Finding things to do during our two weeks in this region of Austria wasn't a problem as I had contacted the Carinthian tourist board and asked for their advice, mentioning that I was a family travel blogger. I was delighted to receive complimentary Kärnten Cards which would give us free and discounted entry to many of the attractions. These were worth 44 euros each so were a significant bonus.
In the end, we had no need to worry. The monkeys were a delight, their appetite for apples was unsurpassed and a delightful hour was spent watching them groom each other, play and even swim in the company of the genial Dr Bob.
|La Sagrada Familia|
|St Peter's, Rome, with Toronto's CN Tower in the distance|
Magdalensberg was Rory's choice for one of our days out and free to enter with our card (normally 5 euros). A circuitous drive up the mountain tested the hire car's acceleration but eventually we reached the settlement, one of the biggest Roman archaeological excavations in the Eastern Alps. We were the only visitors on a blistering afternoon so our walk around the open-air museum was exhausting but rewarding, trying to decipher gravestones and marvelling at the imperial gold bar foundry, the Roman 'Fort Knox' of the Alps.
The excavations have been going on for a century and they are still trying to find the Celtic settlement underneath the Roman one. One of the main discoveries, however, came some centuries earlier when, in 1502, a farmer ploughing his field found a near lifesize ancient statue of a young boy, now known as the 'Jüngling vom Magdalensberg'. Originally thought to be a a Roman copy of the Greek original, it seems that somewhere down the line the original find has been lost and the 'real' statue, in Vienna, is actually a Renaissance copy. A pity, but it still a beautiful piece and a cast of it is on show in the museum at Magdalensberg.
The Ms were a great success, so much so, we decided we would try G and H the following day. Watch this space.