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June 17th 2008
Published: June 17th 2008
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hello / holahello / holahello / hola

She smiled at me!! / me sonrio!!
I've been twice in Austria before this time and, on both occasions, I only went to Piesendorf...don't take me wrong, it's a beautiful place, but Austria is big(ish) and there's more to do than waking up every day surrounded by mountains and beautiful landscapes...isn't it??...so this time I wanted to see a bit more but, with lack of time, we could only spend one day in Salzburg before we headed again to (guess where!!) Piesendorf to meet Martin's (aka Ozzy Osbourne) family and, eventually, Ozzy himself...

We had to leave Guildford at 3 am to get to the airport on time...it was a long way and it was pouring like mad...but all was worth it in the end as Salzburg was beautiful: we entered through a parking carved in the mountain guts, very impressive. By the time we got down town we were starving and we had a really nice austrian breakfast which left us ready to explore the city and mix with the football fans; we sat for a while to watch the game in one of the town squares, but we didn't last long...none of "our teams" were playing. We were "sightseeing" until that evening when we went to the airport to pick Mino's mum up...if she would be wearing long necklaces I would have sworn she was Janis Joplin!!!!...that was my first encounter with my beloved Janis...

After a well deserved rest (in a freezing caravan!!) we woke up to the rain and fog of the Alps...can it get any better??...we help a little bit cutting veggies for the litres of soup that were going to be cooked and, in the early evening we went to meet the carpenters at the sign that marks the beginning of the town...there were already a few beers around and, as we stood on the side of the road we were a show for the passing-by traffic...so interesting we were that a car crashed into the one in front of it because they were looking at us...2 fire fighters vans, 2 ambulances and a police car later we had our first sight of the traveling men...everybody was excited...they're coming, they're coming!!!...and came they did...from then on, it was an spiral of tears, embraces, smiles and beers!!!!.

The tradition says that the coming carpenter has to jump over his/hers home town sign the day they leave and the day they come back...and Martin had lots of people with him to make the fall a safe one: fellow carpenters who walked the last kilometers with him, old friends from the village, his girlfriend Mignon who, herself is a boat builder and spent a few years traveling as well and Dax, who was the one taking Martin out and about into the carpenters world!!.

When we got home a "little family reunion" started, as a kind of training to what was going to happen the next day. I want to take the chance now to say thanks to everybody involved as we had a fantastic time: many people was speaking in English to us and a few even tried in Spanish, they made us feel at home all the time and made this weekend one of the best of my life...of course the carpenters were delighted to practice their language skills with the Spanish ladies...the highlights of that night were our private Spanish-English farting contest and when Martin's nieces, Elena and Lara (8 and 5) said that "the ladies who don't speak like us are very nice", so sweet!!!.

The next day we went for a little bit of sightseeing to Zell am See and we hired 2 boats to cruise the lake which was great. Then we went back to the house where the party had already started...

These people really know how to throw a party!!!; the first one I went to was on my 26th birthday in Germany (a few years have passed!!) and I got hooked up, even though I don't understand half of what's going on, as I don't speak German so this was going to be my 4th carpenters party and the expectations were high!!!


A traveling-carpenters party is serious stuff...is not just a common party:

yes, there is music, but much of it comes from the throats of alcohol-soaked craftsmen, singing songs of wood and old traditions; I waited for the juchizn (that is the yodeling) and I was rewarded with one from the duo that was singing while Spain was kicking Sweden arse!!!!

there's also food: home-made delicacies cooked by the women (and a few men) of the village, all happy because, after 4 years, their best-traveled, weird-looking citizen has finally come back home;

there's people, as well: friends from school, eager to know the adventures he had on his travels; friends who look up on him as if he was some modern Marco Polo or Ibn Battuta telling tales of exotic lands; family who can't believe they got his 1.95-meters-tall-"baby" back...they know it's not going to be long before he gets on his way again, but they're enjoying the moment anyway; and also new friends he's made on the way who have traveled from all over the globe to be there with him on this special day;

There's drink...of course there's drink!!, all kinds of it: juices for the weak stomachs, coffee to help you go through the night, liquors, spirits, wine...and beer...litres and litres of beer, enough for a hundred people, even though we were "only" about 50...beer waiting quietly to be drunk from boot-shaped glasses that are the traditional present in each carpenters party...massive glasses that can hold up to 2 litres and are very difficult to handle...the more time goes by, the more difficult it gets...and we drunk about 300 litres of beer in two days...it's a miracle the glass survived.

There are traditions that must be followed and jokes that must be done; when you mixed them together
eggs / huevoseggs / huevoseggs / huevos

football was everywhere / el futbol estaba en todas partes
you get a fantastic result: speeches to thank everybody involved (which they were kind enough to translate in English), tasks that Martin had to perform to get rid of the kluft (that's the carpenters suit), like telling stories of his 4 year long tippelei (and that's the carpenters trip), trying jams blindfolded and try to guess which one was made by his mum (none of them, by the way!!), playing his little clarinet to make us guess the songs, have his dad shave his beard, his mum brush his teeth and Dax and Christopher give him a bath in a portable tub...I know you ladies would love to see the pictures of a naked carpenter in the bath, but it's not going to happen...sorry...

Suddenly the brass band appeared...obviously Martin didn't know it...he used to play with them and it was a very emotional moment in which, after he played half naked, half wrapped in a towel, they tried to convinced him to join them again...the principal of the band gave Martin his trousers and promised him that, if he join them again he could keep them, even if he wasn't sure how he would explain to his wife
McDonaldsMcDonaldsMcDonalds

even that is beautiful in Austria / incluso eso es bonito en Austria
why he was coming back home without them!!!

Then we all started dancing and the music was great...so great that they even played bamboleo and everybody was trying their best in flamenco style...then I met Janis again...not only once (Me and Bobby McGuee) but twice (Mercedes Benz)...it was a night to remember for the rest of my life...

The next day I could barely walk as my knees were destroyed thanks to the "jump around" tune which killed us all...but as we emerged from the freezing caravan the sun was shining as to tell Martin "welcome back home"...Peter said that if someone could remove those mountains, maybe we could enjoy the view while we had our coffee in the garden...he was so right...the landscape was so big that we couldn't see the country...

We made our way to the Sigmund-Thun gorge which was AMAZING!!!...it used to be a glacier thousands of years ago and, in 1893 someone had the fantastic idea of building a staircase to go all the way up and, man it is worth the steps!!!...I tried to get my feet into the glacier water and I must admit I was defeated by a bunch of kids who were trotting and jumping in the water...I changed my mind as soon as the tip of my big toe touched the ice-cold water!!!.

After that, we got a cable-car to Maiskogel, were we had, at 1540 metres high, dinner and show: some of the best sausages I ever tried with music from an alpine trio and the best view you can ask to a restaurant...the smell of goat wasn't that charming though...

As I said, it has been one of the best weekends of my life: the location was amazing and the people even more. I got to spend time with my very good friends whom I like very much, got to know Martin's family a bit better and met new people who were fantastic...

With a fly infestation we said goodbye the next day over a lunch of Leberkäse and it was a sad moment...we don't know when we'll see them again even though we know we will, they are fantastic people and they will always have room in our hearts...

When we got back to Salzburg we went to the same restaurant we went the first day and, as to close
KlamseeKlamseeKlamsee

disgusting!!! / q asco!!
the circle, we found out when we landed in England that Germany won over Austria 1-0, sending Austria out of the competition...it was the "perfect" ending for a perfect weekend...



CUANDO ESTES EN CARPINTEROLANDIA, HAZ LO QUE HACEN LOS CARPINTEROS...




He estado dos veces en Austria y en ambas ocasiones solo he visto Piesendorf y, no me malinterpreteis, es un sitio precioso, pero Austria es grande (a su manera) y hay mucho mas que hacer a parte de despertarse rodeada de montañas y paisajes preciosos...¿o no?...asi que esta vez queria ver algo mas pero, a falta del tiempo suficiente, solo pudimos pasar un dia en Salzburgo antes de volver a (adivina donde!!) Piesendorf a encontrarnos con la familia de Martin (tambien conocido como Ozzy Osbourne) y, un poco mas tarde con Ozzy en persona.

Tuvimos que salir de Guildford a las 3 am para estar a tiempo en el aeropuerto...fue un largo camino y llovia a cantaros...pero merecio la pena ya que Salzburgo es precioso: entramos a la ciudad por un parking excavado en las entrañas de la montaña, impresionante. Cuando llegamos al centro nos moriamos de hambre y devoramos un desayuno austriaco que nos dejo listos para explorar la ciudad y mezclarnos con los fans del futbol. Nos sentamos a ver un partido en una de las plazas, pero como ninguno de "nuestros" equipos jugaba ese dia, no duramos mucho. Nos fuimos de "turismo" hasta por la noche, cuando fuimos s recoger a la madre de Mignon al aeropuerto...si hubiera llevado collares largos, hubiera jurado que era Janis Joplin...ese fue mi primer encuentro con mi querida Janis..


Despues de un merecido descanso en una caravana que parecia un congelador, nos despertamos co la lluvia y niebla de los Alpes...¿se puede pedir mas?...ayudamos un poco a cortar vegetales para preparar los litros de sopa que iban a hacer falta al dia siguiente y, por la tarde, fuimos en busca de los carpinteros a la señal que marca el comienzo del pueblo...ya habia unas cuantas cervezas en circulacion y eramos un espectaculo mientras esperabamos en el arcen de la carretera; tanto llamabamos la atencion que un coche se empotro con el de delante por mirarnos a nosotros en vez de mirar a la carretera...2 coches de bomberos, 2 ambulancias y un coche de policia despues tuvimos nuestra primera vision de los hombres viajeros...todos estabamos nerviosos...¡¡que vienen, que vienen!!...y vinieron...desde ese momento hubo una espiral de abrazos, cervezas y, por estar en Austria sonrisas y lagrimas!!

La tradicion manda que cuando un carpintero se va de casa debe saltar la señal con el nombre de su pueblo y lo mismo al volver para cerrar el circulo...Martin tenia un monton de gente con el para hacer la caida menos dolorosa: compañeros carpinteros que caminaron con el los ultimos kilometros, amigos del pueblo, su novia Mignon, que es constructora de barcos y ha estado viajando varios años y Dax, que fue el que saco a Martin de casa y le enseño los trejemenejes del mundo carpintero.

Cuando llegamos a casa empezo una "pequeña reunion familiar" en preparacion de lo que nos esperaba al dia siguiente. Quiero aprovechar para dar las gracias a todos los que estaban alli ya que nos lo pasamos muy bien: mucha gente hablaba en ingles con nosotros e incluso algunos lo intentaban en español...claro que los carpinteros estaban encantados de practicar sus habilidades lingüisticas con las "señoritas españolas"...lo mejor de esa noche fue el concurso de pedos de la delegacion hispano-inglesa y cuando las sobrinas de Martin, Elena y Lara (8 y 5) dijeron que "las chicas que no hablan como nosotros son muy majas", ¡¡que bonito!!

Al dia siguiente nos fuimos a Zell am See, donde alquilamos una barca para "navegar" por el lago, lo cual fue fantastico. Cuando volvimos a casa la fiesta ya habia empezado...

Esta gente si que sabe organizar fiestas; la primera a la que fui coincidio con mi 26 cumpleaños en Alemania (algunos años han pasado desde aquella ocasion!!) y me enganche totalmente, incluso sin enterarme de la misa la mitad ya que no hablo aleman, asi que esta iba a ser mi cuarta fiesta carpintera y las expectativas estaban por las nubes!!.

Una fiesta de carpinteros es algo muy serio, no es una fiesta como otra cualquiera:

Si, hay musica, pero la gran mayoria sale de las gargantas de artesanos empapados en alcohol, cantando canciones sobre madera y antiguas tradiciones; esperaba oir el juchizn,(o sea, el yodelei), y un duo cantarin me recompenso con uno mientras España le pateaba el culo a Suecia.

Tambien hay comida: exquisiteces hechas en casas de las mujeres (y algun que otro hombre) del pueblo, contentas de que, despues de 4 años, el
B-E-A-U-TIFUL / P-R-E-ciosoB-E-A-U-TIFUL / P-R-E-ciosoB-E-A-U-TIFUL / P-R-E-cioso

Sister, this one is for you!! / Hermana, esta es para ti!!
ciudadano mas viajero y mas extraño ha vuelto, por fin, a casa;

Por supuesto hay gente: amigos de la escuela deseosos de saber de las aventuras que ha tenido en su viaje; amigos que lo admiran como si de un moderno Marco Polo o Ibn Battuta se tratara, contando cuentos de tierras exoticas; familiares que no pueden creer que su "bebe" de 1.95 de altura haya vuelto por fin; saben que no pasara mucho tiempo antes de que se vuelva a marchar, pero estan contentos de tenerlo en casa por unos dias; y esos nuevos amigos que hizo por el camino y que han viajado desde muchos puntos del globo para estar con el en este dia tan especial;

Y hay bebida, ¡¡por supuesto que hay bebida!!, de todas clases: zumos para los estomagos debiles, cafe para ayudarte a mantenerte despierto toda la noche, licores, vino y cerveza...litros y litros de cerveza, suficiente para emborrachar a cien personas aunque seamos solo unas cincuenta; cerveza que espera a que la beban en vasos en forma de bota, que son el regalo tradicional en las fiestas carpinteras...vasos enormes que contienen hasta 2 litros cuando estan llenos y son bastante dificiles
caravancaravancaravan

our house for 5 days / nuestra casa por 5 dias
de manejar...y cuanto mas avanza la noche, mas dificil es...y despues de beber 300 litros de cerveza en dos dias...es un milagro que el vaso sobreviviera...

Hay tradiciones que se deben seguir y bromas que se deben hacer y cuando mezclas las dos...el resultado es es fantastico: discursos para agredecer a los presentes (los cuales fueron lo suficientemente amables como para traducirlos al ingles), pruebas que Martin debe hacer para librarse del kluft (el traje de carpintero), como contar historias de sus 4 años de tippelei (el viaje de los carpinteros), probar mermeladas con los ojos vendados y adivinar cual habia hecho su madre (ninguna, por cierto!!), tocar su clarinete e intentar hacernos adivinar las canciones, dejar que su padre le afeite la barba, que su madre le lave los dientes y que Dax y Christopher le den un baño en una bañera portatil...se que las mujeres que lean esto estaran deseando ver las fotos de un Martin desnudo en la bañera, pero os vais a quedar con las ganas...lo siento...

De repente, la banda del pueblo hizo su aparicion...Martin no sabia que venian...tocaba con ellos antes de irse y fue un momento muy emotivo durante el cual, despues de tocar la tuba medio desnudo, medio envuelto en una toalla, lo intentaron convencer que se les uniera otra vez...el director incluso se quito los pantalones y se los dio a Martin, prometiendole que, si se les unia otra vez, se los podia quedar, aun sin estar seguro de como iba a explicarle a su mujer que volvia a casa sin ellos!!!

Despues, todos empezamos a bailar y la musica fue fantastica, tan fantastica que incluso tocaron el bamboleo y todos intentaron bailar en su mejor estilo flamenco...y me encontre con Janis otra vez...no solo una vez (Me and Bobby McGuee), sino dos (Mercedes Benz)...fue una noche que recordare toda mi vida...

Al dia siguiente casi no podia andar ya que me destroce las rodillas al ritmo del "jump around", el cual nos mato a todos...pero, al salir de la caravana-congelador el sol brillaba con fuerza como para darle la bienvenida a Martin...Peter dijo que si algien hiciera el favor de apartar esas montañas, a lo mejor podriamos disfrutar de la vista mientras desayunabamos en el jardin...cuanta razon tenia...el paisaje era tan espectacular que no podias ver el pais...

Nos fuimos al cañon de Sigmund-Thun, que era INCREIBLE...era un glaciar hace miles de años y, en 1893, alguien tuvo la brillante idea de construir una escalera de madera para llegar hasta arriba y, ¡¡vaya si merecio la pena todos esos escalones!!...intente meter los pies en el agua del glaciar pero me derrotaron unos niños que saltaban y chapoteaban en el agua...cambie de opinion tan pronto como la punta de mi dedo gordo toco el agua helada!!

Despues, cogimos un teleferico a Maiskogel, donde a 1540 mts de altura, tuvimos comida y espectaculo: unas de las mejores salchichas que he comido con musica de un trio alpino y las mejores vistas que le puedas pedir a un restaurante...el olor a cabra no se agradecia tanto...

Como ya he dicho, ha sido uno de los mejores fines de semana de mi vida: el paisaje era increible y la gente aun mas. Pase tiempo con mis amigos a los cuales les tengo mucho cariño, llegue a conocer mejor a la familia de Martin y conoci a gente nueva que era fantastica...

Con una invasion de moscas dijimos adios al dia siguiente mientras comiamos Leberkäse y fue un momento triste ya que no sabemos cuando los volveremos
Zell am SeeZell am SeeZell am See

I want to take her home, she said / me la quiero llevar a casa, dijo
a ver, aunque sabemos que los veremos en algun momento, son personas fantasticas y siempre tendran un sitio en nuestro corazon...

Cuando volvimos a Salzburgo fuimos al mismo restaurante que el primer dia y, para cerrar el circulo, nos enteramos en cuanto aterrizamos en Inglaterra que Alemania habia ganado 1-0 a Austria, largandolos del campeonato...fue el final "perfecto" para un fin de semana perfecto...


Additional photos below
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Zell am SeeZell am See
Zell am See

on the boat / en la barca
pig / cerdopig / cerdo
pig / cerdo

any help is welcome / cualquier ayuda es bienvenida
champagne drinking / bebiendo champanchampagne drinking / bebiendo champan
champagne drinking / bebiendo champan

jumping the village sign / saltando la senhal del pueblo


18th June 2008

what an envy!!!!
Yes yes, very very chulo everything, but what I really miss here from there is the eurocup. What an envy guys!!! Beer and football!!! By the way Deni, I guess that many people told you already, but "your boobs of the wedding invitation are not bad at all". Many kisses from New Zealand guys!!!! Keep writting your blogs. Aimar

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