Thursday, July 06, 2006

We left Bratislava full of wonderful impressions and entered Austria with the plan to see some of Vienna and Salzburg. The larger cities are a serious problem for our campervan since all parking is underground and our height of close to 3.5 m is just too much. In any case we managed some short-term parking and walked around the centre of Vienna and then headed west. Near Linz the autobahn traffic had come to a halt (accident?) while we had just taken a rest on a tree-lined parking place and with food, drinks, books and open windows we were quite happy to spend three hours in relative peace. I think we were the only happy people, everyone else grumbled at the long delay. In the evening we found a beautiful camping place and later that night thunder and lightning came down at the rate of knots..... The next day we visited Salzburg but had to continue to Munchen to be in time to meet Paul and Isabelle who spoiled us with their hospitality. It was short but we were able to catch up with lots of news. Paul and I were in the same class of the HTS in Haarlem between 1965 and 1968 (jeez, that sounds long ago....)
The next day we headed for Switzerland, via a bit of Austria again, where the diesel is a lot cheaper. The car is running like a clock, we get around 10 km from a liter which means that we can drive for almost 700 km before choosing the best place to refill. Europe is becoming more and more as one country with hardly any border checks. So far we only had to show our passports three times and only once did a customs officer want to see the inside of the camper.

We arrived in Lausanne and the Fontana's, former neighbours in Lesotho, again showed us around and offered their homes for us to stay. They also took us to the 2-yearly ex-Lesotho workers reunion, most conversation in French, where we met several people we had not seen for 30 years (and still recognised them!). Lot of great memories surfaced and it was nice to remember the many years of daily amazements. Interesting note was to learn that Lesotho has now its own independant electricity supply, no more importing of power, all due to the new highland water scheme with power generated and water sold to South Africa.
Since yesterday we have moved north again to visit friends near Zurich; they stayed with us as language students in Perth over the last 6 years or so, usually for a period of anything between 6 weeks to half a year. So the language is back to German, that is Schweizer Deutsch, while most people are very nice to us and actually drop most of the local language, thank you......
We cannot download pictures at this moment, but soon we hope to show you more text with pictures. Next week Tuesday we will drive further south and into Italy.
In between all these activities we still manage to see most of the soccer games. So sad that Australia and Holland were both eliminated, we think that Australia deserved better and I must say that all around Europe the Aussies have gained enormous respect.
Now we wonder how much partying we may find in Italy if they get through all the way......
We have had good luck with the weather so far, only a few days of rain, otherwise nice and warm and lots of sunshine.
More soon.

wow---you are moving at a pretty good rate. Here the weather is 75F with lots of sunshine. Steven and hsi family will be coming in this weekend. Chaos will be here!!!
you are going well,keep up the spirit!!
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