Ok, several days away make writing very diffilcult with the Internet cafe about to close in 20 minutes. Ach!
D?lsach was wonderful. A week's trip packed into 2 days and 3 nights. On Tuesday, we hiked Ederplan, which is mountain that is about 6,500 feet at the top. When I was 15, I climbed and it didn't seem so hard, but now. Very hard. It's basically steep switchbacks all the way up. An elevation gain of maybe 2000 feet in 2 miles. In America, we call this hard. In Austria, even the non-hikers call it easy. Apparently, a hard hike requires ropes. Folks, back home we call that mountain climbing. And my favorite part, the german word for hiking is wanderen. It's just wandering for them... for the clueless, they speak german in Austria.
So Jane and I were pathetic sweaters and panters all the way up, but the nice thing about Austrian mountains is that there are big log cabins at the top called huts, which sell food and drink to the sweaty (or non-sweaty if you're a local) hiker. Jane, Christian, an old friend Gudi and I had lunch at the top and the sausages were great. It was at this hut ten years ago that I was peer pressured (by 60 year olds) to try hard alcohol in the form of local favorite, Schnapps. This time was not so bad. Schnapps doesn't burn like it used to.
Anyway, we hiked down Ederplan and laid about in the afternoon. In the evening, we ate dinner at my friend Nicole's mom, Edith's. house. It was super. A salmon pasta. Very good. We stayed there late into the evening, sipping Schnapps, and telling stories about people. I tried something call Fehnert which is supposed to be some healthy kind of liquor mixed with herbs. It tastes like crap. Well, grass and crap. Don't try it if ever offered. Run, and fast.
The next day, yesterday, we woke and visited Mama Brunner. Mama Brunner is the 87 year old mother of Edith, grandmother to Nicole, and host mother to my mom when she came here for a summer at the age of 17. She was very sweet, talkative, humorous, and complimented me on my german, which was flowing ok at that point, but was still very rudimentary. She cried at the end of our visit because she doesn't know if she will see us or especially my mom again before she dies. So Mom, I promised you would visit in the next 2 years, so start saving...Apparently, you can fly within Europe now for like 20 bucks on this Irish airline...so just fly to London and then hitch it on the other plane.
In the afternoon, Jane and I played a lot with the two kids of the family we were staying with. Andreas is five and Hannah, six and a half. Both of them were the cutest kids ever, even though they hardly understood anything we said. Jane also went shopping with their mom, Annelies. Around 5 pm, Christian and I met Jane and Annelies at a local Schnapps brewer (the town of D?lsach with 2000 people has 60 local brewers of Schnapps!) and we tried Pear schnapps and raspberry schnapps and elderberry schnapps (YOUR MOTHER SMELT OF ELDERBERRIES!) and you name it, we probably tried it. Too much!
After that, we had a bbq at Gudi's family's house which was awesome. I had never met her family and they were wonderful. Jane said to me within five minutes of meeting them, "I love them." And as we walked home from their house, she said, "You don't have to speak the same language to know if you really like someone." It was a very fun evening of more stories and sadly, even more Schnapps.
The one minute left on time moral of our story in D?lsach is that you will never eat so much or drink so much Schnapps in your whole life as you will in several days in D?lsach...bye.