DAY 14 and DAY 15

September 21st and 22nd

Austria

“I can’t take this anymore” uttered James at 4am in the morning as Rachel and Bharat’s snores echoed up and down the valley of St Anton. We had very kindly been put up in a shared room by friends of friends, but 4 beds in very close proximity with only one set of earplugs was traumatic for Amy and James. Want to hear a snippet for yourselves? Look no further:

 

Rachel finally saw the funny side of this when she caught James and Amy wetting themselves laughing later the next day as they listened to this clip on full volume on the Fiat’s speakers.

 

We left St Anton behind us very early on Friday morning and headed down the valley towards Innsbruck which was yet another very beautiful drive, particularly in the early morning sun.

An early morning start (again) from St. Anton

On our way to Innsbruck we came across the professional BMC Men’s Road Racing Cycling Team who were training for the Innsbruck Tirol 2018 team time trial. So far this trip Rachel has not been shy to drive at breakneck speed down the wrong side of the road, but overtaking the 7-strong team on the bendy, mountainous route seemed to make her much more cautious. In a tuk tuk you’re not looking at a quick getaway with 0-40mph taking over a minute, and with cyclists pacing along at Sumo’s top speed it’s not an ideal scenario. However, Rachel eventually saw an opening, plucked up the courage and roared on past the team, who seemed to love the tuktuk and team member Stefan Küng, decided to use Sumo as part of this training programme as he chased after us to ride in Sumo’s slip stream.

 

She isn’t overtaking on a bend honestly!


 

Innsbruck was lovely and we stumbled across a covered market selling fresh produce including pasta for our dinner that evening. We had a coffee in the square and it was so hot by that point that Amy was noticeably dripping with sweat, much to James’ amusement. We hadn’t realised that Schnapps was the local drink until we saw this wall of different flavours – Bharat taking the woman up on her multiple offers of  “something fruity?” or  “something creamy?” !

 

Something fruity? Something creamy? Schnapps

Pretty pastel houses in Innsbruck

After Innsbruck the drive was more like the boring Belgium drives (made slightly better by the mountains either side) – busy, big roads lined with unattractive houses and factories. We decided to liven up our scenery by taking a detour via Lake Achensee which took us back up to 1800m. Rachel dipped her cute little toes into the freezing blue waters, whilst Bharat quacked at the ducks near by. Apart from the quacking, it was very peaceful and extremely beautiful.

Lake Achensee

It was then a long way to Kitzbühel and whilst we had one French bus tour conductor who loved us (and even sent us messages afterwards), we had a lot of angry drivers in smart cars irritated by how long it had taken us to kindly move over when we had clearly seen the 60 strong queue behind us (still, they’re more patient than the Swiss!):


 We arrived in Kitzbühel and were very kindly given the keys to stay in a chalet by Clive, a family friend of James’, for two nights. We were exhausted when we arrived and were grateful for our first two night stay in one place. Although we are seeing some amazing places and have been blessed with beautiful weather, we are constantly driving/social media-ing/blogging and often only sleeping for 5/6 hours before moving on the next day. We almost cried with happiness at the prospect of being able to do some washing – Bharat had already started turning his boxers inside out! We really noticed how tired we were the next morning when, despite over 9 hours of sleep, we still felt groggy and bleary eyed. It felt so good to sit in pyjamas and play bananagrams with a cup of coffee.

 

Funniest moments:We’ve mentioned before how Bharat often needs a translator, so we’ve started videoing some of this blunders to make an “Idiot Abroad” series. It’s a shame we are never videoing at the exact moment but these retakes are filmed immediately after the faux pas occurs. Let us know what you think and whether we should continue!

 

Memories of Emily:

  • Being in Kitzbühel brought back memories of ski holidays and of a particular trip where, despite having all the gear and being flown all the way to America, Emily (aged 3) did half a day of skiing and then refused point blank to go anywhere near a ski slope for the remainder of the trip. After many a painful conversation about how this bit of her was cold and that bit was cold, and how this was uncomfy and that was uncomfy, Bharat and Rachel gave up and decided she might enjoy the less strenuous “snow play”. But even there, there was no chance of her going anywhere near the white stuff and she spent the rest of the trip eating pizza and colouring in. When the next family ski trip came around Rachel and Bharat decided to leave her behind and she was much happier staying with friends Stephanie and Chip whose daughter, Holly, taught her to ride a bike without stabilisers within a week!
  • Rachel took a photo of Amy which looked so much like Emily that it made her cry. She now can’t find the photo which has made her cry even more.

 

How we’re feeling: Rachel – “I’ve been feeling rather tearful and sad over the last few days in the mountains. This has happened before and I don’t know if it is the beauty and majesty of the mountains and the big skies or maybe feeling closer to ‘Emily on her cloud’ which is a phrase we use a lot with all her friends. Bharat and I drove the tuk tuk as high as we could up the steep mountain tracks in Kitzbühel to try and reach the clouds but the track ran out before we were enveloped in any cloud. We did manage to take the picture below though:

 

Dunce of the Day:

  • Day 14: Rachel for insisting she was a good navigator and leading the charge in getting the Tuk Tuk team to Lake Achensee, but within 2 minutes getting lost and sending Amy and James down a 1,633m tunnel in the tuktuk and then back again! Believe us, tunnels are not your friend in a tuktuk with open sides.
  • Day 15: A dunce free day! Hooray.

 

Tuk Tuk Trivia:

  • Number of times Bharat has won Bananagrams: 10/12 times.
  • Number of weeks/days left until Istanbul: 3 weeks and 4 days!
  • Number of countries that serve fresh milk with coffee: 3/9

The Austrian’s know how to stack logs!

Beautiful glass bottles in Innsbruck

The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Sumo!

Sumaria toes in Lake Achensee

At least we will smell ok for the next few days!