Tuesday, December 19, 2006


To start off, our trip to Feldkirch, Austria was interesting. We landed in Zurich and were going to take the train to Feldkirch to meet Andi. We bought the tickets and had an hour+ to kill. We hung out in the train station until we were asked to leave for loitering (or we think that is what he said in German).

We went to the track where we thought the train was leaving from. The word "thought" is very important here. I blame jetlag. The train left at the correct time but ended up being a local train. We were riding along blissfully (me knitting then napping away) until the train came to a stop and the dreaded words "Last stop" were heard. Keep in mind that we had no map of Switzerland, only Austria, and were on the wrong train.

Luckily, a girl in a shop at the train station spoke some English and was able to direct us to a train which would take us to a place where we could connect for Feldkirch. Meanwhile, Em, Karen and I are worried that Andi would be waiting for us at the train station and not knowing where we were.

We arrived in Feldkirch (with a side trip to Lichtenstein) 2+ hours later than planned. Andi wasn't there waiting for us and we realized that we didn't know where she was teaching, living or her phone number. Ooops. We did know the address of the hostel so we trudged our way there. Not an encouraging start to the trip.

The owner of the hostel let us check in super early and put our stuff in our room. We sent an e-mail to Andi telling her that we made it to the hostel, were going out to find food, and would be back at the hostel later. The Italian(ish) place we stopped at was OK though there were major difficulties with the credit card machine. We wandered some in the old town when what should appear? A yarn store! It was the one I had found online :)

Zum Schwarzen Schaf was the best store I found the entire trip. The people were so friendly, the store was so bright and happy, and it was stocked full of beautiful yarns. I bought some Austermann Step yarn there (with aloe vera and jojoba oil). There was a BEAUTIFUL other sock yarn that I didn't buy because I thought I would find it later in Vienna or Salzburg. That was stupid! I should have bought it then because I didn't see it anywhere else. *Sigh*

Walking back to the hostel we met up with Andi and, boy, were we happy to see her! She had gotten our e-mail and told us that somehow she had written down the wrong address in her date book and was expecting us Thursday not Wednesday. She scrambled and was able to leave a day earlier than planned though we wouldn't have a chance to meet with her friends. Emily and I declined to go to her Wednesday movie night but Karen did. I think we (Em and I) to sleep at 7.30. Ugh, jetlag.

The next day we met up with Andi again and she showed us around her town. Feldkirch is a cute medieval town. We wandered to the castle there but it was closed for the season. Andi showed us around the old town. We had lunch in a very nice restaurant and I had a traditional Austrian dish almost like maccaroni and cheese but much heavier. After lunch, we stopped by the supermarket (International SPAR!!!) to buy food for the train. Then we started the hike to where Andi lives and teaches.

Let me tell you, by the end of her time there, Andi will be able to race up mountains without pausing for breath! It was a pretty steep hill which would ensure that you didn't buy much at the supermarket. I am just glad that she didn't take us up the steep stairs!

Andi's school and dorm (and a couple of other buildings) are all connected. Genius for those cold, winter mornings when snow is falling. The commute to work wouldn't be bad at all :) Andi's room is much bigger than I expected. It reminded me of my room in England with an extra room tacked on. The view out the window was amazing!

That evening, the four of us got on the train to Salzburg.

P.S. Go to this link to Austria pictures and this link to see New York pictures.

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