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Friday, September 14, 2012

Dobriach, Austria Part 2 – Sept. 5-11, 2011

It is not often that we find ourselves in one spot for three weeks.  In order for this to happen the stop has to either have in-pitch drainage (known over here as a comfort pitch) or be so stunning that moving Salt out and back for dumping is not considered a chore.  It turns out that Camping Brunner am See in Dobriach, Austria offered the perfect combination:  Stunning comfort.

We had no preconceived notions about this area; as previously reported, we headed up to Austria to escape the heat of Slovenia and took the first campground claiming a comfort pitch.  Maybe it was due to the lack of preconception but the area’s beauty stunned us into a languor that suited our vacation-mode attitudes.  Really, you can get quite spoiled (and fat) when you hardly have to move in order to see an awe-inspiring view.  Thankfully the area offers easy access to tennis, hiking, biking and swimming otherwise my waistline would be in much worse shape.  (Have I mentioned my addiction to the local pretzel bread?)

Also as previously reported, the crowds initially diminished after the third week of August.  We had almost a week during which we thought the campground would remain half-full and thus we didn’t worry about turning Salt around (remember, we are still parked in such a way that, if people moved in across the drive from us we would not be able to get out.)

To our dismay, starting around the first of September, the leisurely unemployed (or just the smart European vacationers) starting filling up the campground; with an average age closer to 70 than 7, they are, thankfully, a much more peaceful group than the young families.  However, watching the pitches fill, we quickly realized that our inability to move Salt had returned.

So one day during the Great Migration (the incoming and outgoing of the motorhomes during this time was tremendous:  Every day at least a dozen came and went) we spotted an opportunity to turn Salt around.  We hitched her up (much to the delight of many watchful eyes), drove her further down the row, turned left, pulled through two spots, backed up into another spot and completed our three point turn; pulling back into our pitch with Salt’s nose facing toward the exit.  We could now leave at will.  Well, just as soon as SP had the caulking done.

The supplies arrived, the weather cooperated (day after day of lovely 23/76 degree sunshine!), SP had us patched in a day and we had the hideous blue tarp back on the ground where it belonged.  With our return to the USA looming ahead, we felt pressure to resume the Aventura and decided to head back south to Slovenia. 

On the designated driving day, I woke up and took The Noses for a long hike up into the woods and then down along the lake, two hours in total.  Arriving back later than usual with the warm sun shining I wondered why we were leaving this heavenly spot, voted for one more vacation day and so talked SP into staying another 24 hours. 

Topping my morning hike with a quick swim, some sunbathing while SP waxed Salt, and another epic tennis battle in the afternoon, it was a perfect last vacation day.  Happy and tired, we settled into our camp chairs with chips and gin to watch the final parade of people by Salt.  (She must be, by now, in more home movies and pictures than most children.  Some people try to take pictures in a nonchalant manner, “Hey, I’m just out here taking pictures of all the caravans” and others are more direct often just standing right in front of us staring, photographing and filming without saying a word [in any language.]  The latter are not my favorite people; the former I often invite in for a closer look.)

Staying so long in one spot always makes us a little soft:  The stressors of towing on small, windy roads to another unknown location (will we even be able to fit in the campground?) weighed heavily on our minds as did leaving Austria; what a lovely place.  We are trying to come up with one descriptor for each country and Austria’s effortlessly became “Elegant.”

Having no joy for the back roads of Slovenia, we opted to use the Motorway down the eastern side to Bled.  It was a short drive, so short in fact that I voted to keep heading south unless the area and campground really rang our bell.  But the bell tower was rocking when we pulled into Camping Sobec and became deafening upon our first view of Bled.