Day 26 – The Spirit of Ecstasy

Kramsach to Vomp, 26km

Hotel Gasthof Vomperhof, 50 euros

The Central Pension in Kramsach was a good place for the night and just turning up at the door got me a good deal. Booking.com was only offering poor hotels at the far end of town and nothing in Rattenberg. But when I walked through Rattenberg this morning I was surprised to see several hotels and lots of touristy things such as cut glass shops. I’ve given up booking ahead. In fact, both last night and tonight I’m the only guest in the hotel.

The weather is all over the place. After the cold wet days on Thursday and Friday, today was a 30 degree heat wave. Tomorrow looks like cold and wet and then it’s back to the heatwave. At least I can see the scenery.

At midday I walked past a castle where a large crowd were enjoying lunch and down below in the car park was a rare sight: some 30 to 40 vintage Rolls Royces. Too many to count. They were all British registered cars and apparently on an Austro-Hungarian Empire Tour.

I went down for a closer look and noticed two latecomers had just arrived so I went over to say hello. They weren’t in a terribly friendly mood. Perhaps the car was playing up and they were late for the function.

“You’re British!”, I said.

“Yes. We’re late. Where’s the castle?” the woman wanted to know. Her husband was busy trying to unscrew the flying lady mascot on the radiator. It must be valuable and an obvious target for the likes of me.

“I don’t know where the castle is; I’m walking across Austria”.

“Where is the castle?” She repeated slowly, assuming I was speaking English as a foreign language. She must have mistaken me for someone heading to the UK in search of a better life, which I suppose I am, in a way.

“Oh the castle, it’s up there. There’s lots of people enjoying themselves”.

“Are they our group?”

“How would I know. I’m just walking across Austria. Possibly they are”

“Hurry up Charles, have you got the Spirit of Ecstasy? Poor Charles didn’t look like he did but I think she was referring to the mascot. I wished him “Good luck” and he just replied “Thank you”.

Glass shop in Rattenberg
Sunday morning in Rattenberg
Charming Rattenberg
Church No 1 in Brixlegg
Church No 2 in Strass-im-Zillertal
Lovely, lovely, lovely
Oh what a beauty, a prize winner for me
The Castle
The view up the valley to Stans. Like all views, you can’t capture them in a photo but this short clip gives a better impression. It makes the climb up the valley worthwhile …..
Sorry for the bumpy ending – a wasp was trying to sting me

8 comments on “Day 26 – The Spirit of Ecstasy

  1. It looks beautiful Tim. Think I would rather have the scenery than the Rolls Royces! Guess some people got both!

  2. On the penultimate day of walking through Greece as part of my pilgrimage to Jerusalem I took an early morning stroll and looking out across the Thracian sea I could see the island of Samothraki. This is where, according to Homer, Poseidon watched the fall of Troy. It is also where the winged sculpture of Nike (Victory) was found in the ‘Sanctuary of the Great Gods’ and it was this statue that was the inspiration for the Rolls Royce radiator ornament. Note “inspiration” – the actual final version of the “Spirit of Ecstasy” was modelled by the designer/sculptor’s muse.

    • That’s fascinating information and it sounds like a beautiful story. Sadly I didn’t have the benefit of a Classics education but it’s never too late to start. Wasn’t it originally called the Spirit of Speed until the muse got in the way?

  3. Isn’t that Goldfinger’s car? Maybe his wife has taken over from Oddjob.

    • There were so many vintage Rolls Royces that it could certainly have been one of them. My memory is a little sketchy but wasn’t Goldfinger’s Rolls a yellow Phantom III Sedanca de Ville by Coachbuilder Barker, Chassis Number #3BU168?

  4. Julian sherratt

    Yeshh…a Phanton III Shedanca de Ville – unmishtakable!

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