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European Road Trip, Day 6 Part II – Camping Gruber

For the second leg of our trip, we really only knew we wanted to be close enough to both Salzburg and Vienna to go on day trips. The railways Tim wanted to visit would have taken us too far away from the cities, so we looked on a map to pick an area within reasonable driving distance of railways and the cities and picked the Salzkammergut lakes. We spotted many tent symbols on the map, so we were confident we could find a place just by showing up. We started by circling the Attersee. The first town we came upon was called, I kid you not, Attersee am Attersee. I spotted a tourist information centre, so we decided to stop. Unfortunately, the centre was closed, but outside the building there was a tourist information computer and brochures for the region. The internet terminal pointed directly at the area’s tourism website, and we were able view several campsites and printed out several locations that looked good.

We headed around the lake. Some of the campsites were hard to find, but we finally spotted the sign for Camping Gruber in the town of Nußdorf*. Unlike Camping Hofer, Camping Gruber had controlled access, making it a little safer at night – which was a good thing, as the campsite was nearly deserted!

Camping Gruber has a lot of static caravans – people who park their caravan there year-round and come up on weekends and holidays. We saw a few people around on Sunday while we were setting up, but after the weekend, most people had left. Out of the sites that were still occupied, we were once again the only tent.

Camping Gruber has sanitation buildings at both ends, though the ones closer to the lake were nicer and newer. According to their website, they are remodelling their sanitation building for the 2011 season, and I can only assume they will be upgrading the older building. The older ones were dark and operated with automatic lights. Fine when the camp is busy, but not so great when you need the loo in the middle of the night. Twice I had the light go out on me while I was using it, and we never showered in the older facility. Both buildings had washing machines and dryers, though I did not check on the price. Both also had sinks for washing your dishes. The new building even had hobs (US: stove tops) you could use at the rate of 1 Euro for 20 minutes. We didn’t use it since we had a gas stove, but it’s nice to know if you run out of gas, you could still cook!

The newer building is also located on the waterfront, and at the pool and there is a small snack shop/cafe attached, too.

Both buildings have keyed access. When you check-in, you are given a waterproof wrist band that has a chip in it to operate the bathroom doors and the main gate. We nearly had a panic on our hands when we thought we had lost one, and then again a day later when we asked to extend our stay but hadn’t gotten our wrist bands updated. We had to park outside the campsite and walk in, and fortunately, the older bathrooms weren’t locked!

Like I said above, we were one of the few occupied pitches while we were there. It was a bit odd for it to be so quiet, but I suppose with it being near to the end of September, it made sense. The campsite was gorgeous though, and they even had their own boat launching dock right on the Attersee, as well as a diving board partway out into the lake. I was daring and waded into the water up to my ankles, but the water was quite cold and definitely not warm enough to swim in! Apparently the Attersee is so large that even with freezing temperatures, the lake hasn’t frozen over since the 1940s!

Our first day saw us getting settled in and setting up the tent. It was gaining on sunset time when we decided to walk down to the waterfront to take some photos and video.

[If you click on the photo once, it will take you to that photo’s page. If you click on the photo again, you will be able to view it full size. I have no idea why WordPress made it so complicated!]

[Photos taken by either myself or my husband, Tim and are all © Tim and Rebecca Lockley]

Day seven is our trip to the Styrtalbahn, but I might have to get Tim to help me with my post…all the railways start to blend together for me from this point on. Not because they weren’t interesting, I just get the four remaining lines we visited confused with each other for some reason.

*In German, a ß is used for a double S, so the town of Nußdorf is pronounced “Nussdorf”.

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