So where's the snow?

Muddling through in Austria; God, life and a small black dog

looking Through

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Pollen Storm

May 6th

This phenomenon happens every seven years or so.

The pines and I use this term generally, seem to go into overdrive and produce so much pollen, that the air goes yellow when the wind catches it.

This year was the most extreme according to all I speak to. It has been happening all over Europe. As I write on the 24th, puddles are still ringed with yellow.

Maybe it was the weather was just right, stormy winds late afternoon catching the dry and open buds.

Even so, the amount of yellow was extreme.

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It was everywhere.

Even Swingle got a covering.

These are the culprits!


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Lanz Bulldog


At the Old timers Rally today in Mauterndorf!

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The Asylum Seeker

On our way to church on Easter Sunday, we passed what looked like one of our local Asylum seekers walking in the direction of Ramingstein from Tamsweg. We thought he looked a bit odd with his hood pulled over his head, most of them use the bike path in the valley. Maybe he was on his way to see his friends and he was new here. But walking along that road is dangerous. Later that day we saw him again when we were doing Meals on Wheels, still on the main road and well past Ramingstein.

Dave what do we do? We both felt there was something wrong and we felt driven to do something. So when we had finished we drove in the same direction. If he was visiting someone we wouldn’t find him. But we saw him in the distance. We overtook him and turned around and stopped. He looked like he was ín his twenties I guess and dark skinned, his lips were dry and cracked. I asked internationally OK? He nodded. I asked where are you going in both languages. Slovenia. I couldn’t believe it. I signed food, and drink pointing at my mouth and said money.

Another car stopped and asked if all was ok, we explained and to the nearby farmer who drove all of fifty yards to ask!

Dave brought my bag over and gave him one of the boiled, coloured Easter eggs in my bag.  I couldn’t feel the others. So I then gave him some money. He tapped his heart as I have seen these guys do, I didn’t have anything to give him to drink. He went on.

I spent the afternoon beating myself up for not giving him more money and eggs. Should we have taken him to the railway station at Unzmarkt? Or to a restaurant? Or called a friend further down the road? Or maybe he was fleeing a crime?

I don’t like the Asylum seekers, these young men who leave their families to face the war, they’re migrants. So why did her stir Dave and I so much? Where is he now?

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Passing through

Anyone know what this bird is that stopped by us last week?

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Die Dicktlerhütte- a victim of its own success?

As I’ve posted over the years, this is my favourite hut in the Lungau, and was the first I visited. I love its oldness, that you can sit in the main kitchen and watch them make your Kasierschmarnn. Loads of old paintings and tablecloths and a really friendly atmosphere, but most of all, genuine, freshly cooked local fare. You could do a gentle Sunday stroll there for lunch or as a starting point for  more adventurous walks. It has always been popular, but now may be a victim of the success of the valley winning a third place in the Treasures of Austria competition.  There is now a new carpark  before the valley, which is good that all traffic isn’t allowed up there in the summer months, just a shuttle bus. By the picnic field is a barefoot walk for the kids, and the higher carpark has also been re-ordered.

All to cope with the increased visitors. I wish it hadn’t won.It should have been kept as a secret for those who know it. It’s becoming a tourist trap.

And the hut? This is what we found when we walked there on Sunday. I guess they need to cater properly for the increased numbers, health and hygiene has probably stepped in and it was old. It did look very hot in the kitchen sometimes.  Even the oven has already been chucked out, and typically Austrian, no notice board saying what they are doing and when it will reopen.

But what a shame. I see it’s no longer on the main Lungau hut websites this year, so I guess it’ll be ages before its done.  I know I can’t complain, as we would only visit there occasionally. But I will miss it, oh I just hope they don’t turn it into a Gastro hut with large plates and small portions of odd food…………