Austria, Germany

let’s turn the chairs around, it could be exciting

I’ve been told many times (mostly by GIN, but other people, too) that going to Tirol invariably leads to activities like skiing, hiking, canyoning, rafting. And also, large quantities of BBQ.

Sadly, being boring and lazy, I spent my week in Tirol lazing about with my amigas, looking up at the mountains from the safe and cushy terrace of Ms. R.’s house in Walchsee. The mountain was awe-inspiring and beautiful, sometimes covered in whispy clouds, sometimes not. One day, we turned the chairs around and watched the other mountain, the one behind the hosue. Oh, the excitement! The other mountain was also magnificent and sometimes covered in whispy clouds. Sometimes when it rained, the whole valley filled with low clouds and mist.

Between the clouds, the mist and the rain there were long-ish periods during which the sun managed to fry Ms. R. and enjirux, whose complexions have been compared to japanese radish, cottage cheese and the old iBook G4 before (by me). I myself stayed out of the sun since a run to the lake and back had given me a headache. At least the people at the dairy didn’t greet me as if I were a long lost cheese wheel and made me sit on the shelf next to their other pale cheese wheels. I, of course, have totally won the tanning competition by getting a tan on my elbows which now look brown. Go me!

We were planning to try out the toboggan run which was just around the corner in the next valley, but I couldn’t bring myself to leave the house and the bacon-and-cheese meals in order to first be carried up in a kind of ski lift and then throw myself down the mountain. Next time! Maybe. The only excitement during the week came from disputes about music and bugs. Some of us hate insects and were intent on killing them, while others had a more relaxed approach. And, while I love my friends, their taste in music is rather objectionable.

While the valley was beautiful and the house great – we didn’t even piss each other off that much AND we’re still friends (aren’t we?), I regret to say that the one shop in the village didn’t have my favourite ice cream. (Hey, it’s got less calories than I thought!) But there was a great bakery with soft dark wholemeal rolls and bread on sale, a dairy selling stinky cheese galore and a patisserie to which we owe a lot of our weight gain.

We actually left the house valley only twice: once to have a local delicacy called “Käsespätzle” at a golf club (they had a nice lawn… duh). I thought about supplying a recipe, but honestly, being from the East, I can’t make Spätzle, so here is someone who can. The other time we left to see Kufstein, which is a charming little city by the river Inn, close to the German border. They have a fortress which overlooks the valley, and an old town and a shopping centre. In Kufstein, we also found our tyrolean favourite, a coffee house built into the mountain, which offers great coffee (their own roast), and great cake. We’ll write about that in a separate post, though.

It is probably just as well that I wasn’t going to run around much and meet people. There are lots of tourists there, mostly just popping to the other side of the border from Bavaria. I have no clue why they think they must visit, because Bavaria looks exactly the same, but there you go. I have been wondering what all the RO and the R licence tags on the german cars could mean and for some reason, I decided that they must all be from Rostock. As I have the habit of inventing fantasy names for all the licence tags and calling people names for them while in the car, I was calling all the natives of “Rostock” ‘Ossis‘ (which is a derogatory term the western Germans use for the eastern Germans. Except for Bavarians, who call all the other Germans ‘Saupreißn’.) Only when we changed over to Bavaria on our way to Salzburg I realised that RO was for Rosenheim and R was for Regensburg, both in Bavaria. I’m so glad I didn’t actually call anyone ‘Ossi’ to their face and get socked by enraged Bavarians. Just to clarify: while Bavaria is indeed in Germany, the Bavarians like to point out that they are, in fact, not so much Germans as they are Bavarians.

Talking about enraged Bavarians, Ms. R. managed to insipre the wrath of a bicycle-riding Bavarian tourist while driving her car around him. He was all like “du foast an Schmarrn z’samm!” which could be loosely translated as “WTF are you doing”. The natives of Tirol also speak in tongues, but mostly they rein themselves in when they hear we’re from Vienna and are therefore incapable of understanding their moonspeak. And, as enjiruX said, who is from the archbishopric Salzburg (and feels morally superior to the Viennese), the good people of Tirol will find the Viennese dialect charming as long as there are Germans whose dialect is not very popular in Austria. The Viennese are – as far as I gathered – still universal arseholes for the rest of the country as long as there are no Germans around.

And so on Saturday, we packed our bags and kissed Walchsee goodbye to head to Salzburg first and later to Vienna, where we were greeted by my parents with food.

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