I left work early and went home to pack for Austria. I was at John's for 8.30pm and we popped out for a rather nice Nepalese curry before retiring.
We got up early just after 4pm and Verena drove us to Stansted. Checking in was quite quick though I did get my bag searched due to Jon's kindle. A quick coffee and roll and we were on the plane only to suffer a delay due to French air traffic controllers. We were about 45 minutes late but we got a bus quickly to the train station and had time to by some Snitzel and some beer for the train. We caught the train and met a large English chap who chatted to us for the journey. After an hour and a half we had to leave the train and catch a bus due to flooding. Then we got in the train again for just 10 mins and then we caught a taxi to the base of the climb. Were we had a bit of a fav it started to rain, but as we set of up the hill it stopped and got very sunny so we had to swap kit again. It was a pretty straight slog up the hill. We saw a couple of people walking
And one woman though herself at Verena's feet cutting her eye. We carried on up and at 1600 metres we came across patches of snow and just as the hut was in sight it started to rain a bit., but we weren't too damp by the time we got to the Gutenberghhouse at 2164 metres.
We settled in and had some coffee and a beer and booked ourselves into a nice 3 person room. We had our choice of food to eat and there were only two other folks a couple in the hut. We had zipfer beer and me and Verena played yahtzee. I managed to win this time being a bit lucky at throwing yahtzee a number of times. We went to bed and luckily i got an extra blanket as it was rather cold I had 3 blankets on a jumper thermal underwear and a hat on.
We got up and set off at 9.30 or so for the first bit we had to put on crampons and got the ice axe out but the walking stick was really enough to get us up the steep slope of snow. After this we got the crampons off when we got onto rock but had to put them back on a number of times. We carried on and we got to what should have been a plateau bit was very up and down with numerous lumps of snow in the way a number of times we had to scout around for red and white markers as they were covered by snow. The temperature started to rocket and I changed into a t-shirt and shorts. We put on sunscreen but not enough it turned out. We continued on then realised we had made a big detour and our 4 hour day turned into a 9 hour day albeit a very pleasant one. However we were very glad to find the hut behind the cable car which I spotted by a thin wisp of smoke. It was warm enough to have beer on the veranda at Gjaid Alm hut. And we also had snitzel and suet pudding and custard. Then we went inside and had another game of yahtzee after we had tried out the showers and the sauna which Verena broke. We had about 5 pints of beer in the end and I had to go to the toilet in the middle of the night but this wasn't a problem as the hut was quite warm but I was up on the top of the bunk.
The breakfast at the hut was pretty sumptuous and we had a good go at their very impressive coffee machine because we had time to burn as there was a lot of fog around so we couldn't leave till midday. The hut even had Wi-Fi so I could check Facebook and play chess with Phil in England. We finally set off about midday and the cloud cleared quite quickly and we had a good walk along a nature trail and saw some mountain beavers. There was still a lot of snow around so going was quite tricky at time and conditions varied from chilly to baking. We had taken a very conservative route and were at our next hut by 5 o clock or so about 4 hours later. But probably just as well as the fog did role in later. After a little rest on the terrace with a beer we moved inside and played yahtzee again and I played zombie invasion on my phone a group of 11 teenagers arrived to share our dorm. But they were well behaved. We had cream cheese cheesecake for dessert with custard and some pork for main course. We played yahtzee again and Verena won with a yahtzee. We also had some pine cone vodka with the cabin guy who could speak English. We finally went to bed after 11 pm.
We got up a bit later than expected but the school party had left so we had a nice breakfast then set off in very good sunshine about 9.30 am. The path was straight down from the hut and we cracked on with no major stops getting down to 500 metres in about 3 hrs. We went through a lot of trees and saw waterfalls and a snake. When we got into Hallstatt it was a very impressive town with a funicular railway and some amazing architecture, but we had to crack through it and jumped a ferry to the railway station on the other side of the lake. Unfortunately there was a bit of a delay till our train so we popped along a stop and had a quick beer and took some pizza back onto the train. We had a bit of a journey ahead and a few changes. We managed to pick up some money and ice creams at one of them.
We arrived at Munich rail station which I recognised then jumped on a bus outside to Verena's friends Katrina’s apartment which was on the third floor of an apartment complex. It was quite big and had a spare room for me John and Verena. We quickly each had a shower then set off the park where you could drink beer outside. We had a first stein then as we got a second the heavens opened up. Myself and Katrina built a structure of the tables which was a very effective shelter and enabled us to finish our beer dry. Luckily the rain did not last and we were able to walk back to the flat. Katrina's flatmate and her boyfriend were there and they could also speak excellent English so we had a chat for an hour or two before retiring to bed.
It was very warm in the night but i was comfortable and ready to get up to the sumptuous German breakfast that Katrina had prepared. We had eggs coffee white sausage and pretzels and a number of German condiments we took, our time then ventured out into the heat. We walked to the nearby park that we had been to the night before and it turned out to be absolutely huge with a number of lakes and lots of features. We wandered around for a while then got an ice cream and laid out in the sun. After that we walked on a beer place by a lake and had a few different kinds of beer and another ice cream in my case. It was almost too hot to sit in the sun, but we struggled on. We then went to have a look at some surfing on some standing waves in the water before heading back to the flat and saying goodbye to Katrina. Bus and train then to the airport which had some very expensive prices, but the flight back was on time and I caught the Stansted express to get home at 12.30 am or so.