Grunau Almtal

Okay I know I have been distracted while being back in London, but I didn’t tell you about the rest of my trip… so where was I …. That’s right,  Grunau…

Finally a relaxing stop that actually ended up being exactly that. I was almost able to do nothing.
After Vienna we drove through some of  Austria’s beautiful alpine scenery. Tall mountains lining a crystal blue sky. Certainly one of the more beautiful places I’ve had the opportunity to see thus far. We drove through the small town of Grunau which is known more as a ski town and sees its peak season in winter.
The Tree House hostel is nestled ten minutes drive out of Grunau, and is surrounded by trees. Through the back yard runs a stream of crisp cold crystal clear water from the mountain. We often filled up our drinking bottles here. The hostel itself seems to be a snapshot from the 70s. White stucco walls with brown and orange coloured carpet. There is a bar and a serving area as well as a tv room, although the tv room is dark and somewhat dingy, it serves it’s purpose.
We were welcomed by Gerhard when we arrived, a jovial gent that has been in hospitality for many years. He has been running the Tree House for the last few years and he personally makes the experience that bit more special. He quickly became a friend to all and did everything possible to make our stay enjoyable, including having a lasagna lunch cooked and ready for us on arrival. Most people on the bus hopped off for lunch, but only seven of us stayed.
The first night was spent getting to know each other over a game of Jenga, i am inclined to say extreme Jenga because the tower had six levels of single blocks. It was intense to say e least. It was a relatively early night but before going to sleep two of the girls traveling with bus about successfully convinced Gerhard that he should be barracking for Queensland in the up coming State of Origin.
In the morning we found a good continental breakfast waiting for us, better than most of the hostels we’ve been staying at with fresh bread, fruit, cereals and the usual accompaniments. That day I did nothing more than just to sit around, read, take in the scenery and relax while the rest of the group filled their day with horse riding, mountain bike riding and hiking. Apparently three was a very impressive lake to ride your bike to but it was about 20 k’s away and that seemed like the opposite of what I intended to do there.
For the people who stayed at the house who were interested in watching the state of origin, we tried desperately in vain to get some sort of coverage of the game. Unfortunately it seemed that there was no way of getting free coverage since gear hard did not have the pay tv channel that was broadcasting it and you had to pay for the online broadcast too. Either way it was not worth watching, I don’t know when NSW will put together a winning combination to really test those Queenslanders
When the rest of the group returned we played tennis for a few hours and somehow managed to create a drinking game out of it. Whoever was the ball boy had to take a swig of their beer before retrieving the balls from the middle of the court and since most of us were below par when it came to tennis, there was a lot of drinking that took place. Another relatively early night and a relaxing morning came and went when we found that we had to get back on the bus. It was difficult leaving such a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere. I had a great time in Grunau.

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