Monday, May 28, 2007

Austria 2007- Part 1 - Trip to Bad, Bad Fischau

These last few weeks, our schedules have been so full that I’m having trouble focusing on what I’m going to write. Luckily, Orange-X has agreed to post about this weekend and I will take over our trip to Austria. I’ll try to keep it short, but you know me. I will most probably write two or three separate posts because of all we have experienced during our little vacation (not to mention keeping your interest). So this is part one of more to come.

As you may have read here, we had decided to drive off a day earlier and had booked a room at the Crowne Plaza Pitter in Salzburg. The roads were pretty busy, we had rain almost all along, and there was a lot of road construction on the way. It took us over 6 hours (instead of the usual 4 ½ to 5) to get to Salzburg. We found our hotel without too much trouble and checked-in. We had planned to do a bit of sight seeing and maybe find a cosy restaurant, but it was pouring rain and we finally decided to stay at the hotel. We opted to have dinner in the Hotel’s Pitter-Keller for some authentic Austrian comfort food. The portions were huge, and the food and service were great. After dinner, we went for a drink at the bar and then up to our room. Salzburg sight-seeing will have to wait until August, I guess.

Our next stop was Bad-Fischau – I love that name… Bad, bad Fischau!! - just outside Wiener-Neustadt. I was still raining cats and dogs, but nothing could stop us from seeing our good friends, Pinki and Andrea.

After a warm welcome and settling in, we drove off to open up Pinki’s “Backstage Bar" and prepared for the evening. We went to a local restaurant for a quick dinner and then rushed back to the Backstage. The live band, “Laura and the Comrats”, was stuck in the Ascension Day traffic and was running late.

They finally arrived half an hour before the opening and still had to set up and do a sound check. At 8pm, the band was ready, the doors to the Backstage Bar opened and the guests were let in. The first part of the show was a bit slow, if you ask us, but Laura picked-up in the second half and the overall ambiance improved (or was it just us??).

It was a fun evening and we had a great time chatting and laughing with some acquaintances we had made during our previous visits to Bad-Fischau.

The second day was a bit more relaxed, especially since Pinki and Andrea were off, so we decided to go out for dinner at a lovely restaurant called the Triad. Ever hear the expression the more the merrier? We all agreed that it would be fun to ask Birgit and Gerhard (Pinki’s sister and bro-in-law) to join us.

Then Pinki arranged for a lovely surprise: Christoph Schellhorn (remember, the musical wonder from this post?) was to come over and spend the next two days with us since he was in the area and had no gigs planned. Yay! Both Orange and I really liked him the first time we met so it was a thrill for us to see him again. I must add that since last summer, a deep friendship has developed between Chris, Pinki and Andrea. They call him “their adoptive son”. We have now also given him a new nickname (Kevin), but I’ll tell you all about that later.

We drove off for the restaurant and met Gerhard and Birgit on the way so that they could follow us in their car. The Triad is a beautiful old farmhouse, nestled in a striking Austrian countryside landscape and offers fine dining, a driving range and holidays on the farm. We had a wonderful dinner there in an almost perfect atmosphere… The table next to us had brought a hoard of young children (approx. 3-5 years old) with them. Don’t get me wrong here, we like kids, but when they are well behaved, and this kind of restaurant is definitely not a playground. Actually, it’s the parents that we were pissed off about. They did not say a word as the five kids were racing through the dining room, sometimes hitting each other, screeching, crying, and bumping into tables and chairs, aaargh! This is just not the “big golden M” type of restaurant. Ok, I don’t want to get carried away here, so I’ll leave it a that and I think you get my point that it is not only annoying, but can also be dangerous for the kids, guests and the service personnel.
After they left, however, we started making jokes and thinking up silly situation with kids and restaurants, and that’s where “Kevin” came into the picture. Chris being the youngest among us at age 24 and the fact that Pinki had made a few remarks about adopting his “protégé”, we started talking of the movie “Kevin: Home Alone”. That’s how it all got started and became a running gag throughout our stay.

We left the restaurant and got home around 11.30pm. While Pinki opened a bottle of wine, I returned from the bathroom with… guess what… Yes, Chris’ guitar. I swear that on my way out of the bathroom, the case magically opened and the guitar just flew right to me. Really! All right then, it wasn’t quite like that, but I could have sworn that it was moaning and begging for Chris to play it. So, seconds after I had handed Chris (alias Kevin) his guitar, his fingers started tickling the strings and a wide smile spread all over his face. He is not only an awesome guitar player, but as I have mentioned in earlier posts, it’s as if he and the instrument melt into one entity, one soul. It’s pure serenity and well being: it’s written all over his face and you can hear it through every song he plays, which makes it not only a delight to hear him, but also to watch him. He played for us (and himself) until the wee morning hours and we got our own concert once again. Maybe this picture will give you an idea of what I mean.

We'll update soon, guys, but for now, you'll find more picts of part 1 here and hopefully, Pinki will send me his photos soon.


Ginnie said...

We LOVED Salzburg when we were there 2 years ago, CS, so it was fun to picture you there, even in the rain.

We all know how much you enjoy your friends...and especially Chris/Kevin's soulful music. It's good to hear you talk about these times, because I know they fill you up.

You can be sure I will feel your presence here in A'dam after this next weekend, when we go home and then come back. Please let me know exactly WHERE you are during the weekend so that I can picture it. Maybe I'll even go and stand in the same spot where you will be!

pinki said...

hello from austria to the "import schweizer"! i really love to read the words from your trip to austria. BUT, there is one picture from orange-x with no title and no comments about this performance ;-)
i think you don´t want to talk about his comming up liveperformance on august 9th in the "backstage", while chris sings and plays that special song, ha, ha!!!
hey, we REALLY enjoyed the days with you guys and we are looking forward to have you back in our house & bar.
best wishes & BIG hug from BAD BAD fischau - pinki

ps: i already sent you a few pictures!

CanadianSwiss said...

Ginnie: You mean picture us in the hotel... LOL! But we do have plans to spend 2 nights there in August... before visiting Pinki and Andrea again ;)

I will let you know, but we won't go out very far (except for a Rene Froger concert). OX's sister is bound to a wheelchair (temporarily) because of a knee injury.

Pinki: If someone posts that picture, it will have to be O-X. I'm not takin' any blame for it ;) Maybe he'll do a "special Austria" post for it. I could, however, photoshop it a bit to a point of slight disguise. Like the idea?

We miss you guys, too. :) xox

Jay said...

You guys are always on the go. Seems like you barely have time to get home and post about it before you're off again. Great though, since I get to live vicariously!

CanadianSwiss said...

Jay: Tell me about it!... I'm exhausted! We both spent last (rainy) Monday preparing the posts ;)