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St Johann - Tirol

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We left Vienna early on Friday and had a 6 hour bus trip ahead of us to get to Salzburg where Daz and Petra were to pick us up. We stopped at a place called Grunau in Austria after a couple of hours as we had to drop 3 people off there. It would have been an awesome stop over point for a night or two - nothing there except a Hostel called the Tree House and a mountain/lake. We stopped to eat their lasagnes and get drinking water from the natural spring. It was only a couple of hours to Salzburg from there so we jumped back on the bus and was a relatively easy ride from there. This is when they played due date again on the bus, it was funny but probably not funny enough to watch twice within about 48 hours! The whole bus seemed to be watching it though as there were many outbursts of extremely loud laughter occuring! only about 5 of us got off again in Salzburg as the bus was heading onto Munich from there. We got dropped off at ten to 2, I told Petra 2pm so we just sat on our backpacks on the path in front of the Hostel for a bit. It was quite pleasant for once so we soaked in some sunshine for the first time in a little while. The bus stopped there for 15 and then left..we were still waiting. And waiting a bit more until about 10 past. I had a horrible feeling that we had got our wires crossed so we went in and used the wi-fi in the lobby. I double-checked the arrangements which all appeared to be fine and gave Darren's mobile a call. Petra answered and said they were just around the corner so this made me VERY happy after all our stresses we have had when coming into countries! Darren was yelling out some smqart arse comment in the background - he told me later that he was saying 'yeah we are almost there to pick you...from Munich'. We packed our possessions up, put our backpacks on and went to wait on the street. It was a bit hard when I had no idea what car they drove or what direction they would be coming from etc etc. A shiny black Kia wagon with nice rims drove past shortly after and we figured it was the aussie guy poking his tounge out as us that was Darren!

Okay so I have to say that before we arrived I was kind of like' hmmm Craig loved it and stayed for months but was just drinking everyday so maybe that's why he loved it. Probably a bit quiet but looking forward to sleeping away my days/nights in the comfort of the hills. Have met Daz/Petra quite a few times but don't know them THAT well so will probably just get a lift in and out of Salzburg which was fine'. So here am I thinking they wouldn't be all that keen to have us. We all bundled in the car, Sarah and I either side of Klara as she was sitting quietly in the centre. They had just driven an hour to come and get us! Darren was hungry so we were going to get fast food but decided to stop at a Brewery in Salzburg instead so we could try a 'Steigl' - best beer in Europe according to Daz! On the way there they started telling us that one of them would be looking after Klara tonight so the other could take us to an opening of a beauty salon with free champagne and make-up trials and then to see live music in the main Square of St Johann and then the following evening the other would take us to a Music Festival in a nearby town! Wow slightly unexpected and awfully nice of them! Daz was so excited to pick up Aussies, think he may be missing home just a tiny bit. So we stopped at the Brewery and had lunch. Petra picked for me and I had the most amazing beef Goulash I have ever tasted with a little bread roll. The meat literally fell off the fork it was so tender. I don't think I will be able to eat when I go home, our food tastes like rubbish compared to everywhere in Europe. In Paris there is no preservatives or 'bad stuff' in the bread so it goes off after like a day - they make a trip to the bakery every morning there! Anyway getting back to Austria. Sarah had an Apfel Strudel as we had been dying for one since Berlin. She had lasagne at the stopover so didn't worry about the whole lunch thing. I finished my whole meal and then most of the strudel too - hadn't eaten properly like that since Australia! Klara was giving us some dodgy looks when we first got in the car but began to warm to us early. She is such a funny and cute kid. She speaks German (weird for Darren considering he doesn't!?) but we still have heaps of fun communicating and playing games together. Darren and Petra refused to let us pay, apparently the first meal was courtesy of them, however I think they beat us to paying every bill during our stay - very naughty of them!! Darren let me know that everywhere we went I would get a Craig story - I said I was scared and to keep it to the 'safe' stories.

We got back in the car and drove past the most beautiful scenery I think I have ever seen. We had to make a stop to book in Sarah's birthday present for the following day. We had planned on having the white water rafting booked but Petra said she couldn't do it as they didn't have the spots left for that day. She told me about Canyoning which sounded pretty fun but involved jumping off the side off a mountain and stuff, I really didn't want to kill Sarah on her birthday so I thought it may be better if we stuck to the rafting but on the Sunday. When we went in the office to look into the options 2 spots had miracously opened for the next day. Maybe being a female does help out with some things! I booked it in for the following afternoon and got a whole 6euro discount as Petra works for the company :) We set off to get home but because I was looking out the window in awe, Petra pulled into a side road and parked the car so I could take photos of the river and mountains. Can you tell how nice these people are already?!

When we finally got home it was raining pretty hard, we pretty much dropped our bags and left for our Beauty Salon grand opening. It was decided that Petra would be the guide for the evening as they were supposed to have Petra's brother's children the following day and Daz didn't think he could cope if hungover. So we left straight away - Petra just drove as it was such bad weather. That and she had supplied us with the awesome news they were going to have another bubba. So happy for them and can't wait to meet the new addition via Skype! Anyway we made it to the salon which was amazing - it was Melanie's fathers old office and they have completely renovated it for Melanie to work in. BTW funny fact - everything is open like 9-12 and then 2-5 here. The parents leave at 12 to go and pick the kids up from school and have lunch with them - how cute/funny. Malcom and Melanie AKA 'The Mel's' were fantastic - Mal got us a champagne as soon as we walked in the door. It was really nice too, our first of quite a few. They both knew Craig and gave me sympathetic glances when it was explained that I was the gf - only joking! Mal said he had a Craig Story for me - does anyone not?! Anyway it was a bit hard to follow and I think you may have had to be there - I won't bore you with the details! I got my make-up done, the lady was so cute she looked at me and told me I had a perfect face. She loved my freckles which she called 'prinkles'?! I said I hate them and always cover them. Anyway she wouldn't cover them so she just did heaps of eye make-up on me as she said I have great big eyes! Then I went and got my hands scrubbed and massaged. Mal loved mine and Sarah's 'tramp' red nail polish, he had a good laugh at it! After a couple of champagnes and some chatting and pampering we decided to move on and catch the live music in the square. It was a traditional Austrian band which was pretty cool. Sarah and Petra went to the toilets and she told me to order 'Hugos' which I did but the guy didn't understand me so I ended up with white wine spritzers - mineral water of course for Petra :) We listened to the band and chatted along. We got a little peckish so we got the best ham and cheese toasties in the world. The restaurant had closed but the girl said she would make us some toasties, how nice! We didn't have a really late night as we had a BIG day planned for the next day. I will write about this in a new entry as I don't want to lose all of this one!


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