Posted: 8/2/2006


  As I opened my bedroom window and walked onto the balcony of my sports hotel in The Salzkammergut area of Austria, there was a stirring in the tall cornfield 100 meters away, up the mountain.
  Out pops Bambi and frolicks about for a minute or so,and then creeps back under cover. Above and criss crossing the mountains are lots of hiking and mountain bike routes.
The hotel, which we use for soccer teams has THE most beautiful soccer field in the world  5 minutes away on the Lake Traunsee with the magnificant Traunberg across the lake. They loan road  bikes free to guests and can offer good deals on mountain bikes and even have experienced group leaders who can show the way to some great trails.
Nordic walking is also all the rage, which is brisk walking, helped by two hand held poles to give that extra 'push'.
  Fast forward a couple of nights and I am in a hotel with its own brewery in Kelheim in Lower Bavaria, on the River Danube. I try their speciality, a light beer which is very cold after a scorching day.The town has three 13th Century gated towers, still used by traffic today.
The 4th wasn't necessary since the Danube protected the fourth side.
Nearby about 30 minutes by bus is the village of Riedenburg with its famous brewery and a couple of castles up a steep hill, also on the Danube.
  I finish the day with a drink of smoked beer-it definitely is an acquired taste,-in the Swabian beer capital of Bamberg, a world heritage town at Brauereigasthof, which also has a few bedrooms in its half timbered walls on the main street from the Bamberg Bahnhof.
800 years ago the inhabitants on either side of the river couldn't decide where to build the town hall. A compromise was built in the middle of the river, in an area called little Venice, with rapids, half timbered houses and old pubs, beer gardens and's still standing and in operation today.