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“Just as a glass of fine wine can renew the soul at the end of a long stress-filled day, so too can an intoxicatingly, beautiful landscape rejuvenate the depleted spirit and bring renewed joy to the recesses of our immortalised journeys.”  KidazzleInk

The intoxicatingly beautiful lake at Zell Am See

The intoxicatingly beautiful lake at Zell Am See

Totally excited by the prospect of spending yet another exhilarating day, venturing out into Austria’s chartreuse green landscape, snow-capped mountains and tiffany blue waters, we decided to arise early.

The glorious morning vista of the Austrian Alps was beckoning just outside our window. Once again, it was so totally mesmerizing. The mountains were shrouded in their usual, whimsical mists.

For a brief time, we actually enjoyed just sitting back, relaxing, and watching yet another beautiful sunrise.

After a light breakfast, we eagerly gathered a few basic belongings together; our Austrian map, my beloved camera, my beloved’s mobile phone, our new BMW keys and warm overcoats…..

Then we were on our way.

Driving off into the Austrian Alps

Driving off into the Austrian Alps

Driving out of Bad Gastein (our carefully chosen base on this Austrian leg of our holiday) we meandered off towards the charming little lakeside village of Zell Am See. We’d previously been advised by our very reputable and, indeed, internationally-knowledgeable neighbours back at home (back in God’s own Country) on the Gold Coast in Australia, that this lovely Austrian “Lakes District” would be well positioned within one of Austria’s most picturesque regions.

We were already motoring and we were very enthusiastic about the opportunity to spend some more time exploring these new scenic surroundings.

As we drove, the valleys appeared to glow like green, peridot sapphires. Floating clouds and mists continually wafted across the melting, snow-capped peaks. Water from the run-off flooded into the little creeks and then on into rivers and lakes, making them appear an amazing, snowy-shade of tiffany blue.

You know…..the Austrian landscape is always so breathtakingly beautiful! Our Australian neighbours had been right yet again.

More scenic beauty.

More scenic beauty.

Yet, despite these amazing surroundings, my personal monsters were once again returning. My internalised fears about the right-handed driving experience were again, inexplicably intruding. Sadly, I can’t lay any claim to exhibiting very much in the way of helpful, or even remotely well-mannered, co-pilot behavior during this journey. I would have to admit to again being quite terrified by the prospect of driving on (what, I firmly believed to be) the WRONG SIDE OF THE CAR and the WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD! I have previously written about these personal, overly-dramatic driving dilemmas in another recent post entitled, John Lennon: Fear and Love. Today, sad to say, was definitely no different….especially for my poor dearly-beloved as he suffered yet more of my vocal distress.

Thankfully, the beauty of the region just kept drawing us in and moving us forward.

On arrival in the pretty little township of Zell Am Zee, we found ourselves rather ill prepared for the day’s sightseeing, which we had hoped, would take us all the way into the old-town area or “Altstadt”, and quite naturally past the lake of Zell Am See itself. We had an old map, but it offered little detail in relation to the roads within the township….… we had access to the BMWs Sat Nav but we were still complete novices when it came to using it….. we had no Google connections on our mobile phones and amazingly……we had absolutely no of idea where we were going!

The plan had been to visit the Zell Am See Information Centre soon after arrival. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t find it – the centre certainly wasn’t where we had imagined it would be.

Resourcefully, we quickly decided to ask some of the friendly locals (who miraculously spoke a little bit of broken English). With thanks to these lovely “oh so kindly and oh so helpful Austrians” we were soon heading off again, now following them in the direction they knew we needed to go.

However, even despite their best endeavours, they never actually succeeded in getting us to our final destination. Don’t ask why …..we just simply managed to turn off prematurely yet again!!!

Finding ourselves with somewhat depleted spirits, we decided to take some time to console ourselves and order an early lunch. Our grumbling stomachs were already telling us that breakfast had been a rather long time ago.

Outside Sasha's in Zell Am See.

Outside Sascha’s in Zell Am See.

Sasha's - one of our wonderfully convivial hosts - possibly Sasha himself but I'm not sure.

Sascha’s – one of our wonderfully convivial hosts – possibly Sascha himself but I’m not sure.

Would you believe, we were now conveniently parked outside a very captivatingly trendy little café called “Sascha’s”, on what I think may well have been the Eastern side of the little township!

I can only say that both of our Guardian Angels must now have started overseeing the day’s events!!

Sasha's - oh so yummy food

Sascha’s – oh so yummy food

Sasha's- the snow-white fur covered alfresco dining area

Sascha’s- the snow-white fur covered alfresco dining area

Sasha’s little café was just glorious with its comforting, snow-white, fur-covered alfresco dining areas; its warm, inviting interiors and its gracious and oh-so- accommodating owners. It was most convivial, modern, relaxed and somewhat up-market with fresh cream leather lounges, purple-neon lighting, and a menu of deliciously varied offerings. What more could one ask for on this somewhat chilly and disorienting spring morning? And yes…..  our glamorously dressed hosts proved to be exceedingly charming too and soooo obliging. We left this lovely little eatery with a renewed vigour…. a recharged spirit that would soon spur us on to find both the scenic lakes-district and the historical old-town or “Altstadt”!

We found it at last! The Altstadt in Zell Am See.

We found it at last! The Altstadt in Zell Am See.

Walking beside the lake in Zell Am See

Walking beside the lake in Zell Am See

More of the Alstadt in Zell Am See

More of the Alstadt in Zell Am See

Shopping in the Altstadt at Zell Am See

Shopping in the Altstadt at Zell Am See

St Hippolyte's Church Zell Am See

St Hippolyte’s Church Zell Am See

Magnificent entry to st Hippolyte's Church

Magnificent entry to st Hippolyte’s Church