So where's the snow?

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


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Easter fires

I’ve blogged about this local tradition several times, there’s a link below. This year, things are changing. Some bright spark built one with a star on it last year, so now people are building them five sided, one a twist and like the one above, rather than a straightforward  tower.  They’re usually built by the Land Youth group, very efficiently with chain saws and hoists and plenty of beer. But this one below, was built by a local family, a real wonkey donkey, but I guess some kids had such fun making it.And here’s the one from Ramingstein. Since theirs was burnt down two years ago, they’ve left it later and later, as I write today on Maunday Thursday, its still in flatpack form!!It also means that everyone with trees to chop down have had more time to dump them here! Its been really dry the past couple of weeks, and  windy too, resulting in a fire by the railway this week. It makes me wonder if there will more call outs this Saturday for the fire brigade!

 

https://annarashbrook.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/easter-in-lungau…n-than-christian


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Spring is springing

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On Sunday, Dave and I took a walk above Ramingstein. The weather was gloriously warm, Swingle belted around the place – well until she rolled in something! But she had a great time and forced herself to sleep all afternoon when we got back! The clear skies and light were amazing. Today it’s clouded over and the white stuff is threatened until Easter -yuk! But at least it wont stay.

I have fiddled with the pictures, not always successfully! Burg Finstergrün is in several shots, and there’s a picture above looking down on Ramingstein with Karneralm, in the background. The Cross I think is on the site of the original church which burnt down.

How’s spring coming on with you????


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Ladübertragen

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We had a new Mayor elected in Ramingstein this spring, which necessitated a big party and procession in the autumn. This tradition is unique to Ramingstein and dates back to the Slovenian times. A cupboard is kept in the mayors house filled with good wishes and certificates but this must be given to the new Mayor. Also the mayor has three horseshoes nailed to his feet, representing I don’t know what, and then the procession goes to the new Mayor’s house where speeches or songs are given. It all has a strict order with the coaches and  there has to be a wedding party. Not always possible so this year the Catholic Woman dressed up to represent it!  I was with the Tracthenfrauen as a bee-I can now reveal!  This is because the new Mayor is a bee keeper. We leant a song and a play and early on the Saturday morning we put on makeup and costumes and got on the float. Off to Ramingstein where all the float lined up, then to Kendlbruck where we had a long wait to do our play – the stupid song still haunts me! After our play we were given a crate of beer which we drank as we went again to Ramingstein for the final speeches and then back to Kendlebruck for a meal and a singsong and by 9.30 I was finished!

And in-between? Meeting new people, chatting, laughter  as we recognised friends in other daft costumes. An amazing day, but I just hope he gets re-elected again in five years!!!


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The Farmhouse

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I’ve been really trying to get myself back into the swing of things here,despite my doubt over our future here. I must be wholehearted or it will of course fail. So, having missed all the outings of the Trachtenfrauen, I got in contact and joined them for a meeting about the coming up inaugration of our new Mayor. The ceremony is indivivual to Ramingstein, although it echoes the Tamsweg Verein(Club) inauagration, in that there will be a parade and little plays about the life of the Mayor. It will start from his house in Kendlbruck and go on foot to the Gemeinde building in Ramingstein. Apparently, something else unique is a chest which is placed in there for people to post ideas -good and bad.  The theme the group has chosen remains top secret as I write, there will be ten groups and none know what the other is doing!!!

I took off on a wet and windy night with three other ladies right up into an alm farm house in a remote part of the area. The meeting was great, I got my cossy sorted, learnt the song and enjoyed some really good zirben schapps.

This is all a long winded way into what I want to talk about!  The farm was really old, with its own Troad kasten and we were led into a hall full of boots and coats and a farmy atmosphere. We went into what must be the guest Stuberl, a large room with a Kachelofen and a table with fixed seats around it- I was itching for my camera. On the walls were photos of the family, sewn tablecloths, and the Crucifix, along with solid wooden furniture. A musical, shooting family, I could see from the shields and instruments in the room, And so much clutter, one whole cabinet filled with gifts, and knickknacks just tumbled in on each other. The room had a frieze around the edge and white walls.

It was a mix of old and new, traditional and modern and a living family, just what I would expect from a modern farming family. Having only ever been in the farm museums, it was a real insight. Outside was a bit too tidy for an old farm -the yard outside was grassed rather than mud and the buildings all mended and looked after. I was also a bit jealous. But here am I after seven years here, still being amazed at my experiences, as an outside and it always being a bit new -hope it lasts. What also strong me was the longevetity, the family living there all their lives, the constancy, and to me I feel that so restrictive- all that time in one place, not for me!

And it was a bizarre time, here was I in an old farmhouse half way up a mountain in the pouring rain, sipping schnapps and singing songs and dancing with twenty odd women dressed in various stages of costumes as…..tell you later!

 


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The Rammys of Ramingstein

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The river Mur Rammy, several of these around!

I recently did a weekly photo challenge featuring a Rammy we found in the middle of the woods.

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Cook Rammy by the Adamwirt guest house

I guess these figures were someone’s really good idea a couple of years ago and some of the businesses bought them.

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Plumber Rammy in his work clothes

Some people have smaller ones in their garden. So Dave and I did a trot around the village and got them all.

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Carpenter Rammy ready for work

I’ve heard these ideas called, ‘Schnopps ideen’ or Schnaps ideas- i.e everything seems a good idea after  a few glasses. I’ve found several of these in the village for another post.

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A browned off Mur Rammy – ironic that he’s placed opposite the local asylum seekers hostel!

Then at the end of the village an information Mur Rammy

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And beside him for the Brauwirt guest house, another cook

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And last, the woodland RammyP1270108


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Walking Season!

P1260852Last week the snow was at last melting away and them hills were calling!  We decided to do a local walk as there are some lovely alms in the neighbourhood we’ve never visited. Our goal was Gstoßhohe near Karneralm. We set off from Burg Finstegrün and it was a well used way with markings and crossings over the schale and slag from the old mine workings in the hills. We even found a ‘deathogram’ not a very exciting one as he just seems to have died at work!

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Our of the woods, we hit one of the interminable mountain roads which zig zag backwards and forwards. The occasional views were rewarding!

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Then we arrived at the Klementikapelle.

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How extraordinary!  You can’t go in it, but look upwards at pictures of the Holy Ghost, Jesus, Adam and Eve and odd symbols. It’s quite unique – or being less polite , moreAustrian nuttiness!  Why here or why not?

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It’s the middle of the Alm and no special reasons for it, although there was a stream running through it into a basin so you can bless yourself. Dave blessed me with some really cold water which was refreshing as the day was getting hotter than expected.

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Then it all went downhill and not just literally!

We lunched there and took off into the woods along yet another shady path.  Then the stripey paint disappeared and we found more deer footprints than anything else. Then we ground to a halt as it was was totally blocked with freshly fallen trees. We turned back and found another path, and I was just on the point of OK, I’ll go back the way we came, Dave found the sign pointing downhill to Ramingstein.

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Note the inverted paint!

Wonderful! We traipsed through woods only to find tree felling going on and we had to scramble over heaps of logs, which isn’t my favourite past time as I’ve heard all these tales of the logs slipping en mass down the hill.

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That tackled we then had to wade through a swamp, then into more woods with many trees hanging over the paths. I was past photo-ing by then! But it was quite lovely with Bird Cherry blossom and most of all Larch perfume drifting on the paths. It’s like lemon but with a bit of vanilla, its nearly as good as beech woods in the spring. Then we found someone had built a house practically over the way and we  had to negotiate a farm with a woofing dog – I’ve never liked farm dogs since I ran into one in Switzerland and misjudged how long it’s chain was -ouch!    Finally we were on the path back to the castle and home- of which we caught an unexpected glimpse!  A five hour walk, but frustrating as we never got to Gstoder. In the Gemiende they said the paths will be cleared soon, I guess we were just the first of the year!

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Still, maybe  a walk to repeat maybe in autumn!