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Old 03-22-2017, 10:23 AM   #41
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Yeah - just skip it. The rest of the time up on the peaks outside is well worth it. Although with the altitude, if there is wind, you'd likely need a warm jacket anyway.
Even in July/August? We'll be up there just for the day and don't plan on any other high altitude mountaintop stuff (other than hiking in Slovenia for several days, but it's lower altitude where we'll be I think).

How cold is the Dachstein ice cave? Literally freezing?
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:26 AM   #42
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Also would depend on how long you would have to be inside, I would think.

If you can walk through in 15-30 minutes, not so bad. If you have to be in there more than an hour, need to really bundle up and keep moving?
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:28 AM   #43
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Is it an ice cave or an old salt mine near Hallstatt?

I haven't researched it yet, just booked a couple of nights.

I don't get the fascination with caves, catacombs, etc. I know salt was a valuable commodity and is what made those towns, particularly Salzburg, so rich hundreds or even thousands of years ago.

But a cave is still a cave. While they light it up with pretty colored lights and the rock and mineral formations could have interesting shapes, I'd rather have some beautifully-sunlit landscapes.

OTOH, this area is known for a lot of rain, so maybe something to do if it rains too much.
Why not do both a cave and beautiful outdoor scenery? At the cave near Hallstatt you can do both. They even have a combo cave/ski lift ticket/observation platform ticket that gets you all that.

I like sunlit landscapes as much as the next person but we see those all the time. I've only seen one huge cave in my lifetime, so it's kind of a treat, and I hope to increment the cave-count by a few after visiting Slovenia and Austria.

But I guess it's like wineries. I enjoy alcohol. Wine is good. Vineyards are cool. Industrial manufacturing processes are neat. But I can't imagine wanting to see more than one of these in a lifetime.
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:47 AM   #44
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Even in July/August? We'll be up there just for the day and don't plan on any other high altitude mountaintop stuff (other than hiking in Slovenia for several days, but it's lower altitude where we'll be I think).

How cold is the Dachstein ice cave? Literally freezing?
I think it is barely above 32 degrees during the summer, which is what keeps the ice formations from melting during the summer. Surfaces like handrails are very cold to the touch, so you need good hand protection. No wind though!

We've been in several caves, but never an ice cave, so for us it was a very neat experience.

You're inside less than an hour.

Mountain altitudes - temp drops 3 degrees for every 1000 feet. The higher you go, the more exposed you are to the elements, so wind can also be a huge factor. The peaks have perpetual snow. High mountain weather is highly variable.

We were there in mid September. I remember being happy to be wearing my parka up on the peaks even though it wasn't that windy. Maybe if you put on enough layers, have a decent windbreaker, have something to cover your ears, hands, and a scarf (neck) you'll be fine.

There are a ton of discussions on hiking difficulty, clothing, the experience overall, etc. on trip advisor and other forums. So you can get a good idea by reading a bunch of these. We went in 2014, so it's already been several years. Boy - the cable car rides were just awesome!!!!

We arrived in Munich on Sept 1, and the trees were already starting to turn, and it was coolish, so even though we didn't need our Polartec mittens and head coverings, the parka came in handy.

Salzburg in early September, however, was quite warm. It would have been nice to have an air conditioned room. Hot days, cool nights (but the rooms take all night to cool off without AC).
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Old 03-23-2017, 10:09 PM   #45
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Thanks, Audrey. We'll be there in the middle of July so I'm guessing just about the warmest season. Hopefully our airbnb won't be scorching hot (can't recall if it has air but I figured it would be mild most likely). A commenter on my blog tipped me off to a thrift shop in a town in Slovenia where we'll be right before our stint in Austria so I might drop by and search out some warm weather gear there. I don't mind looking a bit silly for an hour long cave tour.

We did multiple tours in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky this past summer and it was incredible. I recall the temps were supposed to be in the 55-60 range and it felt very comfortable since we did a "moderate" strenuous tour that involved 500 steps/stairs IIRC and at times we were in a fast walk/jog to catch up to the group when we got spread out. But 32 is a lot colder than 55 so I don't think I can swing short sleeves and no gloves. I routinely wear shorts here in Raleigh in freezing weather even with light wind and do fine, but the fingers get cold. I might have to spend 10 minutes in my shed (with no wind) tomorrow morning and see how much I'm bothered by the cold.

I'm so excited to see this ice cave and DW has this as her #1 priority (her only "must see" on our 9 week trip). We'll see other caves this summer but just this one ice cave. Did you do the "Mammoth" cave at Dachstein too? I see they have multiple ticket options that include ice cave solo or along with Mammoth cave, plus lift ticket and observation deck options. For family pass, price to add everything isn't much more than ice cave+basic lift ticket alone (€35-40 IIRC)
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Old 03-23-2017, 10:31 PM   #46
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No, we skipped the mammoth cave as I wanted plenty of time for the highest part and to go up to the five fingers lookout before too late in the afternoon. None of the reviews I read indicated the mammoth cave was a must see.

As for temps, they pretty much spell it out:
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When visiting the caves (only permissible with a trained guide), we recommend that you wear robust shoes and warm clothing. Temperatures in the Ice cave rarely exceed freezing point and in the other caves there is only an average temperature of 4 C.
So, yep, it was barely above freezing, and the other caves are pretty cold too (39 degrees).

You need good shoes because the metal walkways/stairs in the ice cave get a bit slick, and those metal rails - OMG - you've gotta have good gloves. It was a lot of up and down. We really enjoyed it though.
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Old 03-24-2017, 03:00 AM   #47
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Wednesday I had a sightseeing tour of Bamberg and after that some time on my own just walking around. A very nice place even on a cloudy day in march.

Which was good! Because yesterday I was half the way to Regensburg in my rented Toyota Qi (Not the VW I ordered but quite fun to drive when not on the autobahn) - when the garage called - my RV would be completed tomorrow - one week ahead of schedule! Very impressive - but this means my Bavarian walkabout was cut short.

So I'll be heading north with my RV today - and go back later when it's warmer outside. And I'm keeping the list I made from this thread - thank you all again for all the good ideas.
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Old 03-24-2017, 09:57 AM   #48
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So where is the RV trip taking you to? Please keep us updated.
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Old 03-25-2017, 03:15 AM   #49
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So where is the RV trip taking you to? Please keep us updated.
Just the fastest route back to Norway this time. So lot's of autobahn and random camp sites for the night. Because of the repairs I could not bring my stuff so no bike, camping chairs/table, extra shoes/clothing, kitchen equipment, books to read etc. Will be back later when RV fully stocked and the temperature is more pleasant.
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Old 03-26-2017, 10:51 AM   #50
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I have reached the Hannover area and need a day off. Stumbled over this campsite where I'll keep my feet up for two days:

https://www.eurocampings.co.uk/germa...kensee-102331/

It's sunny and around 12C outside. Lot's of ducks swimming around in Birkensee 10 feet or so from my RV. I'm not joining them! But it feels a bit like summer when I'm inside looking out.
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Old 03-28-2017, 12:20 PM   #51
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If anyone still interested today I arrived in Rendsburg where they have a motorhome parking right on the canal - and lots of huge ships are passing by. Quite the spectacle!

This pic is from the web - but one of those prime spots nearest the camera is mine for the night.



(for more info click here: http://www.tag-nok.de/nok-region/schacht-audorf.html)
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Old 03-28-2017, 12:40 PM   #52
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How far from the city center is the RV park?

How do you visit the city? Hard enough to drive and park a car into these cities so it must be almost impossible to drive an RV around city centers with narrow streets from the Middle Ages?
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Old 03-28-2017, 03:27 PM   #53
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How far from the city center is the RV park?

How do you visit the city? Hard enough to drive and park a car into these cities so it must be almost impossible to drive an RV around city centers with narrow streets from the Middle Ages?
I've taken a camper around the Bordeaux region of France a few years ago. The campers are much smaller than US RVs. The typical size is 6m with 8m long campers being big ones. The widths are less than 2.5m. We encountered only a couple of tighter spots but then we weren't trying to take the camper into the historic centre of the city. There are sat nav systems that have camper/truck modes that take account of your vehicle size when route planning.

In many regions of Europe there are small camping stops in or very near to many of the small towns and villages. The term the Brits use for these are "aires". These were generally very cheap or free to stay at. We were in easy walking distance to many places and most of the campers carried bicycles or scooters.
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Old 03-29-2017, 10:16 AM   #54
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How far from the city center is the RV park?

How do you visit the city? Hard enough to drive and park a car into these cities so it must be almost impossible to drive an RV around city centers with narrow streets from the Middle Ages?
For Rendsburg I would have taken the RV. A few km. to drive. Mine is over 9m but I often manage to park at the side of the road.

The rule of thumb is that the further south you get the narrover the streets get. You learn to stear the other way when the buildings looks more than a couple of hundred years old. My RV has a scratch on the front bumper from the old town in Granada, Spain where I got into this street who got narrower and narrower. And in the rush hour so not much hope of bacing out. At the end the top left of the RV were less than an inch from some balcony while the front right where 2mm and less from some steps. But I got trough! I'm keeping the scratch as a badge of honour and a remainder of turning away in time!
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