Monday, September 19
Off we went to our next destination. Pörtschach am Worthersee, Austria. Raining steadily when we left our hotel with very wintery temperatures. Sad because this looks like a super lovely place to go. The hotel people assure us this is very unusual. All the high mountains around us are snow-covered. Odd that it was hot just a few days ago, and now cold.
2.5 hours later we arrived at our destination. The first part of the drive was on small roads over the high mountains. Very beautiful. We crossed the Germany/Austria border up high. Then we got on an Autobahn and the rest of the way was smooth sailing on the fast roads, except for a few construction zones. Along the way were castles and pretty scenery.
We arrived in Pörtschach at about 1:15. We parked and noted that we were very near our hotel. We found the Bad (spa) restaurant with pretty lake views where we had lunch. Very expensive but the wine we got was my favorite since the Franken wine we had. Here was our view from the table.
We walked and found our check-in place. I booked us into Werther Strandcasino. It is a building of apartments next to the resort also called Werther. We aren’t sure if they are affiliated. The man showed us our apartment which is on the ground floor for a change. Three of the hotels put us on the third floor, no elevators. I was happy to have no steps this time. The apartment is very spacious and very modern. Big walk in closet, separate toilet, bath with washer, big living dining room, kitchen with all you need, big bedroom. Also we are right on the lake with a pretty garden outside. The living room and bedroom have doors outside. One side has an outside sofa and table and chairs with sunshade. It’s really quite beautiful. The price is €135 a night.
OK, here’s something that doesn’t happen every day. Luther put his change on the table and this happened. That coin, on it’s edge, sat that way all night before we noticed it. Very unusual! Reminds me of a Twilight Zone episode, only in our case Luther couldn’t hear people’s thoughts. A little disappointing.😉
There are signs of autumn everywhere. There are piles of pumpkins and goods for sale along the roads everywhere!
We went out for groceries since we have a kitchen. We stopped in what was billed as a wine store. Mostly Italian wine. Hard to find the good Austrian wines here. I don’t get it. Austria makes great wine. Then we went to a small grocery. Bought stuff for breakfast and for 2 dinners if we decide to cook in. We are here three nights so we could cook twice and go out once. We will decide later.
Tuesday, September 20
Arose a little late. We only planned a walk around our town and along the lake today. We had spaghetti aglio olio (worlds easiest dish) for dinner last evening and sat outside afterwards. Nice.
We made coffee in our little pot and toast in the toaster, which is a little odd as it doesn’t accept a regular slice of bread all the way. Part of it doesn’t get toasted. Then we read and checked mail etc, and finally went out around 11:30. Pretty sunny day. The town of Pörtschach is quiet. Even though it is only mid September it looks like the season is done. There were few people walking the pretty promenade. Evidently this town used to be a real destination for the rich back in the 1880s. Brahms even stayed in this hotel. There are quite a few vintage buildings and some private homes right along the water are stunning. I found this one sweet little house which is rented out as an apartment. It is so cute and I love the perspective in this picture.
After the promenade we walked into the wee town and looked in the few shops. Then stopped in the grocery for salt, which we didn’t think of yesterday. Next up, lunch. We went back to our hotel to try the on-site restaurant. Turns out it has both German/Austrian specialties and…Indian! Hah! I decided to get chicken curry as a change. It was only OK. I can make much better. It was super bland. But that figures. Germans/Austrians don’t like anything spicy. But the outside tables made up for that and we watched the small boats, and the big ferries which docked just next to the restaurant.
Wednesday, September 21
The last few nights, while sitting outside enjoying the evening, we have gravitated to exploring different things we are both interested in knowing about. Using the internet of course. First we explored geology. We learned a lot about rocks and their formation. Last night we learned about Charlemagne and Barbarossa and their campaigns in Italy. There were so many characters. And so much conflict! Sadly I have concluded, humans are doomed to fight. Forever.
Up early and enjoyed our coffee and toast before setting off to visit and explore Klagenfurt. It is the capital of Carthenia, a region of Austria. It is a pretty sleepy place. Not that much traffic or activity. Luther commented that no one seems to be in a hurry. For a place with a population of 100,000 it’s very quiet.
We parked and walked into the Mitte. We visited the overly baroque church, and found the pedestrian area with lots of shops. Then we visited the Museum of Modern Art. It was a big disappointment. All of it was focused on architecture. Maybe if you are an architect it would be interesting…but somehow I doubt it.
Next we decided to sit in the warm sunshine and have a glass of wine. Very enjoyable. They put a little bowl of snacks out with the wine. There were what looked just like cheezits except they were brown. I tasted one…peanut flavored! Actual peanuts would have been better.
Then it was time for lunch. Luther had picked out Das Pumpe. Since the 1800s it’s been serving beer and food. It is definitely no frills. But lively and full of people. We sat and ordered two of the Puntigamer lagers. Really good.
Perusing the menu we decided we would both get the Berner Wurstl with fries and a green salad. We know what wursts are so we thought it would be light. Were we surprised when we got our plates! Two sausages that looked exactly like hot dogs, split and filled with cheese and wrapped in bacon, then cooked until crisp. A heart attack on a plate! Came with good German mustard and ketchup. The salad was typical. They couldn’t make a salad in Germany or Austria without all their jarred pickled vegetables. Pickled red cabbage, pickled beans, pickled carrots. On the bottom potato salad, and on top lettuce. We could fool ourselves into thinking it was offsetting the wursts. But that would be lieing.
Once done we found a wine shop Luther was looking for and he bought three bottles of wine. And we returned to the car, and then homeward to our hotel. It was a fun, if rather low key outing.
Tonight we will eat in our apartment, and then tomorrow we go onward to our last stop, Slovenia for just an overnight and to try a restaurant there. We had booked this in June 2020 but as we all know, no one could travel then and the restaurant was closed. So since it was on our way we thought we would try again. Tschüs !!