Slovenia & Austria 2016 Day 16 – Lake Bled to Salzburg, Mirabell gardens

The last day of this travel itinerary began with the packing for our road trip to Salzburg. The cold didn’t help dry the clothes and we had to leave the wet clothes in the car for the sun to dry them as we go on our road trip. As usual, we left at about 10am with a final goodbye visit to the beautiful lake Bled.

The first stop was to the petrol station in Hrusica as we needed to purchase again a vignette for travels on Austria highways. At the same time, I pumped petrol for the car as again, it might be more expensive to do so in Austria. After a 7.2 euros toll, we ended up driving through 8km tunnel that connected from the borders of Slovenia and Austria. I was unsure why we had to pay toll even with the vignette but I guessed the vignette only covered some highways and the rest that were not included had to pay tolls at the toll booths.

Austrian Vignette
Tolls before the tunnel at the Slovenia side
Checkpoints at Austria side

About an hour of driving and as baby K woke up from his snooze, we stopped a service station to have our lunch, which we ordered ham and eggs with bread and nuggets and fries from Viva cafe inside the station itself. There was another restaurant (Rosenberger) option but we thought it would be too expensive and be out of our budget. After the lunch, we thought we would just walk a bit around the station before the getting onto the highway again, for fear of another puking episode.

Service station
Viva cafe at the service stop
Ham and eggs with bread
Nuggets and fries
Rosenberger restaurant at the service stop

The journey to Salzburg was mostly smooth until we met with some road works and traffic jam, expected of traffic near cities. There was another toll of 11.5euros before we finally arrived at 330pm. I absentmindedly left the  Garmin map SD card in the luggage ( the current ones were of Slovenia and Croatia) and I couldn’t use Google without data plan and then had trouble finding the carpark to our Euro Trend hotel. I drove into the Bahnhof one and then exited and went into a Forum 1 mall carpark instead.

Spotted a castle atop a hill on the way to Salzburg
Traffic jam
Forum 1 mall

At the mall, we got ourselves a data SIM card for 10gB for 10 days for 15 euros, expensive but I didn’t want the hassle. While at the mall, we also visited the Eurospar supermarket to buy fish.

Just like any European city, it was a nightmare to be lost as we would need to negotiate the confusing roads with the uncompromising traffic. With the mifi, we managed to return close to the Austria Trend Hotel Europa where I had to park temporarily by the road side and go check with the reception on the location of the car park. She advised that it was actually around the building which I went on foot to verify before getting into the car to drive there. The entrance was at a blind spot and it led to an open air carpark, something that I didn’t expect.

Once I parked the car, we checked in and was given a room on the 13th. It was at the end of a long corridor but a pity that there were massive repainting works going about on the external walls and the scaffolding was blocking whatever view the corner could have offered.

Obstructed view due to renovations

Mommy prepared dinner with the fish we just bought and as she left it in the pressure cooker, we left the room to visit the Mirabell gardens, utilizing whatever time we had left for the day. The park was quite a distance away but it was not difficult to walk in the nice cool weather, about a 10mins walk. The garden was quite nice with many colourful flowers in bloom and some fountains and statues for people to snap some photos with. Then I walked back to the room to retrieve baby K’s dinner but found that the meal was not cooked because without the room card, the electricity was all cut. Told mommy about it through whatsapp and waited another 10mins for the food to cook before running back to garden to meet them.

Kiesel mall
Inside the mall
Walking through a park to the Mirabell gardens
Unicorn statue
Statue and fountains
Flowers in bloom
Central fountain

By the time I was back, the sun has already set and thus we gave up going to the old town for a visit, as it was still a distance away. While we were walking on the way back to the hotel, we went into a Brau restaurant for dinner. We got ourselves beef stew and pork which arrived in big portions and were quite tasty. Ended the meal with a traditional Austrian desert, Nockerl, which was again a big portion. Paid 60 euros in all for the meal.

Fountains at night
Illuminated statues
Another pegasus statue
Beef stew
Brau restaurant

En-route, we bought some bread from Spar express supermarket in a Shell station, for baby K should he need to munch on some on the flight. Once back, the night routine of bathing baby K and preparing him for bed took place. I had the additional task of trying to clean up the car again as it still stank. The strategy was to put in lots of detergent this time around. After the wash, I got myself some drinks from the same Spar express, returning to the room only at 1130pm. Bathed quickly and went to sleep.