Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I will see my wife again Insha'Allah

Schladming before and after snowfalls

We love the snow and got lucky at Schladming. The weather forecasts had predicted snow for next week but it arrived early.

On Saturday we went for what was supposed to be a short walk but it ended up being 5 hours – but quite easy. Cate said she always knew where we were – but I had no idea – so I kept an eye on Google Maps on my iPhone to see if the little blue dot (us) was getting closer to the pin (the car) – which I had dropped when we parked.

This is the first time I had used Google maps like this and it was actually very comforting. Of course the tracks we were on were not shown but we could see where we were generally and knew in which direction to head.

It’s not that I don’t trust Cate – but I have an uncanny sense of misdirection so I am always convinced that I know the right way to go.  I don’t – and never have – but I just cannot get it into my head that I am ALWAYS wrong. I think it is a man thing. I am a man so I must be able to find my way around (otherwise how me can kill animal and take home for wife to cook!)

 Doesn’t work for me.

I simply cannot read maps or street directories. I have never been able to do this. I know I am not stupid because I have a Masters Degree and was the Director of a Bank. But - I was able to achieve these things because neither of them required map reading. Had they done so they just would not be on my Résumé. 

Cate on the other hand has an uncanny sense of direction. She can be anywhere and will know which way to go. I know this – and STILL argue with her. (It’s a man thing). I should mention Gwenyth who is an outstanding sailor but who - like me – struggles to find the way off an escalator.  But Gwenyth – once pointed in the right direction – is sensational.

Her major error is always at the starting point of the journey. She usually goes South instead of North or vice versa. But once pointed in the right direction (by Cate) Gwenyth is like a Bloodhound and can get you to your destination on time – every time. She navigated the Moscow Metro like a seasoned traveler and was just sensational in St Petersburg where we followed her everywhere like baby Ducks following their mother.

She rested on her laurels on our bike trip in Italy a few months ago and let Llama and I make compete fools of ourselves as we tried to ride along railway tracks and motorways with Gwenyth saying things like ‘Are you sure this is the right way darlings?’

Anyway it was a brilliant walk in what must be one of the most beautiful parts of Austria.

After two days of nice weather it started to snow and did not stop for more than 24 hours.

So we went on part of the  ‘Wilde Wasser’  (Wild Water) walk which follows a river up into the mountains. We did not get too far because the snow was pelting down and we were not properly dressed for it – as we had not expected snow. But it was sensational.

It snowed all that day and night and we had to dig Billy Benz out the next morning. The snow on Billy was 20cm deep.

There is something special about snow for us. It is the complete transformation of the landscape from something that theoretically could be part of Australia to something that is unreal and ethereal and ghostly and more beautiful than can be described. Of course it is very boring to Austrians but to us it is just magical and being in it is a joyful experience.

I will post some photos on my Facebook page within the next couple of hours.

Cate worked a lot over the weekend and we squeezed in what we could. Tonight she left for Indonesia then Australia. We will meet in Tel-Aviv in a week or so.



  1. great photos. It is a man thing. I am awful at finding directions but refuse point blank to admit it or ask for help

  2. How I miss the snow.

    My brain is too linear to figure out where the hell I am in Charlotte...early city planners apparently did not believe in a grid system. I do very well in other cities, but am total shit in Charlotte.

    People claim Charlotte is a "hub-and-spoke" city. Either those people have never seen a bicycle or the model for Charlotte was in some type of horrible, disfiguring accident.

  3. Pretty cool using your iPhone as a homing device. A very different navigational aid to those that Jim uses!

  4. Sounds like you had a fantastic walk!

  5. angiv: It was just gorgeous - I hope we get as much in Wien this year as we did last year.

    Glen: No man worth his salt will ever ask for help.

    Jessica: I can recommend an iPhone with Google maps. You cannot get lost.

    Annie: You mean on his way to the grog cupboard?

    Maalie: Just brilliant.