Don’t worry Sir, it’s not that hot!”
In New Zealand the ratio of sheep to people stands at 10:1. Although not to the same extreme, the ratio of tractors to people here in Franconia is categorically worthy of mention; I’m guestimating at approximately 3:1. I’m sure that most of us can evoke that image of your quintessential farmer: woollen jacket, scruffy cap, and by and large hailing from South-West England. Well, although I haven’t noticed it until recently, the number of middle-aged local men cruising around Göβweinstein at approximately 12mph is really quite funny, it’s as if a tractor is the equivalent of a Ferrari around here. I was already aware pre-departure that the headquarters of BMW and Audi were stationed in Bavaria, but I confess that I had no inkling that it was also home to the tractor! Any excuse to get the tractor out, and it’ll be out. Only this morning I was in charge of supervising the successfully delivery of a trailer-full of wood chippings that will be used to help generate heating for the Gasthof throughout the winter; and guess how these wood chippings were delivered… Oh yes, you guessed it, by a good old TRACTOR.
You’d be right in thinking that I’ve had a little more free time of late, considering that this is my second blog in two days! Indeed, today the hotel had a Ruhetag (quiet day), therefore it was shut and we all had the day off. During the afternoon, what with the weather still being absolutely stunning, I took a 10km long trek along the country trails, past a couple of villages (on average a couple of kilometres between each), with bergs, fields and forest accompanying me constantly. Today I really took it all in, how absolutely beautiful it is around here. It’s no surprise why Bavaria is Germany’s most popular tourist destination for walkers and hikers; the scenery is stunning and the walks are dazzling (and endless unless you turn back). One minute you’re going up, the next you’re going down, at times it’s like being in the Alps. It was incredibly relaxing and therapeutic, taking the fresh air in, listening to my Ipod, I couldn’t have been in a more relaxing place (except maybe in my bed when it’s raining outside). My train of thought however was broken when two significant questions sprung to my mind as I was walking: Firstly, who in their right mind would apply to be a postman around here? (I’m assuming that there are postmen, because how else would people receive their mail), and secondly, why bother going all the way to Switzerland when you can pay £50 less for your flight and come to FRANCONIAN SWITZERLAND. These questions aside, this walk was absolutely amazing, and there are plenty of other trails that I haven’t yet discovered. England may have it’s gardens, but Germany has it’s hills and fields which are undoubtedly on a par.
On my travels I passed through one tiny little hamlet where I found the answer to why so many Bavarians are absolutely gigantic (and capable of driving equally huge tractors)… And I never thought that it would be down to something so simple as milk! There must be something in the grass that the cows eat.
Over the past few days I’ve developed a few more new skills to add to my CV (although they’re still in the rudimentary stage!). During the Ruhetag two new guests arrived late in the evening, and since everybody was away making the most of their free time, Bernd and I had to head down to the hotel, help the guests with their luggage, and then cook for them. I haven’t cooked in absolutely AGES, and to be honest I wasn’t that much help. Bernd basically did all of it! But nevertheless, I did my fair share and we served two quality, visually aesthetic meals to the guests. My culinary skills are ever improving I think, but I can’t say that I’m quite on the same level as Wolfgang and Ingo :). I’ve also had to adapt to being a bit of a handyman of late. There were a number of old TV’s in some of the guest rooms that needed replacing with new ones. Bernd had asked me initially to place the new TV’s in the rooms and subsequently remove the old ones. This being all and well and quickly finished, I offered to try and set up the TV’s myself, scan for the channels and make sure that they were in working order. After trying to read the instructions in German, and then resorting to English (because it was so much easier), and after a bit of tampering, I successfully set up the 3 TV’s. So now, I believe, I’ve worked in every area of the hotel!Vodpod videos no longer available.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
I enclose finally a cheeky photo of Charlie the dog, who today was hanging out with me and Veronica whilst we were clearing up on the roof. I would say that he was trying to help us, and from the photo I guess you could say that it looks like that he is indeed helping me to drag the disused couch to the edge of the roof. HOWEVER, this is not strictly true. If anything, Charlie was pulling against the couch (making life a lot harder because he’s a very powerful dog!), ripping the material open with his teeth, attacking it as if the couch was some kind of enemy dog, and basically making the roof dirty all over again (with the sponge from inside the couch). I thought this photo was quite funny and captures Charlie doing what he does best: being a rascal.