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Report 2033: Alpine Journey 2012

By SL Jones from Illinois USA, Fall 2012

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Page 10 of 10: Reflections

photo by L J

St. Gilgen

Back to London, then back to our home. Arduous journey- enough said. Time for reflection about this trip: We were a little wounded (Audi mishap, my toe, maybe too many gray days) and thought that four and a half week was just too long. We made our usual "Best of...." lists, with categories such as "Best breakfast," "Worst hotel bed," "biggest surprise." The conclusion was that this was a good trip, not the best ever, but overall good.

What would we most recommend? Gasthof Hotel Furberg, the Virgental, and Ljubljana. Austria, in general. These places were everything we'd hoped they would be and more. A qualified thumbs up for the Julian Alps and Soca River valley route, because we realize that if only we'd had better weather we might have fallen in love. We'd be willing to give it another try.

We loved the Audi pick up and like traveling by car (except into a big place like Venice, which we knew wasn't smart ... and it wasn't).

We liked moving flexibly. Last minute reservations were not a problem. We loved the iPad app for Booking.com. The website was cumbersome on the iPad, as we sought to find rooms in a last minute way. But the app was efficient, and it stored some info that we didn't have to type in repeatedly. Booking.com lists a wide array of choices and it is easy.

Never again? Sadly, probably Venice. Also London taught us that we will not again plan to make a quick trip in and out of a major city for one or two nights - just too much hassle with airport, public transportation, etc..... not to mention the expense, which was huge in London.

This trip has reinforced what we already knew.

Here it is - an updated list of rules, not for everyone, but for ourselves.

Our "New Rules"

  • We prefer a base, preferably one in the countryside, or very close to a village. A rental house or apartment is ideal.

  • We want a stunningly beautiful setting with lots of authentic villages/towns ... in any country. We want to make it up each day, with a car.
  • We love to use the markets to picnic and stock a small kitchen - not necessarily to actually cook, but to sample local fresh food. In a hotel room, I miss that and we don't eat as well.

  • If the weather is warm, I like a pool. Though Steve doesn't much care, I'm a sucker for sun and water and it makes me happy.
  • If we go to a big city it would be to settle into a real neighborhood. No cars in cities. Walk or use public transportation, live like a local.
  • We must minimize places where busloads and cruise ships full of tourists congregate.

  • Lists of must see attractions often include things we don't care about. Be critical, know thyself.

  • Avoid travel connections in airports, train stations, etc. Keep to a minimum! It's just too hard.

  • We are best when staying flexible, staying independent. We don't like cruises. But we make an exception for a small informal cruise. By small, I mean 50 people or less, which we did in Croatia and Greece.
  • Slow travel is best! (I realize that I'm preaching to the choir here)

Resources

Discuss this trip

Hiking Austria's Virgental

Read Steve and Linda's Other Contributions

Review Agriturismo Ronchi Di Sant'Egidio

Review B&B Alle Corti

Review Gasthof & Hotel Furberg

Review Grand Hotel

Review Hotel zum Erdinger Weissbrau

Review Pansion Pr Matjon

Review Sporthotel Igls

Review Vila Dobra Vila Bovec

Review Villa Mia Chanel

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