Nothing Mutters To Nutters

Nothing Mutters To Nutters

Mutters, Natters

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

It was our last day in Innsbruck (Igls) today and we had only a relatively short drive ahead of us to Au (near Bregenz) so we allowed ourselves to ease into the day when we woke this morning.

Our p!an was to take in breakfast in the hotel, check out around 10:00am then spend some time in the two small villages of Mutters and Natters. With names like that how could we not pay a visit to them.

The plan went according to our design and we departed Hotel Sonnenhof around 10. The short drive to Mutters took via the impressive autobahn that by passes Innsbruck then back up some country lanes and into the sleepy village.

We didn’t have any problem finding a car park on this clear and sunny weekday morning so it wasn’t long before we were walking through the streets of Mutters in search of some photographic opportunities. We were not disappointed. One never tires of the stunning gardens and beautifully prepared window boxes that every house has. Most of the houses are in the “traditional” style of the region and some are very old. “Postcard” shots present every few steps that you take through the small towns and Mutters was no exception.

From Mutters we drove to Natters. Making statements along the way like “nothing mutters to nutters” (you had to be there!). Natters is much smaller than Mutters and it didn’t take long to take in the atmosphere of this little hamlet.

Before leaving the sleepy hollow of Natters we bought some mid morning delights at the small bakery then paid a visit to the little delicatessen across the road. The”deli” had some excellent home made produce that was too good to refuse and, after a brief chat with the helpful owners, we were walking out with a bag full of treats for a picnic lunch.

We saw a sign for the “natterer see” (the lake of Natters) while we were walking the streets of Natters and decided to drive there for our morning tea. We were glad we did.

Arriving at Natter see we learned that it was a privately owned lake surround be a caravan park – but not just any caravan park. This family owned park is now under the direction of it’s current visionary and is one of the top parks in Europe.

After a sharing our morning treat beside the lake we took a look around the park and met the manager of the eurocamp onsite cabins. He showed us some of the brand new cabins before taking us on a tour of this beautifully designed and comprehensively appointed park. The show piece of the park is a 3 million euro community building that is impressive in design, functionality and location. The views from this futuristic toilet block justify the development costs!

We completed our tour of this “impressive camp ground on steroids” by purchasing a coffee at the well appointed restaurant. Then we returned to the car and set off in the direction of Bregenzerwald.

The initial part of the trip (on the autobahn) to Bregenzerwald took us past some lovely villages and more stunning mountain views before we “went underground”. The Austrians obviously worked out that they can’t move mountains (literally) but they certainly know how to move through them. Indeed, they have perfected the art of tunneling to the extreme. We drove through tunnels that went through mountains for up to at least 8 kms. If you joined the numbers of tunnels in Austria they would extend across the country! Very impressive indeed.

It was nearing 3.30pm by the time we pulled over into the small village of Burs for some lunch. Despite the light rain we savored the delights of the food we bought back in Natters and enjoyed the quiet setting we had selected in this small riverside hamlet.

Before departing Burs we programed the GPS for the trip to Au (pronounced Ow) and set of in accordance with “surfer dude’s” instructions. As we set off we were both a little concerned with the directions the GPS was giving us but, he hasn’t let us down to date, so we went with it despite our reservations.

We turned off the main highway and headed up into the mountains. At times the road became quite narrow and the terrain quite rugged. However, at times, we travelled through lovely mountain villages, and this restored our faith in the GPS. We learned later that we were being taken “the short way” to Au but we were concerned!

The GPS took us to the programmed location we had put into the unit but it certainly wasn’t the hotel – it was a wood mill. Our concern increased somewhat at this point. We drove onto the next small town, restarted the GPS and tried again – same result. We even drove up into a nearby residential development to see if we were close but had no luck.

Plan B was to ask for some guidance from a local so pulled into a car park and went into a nearby sportswear shop. We walked out about 20 minutes later with some new shorts for The Princess and the instructions to the hotel! It turned out that the GPS was correct but the address was not – our fault not technology’s problem.

The drive to the Hotel Alpenrose took less than 3 minutes so we were checking in shortly before 6 pm and taking up residence in our very nice room shortly after.

The Hotel Alpenrose is a family hotel that is run by 3 sisters – the Moosebrugger sisters. It was built in 1972 and it is beautifully appointed and obviously well run..

After a short break on the balcony to enjoy the beautiful views of the surrounding mountain ranges we went down to the restaurant bar and met up with the family members. Despite our lack of German we were able to learn more about the hotel and the history of the family. A lovely family that were very patient with us as we asked questions about how the hotel came to be.

We ordered some hot chocolates and a lovely Austrian white wine and took up residence in the hotel lobby. We were hoping to connect to the internet however the hotel’s wireless was less than kind to us and despite the assistance of one of the owner’s sons, we were not able to connect to the web.

Obviously we were being told something – relax and enjoy. We listened to the “advice” and took time out to enjoy the ambiance, the wine and the opportunity to listen to the family banter that was taking place in the room joining the lobby. At times they were in fits of laughter that emanated from the room had us laughing. A wonderful way to pass the evening.

The day of driving, photography and navigating tight mountain roads meant that we were ready for an early night so we returned to the room around 9 pm and readied for bed.

Tomorrow we will take a drive to the town of Bregenz – a old town located on the shores of Boden See – a lake that shares its shoreline with Germany, Austria and Switzerland. No doubt it will be another wonderful day out.

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