Austria , Austria how we love you!

Trip Start May 01, 2008
1
6
13
Trip End Jun 07, 2008


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Where I stayed
Villa Agricola

Flag of Austria  , Austrian Alps,
Saturday, May 17, 2008

Austria; where people know what tea is.....Lorraine and Shelley are very happy about this...Lorraine especially as they have Pfeffermintztee! Ja! As we drove closer to Austria, Italian houses and the languages spoken all changed. Northern Italy is a mix of Austrian style and the signs all had a cultural identity crisis....they didn't know whether they were Austrian or Italian. We, of course, didn't know either....we'd just kind of figured out Italian then 'woof' we had to alter the brain again. Lorraine's basic German skills from high school tried to immerge but it was very limited 'molto limitato' (woops, Italian again!). After arriving in Kaprun finding our Villa was not so easy....we did get there eventually and were greeted by lovely Katerina and her little daughter. She showed us our apartment, then the office, the computer we could use, the laundry and then the saunas...one infra red the other hot rocks.....my my, was David a happy boy. Scot was not sure how he would fit in the infra red one but he did give it a go. The internet access didn't last long as it crashed the moment David tried to turn it on.......oh dear!
Lorraine requested a kettle as yet again there was none. Katarina, after some pondering, said 'ah, the water cooker' and promptly went into her store room to get one. Later that day her mother-in-law explained to Lorraine that they no longer put the water cooker in the apartments as people don't know what to do with them....they boil eggs, cook pasta/soup etc. and ruin the water cooker.
Kaprun was absolutely beautiful....we can't give it credit. Everything is so green with clusters of colour everywhere. After being in Italy, especially down south and in Tuscany where the standard colours are mustard, cream and a rusty, salmony colour, it was a feast of loveliness. The houses are so adorable with their flower boxes, their wooden fretwork and decorative painting. We felt so comfortable....the streets were still narrow but the houses were much more open and detached from each other. Their fences were all low and therefore had a much more villagy (I know that's not quite a word) feel.
Snow, yes there was snow. Not in the village but definitely at the top of the surrounding mountains and more importantly on the Kitzsteinhorn!!!!! We drove up the hill, onto a couple of gondolas and found ourselves at 2400 metres above sea level at the Alpincenter. After donning ourselves with snow gear and maps we ventured out into the intrepid white environment......David where are you......Scot where are you......get the picture! David went to the top of the Kitzsteinhorn to check out the beginners run and came back an hour later...ho hum. He decided that run was a bit much for the girls so we ventured up a chairlift (complete with cover) and proceded to come down half of the beginners run. Lorraine fell down - ha ha - tried to get up but couldn't - ha ha again! then proceeded to come down between Davids legs holding on tight. Shelley had to keep stopping and resting until her legs cramped completely and she took off her skis, loosened her boots and walked the rest of the way. After very little conversation the girls decided the cafe was the place to be and were happy to wave, very nicely, to the men as they paraded past every so often.
After such a hard day on the slopes, we went out for dinner to a Mexican restaurant that served mostly Italian food....we were hoping for sauerkraut and strudel!
David and Scot went up the mountain the second day and had a ball. David had a new snow experience....he went down a freshly groomed slope with a dusting of new powder and a high speed six person chairlift all to himself. He did this three times, waving to the lift operators as they chuckled, and enjoyed himself immensely. Scot tried snow boarding eating snow as part of the deal. He begged the hire people to take it off him when the body gave way - the mind was still crying out for more but he resisted it's taunts. When they arrived home they informed the girls they had picked up two youngns (over 21 please!) and drove them home. Shelley and Lorraine had warmed them up for the boys the day before however whilst sitting in the cafe so they weren't that brave really!!!!!
The accom and ski package also included the local swimming pool. David, of course, had to try it out and was pleasantly surprised when Lorraine took her bathers with her. They had a lovely jaunt in the indoor pool whilst looking out at people in the OUTSIDE POOL - people do you understand, this is in Austria where Spring time the temperature is under 10 degrees C. Mad, mad, mad! David however, had to have a go and came back in excitedly beckoning Lorraine to join him......no you say, she wouldn't....well surprise, surprise she did and had a ball. There were kids being dragged by the current around the outside of the pool, yes it was 'torrent pool'. It was circular with an island in the middle and you get taken away...unless you swim against it and get exercise but what's the fun in that. Scot came back the next night with Dave to join in the fun and he tried the Turkish bath which was very hot. Whilst in there he realised he'd lost the bracelet with the locker key on it and knew exactly where it would be....in the outside pool....he didn't enjoy going back in there so much after having just warmed up.
The last night was spent discussing the journey to Lake Como and the length of time it would take...maybe 7 hours maybe more....Shelley was bored already and asked 'Are we there yet'! Oh, it's going to be a loooooong day.
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