Mechanics, castles and storms in Austria!
Our second day in Liezen saw us going in search of a mechanic! We had heard a worrying noise coming from the van the day before and having done so many challenging mountain passes we were concerned about the brakes. The van breaking down is right up there on our list of vanlife worries as it would mean not only would we be without transport but also homeless. With our first van experience of the catastrophic engine failure still too fresh in our minds we had taken out full European breakdown cover for our trip, we could get the van recovered to the UK if needs be, but let's hope it never comes to that!
Taking your vehicle to the garage is worrying at the best of times but when you don't even speak the same language it presents an altogether different challenge! Adam spent the evening before learning some phrases he hoped would be helpful and armed with google translate and a piece of paper with German sentences such as "please check our brakes" and "we heard a screeching sound" he went into a garage. As it turned out the mechanics didn't speak any English and the paper was very helpful! The brakes were checked and deemed fine with plenty of wear left in them and they couldn't locate a cause of the sound we had heard. They didn't even charge us! Reassured, we went on our way.
Our next stop was Gmunden in Upper Austria, where we stayed at another free Aire/Stellplatz alongside Lake Traunsee.
We took a walk along by the lake and to the Schloss Ort castle which sits on its own island on the lake.
The castle is now owned by the city of Gmunden and used as a study centre for the Federal Ministry of Land and Forestry, it is also the setting for an Austrian
TV series and appeared to be a popular wedding venue.
As we walked round it looked like the courtyard was being set up for some sort for function and as we returned to the van that evening the car park was overflowing with cars as smartly dressed people headed out for the evening. Suddenly the wind picked up and huge gusts blew across the car park bringing a massive storm with it. Signs were blown over, branches came off trees and debris was left strewn all over the place. We ended up moving the van out of harms way as the trees we were next to were creaking and bending worryingly! Once again we weathered the storm with no harm done, I doubt the same could be said of the tables with their near white tablecloths we had seen in the castle courtyard.