City Grammar 1958 -  School Trip To Austria

01 Dave Golland - 02 Frank XXX - 03 XXX Grey - 04 Keith Athey - 05 Ann XXX
Loser Summit
 


Mr McPherson takes a great photo!! - Trevor Brown (extreme right)
Hotel Post Bad Ausee
 


Alt Ausee
 


01 - Pat Turton - 02 Pauline Russell
 

The Austrian Holiday

At seven o'clock in the morning, a sleepy but excited school party left the L.M.S. station for London. The journey was uneventful, which is more than can be said for the journey across London by Tube, which seemed to be sent to test both suit-case handles and nylon stockings. On arriving at Victoria Station, we dined sumptuously on cheese rolls whilst waiting for the boat-train.

Our trip across the Channel was refreshing; the lunch provided was excellent and enjoyed by all, with one exception, who professed a loss of appetite.

Les Douanes proved to be unexciting and disappointing. Aloof and unconcerned, the Customs officers artistically chalked tiny white crosses on the luggage and diligently avoided searching for contraband.

It was nearly dusk when we loaded our sundry bits and pieces into the train for Basle. The French countryside gradually disappeared into the darkness and those who could took the chance to seize a few hours' sleep. For Many of us this was impossible and we spent the night listening to the rhythmic breathing of our more fortunate friends.

At five o'clock in the morning Basle found us half-awake, hungry and unprepared. However, refreshed after a breakfast of coffee and rolls, we were ready to start on the last leg of the journey.

We arrived at our destination at ten o'clock that night and were extremely grateful to be shown to comfortable beds, into which many of us leaped without even unpacking.

The Hotel Post is situated in Bad-Aussee, whose one main street was soon thoroughly explored. Our hotel windows opened out on to views which for many of us had only existed on Christmas cards previously. Each morning we awoke to the sight of the mists rising up the mountain sides and the sound of bells from the tiny white-walled church nearby, which, incidentally, pealed every morning, without fail, at six o'clock to a quarter past.

Our first day was spent in looking around the village shops, which seemed to sell everything from biscuits to hiking boots. We sent post cards, bought souvenirs and that night cam down to dinner accompanied by boys wearing mountaineering hats, each sporting its own feather. In time, these hats were adorned with badges, miniature cable-cars and pennants and on top of it all the feather, which was jealously guarded and carefully preserved.

During our stay the whole party enjoyed trips made to Sommersbergersee and Altaussee, where the brave swam in the icy waters, and the not-so-brave, after stealthily testing the water with a toe, sat on the shore and shivered.

One of our most enjoyable tours was the one to Salzburg. En route we stopped at Hellbrunn Castle, built by a mad Archbishop, where we spent a happy hour being deluged with water from hidden sources, built not only for the Archbishop's amusement, but also to rid himself of unwelcome guests.

At Salzburg everyone seemed to run around in circles, buying musical boxes and long, carved pipes. There was not really time to see everything, but we did notice that many of the squares surrounding the ornate fountains were being used as car parks, which rather detracted from the beauty of the scene.

For many of us, our first trip by cable-car was taken when we went up to see the Dachstein glacier from one of the neighbouring peaks. The descent was interrupted by a visit to the nearby ice caves. This was quite a unique experience and one cannot effectively describe the rainbow of colours contained in this wonderland of ice.


Phil Dover closest to the camera on top of the Grossglockner 50 years after first seeing it on the 1958 Austria school trip.



We also made a full day tour to the Grossglockner Glacier. Unfortunately, however, the mist was very thick that day so we were unable to see much scenery. But in spite of the rain we managed to see the glacier, an imposing site.

This account would not be complete without mentioning the food and the inhabitants of Bad-Aussee. The food took a little getting used to, but one did eventually become accustomed to it. Even after the first week, certain members of our party eagerly scanned the tables for signs of English food, which to them was fish and chips. The people were charming and always ready to help. They mostly wore their national costume, and many photographs were taken of these obliging people, who were only too pleased to pose for tourists.

The day of departure saw us struggling with our bulging cases, crammed with souvenirs and badly-packed clothes. Again we were disappointed at the Customs, which was not littered with cases disgorging their contraband. It was with the air of seasoned travellers that we heaved our luggage on to the train for the final stage of the journey.

Pauline Russell (6L)

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