Week 144 of Gibraltar Diary

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Sunday 12th December 2010

We stay in all day eating the magnificent apples from Billa - not to mention bread and ham and Schlag Obers (literally "beaten up and over the top"). Whipped cream to you and me.

Monday 13th December2010

We set off up into the mountains somewhere east of Innsbruck. Really, one you've seen one mountain, you've seen them all. Very big and snowy. Nice though.

Tuesday 14th December2010

The electric water heaters in the bathroom go down and a couple of rings on the stove stop working. We ring the owners and prepare to wait ... and wait. But this is Austria not the UK. Within ten minutes the owner arrives with a colleague and ten minutes after that we are knee deep in electricians and men from the Electricity Network. It seems a phase has gone missing and they hunt for it on the roof (don't ask).

In due course they find it and all is well. The efficiency is so overwhelming, I have to lie down to recover. Phew.

Wednesday 15th December2010

My girlfriend sledges the 1.5 miles down to the hotel while I follow in the car - at one point she is doing 20mph which is one mile per hour over the speed limit. A lucky escape as Austria is read hot on speeding - cameras everywhere.

Thursday 16th December2010

Well yes, I know it's a little childish - funny though.

So is this.

And now for something serious. Awesome parfait in Sachers. The drinks are not up to much but the deserts are just in a league of their own. We drive 75 miles to Betty's in Harrogate and may be forced to drive 1,000 miles to Sachers. Trees will die but it is unavoidable, I'm afraid.

Friday 17th December2010

I think the idea is that while you collapse laughing at the, er, little fellow in front, the other two chop your head off.

Some of the Scloss Ambras is a little over-restored but impressive non the less. Austria did have an empire and it shows. The restaurant scores 5 out of 10. Sorry.

This is arty ice.

Saturday 18th December 2010

We set off for the UK at about mid-day. The roads are fairly clear and after about 300 miles we are in Saarlouis, which has a major Ford assembly plant. We need a hotel and ask the navigator to find one. As usual, the one it chooses is closed but we drive around looking for another of it's selections and then happen to pass the Trampert Hotel. The hotel is nice enough and they just hand us a key - no credit card. Very laid back.

We go for a walk in the snow and pop into the Shell garage down the road to buy ice creams which causes some amusement - there is about six inches of snow.

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