20 August 2012
I arrived by train and taxi on the Sunday afternoon. That way I had some time to relax and just enjoy it all before I had to start 'work'. I spent the afternoon outside. I sat on the bridge by the pond for the majority--drawing and writing. I also went for a bit of a walk around the property.
It always gets a bit full on and a tad awkward when family friends come to visit who have kids that are ratbags in comparison. That was a tiring day. But as for the rest, they were pretty cruisy. Kids always provide challenges like pracitising tolerance, stretching energy levels and your ability to answer 'why?'. But I also got lots of lovely time with the boy. Lots of cuddles, kisses and 'I love you, Kelly'. I think he knew something was going on though he's only recently been told that I'm leaving soon to help another family look after their baby. It's bitter sweet.
14 August 2012
Liechtenstein was an interesting part of my journey. I only stayed just over a day but that was enough. Though there was lots of 'firsts'--beginning with walking to another country--but there's not a lot to see and do in this little place. It's fun to be able to say that I've been to one of the only two doubly landlocked countries in the world. Meaning from Liectenstein you have to cross at least two borders to reach a coastline. A country surrounded by landlocked countries. My CS host took me to a place to try a bubble tea. I'd never had one nor even heard of it. Apparently it's some japanese thing? You choose a flavour for the tea and one for the bubbles. Interesting but I think the flavour was a bit too intense for my liking. It's super sweet. Back at my CS host's house we ended up watching some Harry Potter films and she made me a traditional Liechtenstein meal. Can't remember what it was called but it was a soup with chunks of bacon and dumplings. Tasty. The night there was not the most pleasant. I felt a little grossed out and the sleeping arrangement wasn't ideal. Things all felt a bit dirty too. But surviving all that, she was a thoughtful host.
She had some things planned that we could do. The next day she walked me around Vaduz, the capital that doesn't seem very big. But then the whole country isn't very big. She explained lots of things on the way which was interesting and she took me on the Vaduz city train which wound it's way up through the hills and down and round back to where we started. We saw Vaduz castle from a distance but I didn't really get a good shot as I thought we would get closer. We didn't. The Prince of Liechtenstein and his family still live there. We had some yummy pizza for a late lunch and then went and picked up my bag.
I wandered around Innsbruck a little before making my way back to the hotel. Now that the skies had cleared it was a lovely scene and great for shooting memories of the place. A decision well made as the next day was properly wet. It's a good thing that my CS host had given me an old umbrella to keep. I lugged my luggage around for the moring in the rain and did my tourist shopping before hanging out at the train station till my train arrived. Late again as the theme of this holiday goes.
I was on my way to Vienna now. My luxury leg. Oh the seating was deluxe. I had bought a first class seat and they had spacious recliner chairs, powerpoints, free glass of wine with a kitkat. Mmmm...oh, this is BUISNESS first class. Ooops. Oh well, ha ha. So I paid a little extra to stay there. After all, I'd planned to end my adventure with luxury. And it was a four hour train journey.
In the morning I checked out, got a map and worked out the train system. I made the meeting point for my walking tour of Vienna in good time. Not the most pleasant weather but it barely rained. Our guide was wonderfully interested in history and Vienna and she made it rather interesting. We walked around seeing the sights and hearing bits and pieces of history like seeing the place where Adolf Hitler had stood and addressed the people of Vienna and heard how he'd come here to try and get into art school numerous times and was never accepted. Since I'm finishing this post a few weeks after returning from my holiday (priorities took over) I don't remember a lot of the details and the maps and such I kept I haven't got with me but I'm still going to get this done and posted. The Dom fascinated me. So specifically designed with numbers corresponding to religioius things and all that. It was also being worked on and was surrounded with scaffolding. Cleaning more precisely. You can see how dark the outside is. The pale yellowy colour is the cleaned part. It being so detailed as gothic architecture is it's taking a long time to clean but it's coming up nicely. Once the tour was over I had a few more hours so headed to the summer palace which was near my hotel anyway where I'd left my bag for the day. I just wandered the gardens for a while until I realised I'd got to that damn spot on my camera's sd card where it stops recording my shots. Realising the last few hours of photos hadn't worked I switched to the spare I'd included for this situation and quickly hurried back around the gardens at the palace to get the shots I wanted, collected my bag from the hotel and managed to stop by the Dom again. Lucky I hadn't lost any I particularly wanted to keep and couldn't get back to.