Thursday, July 19, 2012

Food, Pathfinders, and Worthersee

Tuesday July 17, 2012

Most of the day was spend on the lake which had risen several centimeters from all the rain we had over the last few days. The water was also colder and not quite as pleasant but my austrian brother dragged me out and we went around parts of the lake with surfboards and paddles.

Once we had finished with that he found some clay around the rocks and proceeded to throw chunks of it at me. Much to his dismay I used one of his crocs (shoes) as a shield.

In the afternoon, my austrian father took us out to lunch in Villach at a restaurant located right next to the Villach brewery. I decided to go with the tuesday special which I knew had mushrooms but as always, even with someone to translate the menu for me I don't exactly know what I will be getting.

First came out a soup with a very small dumpling which was later followed by a small salad.

My soup
 My main dish turned out to be a large dumpling sitting in a cream sauce with mushrooms, onions, etc. While the dish wasn't that big the cream did sit pretty heavily on my stomach.

As we were eating I noticed a dog under the bench behind us. My austrian brother was eating fried chicken and it was obvious that the dog wanted some of it but was restricted by his leash.

The pitiful dog
In the evening we went to Klagenfurt and I spent some time on a trampoline with my austrian brother. We tried to watch 'Wallace and Gromit" on the DVD player but I hadn't thought about the fact that not all DVD players are the same and there would be region restrictions on where I could play my DVDs. Hence we could not watch it. I suppose I will have to watch it on my laptop later.

Wednesday July 18, 2012

In the morning we woke up early to go to a Pathfinder's meeting (by bike; my bike was too large for me). Pathfinder is basically Austria's version of Boy scouts (Pathfinders also go to international red jamborees). However Pathfinder allows both girls and boys to join. While I respect the long tradition of boy scouts and girl scouts, I did kind of like the fact that Austria has them as one group, i.e. the Pathfinders. 

The meeting started late since not everyone showed up and it took awhile to rally the boys and girls together on a couch. The President of the Carinthian pathfinders was also there to help with updating the group on things for August. I was also told on the side that the President of the Pathfinders (of Carinthia) is the direct grandson of the Hasburgs (? I think this is what they told me).

All in all it was a typical meeting with the boys and girls fidgeting during the meeting. I was told afterward by my younger austrian brother that all the things they had gone over were things they already knew.

Patches and uniform of Pathfinders

After the meeting we walked to the Interspar in Klagenfurt (across the street) and went to the little restaurant that was in there. My younger austrian brother had mashed potatoes with sausage and I had some salad with potato soup. He wanted to check the prices of xboxes so after lunch we went into the shopping part of the Interspar to look. There was no xboxes on the shelf but after some wandering in the toy section he found a cheap toy that uses a spinning wheel and 'sticks' to catch it. We bought it and then got on the bikes to head back to our Klagenfurt home.

We played a bit with the new toy and then my austrian brother got bored and went to his computer. Eventually I was able to lure him back outside although the weather started to become very hot.

He came up with an idea to go to the lake (Worthersee) and rent a motorboat to drive around the lake. The Worthersee is a lake by Klagenfurt and there are three main differences between Worthersee and Ossiachsee.

Worthersee is:
#1. Much larger than Ossiachsee
#2. Much bluer than Ossiachsee
#3. Much more beach culture than Ossiachsee

We go on our bikes to head to the lake. As I mentioned before the bike I was riding was too big for me. What does this mean? This means that to stop the bike I had lean sideways and put a foot down which would then allow me to hop/slide of the seat so I could put both feet on the ground. To get on the bike I had to use a pedal that was at 60 degrees to the cement to leverage myself into the bike seat. I have never been more aware how fragile my skull is especially since bike helmets are typically not worn here (only if doing some intense bike riding). At least the area was mostly flat but I had to stop a couple times for intersections.  T_T <- me crying

We finally got to the lake and rented a motorboat for one hour for 16 euros (we got back the boat a few mins early so it turned into 15 euros). For me the name motorboat is a bit of a misnomer because even though it is a boat with a motor you only go about as fast as a slow sailboat. It is not a bad way to meander the lake but just don't expect to go anywhere fast.

The mass of umbrellas on the dock

My austrian brother driving the boat

The water

A tower. I was told this tower was used to signal (with cannon fire) battles and wars.

Some water sports on the lake

Where the party music was coming from

 Afterwards we got some ice cream and biked back to the Klagenfurt house. Eventually my austrian mother and father came home and we had some dinner.

Before going out again, my austrian father pulled me aside to tell me that I could go out for more ice cream with my younger austrian brother with "the bikes."

Me: "err... okay."

So I was back on the bike that was too big for me although I had to drag my austrian brother away from his t.v. by threatening to leave without him. We went around klagenfurt to search for ice cream but the first place we went to (minimundos) was closed and then the second place, the university, had no ice cream places. Admitting defeat we headed back to the Klagenfurt house.

Later my austrian brother and father, and I got back in the car to head to Sattendorf where we  almost climbed directly into bed. However my austrian father and I paused to eat some homemade apple strudel (by my austrian grandmother) with some beer. Apparently my austrian brother didn't want any. HOW CAN YOU NOT WANT HOMEMADE APPLE STRUDEL?!

Be jealous....

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