On Saturday, Elsa, Josef and I made a nice little tour through Lower Austria stopping in Waidhofen an der Ybbs, Hohenlehen and Lunz am See. The sun was shining and I got to see Austria in all its glory - mountains, hills and valleys.
One of the main sites in Waidhofen is this tower, which was built in 1532 when the people of Waidhofen, at precisely 11:45 a.m., deafeated the Turks.
Stopping for lunch (leftover schnitzel) up on the mountain at Hohenlehen. This is where Josef will be taking the school students this week to practice cutting down trees.
Elsa and I resting on the 180 year old tree (Josef counted the rings so we can say with certainty just how old it is)
After lunch, we drove on to Lunz am See and took a little electric boat ride around the lake. This, of course, was followed by ice cream.
As you can see, it was an echt schöner Tag!
We've also been cooking and baking every day. Needless to say, I think you'll all be impressed with what I can do when I get home! Elsa and Josef made us a cookbook of their (and our!) favorite Austrian recipes so now I'll be able to recreate all of the recipes anytime we'd like.
Lately, I've also come to a few new realizations, including, among others:
- I no longer find it unusual for people to drink a beer at noon
- An after-lunch coffee break is second nature now
- The Austrians have a good thing going with their handshakes. There's never that ambiguity of how to greet a person. You simply ALWAYS shake their hand when you arrive and when you leave. It's understood. It's simple.
It's hard to imagine that we'll be leaving in just two short days. I really hate to think about it, and the anticipation seems almost worse than just saying goodbye and getting it done with. There have been simply far too many memories and good times had to sum up the whole experience. I best not write too much now or I'll start to cry just thinking about it. We've grown a lot this year, and we will often and fondly think back on our time here.
Chances are good that you won't hear from me again until we're in the States (we arrive Wednesday night). Thanks to all of you who have been faithful readers! It's been a great year :)