Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A weekend away - full of adventure

M and I had planned a weekend at my grandparents' cabin in the alps with friends and their little son Theo weeks ago. Even though I wasn't feeling the greatest, I was still looking forward to going away.

Saturday morning came, we fed the cats, packed up the car, and left Vienna for our weekend away at 9 AM. I got all comfortable in the car and fell asleep just out of Vienna (I am an accomplished car sleeper). I woke up to M driving on the emergency lane, telling me to get out the cell phone, so he could call my stepdad (he is the handyman in our family). Turns out that our cooling unit had a problem and the temperature had risen to 130 °C. My stepdad advised us to call the OEAMTC (our auto club) immediately and they sent out a mechanic to come and have a look. I had to call Julia to tell her that we would be late and they should not leave Linz yet, in case we needed to catch a ride with them.

The OEAMTC mechanic came, had a look, sighed and told us that we should not drive that car a single meter or otherwise our engine might break down. Luckily our car broke down just outside of Linz, the mechanic towed us to my parents' house, we parked the car there and were able to continue our journey with my Mum's car.

We all had lunch at the cabin...

... and Theo enjoyed running around in the yard and playing with his Dad...

... while Julia and I rested on the patio.

My Dad just moved to a village a few kilometers away, and I decided to surprise him and my sister and come for a visit. I left the cabin at 7 PM, it had just started raining, and it was slowly getting dark out. I entered the address into my navigation device, but could only enter the village's name, not the address. Well, I thought, no big deal, I will be able to find it. Half an hour later I was getting desperate, there were no street names, just numbers on the houses and I couldn't even see those half the time. I called my stepmother who was away on a course, but she didn't answer. Then I called my uncle, who didn't answer either. Lastly, I decided to blow the surprise and call my Dad, but I couldn't get a hold of him either. I had the car parked in a field, with the lights turned off while trying to reach some part of my family, when I noticed someone approaching with a flashlight. I opened the car door, got out and almost gave the poor woman a heart attack. I guess it is a bit frightening, if you are walking in the dark all by yourself and someone suddenly jumps out of a dark, parked car :-). Anyhow, this woman did not know the address, but when I started telling her that my Dad is a lawyer who just had moved there and it was a really big house, she told me that it could really only be that one big country house. But she told me that it was really difficult to give me directions to get there with me not being from there. So I asked her if she was all right if she got in the car with me and showed me the way. Luckily, she was. (Thank god I am not a man, as she would not have gotten into the car with a man :-) ).

It was the right house, and no, I would have never found the way myself! My uncle's car was parked in front of the house too, therefore it was no surprise to me, when I rang the door bell and my uncle opened the door. He was so surprised that he did not say a single word when he first saw me, and when I motioned him to not say that it was me he told my Dad, who was just coming down the stairs, that it was a neighbour. You should have seen the look on my Dad's face when it turned out to be me!!!

My sister was so cute too. She had just started with school (grade 1), and she showed my every single work sheet that they had worked on in those two weeks of school! I talked to my Dad and uncle for a bit, was given three bottles of really old wine to share with my friends and M, and then drove back to the cabin.

At the cabin M, as always, had put more wood into the fireplace, forgetting, as always, that this fireplace really conserves heat very well and they had 27 °C when I came back!

Theo was already asleep and we chatted for a long time, enjoying each others company before I suddenly realized that the spare mattress M and I needed was located underneath Theo's bed. We had decided that Julia and Michael should sleep in the bedroom with Theo in the king size bed, and we were supposed to sleep in the living room/ kitchen with one of us sleeping on the couch and the other one sleeping on the spare mattress.
Of course there was no way that we would wake up Theo to get to our mattress, so M and I decided to share the couch for the night.

God, what a night. First, it was still really warm due to M adding more wood. Second, we only had a big winter duvet to sleep with - goose feathers - very, very warm. Third, the couch really is not meant for two people. Fourth, a giant spider landed on my neck at some point during the night, with me screeching AFTER I had turned on the light and realizing what it was. Fifth, at some point I decided to move to the floor (wooden with a carpet on it), not a good idea, moved back. Sixth,Theo was up chatting away by 7 AM, meaning that all of us were awake by then too...

After breakfast we got everything ready for a nice hike/walk and took the car to the Wurzeralm,
took the funicular uphill to 1400 m above sea level, and went for a really nice walk/hike up there.

On our way back, Michael overlooked a 50 km traffic sign, and we were held up by the police going 31 km/h above the speed limit. Sigh. We really didn't see it. Michael was supposed to pay 30 Euros, but neither he nor Julia had any money on them. In fact, I was the only one who had money - 20 Euros. Thank god, the police officer was kind enough to drop 10 Euros off the ticket....

On our way home we dropped off my Mum's car in Linz, and Micheal and Julia were kind enough to give us a ride to the train station. We arrived at 6.10 PM, and the train (the really fast one) was supposed to leave at 6.10 PM, but thank god one can always count on the OEBB (our Austrian train company) and the train was 15 minutes late giving us enough time to buy our tickets and something to eat for M.
Unfortunately the train was packed with students, and we could not find two adjoining seats, and so we had to ride separately :-(.

Even though our weekend did not go smoothly, it was so much fun to spend time with our friends and get out of Vienna for the weekend.

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