- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Harry Mathieson Freddie Westhead
- Location of story:
- 57 Company RASC in Austria
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 13 September 2004
We were snapped by a local photographer as we came out of our hotel. The hotel Cortina is on the right of the picture
We had moved to Millstat in Austria as army of occupation. A lovely village on the edge of a lake with mountains in the background. The locals were very friendly and we used to visit their homes in the evenings. There was a NAAFI at the lakeside. It had been a cafe previously. The 78th Division had been disbanded and we were now 57 Coy RASC. Things were very relaxed.
Freddie Westhead and myself asked to be dispatch riders attached to the company office. It was the best thing we had ever done. One day on duty and one day off. The day on duty involved a run to Veldon about 50 miles. Maybe a local run or two, and that was it. Apart from that you just had to be on call.
It had now been nearly 3 years since we left England but we didn't really miss it, we were having a good time.
I had a weeks leave in Cortina sking. Didn't go with Freddie as he stayed to cover me. The chap I went with was older than I was but hadn't been in the Italian campaign. We stayed in the Hotel Cortina, one of the best hotels. It's still there and the prices are very expensive.
I had been sking before in St.Anton in Austria and learned all the basics of it so I decided to go up on one of the ski lifts and have a run down. There were several lifts but somehow I got on the one that went right to the top where there was a cafe. I had a drink and decided to be a hero and take the plunge as nobody went down on the lift. I was a long time getting down with lots of falls but I finaly made it. I was late for my tea and my mate wondered where I'd got to.
As I have said things were very relaxed, on your day off you did more or less what you liked.My motorcycle was there and petrol free of course so we made the most of our time there. I used to go for runs in the countryside in the summer. I had heard about the glazier on Gross Glockner so I decided to go and have a look at it. I set off with a full tank as it would be a long run up the mountain. The road up consisted of endless hairpin bends and was very steep. I came to a very posh looking hotel when nearly at the top. The last bit was steep and there was a parking place at the top. I seemed to be on my own. It was cold up there but I got a goodvview of the glazier. I had to take care coming down as the road had a lot of gravel which made the bends tricky.
I see that Millstat is in the holiday brochures. It doesn't seem to have changed much from the pictures. I would love to go back there sometime.
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