After leaving my Uncle’s house in Gmunden, we headed East. It was raining in the morning, so we weren’t sure about making a stop anywhere. Fortunately, the bad weather was slow moving from the West to the East. Apparently, on the Autobahn we got couple of hours ahead of the storm. When we got to Vienna, the weather was picture perfect. After an hour or so the clouds cough up with us and we were forced to quickly evacuate from this lively, beautiful city.
Grünberg, translated as Green Mountain is a peak at 1,004 meter (3,294 ft) above sea level in the Northern Limestone Alps. On Thursday, August 11th 2011, this peak has been conquered by the Bajans team. What’s most important, is that the trip to the top and back to the parking lot has been completed by each and every team member using their very own (little) feet. As such, from now on, we consider the Grünberg a symbol of positive thinking, which defeats any difficulties we encounter on our way.
Thanks to that trip we’ve also checked the Austrian health system. In the woods Nadia acquired a new fried – a tick, that attempted to make himself comfortable just above her ear. Fortunately our Captain, alert as always, spotted this little invader and announced a quick visit to Austrian ambulance. We’ve been through the formalities quickly and in the doctor’s face in just few minutes after arrival. However, in the very few moments between my Uncle’s house and the hospital, the tick managed to secretly disappear. Imagine my embarrassment, when as the only one speaking German I had to explain that there actually WAS a reason for us to inspect the institution. The smirks at the nurses faces were not well covered. Still, the Captain was uneasy. It took a phone call to Nadia’s pediatrician in the US to put away all her worries.
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After a few days of partying, it’s time to start road trip planning. My Father offered us one of his vehicles, which means that we can do a small loop around Europe. We don’t want to spend on the road more than couple or three weeks, so the loop will be rather tight. Especially, as we plan to stick with our kids friendly driving habits. That means no longer then four or five hours of driving a day. In order to accomplish that task, we’ve decided to look at the map, see where do we have Friends or Family and plan around that locations. We will take some camping gear for those parts of the trip where there will be no friendly accommodation available.
Since large part of my Family is German, the route will be mostly around Germany, but also Austria and the Czech Republic. We will start by visiting my wife’s Family in Zgorzelec – that’s still in Poland, but it’s a German border town. From there we will go to the region of North Rhine-Westphalia, where lives a large part of my Family, but also number of old friends. We may need to overnight near Leipzig, as this leg of the trip will be significantly longer than the daily allowance set by the Captain. Then we will turn South and drive through Luxembourg to visit my Father’s sister in Saarland, near the French border. After few days of recovery, we will head towards Austria, where my Father’s brother lives in a picturesque little village. Again, due to the limitations set by the Captain, we may need to overnight at my wife’s friend house half way to Austria and then again somewhere in the Czech Republic (most probably around Brno) before arriving back at my Parents house.