Friday, August 26, 2011

Austria Bound

After a tough time traveling, I finally made it to Austria.  My luggage of course got lost along the three-flight journey.  Hopefully, it will come to the flat tomorrow since we start training for hockey on Sunday and I kind of need that stuff called hockey equipment.  The team's manager, Margret, and the team's treasurer, Martina, picked me up from the airport today around 11 a.m. (Central European Time).  It's funny how I've been awake since about 7 a.m. Thursday morning and now I'm in Austria.  It is almost 10 p.m. here.  Sleep deprived might be an understatement in my situation.  I have not slept since Wednesday night.  I feel that if I took a nap earlier today, however, I would not be able to sleep tonight.  It may take a bit to get used to this time difference.

After Margret and Martina picked me up at the airport, we went to the office of the Austrian Ice Hockey Federation in Vienna to complete all necessary formalities.  Afterward, they wanted to take me out to lunch, but unfortunately Martina was really craving McDonald's.  McDonald's was not exactly what I had in mind for my first meal in Austria, but I settled with it.  Don't tell Coach Seeley at Quinnipiac.  Haha.  After that, we stopped to get some German ice cream cones.  Don't tell Coach about that one either!

We continued on our drive to Mürzzuschlag, which is where I'd like to call home now.  The apartment that I will be staying in for the next eight months is in Mürzzuschlag, but Europeans seem to call it a "flat" instead of an apartment.  It was a hike up some stairs to finally to get to the doorstep.  Once we arrived, I was greeted by my fellow Canadian teammates, Courtney and Jessica.  We seemed to get along just fine and seemed to have quite a few things in common, the main one being that none of us know the German language yet.  We also don't exactly know how to drive standard too well yet either.  Good thing we will not get our car for another 14 or so days.

Margret took Courtney, Jessica, and I to a local lake, which Margret called the "clubhouse."  We went for a swim and just laid in the sun.  The scenery in Austria is incredibly gorgeous.  It was a very relaxing atmosphere, especially after being on several different planes for the past 10 or so hours.  Margret took us to eat on a deck outside the clubhouse.  She helped us out with the menu since it was all in German.  We had a delicious salad with chicken, followed by a sweet Knödel for dessert.  It was all very good and we all liked the meals very much.  After the meal, Margret took us back to the flat after picking up some Austrian beers of course.

Courtney, Jessica, and I
Tomorrow, Margret plans to stop by again to drop off a few things, including our new way of transportation, bicycles.  Courtney, Jessica, and I are very excited for those since they had to resort to walking to the market earlier in the day.  I will keep everyone updated as we get settled into our new home in Austria.  


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