Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Day 7: Hallstatt :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Today's highlights:
   -Embarrassing bathroom story número dos
   -Beautiful waterfall hike
   -Renting a rowboat to go across the lake
   -Just chillaxin for the FIRST TIME
   -Bone Church

Hello! It's Angie again. I made Robbie take a turn because I was jealous that he always got to read while I blogged, and being the good sport he is, he complied and nailed it. And now I'm back, refreshed and ready to go!

So, as stated, Hallstatt is heaven and we got to spend ALL DAY here! This is the first time (with the exception of the Miles' house) that we have gotten to stay two nights in the same place and it feels so good to just relax a little. While our day today was more chillax, we still fit in some fun (and crazy) things today.

First off, did I tell you our hotel is super old and awesome? For realsies, this is the key to our room. Legit. And it's not just for show. It is legitimately a door made when these locks and keys were used. The thing is, it takes a lot of finagling (sp?) to get this thing to lock and unlock the door

Unfortunately, this key is the reason for another embarrassing bathroom story (and again, it's about me. These ones are always me...). So our room has a private shower, but not a toilet. To use the toilet, you have to exit our room and go down the hall (seems backwards, right?). Another important fact, at night when we go to bed, the door doesn't just lock itself. We have to manually lock our door with said key (but from the inside). So this morning, I woke up around 6:30am really needing to use the bathroom (#1 again, just to be clear). So I fumbled around the room looking for the monstrous key, finally found it, put it in the lock, and couldn't get it to unlock. The longer it took, the more frustrated I got, and more intense the potty dance got, which did not help my coordination trying to get the door unlocked. I had messed with it for almost two full minutes when Robbie finally woke up to me clanking the key around in desperation, hopping up and down now. He stumbled over, helped me get it unlocked and I ran/hopped to the bathroom as fast as I could go. And I 99% made it. 

So after THAT fun morning, I couldn't go back to sleep so I went out on our back lawn right on the lake and read/ took pictures. It was so quiet and misty, the Misty Mountain song from The Hobbit just spilled out of my mouth while I was out there. And I don't even know any of the words besides, "The Misty Mountains......" So it was a lot of "ba-daa-daa-dum" kinda stuff. So there I was, in Austria, not a soul in sight, singing a song I don't know to myself. It was the best.

Once Rob woke up, we had some breakfast and then went for a hike (in the Alps! what!?) up to a really pretty waterfall. Man, it is so pretty up there. The water is crystal clear and every possible surface is covered in green moss. We even ran into some goats! 

Unfortunately, Rob didn't realize their fence was electric and zapped himself. He has since recovered.

My sweet even picked me a flower for my hair.

After hiking, we decided to take a boat out in the lake! We found a place to let us rent a rowboat for an hour. When we got there, the ones running the rental place were a group of like 8-year old boys that spoke only broken English. One of them asked us if we could row, and we were like, "Oh yeah! Ja! We can." So we got into the boat, obviously looking like we had no idea what we were doing, because one feisty little boy started yelling something at us in German. We didn't get it so we just stared at him blankly as our boat floated further and further away from him. He kept yelling and he sounded angry (this boy, mind you, looked like he was 6). He finally sat down in a chair, picked it up, turned 180 degrees and slammed it back down. Ah, right, we were sitting backwards. Noobs. So we finally got it all figured out and hit the lake. It was so beautiful but man, did you guys know that rowing is really hard? Sometimes I'd stop rowing for a couple seconds and Robbie didn't ever know because his back was to me (sssshhhhh). But it was awesome and it felt so good to get wet!

So by afternoon, we had already worked pretty hard and we were both pooped! So we had some lunch and then grabbed our books to read them out on our grass in the back. This is the first time we have done ANYTHING like that during the day. It almost felt wrong bc we should be exploring, but we were so tired that once we laid down, we couldn't get up. We read and took naps out there for like 3 hours and it was AWESOME! I decided that sometimes on a 6-week trip, you need to relax. And that's okay.

The next activity was crazy and kind of eerie. Here in Hallstatt, up above the town, there is this place called Carnel House or "The Bone Church." It is literally a room full of human bones, painted to show respect to the dead. Super crazy. 

I guess there was just so limited space in the cemetery, that after 10-15 years, they would dig up the dead bodies that were  now just bones (since everything else had decayed) and then lay those bones in the church to make room for new bodies to be buried. They would paint the skulls with the name of the deceased and floral or ivy decorations to pay respects. Crazy, even knowing that we were going to see bones, it is a shocking thing to walk into a room and be SURROUNDED by painted human skulls. When we walked in, we were in mid-conversation and we both just froze, the only words coming out of our mouths were, "Whooooooa..." It was nutso. 

Dinner time! We were starving (something about human bones wears you out I guess) so we found a new spot on the lake for dinner. Our goal is to try something new for every meal and to try to stick to only authentic foods of whatever country we are in. Tonight it was cheesy noodles, good but I keep forgetting European cheese doesn't always taste how I think it will. Still good. Just to remember foods I do love, here's our kaiserschmarn from last night. I'm obsessed with it. I want to marry it. 

To end the night, we played a quick round of life-size chess and then watched a folk festival right outside our hotel (lots of accordion playing, lots of dancing, and LOTS of lederhosen!)

Let's talk about lederhosen for a second. If you are like me, you probably thought they were olden-day clothes that people dress up in for activities like this. But you would be WRONG! People really wear them! Not every person, mind you, but quite a few! And it's adorable. Especially when it's an old man and he has the high socks to go with it. So great. 

So that's it for now! Tomorrow we end our time in this realm of heaven and brace ourselves for a LOT of travel time to.....SWITZERLAND!


  1. Ahh looking so fun! I love that pic of Robbie in the boat. That's a framer for sure. That place looks amaze!

  2. It looks like Prague didn't make your list of places to visit, but let's pretend that I didn't look at the list of countries you're going to...

    You should check out the bone church in Kutna Hora, Czech Republic (about an hour train ride from Prague). Not only did they remove the bones to make space in the cemetery, they used the bones to do some interior decorating (chandeliers, family coat of arms, etc.). Here's some pictures from when we went there: http://bsrepor.blogspot.com/2011/07/bone-church.html

    Can I put in a request to see a picture of Robbie in some lederhosen (with the long socks, of course)?

  3. I am loving these posts so much! What an amazing adventure and I can't wait to read what's next. Great job documenting :)

  4. Oh my.. the scenery and the food do it for me... Sign me up!