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Eurotrip 2012 – Day 8

July 26th, 2012 Comments off

21-June-2012

After a very nice breakfast at the gasthof, we proceed to find a laundromat. This was in the plans for today, but it is surprisingly difficult to find a laundromat. They are not in every little Austrian city as they are in the states. It was convenient that the gasthof was just outside of Salzburg where we found a “Green Clean” Laundromat and a pamphlet which proclaims alternate locations in Vienna. I’ll just keep this for later reference.

We have a 2½ drive to a monastery near Linz so allow me to reflect on driving here. First, many of the roads are very narrow – barely wide enough for one lane of traffic in each direction. Many times the roads are not even that wide. I believe there are more round-a-bouts than traffic lights. I have most the traffic signs figured out, but a few still puzzle me. But I haven’t seen too many obscene gestures so I must be doing ok.

The car has a built in navigation system which great because I would be so lost without it. On more than one occasion I’ve missed a turn and relied on the navigation system to get us back on track. The navigation system as a night vision mode and a nice auto zoom function. But trying to pan around on the map is very difficult. However, today Hildegard, the navigation system, decided to stop talking to me. Must have been something I said, so I will have to try and get back on her good side.

For the first week we left the radio off. But occasionally as we are driving, it would just come on and start talking German at us. We suspect that these are traffic reports. Once we turned the radio on, we found a “hit radio” station that plays a lot of American music. We heard Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga, a very bad imitation of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” mixed in with some local German/Austrian music as well as some opera. I think we have found the true definition of an eclectic radio station.

The car is a Ford Mondeo with a 6-speed manual transmission. This particular one is a station wagon style giving us plenty of room for the camping gear. Reverse is a bit tricky as it requires sliding a ring up the stick shift while shifting to reverse. When the car is locked, the side mirrors fold in – this would be a great defense for those pesky sand hill cranes that attacked my car back home. The car seems to have a large gas tank allowing us to travel long distances between refills.

This afternoon we visit Monastery of St. Florian. The history of the monastery dates back to around the year 800. Over the years the church has been built and destroyed many times. The current church was built in the late 1600’s with the most recent renovations take place in the early 1990’s.

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