Wörthersee – Austria

It’s been few months since I decided it’s time for me to leave “the ship life” and stay on land again. So far, I must say, I’m extremely happy with my decision and I’m enjoying summer as much as I can. Since I came back home I fell in love with SUP-ing (stand up paddling), so I’m still trying to stay as close to the water as possible.

My friend and I decided to visit a neighboring country for few days, Austria. Since I love adventures so much, we decided to go camping by the lake. It’s been a long time since the last time I slept in a tent and I really missed it, so I was super excited about it. We found a camp right next to Wörthersee Lake. Honestly, to me it was somehow new to actually be on vacation, to have all this free time, no schedule, no rush, I forgot how that is.

We used our first day there to explore Klagenfurt a little bit and to set up our camp spot. Towards the evening we went to the beach to relax and swim in the lake. And this night we were told there will be a party in the sky – one of the biggest meteor showers. So we grabbed few beers (and some rum), sat on a beach and watched the sky. Well, the sky show didn’t really reach our expectations, but there were still quite a lot of shooting stars, more than I’ve ever seen in one night. Wish upon a star they say… I had a chance to wish a lot of things that night.

In the morning we didn’t bother with an alarm clock. We woke up when we felt like. After late breakfast, we went for a short hike to a nearby hill. Luckily we had some random map of the area with us, but somehow we still managed to miss some path and made it all the way to the other side of the hill. Our plan was to hike for about two hours, it turned out to be four hours. But it didn’t matter, it was a nice walk through beautiful nature. After we had pasta for lunch, again, we finally put my SUP board in the water and paddled around for a while. We had to prepare for our big day…

So… the third day. Well, this is the highlight of the whole trip – we paddled on my SUP all the way to the other side of the lake and back again. Locals said we’re crazy and we won’t be able to do it. Watch us… Just watch us… Haha! Our plan was to rent another board, but the rent center opened too late, so we just shared one board. That turned out to actually be a better option in the end – yes, we were heavier, our board was much lower in the water, we were slower, but we had an option to switch positions, so each person had a chance to rest. We started our trip 8:15 in the morning. During the day we made quite a few stops along the coast, took time for a drink, for a snack, even for a pre-cooked pasta at lunchtime. Luckily we were very well prepared for a whole day trip. The other side of the lake was much harder to paddle. There were more boats, so the waves got bigger and from all sides and I still have no idea how the hell we managed to stand on board after all that. It was crazy and absolutely hilarious. I wish I could see us from some other perspective, I think I’d die laughing (well, my eyes were full of tears of laughter anyway). 🙂 Anyway, we had a bit longer stop at Velden, the town on the other side of the lake. After we got some energy back and got a cold beer at a nearby store, we were able to start our journey back. This was the hardest part of the whole trip – the waves were still high and now even the wind was our enemy, blowing towards us. Most of our way back I was just laughing. Maybe I was going a bit extra crazy because I was already tired, or maybe it was actually funny. My fight with a bee probably made it even funnier, since I was just saying that if I’ll ever fall in the water, it’s going to be because of these stupid bees flying around my head. It wasn’t even 5 minutes later when I flipped the board over and we fell in the water. When I looked around me my friend was still under water, but hey, he saved the beer can! Priorities… 😀

Despite nobody believing we’ll be able to cross the lake and come back to the starting point in one day, we did it. The whole lake is 18km long, so that made 36km of paddling. I think I paddled around 16km and my friend around 20km. We were tired, but we felt proud that we did it. I mean come on, it’s my first season SUP-ing and my friend actually stood on a SUP for the third time in his life… 😀

We were absolutely exhausted at the end of the day. We made it back to our camping spot around 7 pm, tired, hungry… The next day we had to pack up and we were still too tired to do anything special. We made a short stop in a nice canyon in Slovenia, but only to sit down in a shade for a bit and have a beer. We just needed to get home and get some sleep. Well, this was definitely one of the best adventures this summer. I think I’m getting used to this life on land quite well and I hope it will continue like this. 😀

Christmas spirit (day 77)

Day 77 – Wednesday, 05.12.2012
I have no idea why, but I slept until 10:00 in the morning and that is really not my usual hour of waking up. I felt a bit bad about sleeping longer, but well, it doesn’t really matter since I had no class in the morning. =) Then I decided to be a little creative and I made a paper Christmas tree and I even drew some Christmas ornaments on it. Now we have a special, modern and artistic Christmas tree. Though Damir and Gaja didn’t know what it was until I told them. =D Haha!
After I finished my homework for Portuguese language course I went to some shop because I wanted to buy colour pencils and that plastic thing for the kitchen that you mash potatoes with. Well in the end I bought those pencils, small notebook and a rice paper light for my room. When I returned home I put on my new light that cost me 1.50€, but it totally makes my room cuter. But I still can’t believe I didn’t get that thing for mashed potatoes. I went to some other shop and they didn’t have it as well. I guess people here don’t use. I’ll check some other shops these days because I want my mashed potatoes and mashed chickpeas! =)
Anyway, we had our language course later and we did some hearing exercises and I just kept on laughing when I heard them. It was so weird to listen and trying to understand everything at the same time. =) I don’t know, everything just seemed funny today. =D On our way home we talked to our Norwegian Erasmus friends a bit, then I wanted to take some photos of light painting but I have no idea what I was doing wrong so it didn’t work out as it should. It was something with camera settings and that shutter release adapter. I’ll solve the problem and shoot some other time again. But at least I took some photos of Christmas lights through the city! =)
When we returned home I talked to my mom a bit. And I forgot to tell that she had birthday these days so I sent her a birthday card that I made myself. She got it two days after her birthday, but she was so surprised and so happy that she actually cried and that’s when I knew how small things often mean the world to someone. She was really happy and that made me happy even more. =)
Well talking about surprising people. Today is the evening when St. Nicholas usually brings presents and so when I got to the kitchen ‘miraculously’ pair of socks for Damir and Gaja appeared ‘under’ our Christmas tree. =) So there you go, my day.

Fallen Angels (day 56)

Day 56 – Wednesday, 14.11.2012
So first thing in the morning was to change my clothes and start to work out. I did some exercises with my amazing blue ball and it felt really nice because it instantly warmed me up. =) Well anyway, after that I started to search some ideas and literature for my diploma. I know I don’t have to do it yet, but I like to start things early and at least try to find ideas and slowly develop my projects. Well then in the afternoon I got an amazing email that made me really happy. My video about why I decided to be a vegan got into top three on a competition! They said it will be posted on the website of Vegetarian Resource Group and that means a lot to me! It’s really an amazing feeling when your work is suddenly noticed and it just gives you this boost to keep on trying. =)
Well in the evening we had a Portuguese Language Course and we tried to learn some things, but I don’t think we really got the point. I guess we’ll just have to practice and practice to get it and finally be able to communicate at least the basics. We’ll get there… =)
After the class we took some photos on our way home. I had to do at least one photo for my homework and my area of photography will be like a connection between architecture and light painting. Well most of my chosen areas were kind of not what I wanted them to be, because of some street lights that just didn’t work as a plus for my photos. But oh well, I’m still posting some photos of tonight. Oh and when we came to the church I looked to the staircase that leads there and I was shocked because I saw something there in the dark. I wasn’t sure what it was at first, maybe a bag of garbage, maybe something else? Well it turned out it was a person and he (or maybe she?) was sitting there totally still. Then he started to move a bit and we were not sure what was scarier, him being still or him moving a bit. So we suddenly didn’t feel like going downstairs to the church door… =/
And since we had time and we were already outside with all the equipment, we played with light painting a bit. So that’s how we became fallen angels. =)

Evening of walking alone (day 50)

Day 50 – Thursday, 8.11.2012
Brrr, another morning when you don’t want to get out of the bed because it’s so warm under the blanket! I think it’s about time I try to do something about the inadequate isolation around the windows. Seriously, there is a hole where left and right part of the window fit together and its size is about 2×2 cm, so yes, it really is a problem. I have no idea why Portuguese people don’t pay any attention for things like these, but obviously they would make a difference during the winter. And I know it’s not only our apartment because we have seen how it is in other apartments around the town and it’s not much better. It’s weird.
Anyway, I swept the floor in my room and on a hallway, though we did all that only two days ago. We can’t believe how dusty it gets! We thought there is a lot of dust back in Slovenia, but seriously, that’s nothing when you see this. It’s crazy! Well, I even cleaned the floor with water though I very much doubt it will make any difference. I did it more for my own feeling of clean environment. And I did a lot of laundry today, but it was a bit of a problem because in the afternoon we all had classes, so I rushed home to pick up the dry clothes, but I was already a bit too late, because some clothes already sucked the moisture from the air. And I couldn’t believe it, but even after the whole afternoon of drying, some clothes were still quite wet! I hope we’ll be able to dry clothes normally during the winter, but I’m starting to get the feeling that will not be the case.
Today our temporary roommate Filip went home and it was a bit weird to say goodbye because we got used to him and just started to get along really well. Too bad he wasn’t able to enjoy his stay more. I guess now he has one more reason to return. =)
Well, as I said, we all had classes today and Gaja had a reservation for photo studio at school, so she left the class after two hours and occupied the studio. I saw few photos she made and I must say they look amazing. It’s totally like she would be shooting for Vogue! I can’t wait for her to show me all the photos! =D Well, when I finished the class I decided to go to one of the Chinese shops on my way home, where I bought some small scented candles, because when I light them they give me the feeling of warmth, even if it’s quite cold in my room. =) And while I was walking home I felt so great. I don’t know, it was nice to be alone a little and just to walk around when it was already dark and all the street lights were already throwing that warm light onto pavements…

I don’t know why, but suddenly I got this song in my head “P.O.D. – Alive” and when I returned home I just had to put it on.

I just love it when I have some sort of positive feelings for no particular reason. It might be simply because I’m happy and I guess also because sometimes I notice small things and feelings that just feel nice.
And now I just feel like listening to Linkin Park. =)