ben in austria

Ben in Austria (with Photos)

01-Flight
Flight went well, apart from mother having a panic attack when getting on the plane. I’m sure she just does it for attention. As we were landing, I noticed a big Ikea outside. I thought we’d taken a wrong turn and ended up in Sweden! When we got to the airport, it was pretty deserted. We waited at the carousel to collect our bags. I like that bit of the journey cos it’s like a really dull Generation Game. ‘Suitcase… suitcase… suitcase… hobo… suitcase… cuddly toy!’ It also gives you chance to critique people’s choice of luggage, although they can also mock yours. I got the first case off while Mother fell onto the conveyor trying to get the second. Miranda eat your heart out!

Then we had to get on a coach to take us to St Wolfgang. On the way out we stopped to get a snack, which is where Mother did her usual annoying habit of pointing to things. ‘Can I have one of those please?’ she asked, pointing to a croissant. There’s no need to point! Croissant is a French word, it’s not pronounced differently here so just say it. She points in art galleries as well, that’s the worst one. ‘Look at that!’ ‘I know, I’ve been staring at it for the last 10 minutes, as everyone else in the room now is!’ This would prove to be an irritating habit that she continued throughout the holiday, although I slowly taught her to stop near the end of the trip.

We arrived at the hotel about half 8. On the way the guide was telling us the different things we can do. She was Welsh. So we’ve had Swedish Ikea, French croissant and Welsh guide. She kept describing everything as ‘a lovely walk… beautiful views’ but it can’t all be that nice, cos if everything’s beautiful it’s hard to compare it against anything. If you’ve got three apples that are all exactly the same, they might be beautiful or they might be equally awful, cos you’ve got nothing to compare it against. At one point I turned to mother and said in a Welsh accent ‘You can take a walk over the famous muddy field that’s full of cow shit, lovely walk, and see the beautiful abattoir, which is absolutely stunning.’ Which she laughed at. The chair on the coach slid forward, the bit you sit on. I said to mother ‘This is a bit weird, it slides forward.’ and she pointed out that hers didn’t… nor did anyone else’s. Mine was broke.

hotel leifer austria
When we went into the hotel room, mother was impressed by everything. ‘Ooh a nice little chair… very nicely decorated wardrobe… got a little table… ooh a bath.’ F*ck me, we come all the way to Austria and she’s marvelling over a bloody table and a bath!

The hotel staff are very friendly and the hotel itself is very quaint. The evening meal was lovely. Soup, followed by pork (don’t usually like pork but this was cooked beautifully) and then lemon sorbet. After dinner I had a nice quiet stroll down the road to relax and take some nice photos. Mother, on the other hand, had a louder walk, rushing about talking and pointing things out instead of just enjoying the beauty of the nighttime scenery. There also happened to be a wedding or something going on in the town church, so I managed to get some good footage of some fireworks.

austria fireworks

Back in the hotel, I discovered the TV didn’t work. Wasn’t that fussed cos I wanted to have some time to read and write instead of staring at screens all day. I also bought Karl Pilkington’s The Moaning Of Life at the airport to read while I was away.

Sunday we went to Halstatt. They built it up to sound really stunning, but it was okay. It was nice, but it was just one long road, like Blackpool, with the odd shop, cafe and church. The Chinese apparently love the place, as they’ve built a replica of it in China.
hallstatt austria
There was a church we went into where there was a room called the Bone House. What it was, years ago they used to bury people, then fifteen years later (when the flesh had rotted off) they’d dig them up, decorate their skulls and put their bones on display. It was disgusting and amazing at the same time.

I asked mother how she’d decorate my skull – something she wasn’t exactly keen to think about – and she said she’d put loads of images on to do with things I like, including Doctor Who, ukuleles, etc. I was a bit disappointed at that, because I like simple design, so I’d have preferred just one thing – maybe painting it to look like the head of an alien from Doctor Who. So now if I do want to take part in this tradition, I’ll have to leave instructions on what I want on my skull. I think if I were to paint mother’s skull, I’d do a nice rose on the top of the head.

bones

Mother wanted to sit and have coffee, but I wanted to make the most of it so I walked for about 20 minutes and found a really nice grassy area to sit. I sat on the rocky bank, bare feet in the water, and fed/photographed the ducks while I looked on at the beautiful view. That was actually one of my favourite moments from the whole holiday.

austria ducks

On the way back, we were also told about a place called Eagle’s Nest, where there was a lift that Hitler used to use – don’t know why he stopped – and they used to polish it cos he was claustrophobic. There’s something Hitler and my mother have in common. I later found out that Hitler only visited this place a few times in his life, so they’re really trying hard to create tourist spots.

We went into a bar and mother ordered a coffee. The woman said “In a glass?” Well how else would we want it? “Oh we serve coffee in vase. Hoho, we Germans are crazy!” Then she said “You can sit down if you like.” which was very kind of her. I hated the thought of standing in the middle of the cafe drinking my coffee from a eggcup.

She was dressed in the traditional Austrian frock which was nice, but made her look like she was in a pantomime. I suppose that helps cos Germans to me tend to appear quite aggressive. Even when they’re being nice they sound threatening. I suppose everything here is like that. The aggressive accent, the black letter fonts, the big manly sausages (not a euphemism)… even the women are manly. I mean you wouldn’t mess with the women here, they’d knock your block off.

On the night we went out on a boat to see the sunset. On the way the tour guide pointed out a cliff that apparently looked like an elephant. See if you can spot it:

elephant cliff

See it? I didn’t the first time, nor the second or third. But eventually someone pointed it out and now I cannot stop seeing it. If you can’t see it, I’ve highlighted it at the bottom of this post. To be honest, I think it was a bit of a push. It sounds like they’ve run out of things to show tourists, so they’re checking the cliffs and mountains for anything that might vaguely resemble something. For example they also had the ‘lion mountain’, which looks like a side on view of a lion’s head.

lion mountain austria

We were also told about the history of the church in St Wolfgang, the story being that St Wolfgang was in the mountains one day when the devil came and tried to kill him with an axe. St Wolfgang managed to stop the devil and threw the axe. When he through it, he said “Wherever this lands I will build a church.” And that’s why the church is where it is. Sounds plausible, until you find out that the spot where he through it from was 50km away from the church! Nobody can throw that far! I’m pretty sure they’re just making stuff up now.

Anyway, here’s a photo of me and my mother that someone else took for us:

austria boat tour

The sunset itself wasn’t that impressive really. A lot of people say it’s magical and beautiful and wonderful, but it just sort of… happened. One minute the sun was there, the next it wasn’t. Mother was disappointed too, as she’d never seen the sunset either.

We barely noticed it as well, as despite it being a boat trip specifically to watch the sunset, the tour guide never even pointed it out! So yeah, pretty disappointing. However, that was through eyes. Through a camera you can make it look very different. This is pretty much what it looked like:

austrian sunset

Not bad, but adjust a few settings on the camera and it looks like this:

austrian sunset

Much nicer, no? Then what about this:

austrian sunset

During lunch, a woman asked me “Did you take many photos?” What a stupid question, of course I did! I’m not going to come all the way here and say “No, I’m not going to bother photographing that lovely building. I’ve taken three photos already today, that’s more than enough.” She should have asked if I’d taken any good photos, to which I would have replied “Yes… Lots.”

Monday, I came back from breakfast and there was a woman in the bathroom! She was a cleaner so it was okay (apparently). But it made me a bit weary of the cleaners, cos they could be doing anything while you’re out. She could be trying on my pyjamas for all I know.

On the morning we went up on the Schafbergbahn, which was a steam train up to the top of a mountain. Our carriage consisted of me, mother, a white woman with an afro and half a dozen Chinese people. There’s loads of Chinese in Austria. They love it there! I do admire the Chinese though. I love their ability to be amazed by absolutely everything. Although their ability to open windows is a bit worrying. I watched as 4 Chinese girls tried to open this window.

Schafbergbahn

I mean, too be fair to them it was a bit difficult. There was a leather strap you had to pull at the same time as pulling the window down, but I did it first time.

Schafbergbahn

They were also obsessed with putting make-up on, which spread to mother and afro lady, who both started brushing their hair. Why?! You’re going 1,782 meters up to the top of a mountain, who’s going to see you?!

While they were busy tarting themselves up, I was sh*tting myself. It was a steep drop and this train was so wobbly and sounded like in a film just before a house or a bridge collapses. Still we made it up.

Schafbergbahn

At the top, all we could see was white. It was a cloudy day and you could hardly see a thing. It was also very cold, so we went to find the café. Mother, instead of attempting to learn the language, shouted words at the poor Germans. “Caff?!”

We found the café. We both had a cup of tea, mother had an apple strudel and I decided to try thee Topfenstrudel. I immediately wished I hadn’t cos it was horrible. I left most of it, and when the waiter came and asked, I told him I didn’t like it. He wasn’t happy with that. Oh no. He got all huffy and walked off. Two waitresses came out and questioned me on it. I tried too explain that I’d never had it before and it wasn’t to my taste. They seemed okay, but then the waiter came back out, sat a few tables away and ate my leftover desert, as if to make some kind of point. We paid and left.

Schafbergbahn

The weather cleared up a bit and I got a few nice photos. Although most of it was just green hills, which didn’t interest me that much.

Schafbergbahn

On the way back down, the train was bumpy as hell. Literally, mother looked like she was nodding the whole time. Again. I feared for my life, but there was a Northern woman on the train who cheered me up. “Yeah Garry, whatever you say goes… in the dustbin.”

We then spent the rest of the day having a look round St Wolfgang. on the evening there was a bit of a festival, with some great musicians playing. My favourite was a band that played The Muppets theme and pop songs like I Kissed A Girl. If Katy Perry was accompanied by an oompah band, I think I’d be a lot more inclined to listen to her to be honest. I managed to record some of it. They did one rather repetitive song at the start and after we carried on walking. Then I heard the Muppets theme and ran back. I picked up one of their business cards so I can check them out.

band-1

band-2

band-3

band-4

Tuesday we went to Bad Ischl, which, despite its title was actually good. The ‘bad’ bit means that it’s been approved as having good water and medical facilities. On the way the driver told us his life story, telling us all the different jobs he’s done. He told us because Ken Dodd asked him. Not the real Ken Dodd, but the guy next to me sounded just like him. We went to see then Keiser Villa, which is where Franz-Joesph lived. It was a nice gaff. Too many fancy gold things though; I couldn’t live there or I’d break everything. The tour was crap cos it was an Austrian woman shouting in German. Although, we did see the desk where he wrote the letter declaring war (WW1) so that was an interesting bit of history.

keiser villa

I went around the town on my own, cos mother kept just wanting to sit in cafés drinking tea. We’re on holiday to see the world and immerse ourselves in culture and history, not drink tea!

The thing with the tea and coffee though, it came with a little glass of water and nobody explained what this was for. We thought it was either to top the drink up or to drink after. We found out later it was a palette cleanser, so you take a sip of coffee then a sip of water, then when you take another sip of coffee you get the rich taste of coffee again.

ben in austria

We also went to a puppet museum. I was quite excited about that, because I like puppets, but I was very disappointed, because it turned out to be a doll museum, boasting the largest collection of Barbie dolls. There were hundreds, with other dolls too, all staring at you. it was honestly scarier than the Bone House in Hallstatt!

ben in austria

Wednesday we went to St Gilgen. The weather had started to pick up and it was now sunny all day. The ferry ride there was nice, but it was really slow and there wasn’t much to look at. “Ooh, a mountain… Ooh another mountain… … And another mountain… Oh no, that was still the same one.” It’s just all green.

st-gilgen

St Gilgen was nice but not much to do there. One of the things I did want to see in St Gilgen was the musical instrument museum. We got there at 12 and it wasn’t open until 3, so we had ages to wander round and do nothing.

I had a garlic soup which was served in a hollowed out bread bowl. That was a great idea, which I’m going to try when I get home. The soup was lovely too, I do like garlic. Thing was, for hours after everything tasted of garlic. I had a lemon ice cream, it tasted of garlic. I had a drink of water, that tasted of garlic.

austria ben

While we were walking around, we were stopped by some German girls who wanted to film us for some school project. I agreed and she started asking me questions about what we’d done here and if we liked the place. I told her about my garlic soup in the bread bowl and she seemed quite interested. To be honest, this was the first time we’d been treated like tourists here. Everywhere we’d been, people talked German to us and seemed to assume we were German. They were quite surprised when we said ‘hullo’ in our Brummie accents.

We were going to go on the cable cars, but when we saw them up close I chickened out. I went on a cable car in Wales with Mike and that scared the willies out of me. But this one was twice as high, and the cars were really wobbling, so I said no. Mother said she was glad, because she didn’t fancy it either.

With another hour to go and having circled the town several times, we sat in the park for a bit while a bunch of English schoolkids set up for a concert. The school was called Mill Hill, which I thought was a great name. Mother seemed disinterested, but I thought this part was more interesting that the actual concert, cos you get to see all the chaos and stress before they play. The sound check was fun. There was one guy getting levels on the microphone and another guy listening at the back.

“Can you hear me?”
“It’s okay, but speak louder.”
“What?”
“Speak louder!”
“What?”
“SPEAK LOUDER!”

Mother got bored and left to get a cup of tea. That’s all she’s done on this holiday, sat and drank tea. We left before the concert in the end cos it started at 4pm, but I wasn’t bothered cos I’d heard one of the girls singing one of the songs and it sounded awful. “E-ner-gy, between you and me, it’s the product of, electricity ” … I bet the Germans will be sitting there thinking “What the hell are they on about?!” I mean, who wants to come on holiday to be taught something through the medium of song? The only thing I’ve ever learnt from school choirs is that schools shouldn’t have choirs. And if they’re just learning about electricity now – they all look about 15 – then they need to spend less time singing in Austria and more time in lessons.

We eventually went to the musical instrument museum. On the way a man rushed past us. He turned out to be the owner of the museum. The museum was a big room with glass display cabinets full of different instruments from all over the world. It was very interesting, you could see how each country had seen the same instrument and developed it their own way.

When we were done looking he offered to play some of the instruments for us. The first one he played was a Jews harp and I couldn’t believe how much he got out of it! I bought one a while back but never thought you could do much with it, but now he’s shown me I can’t wait to try it again. He also taught me how to do the circular breathing pattern for playing the didgeridoo, another technique I was struggling with.

He played some Rumanian bagpipes, and every time he finished playing he sat there waiting for us to say something. So I asked if those bagpipes came before the Scottish ones. He said he didn’t know, and I felt bad, because I could see he was embarrassed at not knowing the answer. After about 10 instruments we thanked him and left.

musical instrument museum

On the way back to the ferry we stopped by the concert for a bit. It was a big orchestra playing. They were very good but you could tell they were school kids. I don’t know why, there’s just something about a school band that doesn’t quite sound right. I think it’s cos they have too many of each instrument. The girls who all want to play the flute are all let in the band and you end up with 20 flutes, 17 clarinets, 21 trumpets, 8 tuba players… Then you have 3 people doing the same solo.The only good one is the drummer and even he’s drowned out by the kid on the cymbals going mental.

You’ve also got the obligatory music teacher acting as the composer. To be honest she didn’t need to be there. They all knew the songs and how they should be played, the drummer’s keeping the tempo, the only thing she was doing is taking a bow after each piece as if she’s taking all the credit.

They played different pop songs by artists including Abba, the Beatles and a rendition of Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, which for some reason had me in stitches. I think it was cos I realised the teacher must have chosen all the songs and the kids are sitting there playing them thinking “Why are we playing all this granny sh*t? The other bands were doing Katy Perry and the Muppets, were here doing the bloody Four Seasons’ Oh What A Night.”

Still, was a nice end to our time in St Gilgen.

ben in austria

Thursday we had no plans. Oh! I know.

We decided in the morning that we would rent a boat. It was a small boat with a motor. It cost £11 for half an hour, which was good considering the woman renting them had no way of stopping you from just driving off with it. Although, I suppose she could get on a speedboat. She’d definitely catch us then, cos this thing was deadly slow. It had 2 speeds: 1 and 2. I have a feeling these were in MPH cos at one point I had to ask “Are we actually moving?”

Mother and I took turns driving. She can’t swim so she was crapping herself every time it got a bit choppy or the boat rocked. She also wouldn’t let me go too far out. Other than that I enjoyed it. Had I not had mother with me I’d probably have rented it for an hour and done a lap of the lake.

st wolfgang lake

After that we waked into the town and mother suggested going on a horse and carriage ride. The man running the rides wanted €50 for an hours trip, but we went for the half hour which was €29. Although he conveniently never had any change, so it cost us €30.

I hated the ride. I generally like to keep a low profile and not draw attention to myself, so driving around having people stare at us was bad enough, but I also felt sorry for the horses. They were really nice horses who clearly didn’t want to be dragging tourists around in this big heavy carriage several times a day. Before we left they were chewing on the reins trying to get out! Going uphill must’ve been difficult for them, and going downhill I’m surprised we didn’t roll into them.

The thing is, although this was the first proper means of transport back in the day, we’ve since invented cars. I mean I thought cars were invented so horses didn’t have to do this anymore? I know it’s their ‘job’, but they didn’t sign up for it and they’re not getting paid for it. I imagine if they were they’d invest the money wisely and buy a nice stable far away from any tourists.

So yeah, I didn’t enjoy it that much, I’d have sooner ridden the horse and let him/her take me where they wanted to go. For all we know, he might know a nice little pub down the road that not many people know about. As we were going around I decided to look miserable in an effort to put tourists off and give the horses less to do. We later were told by the rep that the horses were very well kept and treated well by the owners, so that wasn’t too bad. But of course they’re going to say that.

horse austria

horse austria

When we got back into the town we did a bit off shopping. I bought some lederhosen. Because I’m quite short, the men’s small size in Austria was too big for me, which is a little embarrassing, but meant I got clothes cheaper, so I’m not complaining. I also bought some swimming trunks that looked like laderhosen, which the shopkeeper pointed out several times. “They are funny because they look like lederhosen but they are not.” he said. If something’s that funny, you shouldn’t have to explain it to the customer.

Later on we went to the park by the hotel to try out my new trunks. Mother sunbathed while I had a little swim. The water was freezing, but I was more concerned about the rocks below which were covered in something that made them incredibly slippy. The water was also quite slimy. We had been told the water has been certified as drinking water, so I tasted some. It was okay. It wasn’t salty but it was slimy.

st wolfgang lake

st wolfgang lake

After a while I got bored swimming on my own so I sat on the rocks and thought about things. Then I got bored of my voice and fetched my ukulele from the hotel.

I sat and played it for about an hour, with several people swimming/driving by watching me. I think they must have thought it was odd a kid in the water wearing what looked like lederhosen playing (and sometimes singing) George Formby songs. Still, I enjoyed it.

st wolfgang lake

Our final stop for the evening was a traditional Austrian bar/restaurant called Dorf Alm. Now, up until this point I hadn’t seen many good looking Austrian girls – mainly because most of the town was made up of Chinese tourists and pensioners. But when I walked into Dorf Alm… oh boy, was I smiling! We were greeted by a few gorgeous blonde German girls all wearing these tiny lederhosen shorts. I was very happy being served by them.

The food was nice and at the end the woman said “Would you like to pay?” I thought it was nice to be given the option. We chose to pay and then I rather unwillingly left. On the way back to the hotel we stopped off in a café that we’d frequented a few times this week, so much so that when we sat down the waitress said “The usual?” which was tea for mother and a glass of milk for me. It comes to something when you’re on holiday and have a ‘usual’ in your local.

At some point in the day I was also stopped by an Austrian charity woman in the street. Unfortunately, they have them here too it seems. Can’t escape them. She started talking to me in German and I stopped her and told her I was English. She spoke a bit of English, so she asked where I was from and if I was enjoying my holiday. Then she said “what I was going to talk to you about, you have to be Austrian to take part. Sorry, I thought you were Austrian.” Which struck me as weird but not surprising, as everywhere we’d been that week, everyone thought mother and I were Austrian! They all spoke German to us until we tell them we’re English, and we were even stopped for directions! I’ve never really thought of myself as looking German but apparently I do.

ben lederhosen

On Friday, I came up with one of the best jokes I’ve ever said (and very quickly I might add) but there was nobody to hear it. We were waiting for the coach when a bus drove past and then straight after a guy went past lightly jogging. So I said “He’s not going to catch the bus going at that speed.” I told mother, but she was busy reading so I don’t think she even saw the guy or the bus.

We got the coach into Salzburg. They told us yesterday it was going to be warm… they weren’t joking! Mother wanted to see the Sound of Music stuff, so we went to Mirabella Gardens where someone sang a song or something. It was a really nice garden, but filled with tourists. We had to wait about 5 minutes to get a good photo of mother by the fountain.

Then we got on a hop-on-hop-off bus, which takes you to all the SoM places and you can get off, take a photo and get back on. Before we left, someone asked the driver “What time do you take off?” which made me believe it was a flying bus. Sadly it was not. I heard a woman say “We’ll go there and see the… thing.” Sounds like she’s got her whole day planned. First she’s going to see the Thing, them she’ll visit the Wotsit, have a quick look at the Thingamabob and finally stop off at the Old Place With All The Dead People.

Whilst riding around the bus, we were given some earphones to listen to the onboard audio guide, which had 9 channels for different languages and 2 for the SoM tour. Mother listened to the SoM one while I opted for the French City Tour channel. I was going to go for the English City Tour one, but the English woman had a whistle in her voice and the French one had a much nicer voice. It was like in French listening exams at school, where the girl on the tape has a really seductive voice and at the end you say ‘I don’t know what she said but she said it beautifully.’ It was the sort of voice I’d buy a saucepan off. “I don’t need a saucepan, I’ve got plenty at home, but because it’s you… I’ll take four.” There’s just something about the French accent, she could be calling me an idiot and telling me I smell like poo for all I know, but it still sounds mice.

I let mother use my camera on the bus, cos I wasn’t fussed about all the SoM stuff like she was. I hadn’t even seen the film, which a lot of people there had a go at me about. I did learn a couple of things from the coach tour guide though:

CDs hold 74 minutes of music because a guy called Van Carrier who was working with Panasonic and Sony when they were developing them insisted that he must be able to listen to Beethoven’s 9th Symphony without having to change CD half way through.

The name of the drink Cappuccino comes from the Capauchin monks, who had Cappuccino coloured outfits. They were named after the Capuchin mountains on Austria where they lived by.

While we were in Salzburg we went to an Italian place for lunch (when in Austria… eat Italian food) and once again we sat inside. That’s the main thing that really annoyed me on this holiday. It was lovely and sunny out, but every restaurant we went to, we sat inside, and we were the only ones sitting inside. I felt stupid sitting there in an empty restaurant with all the staff staring at us.

Salzburg was nice though. It was really hot (about 30 degrees) so I was sweating all day. The tour bus didn’t stop at every point, which was good because we didn’t have that much time to keep stopping. A few times it stopped for a couple of minutes to get photos and we got off for a long stop at the pavilion. Here’s some photos of mother at some places from the Sound of Music:

salzburg

salzburg

salzburg

salzburg

salzburg

salzburg

salzburg

During our last meal at the hotel, I asked the man for a drink of water. After a while the woman brought over a glass filled with ice cubes. Mother and I both looked puzzled. “What’s all that about?” I asked Mother, “Have they got a glacier out back that hasn’t quite melted yet!” The man noticed, said something to the woman and then brought me a glass of water. I couldn’t stop laughing, mainly because of the woman’s face when she gave us the glass of ice. She must’ve been thinking “You crazy English people with your glass of ice.”

On Saturday – the final day – we had to leave the hotel by 10am. So we were up, had breakfast, finished packing and left. Thing was, the coach wasn’t picking us up until 3pm… so we had 5 hours to kill! Now I can’t bear it when I have half an hour to kill in town where there’s lots to do, so this really annoyed me. We decided to just wander around the town and kept stopping at benches or cafes for a while. This passed the time quite well, and we also got to see the band playing in the town centre.

st wolfgang band

st wolfgang band

st wolfgang band

While we were out, we had lunch in a nice little restaurant and I persuaded mother to sit outside. I was happy then, because I was fed up of being the only ones sitting inside all the time and it was actually really nice sitting outside; we got the benefit of the weather and got to watch people going past. A lot of these people were Chinese tourists. I joked to mother that I’d love to see inside one of their houses, it must just be full of photo albums. Mother ordered the jacket potato, which came in a rather fancy presentation:

ben in austria

I ordered the fish because it said it was fresh from the lake. I didn’t realise just how fresh. It came like this:

ben in austria

I tried to eat it but it was making me feel sick, so I had to ask the waitress if she could take it back to get the head cut off. She did so – took ages – and bought it back without the head and tail. It was nice fish.

On the way back to the hotel we picked up some flowers for the hotel owners as a little thanks – they’d been very nice and handled mother’s dietary needs exceptionally well. When we got to the hotel, we gave them the flowers. The man quickly said thanks and moved onto a more important issue, the room key. Mother had forgotten to give it to him and couldn’t find it anywhere in her bag. It turned out to be inside her cardigan pocket which was in another room with the cases. Kind of spoilt the nice gesture of the flowers really.

We waited for the coach and spoke to a few people whom we’d made friends with over the week. It was a shame to be going home really. I was going to miss the calmness and the weather, but I was getting a bit bored because we had pretty much done everything we wanted to do and it was just becoming a case of passing time.

The flight back was good. Because of mother’s claustrophobia we ended up at the front with loads of legroom, which was really nice. However, before we took off I noticed this:

ben in austria

What an appropriate thing to put in with the safety notice, an article about a plane crash in Birmingham. I quickly hid it from mother or she wouldn’t have let the plane take off. I also noticed some fingernail clippings in the aeroplane window between the two panes of glass. As concerned as I was about the hygiene, I was also intrigued as to how they got there.

ben in austria

So, that was my holiday in Austria. Typing this up on the Macbook feels weird after having not used it for so long. It’s nice coming home after a long time though, because everything feels new again. I opened the fridge and didn’t recognise it at first. I went to my room and I didn’t recognise that either. I saw the clown in the bathroom and didn’t recognise him. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t there before we left though.


Here’s the elephant:

elephant cliff