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Family Fun at Spanish Banks beaches – Vancouver

Having a blast at Spanish Banks beach. We spent the afternoon and evening enjoying the beach, the waves, low tide, and of course, the amazing views.

Spanish Banks beaches include some of the most amazing elements of Metro Vancouver — spectacular views, sandy beaches, forest trails, beautiful wildlife, aboriginal and explorer history and a delightful sidewalk cafe.

Silent, sparkling and spectacular, is how we like to describe Spanish Banks beach. If you don’t like the crowds, this beach may be perfect for you … especially during low tides which expose miles and miles of beautiful sandy beach.

The perfect place to spend the day with the entire family!

Explore Europe | Travel to Pertisau, Austria

Pertisau is a center of quality hotels, B&Bs, vacation apartments, and Alpine guesthouses. It is a small, picturesque town that is family-friendly in every way, and is surrounded by scenic mountain shores at the Achensee Lake in the Tyrol region of Austria.

Beautiful in the Winter, amazing in the Summer.

No matter what season has your preference, it is one of those special destinations you should always have on your to-visit list. Whether you want to go cycling, geocaching, climbing, skiing, sledding or hiking, you’ll discover that Pertisau is the perfect place for a family getaway.

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This small town has it all, mountains as far as you can see, a mesmerizing lake, waterfalls, the famous Achensee steam railway, breath-taking views all around, and endless possibilities for skiing, paragliding, kite-surfing, mountain biking, rafting, diving, hiking, sailing, cycling trails, visiting waterfalls, and so much more.

paraglider

We have been visiting this town year after year and every time we love it even more!

This last Summer we initially didn’t plan to visit Pertisau. However, while enjoying our stay at camping Furstenfeld – we made a last minute decision to add Pertisau to our itinerary.

And, why get stuck with a plan when changing it adds to the magic of adventure?

Of course, as you can imagine, finding any available accommodations, on such short notice, turned out to be mission-impossible. There wasn’t a room to be found in the entire town and trust me, we tried! We called, drove, knocked on every hotel’s door; we emailed and talked to B&Bs for at least two hours… Not one available room!

We pretty much tried every trick in the travel-without-making-reservations book, to no avail.

Yeah, I know, no big surprise, especially when you know that half of Europe visits Pertisau at one point or another. But, honestly, we didn’t think that the half of Europe decided to visit Pertisau on that very same day.

So, we ended up sleeping in the car, the four of us … A small car… packed with stuff! Comfortable? … it was not, but worth it, … so very much! We woke up in the midst of breathtaking mountains with wild goats jumping around their cliffs! We were neighbors to the emerald-green lake at our feet, while the glowing sun was showing us the most stunning views you can wish for. How thrilled we all were to be back in ‘our’ Pertisau!

Plus, not to forget, that strong cup of espresso in the early morning, did wonders as well – especially for my lower back.

The morning walk on the newly designed promenade, towards the center of the town, reminded us, how much we love to just simply, stroll around, jump in an out the lake, and have a latte at one of the many, beautiful beach bars, close to the shores of the blue Anchensee lake!

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Pertisau, most definitely, remains one of our favorite towns in Austria, and we are convinced that, once you get a taste of it, it will become yours too. You will fall in love with this town, at least as much as we did. You will return home, with memories that will last you a lifetime.

Of course, make sure you book your accommodation months in advance. That is, if you wish to sleep in a bed, instead of a car seat.

A must-do: The Karwendel Bergbahn – gondola ride. Here we come!

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In search of a castle …

Castle Welsdorf – Furstenfeld Austria

We don’t like to plan too much ahead. Not in daily life, and definitely not when we are traveling. We love to experience the day as it presents itself.

You adjust, you adapt, and you enjoy it all.

Without a doubt, our most memorable adventures owe themselves to a lack of planning.

Just hang back, relax and let things happen. Enjoy the scenery and feel your heart working overtime, while hiking up the moderately steep hills that lay in front of you. You won’t regret it.

So, on a rainy day, we decided to find and visit a castle. We opened a touristic map and spotted one at walking distance from our camp-site.

After a 20 minute walk (5 minutes by car), we arrived to Schloss Welsdorf. We saw a small entrance that seemed to do its best to hide a building that looked like, at first, an overgrown farmhouse. The gate was open, so we kind-of invited ourselves onto the property. We were struck by the modest, yet elegant beauty that presented itself to us.

We arrived quickly at a large iron gate, where two very friendly puppies greeted us. Needless to say that our kids fell in love with them instantly, and yes, they were ready to file the doggy adoption papers.

When we walked through the gate, the inside courtyard opened up. Beautiful trees, perfectly maintained gardens, lots of shade, and a building that oozed history. This new-found treasure was absolutely stunning!

While exploring the gardens, we met the friendly caretaker of the building, who pointed out, that we were indeed lucky to have found the gate unlocked, because, in fact, the castle was a private property – not usually open to the public.

Nevertheless, he was very happy to share a ton of amazing stories about the property that seemed to be very dear to him. One was about the German occupation during WWII and how the original owners tried to fight off the invading soldiers. This historical event has left behind hundreds of bullet holes in one of the main walls of the building. Spectacular to see the remains of that event after such a long time! We loved to hear the caretaker speak with such passion, and pride about this unknown, hidden treasure of history.

The current owners made sure they restored the inside of the building back to its former glory (see pictures www.welsdorf.at), but apparently ran out of money to continue the outside restorations.

We were actually happy of this financial dry-up because the wall offered us a valuable glimpse into the story of the place. Hopefully, the owners will realize the importance of untouched history and won’t renovate the wall. This way, you future visitors, will be able to live the same emotions that we got to experience on that beautiful rainy day!

Of course, you first need to get by the locked gate. But, hey! What is a vacation without a challenge?

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