Why a picture of a pink rabbit? To shock you all into giving us a comment! Comments are a bit thin on the ground and we are questioning whether we should liven up the posts a bit (or even stop them). Luckily, just when you need it, we found a man in the road dressed as a pink rabbit. Bit warm in 30 degrees heat but hey who are we to judge?
We have had a bit of a random last week to be honest. First of all there was an invitation to a “stick bread” (steckerlbrot) evening at our host’s brother, Peter’s, house in the village. It involved arming yourself with a long oversized kebab skewer and loading it with a sausage along the length of the blade (or two if you are just showing off!) Once you have cooked the sausage over the raging fire of logs you wrap it in bread dough and bake until brown. Serve with salad and lashings of beer. The evening was rounded off with Peter giving us a full length karaoke version of Hotel California in broken English. Strange but true.
A few days later we joined our hosts, Eva and Othmar, for lunch with their friends Franz and Christa. Jon helped prepared some beans in the garden and the whole meal was like a Christmas dinner with stuffed chickens, roast potatoes and a typical Austrian sweet dessert dish which is like deep fried pastry, cooled and then dusted in icing sugar.
After lunch the 6 of us decided to walk the 3km to Groß Sankt Florian to watch our hosts’ daughters in their first match of the football season. It was a warm walk and we thought we must be severely dehydrated or had one too many schnapps at lunch because we say a pink rabbit on the horizon. He was carrying a tray of goodies and was accompanied by a group of men. There was schnapps, Hawaiian necklaces, ducks, sweets etc on his tray. There were two names printed on his back “Fleishi” and “Claudia”. The literal translation of Fleishi even I could cope with being “Meaty”. The nickname suited this bearded rabbit unless of course he was Claudia but I expect she was the lucky lady who bagged this rabbit. We ended up with a squeaky rubber duck and Hawaiian necklace which came in useful to support the footballers. After a hot walk a drink was needed. After a white wine spritzer (no flasks of coffee at this sort of venue thank you!) and a shandy made with Fanta at half time I felt I was beginning to get a little cooler but…….
Do my eyes deceive me? Fleishi was now on the pitch taking a penalty. The group of stags had obviously decided that the ladies football match was where they needed to be, especially as they had a bar. Unfortunately he missed his penalty, it was probably the fluffy pink slippers he was wearing and the distraction of a condom that both his long pink ears were now squeezed into. Fortunately the players were professional types not distracted by these antics and a hard fought game ended up 0-0 but our ladies usually get beaten by this side so they were well pleased. Maybe Fleishi should be their mascot?
Before starting this post I had lined up my final photo to bid a fond farewell to Austria but then it all got blown out of the water by a trip into the mountains today. Othmar and Eva are on holiday this week so they offered to take us to the mountains nearest to the highest peak in Styria. The mountain we walked on was Weinebene.
In the winter is it used for skiing and it did look strange to see all the ski lifts and avalanche breaks without any snow.
It was a very hot day again (around 35 degrees) but with the breeze and due to the height (around 1700m) it was a little cooler and pleasant to walk if you were in the breeze. We walked for around two hours and then stopped at one of the many little hütte. These are little lodges that are amazing. First of all they have an amazing view, they sell wine beer, schnapps and a whole range of food from soup to full blown meals.
We had Goulash which was so good. The views were amazing, accompanied by the clanking of the cow bells and it makes it even more of a wrench to leave this beautiful country and the friendly, warm-hearted people.
It will be great to see family and friends on our return but it is with heavy hearts that we now pack our little bags and say farewell to Europe after our unforgettable three months. The experience has been beyond anything we could have wished for and the final picture reflects how happy and healthy we feel. In fact we are, on top of the world!
Look out for our next post from stage 2 of our travels and PLEASE SEND US A COMMENT. Can be good bad or indifferent just let us know you are there!