Today, Easter Sunday, provided us with a leisurely breakfast.We discussed politics: a thing that I dread back home thanks to my marxist sister and a father nicknamed Stalin... Also probably because you can't escape it in the UK whereas some Austrian residents don't actually know the current president, which I like since, its good to have a break from important things. However the discussion was about international poitics(to an extent and probably had something to do with Maria's recent MUN trip...) which I find marginally more interesting. Anyway, it made us feel very civillised and spurred us on to go on a walk around the Beledere gardens in the sun. It was surprsingly busy for easter Sunday but we began to notice most were tourists who couldn't interperate the "keep off the grass signs."
At one o' clock it was a mad rush to get Esti and Maria on the half one train to Warszawa. We arrived with about ten minutes to spare and after Esti's failed attempt at a vending machine, spending about €2 on a bottle of water which turned out to be about the tenth of a normal bottle, they decided to risk it and run to a shop. Just as they were out of sight of the platform the train turned into the station. Thankfully it was early so they had a good ten minutes before the train left. However we still felt the need to chase after them in panic. Aunt Var and I secured a compartment for them which was unreserved and then flung their bags on before flinging the two girls on. We were early so there was some awkward standing around until the train left and when it dif, it was so bizarre to be seeing them off from Vienna, rather than the otherway around.
So back to an Esti and Maria-less apartment, the silence w as bizarre. Meg was well and truely into her homework and I thought I woulf follow suit. Really didn't get much done. Aunt Var and I then tried to decide what to do with ourselves for the next two days before I left on Tuesday. After investigation the Semmering Railway opening time and realising that its not open until May we decided a road trip. The plan was to drive east out of Vienna to drive around the eastern side of the Neuseidlersee, which is also known as the Viennese Sea since they don't have the real thing ;) Most of the lake lies in Austria but a small section lies in Hungary and so we thought a good idea would be to go all the way around it and stop off at Sopron in Hungary. Before we left Aviott helped us find and book a room in a Gasthaus in a little town before the Hungarian/Austrian boarder called Illmitz. Before we knew it we had packed out overnight bags and in the car on our way(Frieda keeping us in control, obviously).
This was very exciting for me as there is no way you can do this in Orkney. You have to get on a boat or pay for a ridiculously expensive flight to get off Orkney only to get onto another island and pay for another boat trip or ridiculously expensive flight. However in Austria you can get in the car and an hour later you could be anywhere. NOT FAIR. As we drove east I was shown Pandorf which Maria was always saying the must take me to. It is basically a village of designer shops and actually looks like a quaint little village and the stuff is usually at a discounted rate. For the drive out there, I think I might just prefer a bargain nextdoor... Soon the Autobahn began to seperate out as we drove along the lake. It was bizarre as there were hundereds of vines and being as ignorant as I am I had not considered that wine could be grown in Europe outside Italy and Spain :S So that was pretty cool to see, the countryside was atypical of Austrian scenery as I thought we could be in Holland but you could see tell-tale mountains in the distance. To get right on the side of the lake we stopped off at Podersdorf am See which often holds wind surfing championships and is usually filled with tourists. However on this blustery April evening it was quiet. Infact the wind and sea was much like home but it was strange not to have the usual smell of the sea from the salt and sea weed considering that the only expanses of water I have seen this big before as been the sea (there I go playing the sheltered island life card again...). Aunt var and I walked down the pier and sat by the lighthouse and appreciated the view, and the show of a kitesurfer attempting to lift is kite out of the water.
Back on the road again it was not long until we arrived in Illmitz, but it was a long time before we found the entrance to our Gasthaus. Mainly because it was being renovated and so everything was all over the place. We were greeted by one of these hearty women who are needed to run a Gasthaus. Her German was really easy to understand (or maybe she just covered the topics of the higher course...) which I liked. We were taken up to our room but were then told the heating didn't work so then we had to be moved, however we were offered a free glass of wine in the bar while we waited. The wine was actually the first red wine I have enjoyed drinking, I should have got a bottle since you know I could legally! The bar was full of drunk men and it didn't take us long to realise they were on a stag do and we were the only women in the room. I was just hoping they didn't think we were hired or something...
Once we had settled into our second room we decided to have a walk around Illmitz since it was a nice night. We discoved Illmitz is home to a wine world champion but unfortunately it didn't look like anyone was in. I had never heard of a weingut before but I think I will be going more as its nice being offered lots of free glasses of wine followed by nice company and a comfortable sleep. We headed out the edge of town and walked along a vineyard to a small lake in search of storks. However we came across something more exciting, deer. At first they were on the lake and then sprinted to the other side but we also found ourselves ridiculously close to a group of deer before they noticed to and sprinted to the other side of the lake. The sunset, mountains, lake and deer provided some very lovely photos and soon our stomachs got the better of us and we headed back to our gasthaus for some tea. With all of the food I have had here I was not disappointed. I had some wonderful soup and my third schnizel in about three days followed by a pancake with vanilla ice cream and the most amazing chocolate and hazelnut sauce which was just the perfect size. All I can say is that the UK has a lot to live up to when I go home!With our stomachs satisfied and aunty to neice bond suitibly rekindled we headed back up to our room for bed. I was pleased to see a Wunderschon, a programme I used to watch in German for practice, was actually on but I still had no idea where they were or what they were doing.
It took me forever to get to sleep, probably because this was the earliest I had gone to bed in about four years but also the stag night and their families seemed to be staying next door, and outside and the drunk shouting and singing kept me up a while. My auntie got up at 12 and turned on the light and I genuinely thought it was 7am and we had to get up now I could not understand why I was so tired. Turns out I had only been asleep for an hour. From then on I slept like a log.