15.06.2013 - 15.06.2013
Austria is pretty much all about the outdoors for us. Today was no exception. We took a cable car called the "Flying Mozart" up the side of a mountain in order to hike one of the trails recommended to us at the tourist office. We were as motivated to do this trail by the recommendation as by the need to use the six euro map that Mom had convinced herself to buy. The walk was much easier than the hike we'd been expecting, and as we ambled through the woods, it felt exactly like walking around a campground in BC. It wasn't exactly filled with breathtaking views of mountains and valleys, but I think that the woods were a nice change, and they provided some relief from the muggy heat. On a related note, it's possible we prayed a little too hard to the sun gods, as we're expecting 25 °C+ weather for the rest of our stay here.
We met a few tourists from Germany, and Mom and Dad were able to have a conversation with one of them, despite there being about ten mutually understood words between the three. It involved a lot of improvised sign language, but was still very impressive. Dad received a genuine "gesundheit" from one of the other Germans, which seems much more likely to grant good health when spoken by someone in their mother tongue. We also met a friendly lady who pointed us in the right direction after we'd gotten lost (or "turned around", as my parents put it). Austrians and Germans seem to be an amicable bunch, especially the trekkers.
We have just a month and a half left in our trip, which is a fact that all of us are reacting to differently. Abby is very, VERY excited to go back home. Not to say that she isn't enjoying the trip, but home is something that's been in the forefront of her mind ever since we left the UK. Dad, on the other hand, is dreading our return. Well, perhaps that's a bit hyperbolic, but I think he'd like at least another year of travelling. Mom is looking forward to coming back, but is definitely savouring the last weeks of the trip.
Now that the length of time until we come home is short enough that I can wrap my head around it, I don't find myself as homesick. I'm looking forward to the next several weeks, and while the thought of home is always in my head, I try not to let it overshadow the happenings of here and now. I feel comfortable travelling, happy to be in Europe, and am anticipating great experiences both east and west of the pond.