Monday, December 13, 2010

Wow, What a Week!

This past week was a little bit weird, any time I was able to get on the internet, I did not have my computer with with me, so that made it a bit difficult to write a post, and put pictures in it. Anyways, I am writing this on sunday at around noon, back up in the mountains again.

Last saterday, Astrid and I went out for a walk just after breakfast. We took Tobi with us, as well as Tillo the dog. We headed out into the beautiful morning light, and grabbed a pair of sleds from the barn. When I say sleds I mean legitamite sleds. The kind I had only seen in movies.

We went to the end of the driveway, then slid down the steep road a hundred meters or so to the bottom. The sleds are so awesome. They are very fast, and smooth.

Once at the bottom, we headed along a tiny tiny road that winds its way further up the valley. It was all uphill, and dragging both sleds with me made it a bit of an effort, and I soon was no longer the least bit cold, despite the negative temperature.

It is hard to describe how beautiful this place is. It is not just that there are amazing views, and there are, it is more that everywhere you look is a beautiful view. It is impossible to look anywhere and see anything but an amazing vista that people travel from all corners of the world to see.

We kept on going up the road for nearly an hour. When we finnaly reached where we would start from, by no means the top, we took a bit of a rest. There is a little resteraunt there, and it marks the start of many hiking trails. Just another hour or so away is Austria, and Astrid said that in the summer she walk with the dog there.

Looking up I saw a little brown speck way up on the mountain above, and it turned out that it is another resteraunt way up the trail.

We soon got ourselves oriented on the sleds. Astrid pushed off first, and made it look easy. It is actually really hard to get used to. It seems that if you follow your instinct, and lean into corners, you actually turn the other way. I tended to use my feet as differential brakes, and that seemed to work, as well as slow me down, which was good, because it was actually quite a slope we were going down.

When we got to the bottom, and I caught up with Astrid, we started walking back up to their house. I really like sledding.

Those are pictures out the kitchen window of the house. Just absolutely stunning.

Just yesterday, we all piled into two cars, and headed out to go sledding in another valley at a longer track. We got to the place at the bottom, and rented sleds, then, so we did not have to take both cars to the top, we tied the sleds to the back of the jeep, and got pulled up.

Now one would think that towing 4 people on sleds would make one drive a bit slower. Nope. Totally wrong. Poldi, Jakes dad, was drifting around corners, and there are a lot of corners when the road is switchbacking, and it was really crazy, because it was very difficult to look forwards because of all the snow and ice shooting out of the tires, so you had to close your eyes or look sideways, which I must say is somewhat disconcerting.

Everyone survived all the way to the top, and we untied the sleds. It was a really nice trail, nicely groomed, and just the right steepness. Some of the corners were a bit hairy, but I made it all the way down to the bottom.

It was really fun.

Back to last weekend.

We were supposed to have gone skiing that day, but everyone chose sleeping in instead, all of them having gone out the night before. Jakes birthday party was that night, so he, and a few of the others headed out to Antermoia to prepare.

Evening light from the bedroom window.

I stayed at here, and in the afternoon, we headed out to a nearby town called Toblach. We were there to see the Krampus (not sure on the spelling). They are people dressed in these costumes of devils, and other crazy, and totally evil creatures.

They all have big bells attached to them, and when they run and jump around, they make quite the sound. There must have been at least two or three hundred of them in the parade, along with a few decked out tractors with evil colored lights, and fires burning in trailers. It is one of those undescribable experiences.

The Krampus come over and pick people out of the crows to hit with their whips made of sticks. I got hit a few times. here is a video of one of them coming over to get me, as well as one of the tractors.

There were many different kinds of creatures, and here are a few of them.

My favorite is the last one. with the big horns.

Here is another little video.

We left about half way through, because one, we had to get to Antermoia, about an hour and a bit away, and two, it was really cold. When we got back to the car, the temperature gauge said -14.5 C. Cold, but not as cold as Antermoia.

We left Toblach, about ten kilometers from Austria, and headed through Brunek to Antermoia, picking up one of Jakes friends on the way.

Winding up along the crazy road at night in the snow is another undiscibable experience.

We got to the house, and I glanced at the temperature, and it was around 10 degrees colder than in Tobach.

Astrid dropped Sophia, Myself, and the friend we had picked up in Brunek off at the house. When we got inside, we found out that only one of the rooms had heat, and the rest were just as cold as outside.

We had a lot of fun.

We Woke up fairly early, all piling into the one warm room from the freezing bedrooms, and headed next door to the resteraunt to have breakfast. After cleaning up, we all piled into the cars and drove back to Bruneck. Once there, as there was not nearly enough room in the one car that was going all the way out to the house, we split in half, and some took the train, and the rest of us drove.

Once everyone had arrived by their various methods, we started an epic culinary adventure that lasted for at least 5 or 6 courses over almost 4 hours. Different pastas, fish dishes,  salads and deserts were brought forth from the kitchen at a startling rate. It was soooo good.

Just after lunch, at around 4.30pm, it became apparant that the others were not heading back to Verona that day, and in-fact, were seriously considering not going back down at all that week, due to there being no school on wed.

I am not going to go into it, but the logic was, as far as I could tell, completly flawed, but I didnot point that out, and insted decided to head back down myself.

I got on the train at 6.37. It was an Austrian train doing the loop from Lienz to Innsbruck.

Travelling with me was Jake and Mathias' friend Samuele. We talked, him in english, me in italian for most of the journy, reverting to our natural languages when we could not find the words.

We changed trains after an hour or so in Fortezza, and after only five minutes, were on our way again.

We got into Verona at about ten, and headed our respective ways. I got to the aparment, and as I was unlocking the door into the building thought, haha wouldn't it be funny if they had locked the bolt that I don't have the key for, hahaha.

I got to the apartment, unlocked the door, and it did not pop open like it usually does, instead it did not move at all. I tried again, and again, and it turns out that it wasnt so funny after all that they had locked the bolt that I don't have the key for.

I kinda just stood there trying with the keys I had for almost an hour, and then decided I was not going to be getting in that night, and sized up my options.

I could have headed back to Brunek, but I nixed that right away. There was always a hotel, but I did not want to spend any money. Breaking in was an option, but I did not really want to do that. The last option that I could think of was to just sleep there, and wait for Thomas to come down the next day. I chose that option.

It was not the most pleasnt place to sleep. The floor was cold marble, the air was not heated, the lights were bright, all I had was a travel towel as a blanket, my sleeping bag being about 20 feet away inside the apartment.

I toughed it out though, and made it though the night.

I got up early, and headed outside. I knew that the coffee shops opened at 7, and they are warm, and there is coffee there, so I headed to one of those, and stayed there until eight. I then went to my school because I knew it was open, and I could relax there more than in a caffe.

After school, it was not until 5 that Thomas finnaly showed up with the keys. Making myself the cup of tea that I had so dearly wanted the night before, I settled in and got cozy and warm finally.

I slept very well, not having had a good sleep in the past two nights, and was ready for school in the morning.

Everything was closed on wed, due to a big festival, so school was cancelled, and I stayed in and just hung around the apartment. I made myself a gourmet curry for dinner.

Very tasty I must say, and the presentation makes it taste so much better for some reason, and does not take any real effort.

The week continued as normal, well, normal minus all the other in the apartment, Thomas only having stayed one night, until friday, when I came back up here.

I will leave that for another post, as I have been writing for a while now, and you have been reading for a while now, and I just think that the world would be a better place if this post ended now.

Until next time, Ciao!

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