now we were all a bit hungry so it was time to catch up for lunch with a lovely frien of M’s and eat Japanese in Salzburg. It was really lovely and our multicultural group made for some laughs as well. Feeling blessed. 

After lunch we moved through to streets toward the castle. Enroute we stopped to gaze upon the baubles of the Christmas shop. As many of you know i am crazy about Christmas but coontrary to public belief i managed to leave without purchase ( mind you i did get some awesome ideas for craft projects!! Lol)

The traditional clothing shops are stunning, feminine and beautiful fabrics.

There was also a shop called The Sound of Music World…. (just for you Tash ❤)

After a fabulous ride up the cliff face in the funicular it was time to wander in the castle itself. This is a mammoth building that has a long history of refortification that not only is indicative of its history but also of the changing tide of politics in the region. Napolean once stood here among others! 
The Hohensalzburg Fortress is impressive in its own right as you will see. Be it the structure itself or the views of beautiful Salzburg it is breathtaking.

On our way out we saw a puppet exhibition. I have to say that as amazing as they are i still feel that creepy feeling i got from them as a child! Bizarre creatures!

By the time we left the Fortress it was time to find a chair and eat dinner. My feet were grateful for the rest (as were all our feet!! Thank goodness for Austrian ice cream, with it you can do anything lol)

Then it was time for one last walk back to the train station for our Mach 1 ride back ti St Valentin where ther car was waiting. By the time we got home tea on the balcony was the last order of the day. We have laughed a lot since i arrived here, shared stories and deep conversations. Tomorrow the lovely welshman will head back to Wales. I feel honoured to have made a friend in him, and am overjoyed at the smile he puts on the face and heart of my friend M.  Feelin blessed and footsore but very happy. 

Peace and light xxx

The universe says… here is the worst and the best of me…

The Worst of the universe… Today was a day of deeply felt emotions. M the welshman and i headed out to the Mauthausen Concentration Camp 1938-1945. There is nothing that can prepare you for what you will see, experience and feel here. It is a story of barbaric inhumane treatment and also the triumph of the human spirit. So many died. To learn of the spontaneous acts of excessive violence from the survivors. It was here in this place that thousands of prisoners were executed by shooting and hanging. Today as i stood under the gallows and in the room where they were shot my heart ached. 

 Others died in the quarry being forced to carry huge chunks of rock from the quarry up the stairs of death. Today i walked those steps into and then out of the quarry. Beingba fit and healthy person i still had to stop several times to get my breath to reach the top. Tears fell. They also fell at the memorial for the children that died here.

Thousands were also gassed here and the SS went to great lengths to cover up this activity. As i stood today at the doorway of the furnaces used to burn the bodies i felt an enormous amount of emotion for the tragedy.. 

I will allow the pictures to speak for hemselves. This is an important part of the history here and it needs to be felt. Towards the end of the journey we came to the room of names. The SS were meticulous record keepers and recorded all names of the victims at the camp and associated camps. To see the name of a potential family ancestor of the giant was overwhelmingly sad.. So i will let the pictures tell the story with a prayer for all the losses. 

The best of the universe…

After such a harrowing emotional 6 hrs we headed to the icecream shop then on to walk in the forest and refill our sould with joy and beauty

 

There is so much beauty here in nature. A place to rest, restore, feeling the wind in your hair and revitalizing the soul. We walked deep into the gorge at Stillenssteinklamm.

Revived it was time to head home for food and sleep for tomorrow is another day. Peace and ligjt xxx

The universe says… time to rest.. (well just a little bit lol) 

Today i have had a slow start, even travellers have to do washing! So that was the big ticket item for this morning. After a late breakfast i ventured out for a walk.  M had shown me the enrty to a garden over near the monastery so i headed off.

Little did i realise how wonderful this garden would be. Not only was it beautiful, but there were deck chairs, benches, garden chairs, and a couple of hammocks hidden in the garden. So i set about exploring!

I particularly liked the espailiered fruit trees

And was surprised to find Echinacea among the garden beds. 

The formal gardens were as beautiful as the beds. 

The blooms spectacular 

and the vegetables lush. 

An absolutely fabulous place. 

The snooze in a hammock under a big tree just set it off 😊

I exited through the front gate and was taken in by the beauty of the monastery. 

There are also statues and monuments that add to the beauty, history and magic of the place.

Then it was time to go shopping… M gives great direction and i found the shop with ease. It is an interesting experience shopping where you dont speak the language. However food is food and i managed to get together a basket of things and made my way to the checkout and paid. Easier than i thought. 

M and the welshman will be here between 6-7 so might just have another snooze lol . 

So after a walk to the shops to meet M and the welshman we came home where the welshman created a very yummy, if somewhat spicy, curry and rice. Followed by ice cream for me and M’s mums home made apple strudel and icecream for them.

Tommorow will be a new day for adventure so till then a very relaxed, well fed me will say goodnight. 

As always peace, love and light xxx

The universe says… time for a Castle ruin!


The lovely M had to work today so after a lazy start the Welshman and I headed out on a road trip to view a few things with only a vague plan we were off on an adventure. 

Everything here is beautiful, the lush green, the deep blue sky the heat (well maybe not so much the heat lol but i will get back to that!)

Our first port of call was the Ruin Aggstein the sky was so blue and the ruin was not in view from the lower car park where we set off on foot. In my backpack was my camera, my tablet, 1.5 litres of drink and a few sundry items. As we madw the first part of the ascent i realised that my inner Tensing Norgay was going to be tested. 

We did the first part of the road and then opted for the track through the forest. Although challenging it was the best decision as it was heavenly to be amid the trees especially as it was starting to feel decidedly like a Perth summers day!!

The Welshman generously offered to carry my bag but i declined, partly because i was determined (possibly bloody minded lol) about doing it myself ( no surprise there!). Lets just say he displayed a great deal of patience as this old woman had to make a few stops to catch my breath as this was one heck of a cardio workout! Not surprisingly we saw a couple of other people on the track who we passed and the competitor in me was not going to let them pass us back! 

Eventually we came out of the forest just below the upper carpark lol. 
We laughed, who knew!! In reality i am very glad we did the track. As beautiful as the drive up would have been the track gave me so much more. There is a certain bliss that comes from being immersed in nature, the Welshman and i both agreed we had been in the magic that the drivers had no idea of. I have to admit i did let my trusty companion carry my bag but only on the flat bits lol.

The ruin itself is gobsmackingly beautiful So i will let the photos speak for themselves. 

As we were heading out of the castle the Welshman spotted some bubble blowing gear so it was that we departed amid some epic bubbles? (Funny how it doesnt matter how old we get bubbles are a joyous thing 😊) 

When it came time to leave we walked down the road back to the car. What a glorious experience!! 

By now we realised that we had just enough time to drive to Melk and to pick up M who was finishing her day ( M is a tour guide and today was working at the Abbey in Melk if you ever get here you have to see this place as it is exceptionally beautiful) in the inner courtyard of the Abbey. 

It is so special to be at these places and to be able to hear the history from a friend. Feeling very blessed. There is much here that they ask you  not photograph so those amazing visions you will have to come see for yourself. So as we headed up the staircase to the car park food was on out mind!!!

If was decided we would head to Waidhoffen/ Ybbs and so off we wnet through the beautiful countryside to a chinese buffet… all you could eat chinese/sushi/dessert/fresh fruit €9.20 each got to be happy with that!

The drive after dinner turned out to be an adventure for all of us as a detour lead us to a road not even M had travelled. A final sto on the River Ybbs had us all laughing as we took off our shoes and waded in the cool clear water. A very compeditive game of stone skipping on the water had us laughing and reminiscing about childhood experiences.. The Welshman managed a 12 skip run although to be fair M and I were not far off the pace. I managed to do one that skipped all the way to the otherside landing on dry ground. Got to be happy with that!
As darkness started to close in it was time to head for home. 


As i lay in bed i thought about those of you i would love to have here with me and know that both my angels are close by. My heart is full, my body exhausted. Feeling humbled by the beauty and grateful for all the experiences.

Love and light xxx

The universe says… Goodbye Ireland Hello Austria. 

The departure from Ireland was a strange feeling as i have come to feel very at home there. I had a taxi driver from Finglas to the airport €17. His name was Patrick!, and he was hillarious, one of 11 children, father of 11, grandfather of 18, great grandfather of 8! He was full of advice for life and we laughed all the way to the sirport. A taxi that i booked through an app… was on time… and the company contacted me straight after the trip to see if it met my expectations… Not a Swan Taxi!!!

Dublin airport is huge so i had checked in on line the day before. Excellent… Walked into the airport printed my boarding pass and went upstairs to wait for my flight from gate 307. 

The place runs like clock work. Soon i was on my Aer Lingus flight heading to Vienna. When i touched down we were processed with speed and efficiency and i was soon out the door being picked up by the lovely welshman who my sweet friend M sent. M had to work so it was that the Welshman for s bit of a spin and my first look at the Danube.
It was 26C when i got off the plane and we headed to Melk to pick up M who was working in the shop. After a quick cold drink we headed out to Grein on the banks of the Danube for icecream. It was fabulous i had a poppyseed one and a berry/yoghurt on so delicious.

Our senic drive then took us up to Kollmitzberg where the views were spectacular. The sun setting lit tge Danube up like a glowing golden ribbon. Here we visited the church of St Ottilia, patron saint of eyes. The church was beautiful.

Outside was a water well whose water was said to cure eye ailments. So i splashed some on my face for good measure. 

Apparently the pilgrims cme up the hill barefooted as a deeper commitment to repentance so there is a shoe tree to symbolise this custom.
Then it was time to head home for a little something to eat and bed…

Thos is going to be an adventure. Peace and light xxx 

The universe says… time to visit the dead.

Had a slow start to the day today as i slept in.. Lina had suggested i visit rhe Glasnevin Cemetery so i took a look at the map and found it was about 30 mins walk away. With water and backpack i set off down Finglas Rd toward the city.

I dont know a lot about Irish history and was in for a treat at the cemetery. They have a museum that is really infotmative. It has an exhibition with photos and history vignettes.

 

But it was a young man called Christopher who bought it all to life.

Daniel O’Connell was the first port of call. 

A man buried in a crypt under a tower. 

With his family beside him, surrounded by 42 other crypts of people who wanted to be near him. Each of these families paid the equivalent of 100,000 euro for the honour and paid for the tower that stands atop the crypt. We went into the crypt and stood alongside the families coffins. Daniel was a man who did not believe in violence and was respected internationally. His final wish was that his body should got to Ireland, his heart to Rome and his soul to heaven. Unsure of how to take this they took him literally. So his body is in the coffin in the crypt. His heart went in a silver casket to Rome and his soul hopefully to heaven. They say it is good luck to touch the coffin… so i did!!

There is an air of pride when they talk of those who lost tgeir lives in the struggles in Ireland. There were many young men who piad tge ultimate price for freedom from the realm. 

Michael Collins is another whos grave is constantly adorned with fresh flowers.

Our young tour guide was passionate about this history anfd his own connection to it. I would most definitely recommend a visit here, but be sure to allocate a day as it is epic with over 1.6 million graves! I could have walked and read headstones all day.

The entire cemetery is surrounded by walls with 7 watchtowers that wrre manned by men with guns who had orders to shoot to kill. Such was the value of a frezh body to the schools of anatomy that body snatching was big business. 4 bodies would earn the equivalent of a years salary… 

Funny moment i was waiting in line for a cup of hot chocolate and the elderly chap in front of me said hello and asked where i was from… Pert ,Western Australia i say. Oh he says my brother lives in Mt Helena, oh i laugh and say i deliveted parcels there almost 10 years ago.. we laughed.. small world! 

He then said that if i walked to the back wall of the cemetery i would find a gate that leads to the botanical gardens.  So revived by my hot chocolate i set off. Its quite a walk to the back of the cemetery but worth every step. The gardens are like stepping back in time with beautiful glass houses. 

So it is that my time in Ireland is at an end and tomorrow i head to Vienna. But rest assured of one thing, Ireland i will be back for it is so beautiful here it will call to me from tbe other side of the world i am sure… 

Peace and light xxx

The universe says… time to head to Dublin

It was an early start this morning to ensure we got to Cork in time for the Gobus to Dublin.  I decided to go for a quick visit to the ladies room before getting on the bus ( too much information i hear you say! Well i beg to differ)  i foolowed a lovely irishman up the stairs who smelt lovely.  As we got to the top it became obvious you had to put money in the turnstile to get to the loo! The lovely man kindly paid for my turnstile and smiled as i fumbled for the right coin. Embarrassed i thanked him and thoight nothing more of it.  Back downstairs i get on the bus and the same lovely man gets on and sits behind me. Both of us heading to Dublin city, we laugh and joke tha t we had better not miss the stop! Several hours later we disembark and amile and go our seperate ways. As i walk down the sidewalk he is on the other side of the road and calls out to me to enjoy mymstay… people are lovely makes me smile.

The bus ride was Very comfortable for just 14 euro. Timing was excellent as i was on the bus when the rain really started. 

As we head out into the countryside the scenery is beautiful in glimpses. 

The bus trip was quite enjoyable.. well what i saw of it as i may have had a cat nap or two lol

Safely delivered to Dublin where the sun was shining most of the time i headed to Paddy Wagon for a map and some directions. With all my gear on my back i decided to head for Trinity College. (Yes i know crazy woman that i am i decided the day was too good to waste on getting my stuff to my accomodation lol so feeling like Tensing Norgay for the second time in a week i headed across the river towards the college. 

To say i was in awe is an understatement! The college is beautiful and felt amazing.


 




I had bèen there for about 30 mins when i thought a bathroom stop might be  useful. My passion for being a sherpa was waning and so a sit down sounded like a great idea. Oh my goodness right near the bathroom i see a sign that says CLOAKROOM i can hardly believe my eyes… a sweet elderly ( yes older than me!) Lady took my bags and for 4 euro became their guardian as long as i came back by 5pm..  bliss to be free from it all. 

I dashed back to the entry to get on a student guided tour. Dylan, who was in his second year of business and economics was both informative and sarcasticlly funny.  We heard about failed architectural designs, student antics, Dublin history and modern traditions. 

Then it came time for the most important parts of the tour.. The book of Kells and the great libary.
The book of Kells and associated documents were amazing. The artistic nature alone was stunningly beautiful. You are not allowed to use cameras in this room as they may damage the documents. So a copy of the brochure will have to suffice. 

The Great Library is just that and so much more. 
Interestingly the books are shelved by neither alphabetical or numerical order. The are a sized and weighed with the largest heaviest books at the bottom of the shelf and the lighr stuff at the top!, imagine searching for a the fifteen books you need for an assignment like that! Madness 


The tour complete i collected my gear and headed down grafton St fully laden. There was such an eclectic mix of musicians and entertainers.

By now i was hungry so decided to stop for food at Gotham.. lovely GF food and a last sit down before getting a cab out to Lina’s place for the next couple of nights

Lina is originally from Lithuania and is just gorgeous as is her home. Yet another win on airbnb. 
Anyway time for this very tired vegemite to go to bed…

Peace and light xxx