Before I get into my trip to the land of Milka and snow (they actually had a Milka factory in the town I was in) Id better do the running stats for the last week or so:

Total distance run 28th March 10 – 4th April – 36.71 miles in 5 runs:

28/3/10 : 14.0 miles 1:49:20 7:48min/mile 150 bpm

29/3/10 4.0 miles 31:52:20 7:59min/mile 149 bpm

31/3/10 8.03 miles 1:01:59 7:43 min/mile 152 bpm

2/4/10 7.56 miles (hills) 1:02:30 8:16min/mile 150 bpm

3/4/10 3.12 miles 24:26:16 7:50min/mile 146 bpm

There was Easter in there and a wedding which was a fog of red wine and cider – a combination I could not recommend to anybody worried about their running form.

Since then I’ve been to and from Austria to meet the people supplying my windows. All courtesy of Michael and his flying buses.

Austria was beautiful (and 20 deg C) and I think it would take me a while to get bored of the snow topped mountains and the fresh air. Everybody I met was friendly and pleasant and it was an antidote to the constant rain of recession we get here. I always find that the small things on brief trips away always impress me: The number of people who cycle to work and school, the design aesthetic of houses, the street furniture, the quality of the beer. The thing I could never live with is the taste in music and the hair styles – I mean, breakfast listening to 1980’s euro-rock while having breakfast with men with peroxide bubble perms would be a challenge.

Still, Where else can you go and visit Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland & Germany in one morning? By the way- Liechtenstein is the most boring place I’ve ever been in my life – it beats the other micro-states I’ve visited: Monaco – bored sunbathing, The Vatican – Fridge magnets & San Marino – Hill top stamps.

On the way home I fell foul of the Ryanair luggage Nazi. They actually have a girl with a weighting scales to check your bag. I had dutifully packed in my camera, my sat-nav and kids presents as instructed and now my bag was tipping the scales at 13kg. The luggage nazi was not happy. I would not be beaten so I retreated to re-group and after a bit of bag surgery where I dumped all additional paperwork and food, hid my sat-nav and camera down the sleeves of my coat,  filled the pockets with kids presents and put on a second layer of clothes (19 deg C) I waddled up to her again with a bag at 9.6kg – victory was mine.

Now I had to get through the security screening – I was sweating like a pig in a bacon factory and then I was picked out for the full bag search. The contents of the jacket sleeves and pockets were poured out and I had to explain why I had so much stuff hidden in my coat. All the while the bag nazi was looking on disapprovingly. I could not recommend it.

View from the hotel room

Walchfenster - HQ

Liechtenstein and me

Good luck to all the Connemarathoners and especially the Ultra men. run it in your head.


3 responses to “Austria

  1. Lol! I too have suffered at the Marigold glove and Vaseline clad hands of airport security. It hurts!

  2. I nearly got caught by the same bag Nazi coming back from Barcelona but I was spared the strip search.

    I honeymooned in Von Trapp land (Saltzburg & St Wolfgang) and found the scenery spectacular – pity I didn’t run then!

    I trust you found the windows to your liking.

  3. The windows were great. They were puzzled why I didn’t want triple glazing. I told them that because when you mention triple glazing in Ireland you get a sucking of air though the teeth and the slow shaking of the head and then the vague brush off that it is too expensive. They were a bit surprised as it was the norm in Austria and it would only cost an extra €22.10/m2 if I wanted it.

    I took their arms off at the elbows.

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