In fact I had a very fun evening of chit chatting with two of the Dutch guests at the hotel here. They live in the same region as where I was born during the tenth day of the fabulous nineties. Both children of the woman I was talking to were nicely adventurous, living in all kind of interesting countries, just like me. It was awesome to hear some good old dialect expressions again. I guess I’m well prepared for my trip back home (The Netherlands in this case) tomorrow.
Wednesday was snowy, foggy and anything else balloonists do not need. So, therefore the flight was cancelled. There was some slight balloon action though. There are two guys from the Northern part of Sweden wanting to become a pilot. With some help from Simon and Olle they both got the opportunity to inflate the Mastercard balloon and to play around a bit with it on a rope, just to get the feeling for it. After diner it was swimming pool and sauna time! Nice that those facilities are all here. Ohja, earlier this week I did my yearly little barefoot dance in the snow! Hmm, maybe that’s the reason why I’m a bit sick now… After a sauna visit it was for sure a welcome refreshment.
Thursday, again no flight. Together with the Olle-gang and my beloved Swedish family I went to Salzburg for the very first time. Guess I definitely have to come back there in summer. A lot of things to discover, however, also too many touristy things gratefully making use of the fact Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born there. I was surprised to see so many beggars there, I didn’t expect that. Something else… I think Austrians are in general very friendly towards their customers. I always feel so welcome, everywhere. I found one exeption though! Don’t go to the McDonalds at the main shopping street. They get very grumpy when you want to order your burgers without any salad or other vegetables (something which I have been doing all week for Simon). They even started to discuss among colleagues, right in front of us. A bit embarrassing, but well, it doesn’t matter. We had a good day after all. And, Simon led us to a giant store full with eggs. My goodness, I’ve seen enough eggs for the rest of the year. Easter eggs, Halloween eggs, Spring eggs, Christmas egg kind of balls and just a lot of hand decorated balls you don’t need.
Thursday evening I joined the Swedish pilots to a presentation by Don Cameron. He mainly discussed all the adventurous challenges Cameron Balloons has played a role in. There was not that much new stuff for long time balloon fanatics, but still it was pleasant to hear the stories and jokes told by Mr. Cameron himself. I was however quite surprised by the end of his presentation. Since I like to give presentations myself I have read a lot about how to do it, and how not to. I would always try to end my presentations with something positive, even though the topic is something sad, dark and beeeh. This particular presentation ended with ‘Well, sometimes things go wrong too…’ and a whole collection of balloons in trees, church towers, the water, electricity cables, etc! Interesting…
Friday, finally an opportunity to fly! Or? A second briefing was held and eventually a hand full of pilots decided to actually start. The sight was not perfect and also the direction didn’t offer too many possible landing places. Simon however was convinced it would be all fine and he was absolutely right. Together with him, Tore and Erik we made a more than 2,5 hour flight. We were warmed up by the sun and pleased by the Alpine rooftops. What a good way to end this lovely week.
Tomorrow it’s time to fly home from Salzburg Airport. On the one hand it will be great to be with my parents in the Netherlands again, on the other hand it will be hard to say all the Swedes goodbye, knowing soon it’s also time to start University in Lithuania again. I don’t want to think about it.
That was all for now I guess. The following blog posts might be a bit more Baltic related again.
Thanks for reading!