Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The beer and Fucking tour...




That's what I'm calling our next planned trip.  And no, it's not because we're planning to do a lot of boots knocking during our travels.

Since we've been back in Germany, Bill and I have been determined to try to see more.  The last time we lived here, we didn't travel very much during the first year of our stay.  We thought we were going to get the standard three years.  We ended up with just barely two years.  Since Bill is now a contractor, we have decided not to take living in Germany for granted.  It's entirely possible that we'll have to move again a year from now.

Bill has been wanting to visit Gruyeres, Switzerland since we lived here last time.  We meant to go in 2008, but circumstances did not line up for us to make it to the land of chocolate, cheese, and weird museums.  On Sunday afternoon, I was trying to come up with a plan for a weekend in Switzerland next month.  Once again, the cards of fate seemed stacked against me.  I had a hard time figuring out exactly where we should go.  Then my attention shifted to Austria.

There is a hotel in a small town about twenty miles from Salzburg that offers a beer spa.  I have been wanting to go to that hotel since our last long term stay in Europe.  During our five years living in the States after our first Germany tour, I thought about how we could get there so I could take another beer bath.  I wondered how I'd justify visiting Franking, Austria when we'd have to travel thousands of miles to get to Europe and there were so many other, bigger, more exciting cities we hadn't yet seen.  Salzburg itself is a great town and Bill and I were only there for a day back in 2012.

Anyway, I was looking at the hotel in Franking and noticed on the map that close to Franking, there is another town called Fucking (pronounced Fooking).  Naturally, that tickled me, since I have a filthy sense of humor.  I looked it up and discovered that this tiny little town has become the subject of much mockery from English speakers.  Town officials have had to put up theft proof signs and closed circuit television in order to discourage tourists from stealing the signs and/or having intercourse in front of them.  The town has been so rattled by tourists disturbing them that they even tried to get the name changed.  It was not allowed.

Well, that piqued my interest.  I told Bill about it and he agreed, Fucking is a town we need to visit, if only so I can get a photo of the theft proof signs.  Maybe we'll just drive through.  Maybe we'll stop for lunch.  And it's not far from Franking, where we can take beer baths and relax in a country atmosphere.

Then I started thinking about Austria's famed Starkenberger beer pools.  They are located at the Starkenberger brewery in Tarrenz, Austria.  Looking around the Web site, I see that Tarrenz is a very picturesque area.  Though a dip in the beer pool will be very costly, it's the kind of thing that is often on a beer lover's bucket list.  Having already enjoyed a weekend at Chodovar's beer wellness land in the Czech Republic, this is just the kind of activity for people like Bill and me.  And it definitely fits in with the beer baths we hope to enjoy in Franking.

I started looking for lodging in Tarrenz and found there were slim pickings there.  However, the area is well saturated with lodging in other towns.  I chose a hotel in Lermoos that looks pretty damn awesome.  Lermoos is about ten miles from Tarrenz.  Better yet, because it's not ski season time, the hotels are reasonably priced.

We have been to the Tyrol area of Austria, but in the past, we've always stayed in Garmisch-Partenkirchen at the Edelweiss Lodge.  Garmisch-Partenkirchen, as we all know, is in Germany, and the Edelweiss Lodge is not exactly authentically European style accommodation.  The only reason we went down to Garmisch-Partenkirchen was because Bill had conferences at the Edelweiss Lodge.  I'd go with him and take day tours with other bored housewives.  Now that Bill doesn't go down there for work, it's time we visited the area as tourists and checked it out more thoroughly.  It will be nice to stay in Austria instead of Germany, too.

I have to admit, my first impressions of Austria back in 1997 were not all that positive.  I thought it was a very pretty country with little soul.  I was wrong about Austria.  Every time I've been back, I've found more to like about it.

As for Switzerland, we are still planning a trip.  I think maybe we'll try to go to Gruyeres in October.  Or maybe we'll finally get to Ireland, which is another place we've been wanting to visit.  These plans are, of course, not in line with our usual champagne bucket method of choosing places to go.  The champagne bucket method should really be used in times when you can't decide where to travel.  This time, we know we want beer and Fucking, so there's no need to involve fate.

Hopefully, this beer and Fucking tour will turn out beautifully.  I look forward to blogging about it.  Incidentally, I have also written about this on my main blog, but that post was composed before we made up our mind to actually visit this fabled part of Austria.

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