Wednesday, 30 November 2011

2007: Austria.

Thought I would share with you all some photographs of my first trip out of the country in 2007, when I went with a team of about 60 New Zealanders to Dornbirn, Austria, to attend the 13th World Gymnaestrada. This is like a non-competitive celebration of gymnastics and dancing that is held every 4 years! It was so much fun - I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. About 20,000-28,000 people from around the world went to it!
Here you go:

Flying over either Austria or Switzerland (from the air they look pretty similar!)

Austria on the Left, Switzerland on the Right - entering Austria over the Rhine river.

Our living quarters over the 12 days in Austria! We stayed at a primary school in a few of their classrooms (it was their summer break), and participated aerobics and played fencing in their gymnasium during the down times. We only had air mattresses to sleep on, with a crappy pillow and a thin blanket (was very hot though...).  All of our luggage arrived the next day of our arrival as LAX 'forgot' to put it on the plane - my bag had a massive slash through it! Fun times!

On our second night we had a big bbq dinner with the Australian team (they were staying at the same school as us), and we were treated to a traditional (I think) marching band performance. 
View from the top of the gondala lookout 'Karen'. Dornbirn is below, and in the distance you can see Lake Constance, and across that, Germany. Further to the left out-of-shot, you can see the Rhine river, and Switzerland on the other side - crazy! We walked our way back down, through the most amazing gorge!

Jaynie outside this cute cottage that an adorable old man lived and always talked to my dad. I am pretty sure he gave us some food one time, but I don't remember so clearly. A bit further down from this (to the right), is the train/bus station, and across from that, an apartment block where someone had been stabbed that week, so we always had to walk on the opposite side of the road

Jaynie's awesome henna!!

With UK's (then) top gymnastics team! The bald one does heaps of  parkour (street running/jumping etc.).

Hohenschwangau Castle - Black Forest, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle - Black Forest, Germany
Disneyland's castle is modeled off of this!
Click here to see how beautiful it is!

From inside the castle, looking out!

Alice, Jaynie and myself with Neuschwanstein in the background (we are currently on a bridge hundreds of meters in the air over a small waterfall).

Myself and Jaynie, and our sexy raincoats hah.

Jaynie and myself bathing in the sun (I am so white it is blinding) in Bregenz, Austria.

Alice, myself, Melanie (we met her in Austria), and Jaynie. Mine and Mel's dad's are in the background chatting (Wally  - Mel's dad - was originally from NZ).

Overlooking the beginning of the Swiss Alps!

Jaynie and Alice in Bregenz

Waiting for the closing ceremony to start in the 38 degree heat! Ugh. We had to wear track pants and these t-shirts. Too hot.

Final night in Austria! A lovely dinner with everyone and Jurgen's son's (Jurgen was the one in charge of looking after the NZer's while in Austria - he was super lovely!!)

Proof I am actually doing work to earn money over summer to get to India, instead of expecting fundraising and donations to support me completely! Note the blackened fingers - I have been branding 4.2m (ish) lengths of timber for  the company my dad manages, which involves a whole lot of heavy lifting and leverage, moving 84 pieces per packet (and I managed to do just over 8 in one day - tomorrow I aim for 10!)
Hope everyone is well and are enjoying the start of summer (or winter depending on location), and hopefully everyone is as excited as I am for the fact that tomorrow is December which = Christmas soon!! And in 12 days, marks the start of the 2 month count-down of my departure from India!! Eep!


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