From our base in Budapest we took another short three-day trip; this one taking us first to Austria’s Carinthia region and Töschling, a small village 20 kilometers west of Klagenfurt. It’s a
five hours drive; we took the southern route on the M7 along the Balaton shore
and through Slovenia. Our lodgings, the Hotel Schloss Seefels, sits on the
northern shore of Wörthersee, the warmest lake in Austria. It is a peaceful
Relais and Chateaux property, we visited here in May 2014.
|Hotel Schloss Seefels|
|View from Bar "Porto Bello"|
On Wednesday July 13 weather turned against us; colder and rain threatening cloud. We made the best of things by two worthwhile excursions.
|St. Primus - Maria Wörth|
|Altar of "Madonna"|
|Maria Saal Church|
|Maria Saal - Pulpit|
We had a rather hardy (too hardy actually) lunch at the nearby Gasthof Sandwirt; the proprietor juggling roles of host, waiter and chef.
We returned to the hotel late afternoon and rewarded ourselves with a glass of wine at the lakeside bar. Dinner was at the hotel’s casual restaurant, the “Porto Bello,” a nice tart flambé as starter and sea bass to share as a main – more Austrian Riesling flowed. The evening finished with a very strong and long lasting thunderstorm.
We were due to leave on the 14th but decided to stay another day and tackle another sight that had long been on our list, Lake Bled in Slovenia. Just over the border and through the 8 kilometer Predor Karavanke (tunnel) it is less than an hour south of the Wörthersee.
|Lake Bled - Church|
Finally, we stopped at Vila Bled, originally an aristocratic country house built in 1883. In the 1920s the original building was torn down for a new design, but this was a casualty of the world wars and not completed until 1947, a summer residence for President Josip Tito. In 1984 it was converted into a hotel. We had a light snack at the Belvedere Pavilion that sits precariously on stilts and clings to the cliff face – magnificent views!
We were back to the hotel late afternoon, dinner was at the lakeside and very pleasant, but a bit cool. A nightcap in the bar and it was off to sleep. Up early on Friday, we checked out and drove back to Budapest, taking the northern route past Graz and then the M1. In all, a very nice little break.