11th September 2009

Paul complained about the internet this morning as sure enough, the time was running out all night so we didn't even get 2 hours access let alone 24.  They gave us our money back. I can't believe we're the only ones that complain, so why do they charge in this way?

We’re moving on to Austria now but before we enter Austria we have to find someone who issues these ‘Go-Boxes’ which is how they charge for tolls in Austria for vehicles over 3.5 tons.  They’re supposed to be available in all fuel stops on the highway but the first one we stopped at didn't sell them, the second did sell them but their system was down so they couldn't issue them and then we finally found a huge service area that did them.

They told us that they would charge €80 for the unit and Paul nearly choked.  He said but we only want to go through Austria to Switzerland and that's about 160 kilometres (Probably about €20 in tolls) but the man said sorry that's the minimum amount you can load on the unit.  We asked what do you do when you leave Austria and want to get the unused part back.  He said you can stop at any service station and they will credit you back the money.  It all sounded a bit chancy to me so we said we'll think about it and drove to the next service station!

Paul was getting a bit worried as we were already in Austria and we could end up being fined if we were stopped for not having paid the tolls.  This place also didn't sell them but a young guy at the petrol pumps said that the next one along the road did and he very helpfully drove ahead of us and asked the people to give us a unit.  They also said ‘minimum amount €80’ and we almost blew up.  We thanked the young guy and had to pay the money and take the unit, we didn't have any other choice.  Finally, after having paid the money the garage had a power failure and the computer system wouldn't work so he had to give Paul the money back and we drove to the next service area where finally, they gave us the bloody Go-Box, ironic name really, it should be, Stop-Box.  What a palaver.

I think my impression of Austria is already diminishing by the minute although I have to say the countryside is beautiful, mountains and castles all along the highway.
Entering Austria
Austrian Schloss
Camping Seehof at Kramsach Austria
We finally arrived at Camping Seehof near Kramsach around 6pm and we had a really nice welcome.  The campsite owner came out to meet our van and shook hands with Paul and then showed us where to pitch.  This was right beside a pretty Tyrolean house where the showers are located.  Everything is very clean and tidy, just like German campsites.

Paul tried to get a TV signal but could only get German and Italian TV down here which was a shame.  We’d bought internet access, but couldn’t get anything either, so all in all, not a great evening. We had something to eat and then went to bed and read for a while.  It seemed to rain all night and only stopped in the morning. 

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