Sunday, May 2, 2010

St. Martin bei Lofer, Austria

By Claire
We drove off through back country roads in Germany for our next destination: Park Grubhof Camping and Caravan, €16 plus €4.20 in taxes. I camped here almost 21 years ago, never forgot it, and decided I had to bring Chuck. It's a tiny village just south of Salzburg and to me, much, much better. No crowds but everywhere you look, it could be The Sound of Music. Much to our delight, we came upon a Maypole in another tiny village, Niederndorf. We found out that colorfully decorated Maypoles are found along back roads and throughout Bavaria and Tyrol. Niederndorf is in Austria on the border with Bavaria. The decorations that line each side of the pole, which symbolize the craftspeople and businesses of that community, are festively replaced each May Day. Traditionally, rival communities try to steal each other's maypole. Locals guard their new pole night and day as May Day approaches. Stolen poles are ransomed only with lots of beer for the clever thieves.

Arriving at the campsite, I was happy to see Chuck marveling at the beauty of this place. The sun was out, it was in the mid-seventies, the birds were singing and people were enjoying a long Sunday lunch in the restaurant. Little girls were dressed in traditional clothing (picture Heidi) and we saw a few men in leather pants and knee socks.

We settled in with a picnic, enjoying our views.

I wish you could make out the guy sunning himself in his lounge chair

Ah, here he is. While we're shaded and wearing high SPF lotion, most northern Europeans are bronzing themselves in the sun.

It seemed appropriate to take a walk down one of the many trails. This is what we saw:

I think the winters are pretty cold here...

We found a supermarket and bakery plus another supermarket, both within easy walking distance. Back at the campground, we decided to check out the bathroom. There was art work on the walls, new carpeting and spectacular views out the windows. The campground also has a spa with sauna and massage treatments. We feel like we are at one of those resorts, taking the air for our health.

We also came to the campground playground. We had seen some of the little girls from the lunch crowd playing on the slide.

We're listening to music, the windows are open, the air is fresh--we'll be staying here for a week.

A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born. ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

1 comment:

Karin said...

AHHHHHH! You have found paradise! While cities are fantastic and full of things to see and do, the countryside is truly heaven! And you are seeing it at the right time.....glorious!

The little playground is sweet....and the rooster on top of the "cupola?" is so picturesque. Love the architecture.....hope you can stay a couple days and rejuvenate...

Karin on Paros