Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ice Age - A few days after

Millions of years later...

Today we participated in a guided tour through the Rappenlochschlucht, an impressive canyon just outside of Dornbirn. It is pretty impressive, what ice, water, wind, time et al managed to do over millions of years. One tends to forget that - even more impressive, when you then walk underneath rock formations which have been there for ages and been washed out by mother nature. Check out the pictures we took - you might get am impression of what we are talking about.

The advantage of this guided tour was that not only we were reminded of many things which we have learned back at school, but also we learned a few new things. Did you know for example what the roots for the word "Ache" (typical name for rivers in West Austria. I.e.: Bregenzer Ache) are? It’s Celtic - the first inhabitants of Voralberg - and means "water". Here you go! ;-)

The boiling afternoon we spent by the lake again sunbathing and swimming and in the evening, after a relaxing 45 minute run, we are having a big family BBQ on Sandra & Flo's balcony (the rocket-launch-platform). We will add pictures of that bash to the holiday section tomorrow!

Kerstin & Markus

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

City Slickers

This afternoon we decided to go for a short "walk" with Eugen, Kerstin's dad, in the woods nearby Kehleg, the little village where Kerstin spent her very early years. While Kerstin (wisely) proposed to change our Ipanema flip-flops with our running shoes, Eugen set off with bare feet. he led us the way up the hill on trails in the woods off the beaten track and was light-footed and faster than us whimpy city people. We felt like the 3 guys in "City Slickers".

The air in the woods is as fantastic as the colours and sound

The scenery we saw on our way was though truly amazing, beautiful clearances and a fantastic view over the Rhine-Valley at the turning point of our "walk" will be a great memory. We also enjoyed the numerous ripe Rhapsberries which grew in that area and were easy targets. These fruits - or better said the plants - were though painful companions on our way down: we had to climb for approximately 10 minutes downhill through fields of Rhapsberries. Our feet were scratched properly and even in this exercise Eugen was faster bare-foot! At the bottom of the fields we stepped into an ice-cold mountain spring and cooled off our burning and scratched legs. We then continued through fields of 1m high fern and grass which gave Markus an overdose of pollen which caused decent alllergic reactions and sneezing. The last mile was then a gentle walk "in the park" through meadows followed by jars of water, a cake and some coffee.

To round the long and hyperactive day up, Kerstin and Sandra hiked up the Pfaender and Markus went for a slow 105 minute run along the lake. We now had tons of homemade burgers for dinner, are dead now and will sleep well!

Good night & Good Luck!

Kerstin & Markus

He better stayed in bed...

For today Markus had the outstanding idea to go for a round of early morning golf. So he was keen (or stupid) to get up at 0600 in order to drive to the course in Riefensberg and tee off at 0705 for 18 holes. Given, that yesterday we had late night drinks at the beautiful Sandra & Flo's balcony overlooking the lake and returning home at 0030 one had to expect a drama.

It could have been such a beautiful day...

Guess what? It was a real drama! Its a long time ago that Markus has played that poor golf (not that he plays it well anyway) and we can't even remember when he lost so many balls! To make things worse, an obvious product failure cost him the 4 iron. On the 16th hole, a 170m par 3, the head of the iron tore off when hitting the ball. Noone was hurt, but it fit perfectly to the round.

... but ended in tears - Iron 4 in two pieces!

So apart from the emergence of a beatiful summer day and a handfull of good shots (yes, some shots did work well!) Markus returned rather frustrated, hoping for more luck and skills on the next round and a better rest of the day!

Let's keep the fingers crossed!

Kerstin & Markus

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Here comes the summer-sun!

Yesterday, the first full day of our vacation in Vorarlberg, we have done pretty much nothing apart from eating - a long and delicious breakfast was followed by lunch & coffee with family Meier and a quite impressive dinner. The only healthy activity was a 1-hour run along Lake Constance in the late afternoon.

Even though the weather forecast for today was rather gloomy - predicting rain and cold temperatures - we have had a great summer-day today which we spent on the lake sunbathing and swimming. Actually only Kerstin and her sister Sandra, did go for a swim into the lake, which had around 21 degrees. Markus yet again stayed away from the water - all he did was to cool his toes in the clear lake-water - and tried to soak up the sun as much as possible.

That was as far as Markus entered the lake!

Especially due to the fact, that we expected a rainy day, we fully enjoyed today's summer weather and the relaxing atmosphere by the lake. We for sure will have more opportunities to do so in the coming days!
Kerstin & Markus

Monday, July 28, 2008

Preview: Stage II of the wedding tri-athlon

The countdown for our friends Elisabeth (Lini) and Peter is running and their big day is due in less than a week: They are hosting a competing event to the opening of the Olympic games in Bejing and are going to get married on the "odd" date 08.08.08 at Schloss Ottersbach, close to Peter's hometown in the beautiful region of South Styria.

Lini & Peter at last year's NUKE Festival

Both of them have had their farewell parties - Lini did spend her hen-day in the wellnes-spa of Hotel Loisium a bit more than a week ago, Peter has had his bachelor party on this past weekend in and around Vienna - so there are no more obstacles in their way and we are looking forward to a nice wedding in traditional costumes. We are ready and well prepared!

Kerstin & Markus

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Jutta and Thomas (+ Felix) got married!

Finally our holiday has started! The last few days were dragging, but now we are there and gonna enjoy it. A break from the volatile equity markets, nervous & stressed out investors and the hectic tourists in the city of Vienna.

Yesterday we had the first stage of our wedding tri-athlon (3 weddings within 6 weeks) - Tom and Jutta got married in Oberschuetzen, close to Markus' hometown. The bride was absolutely beautiful, and (apart from 30 minutes of rain while we wanted to take the group pictures) the weather was fantastic, the cakes from bakery "Kaplan am Kurpark" were delicious, the dinner location absolutely nice and the party just hilarious. We were joined by "Balu" - aka Klaus who we have never before seen dancing like that before. The moves he showed us habe been absolutely unique and we won't forget that for sure. Felix, the 15 month old son of the newly-wed couple, also had a lot of fun and was the first one to congratulate his parents when they left the church. We wish the young family all the best for their future!

Jutta and Tom on their way out of the church

The delicious giveaway - "Haustorte" made by Kaplan am Kurpark

Check out more pictures of the wedding in the picture links!

We are now going to head West to Hoerbranz, close to Lake Constance for 1,5 weeks where we will have a active time - as long as the weather allows - with hiking & biking tours, rounds of golf, swimming in the lake & sunbathing, we are going to see Puccini's "Tosca" on the floating stage and will for sure enjoy a lot of delicious food.

Stay tuned for reports & more pictures of our activities.

Kerstin & Markus

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Let the blog begin!

Welcome to the blog of Kerstin and Markus! 2 people from the very opposite ends of Austria who were lucky enough to move into the same building in Vienna in 1999 and get to know each other. A lot has happened since, but from now on we keep you posted in this blog about what's going on in our lifes.

We are looking forward to our holidays starting on Monday which we will spend in Austria. Actually its more of a tour through Austria as we will kick off with a wedding in Markus' home, Burgenland, followed by 1,5 weeks on the western tip of Austria at Lake Constance with Kerstin's family and we will conclude the vacation with another wedding in South Styria. We'll spend lots of time in our car, but rest assured, we also will have a lot of time to relax and recharge our batteries. We definitely need that and are looking forward to this break. Thank god its only 2 days work left.. Counting down the minutes ;-)

So long!
Kerstin & Markus