Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Running the roads.

Originally I had thought of another title for this particular entry.  Something to do with laundry,   but that just happens to be something I need do while writing this,  so not all that worthy of being a blog title.

The kids are coming Saturday.  That's all I'll say.

If you need to refill your coffee or go to the bathroom,  now is a good time,  since this could take a while.
Our company arrived some time Friday afternoon.  I was snoozing on the bed watching a DVD I had brought over on turning boxes.  I'll probably watch that one a few more times, (um,  need to stay awake?)  since even when I was in peak lathe operating form,  I was never as good as the guy doing the demonstration.
Gah!  Not sure I'll live long enough.
It's right up there with my "guitar playing".   Pitiful.

There won't be any gratuitous pics of these folks,  since I didn't get them to sign a waiver or anything,  however you may recall that we did go and visit them at some point when we lived in the Netherlands?  Yes?
I just now went looking for the entry when we made that visit.  This is the way I evaporate a considerable amount of time,  since minutes have past,  and I didn't find it.   Enjoyed reminiscing over old blog entries though.

Let me see if I can get this straight,  the lady is the daughter of the God Mother of one of Gabe's sisters.   The connection goes back to when many Ex-pat Slovenians moved to Austria after the war,  either looking for work or due to having fought against what later became the government under Tito.  I think that's the way it worked.  I could be wrong.  I sometimes get these things mixed up.
Anyway,  for a lot of folks,  hanging around in Slovenia after about 1947 wasn't a good thing.  Many of them eventually came to Canada.

Thing is,  our Friday visitors were on their way to Spittal,  where they still keep in contact with Slovenians who never moved from the area.

She and Magda had actually corresponded over the years after the God Mother passed away,  but had never met.
Since they were now both on the same continent so to speak,  it would have been a shame to miss the chance to see each other.
Who knew we'd be living in Vienna so these little meetings could take place?? 

So now you know.

They packed up and headed out on Saturday morning,  and we were on the road not long afterwards.
A while back,  when we knew for sure that Magda would be coming for a visit,  my travelling companion ordered tickets for the Passion Play in Oberammergau.

What's that,  you say?  Well I'm putting in all these links,  since I'll be here all day trying to adequately describe the whole experience.  If I could so boldly quote one of my nieces, it was definitely a "once in a lifetime",  although I did meet a few people and overheard others who said they had been to Oberammergau on several occasions.  There were many people speaking English,  or something that might pass for English,  since some of the Americans (and Brits)  have their own little quirky nuances.  My impression was that most of the pilgrims were Americans which,  according to this guy doing a little carving,  is a good thing,  since the average German no longer has any interest.

The time spent waiting for the performance to begin can be spent in one of the many tourist trap type shops throughout the town.

 This certificate basically says that the guy whose work is on display can be referred to as a "Master Carver".   

Often I pretend that I don't speak any English,  but I did get sucked into the roll of interpreter between the guy carving the huge statue of Mary (above) and an American gentleman who had started to dabble in wood carving.   Turns out he was a retired dentist (the American,  not the German)  and I find it noteworthy that many doctors and dentists do drift off into woodworking when they retire,  quite often with a high degree of skill.
The wife of the retired dentist did compliment me on my diplomatic skills, in light of my having to get around telling her husband he needed to learn how to sharpen his tools.  This was in answer to one of the questions I had posed to the mallet wielding carver dude about cutting across the grain....
I mean geez,   I knew the answer,  but it always has more credibility coming from the expert.

 The astounding thing is,  the production runs from mid-May until October,  and the 4700 seat theatre is packed every day.  Well,  except Mondays.
We stayed at a "Pension",  which is more or less the equivalent of a Bed and Breakfast,  which is operated by Anton Zwink,  who also has appeared in the play going back to 1970.
There was a shuttle bus service that came by on a regular basis,  but the town is so tiny,  that even the half-cripples like us could manage the distances.

Anyway,  it was quite a novel experience.
Took a look at the odometer when we came back.  Vienna to Oberammergau and back;  roughly 960 kilometers.

But wait,  we're not done!

The plan was that on the Tuesday (yesterday)  I was going to drive Magda down to Sava to see her cousin.  Again,  long convoluted story about that tangled web of family connections,  and I'm not going there.
There was some talk of me staying over night,  but I wanted to get back here to Wienerland,  since I knew my travelling companion was off to Serbia this morning,  and just might want a ride to the airport.   Vienna to Sava and back,  roughly 650.  (something like that,  memory's dim)

On edit,  it was 844km.

Google maps sez there's a more direct route,  but google maps doesn't drive the back roads of Slovenia.  It's better to go to Ljubljana and drive the half hour back to Sava.  Trust me.

I still have to get out and get the car refueled and washed,  since we're going to Schrems on Friday.  Oy.
I think that puppy is going to be due for it's first oil change before "visitor season"  is over in September.  We're already coming up on the 10,000 kilometre mark.
Again,  as was the case with the Audi,  the car will "tell me"  when it needs the oil changed.  I'll start keeping an eye on the level in about mid August though I'm thinking....

Oh wait!  Almost forgot.   I mentioned that travelling companion was off to Serbia?   Seems yesterday they had meetings with one of the bigger cheeses who came over from the States,  and he and a few others were heading on to Serbia,  so travelling companion was once again blessed with being able to hitch a ride on one of the corporate jets.
Unfortunately they're then heading on to Turino  Italy,  so she'll have to come back tonight on Yugoslav Airlines

It's a bit of a different experience compared to the corporate jet program,  since she always ends up on one of their ageing ATR-72-200s.

I'm hoping to pick her up at the airport again tonight.

No really,  they're safe.

Aren't they?


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Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.