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AUSTRIA | Friday, 2 May 2014 | Views [725]

By now, we've fine tuned our train-catching skills like a well-oiled German machine, and boarded the rail jet to Villach without a hitch. We chose this route south because it winds it's way through some beautifully scenic country. Steep precipitous mountains and deep valleys passed on both sides as the train ducked in and out of tunnels, and the steeples of small churches marked the position of isolated villages nestled in the protection of mountainous arms.  The snow-capped peaks started appearing more often as we headed towards Klagenfurt, and by the time we reached Villach we knew we were among the eastern most chain of the Alps.
Our hotel was literally across the road from the bahnhof, and the old centre of this small town was just across the river Drau, only 5 minutes around the corner. Our only plan for Villach was to take time out and relax after the past few busy days, and the lovely ambience of this place made it easy to do so.  It felt a bit like a miniature version of Vienna as we walked around the central malls with its cafés and shops, and the place was a buzz with a market vibe.  The number of pizzerias and Italian shops meant we weren't far from the border, and a strong youth culture was evident with groups of cool kids hanging out along the river or at cafés, or skateboarding or scootering everywhere.
After another awesome lunch (the food has been fantastic everywhere we've been), some quiet time back in the hotel was in order.  I've had a tickle in the throat for a couple of days and want to kill it before it kills me, or tries to wreck my fun! Besides, I had to wrestle with the slow wifi connection to get my last blog post online and that took longer than I expected. But before the sun set behind the mountain peaks, we strolled along the Drau taking in the beautiful scenery. The temperature drops to a snappy coolness once the sun disappears and we made it back before the clouds opened up.
To finish off the day, we opted to dine in and bought some supplies from the supermarket next door. We found out earlier that the train to Innsbruck has been disrupted by some maintenance work being done on the line, so it will be a train-bus-train shuffle in the morning. Time to recharge the batteries!

Tags: sightseeing

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