Susanne decided I should fly so she took me to a Suisse bakery and let me get lunch then took me to the launch or as I referred to it the Golf Country Club. This launch was so grassy I felt bad even walking on it never mind laying my glider on it. After lunch I took to the skies for an afternoon sled ride. Upon Landing I looked over at Anders and asked if they turned off the lift just cause I was around. It turns out that just like Canada this place gets baked out too and when its that warm it becomes very soft.
It was now time to go to the Lake as the pregnant one decided she was to warm for this...haha. I was more than happy to tag along. We went to Lake Thun which is one of many lakes around but also the biggest. It was about 32 degrees so getting in the glacial water was more than refreshing and also the cleanest lake water I have ever seen so close to a city.
The Night ended with the biggest storm I have ever seen and I am not kidding. The winds reached 125km/hr in town and blew over trees that were over 100 years old. Some broke that were more than 3 feet wide and others just plain blew right over roots and all. It was crazy. I filmed it from various angles so will post some video when I get back. After the storm what do any normal people do but go walk around and check out the damage. Staying with Suanne and Anders is like staying with people with way to many friends...haha. During are walk we of course ran into other friends sitting on a patio overlooking the damaged town and promptly invited in for drinks.
The RAIN. Vincene warned me about the rain plagued alps but I never truly understood. I guess looking around at all the green grass should have been a clue. Think Vancouver in January with huge mountains surrounding you. It was biblical amounts. I ran from store to store and napped and napped and watched movies. After going to new levels of rest Susanne suggest we head up to Lauterbruan which is close to Wengen of ski fame. What a cool town where Anders took me hiking in the rain to see waterfalls and keep ourselves from driving Susanne crazy. She was happy sipping her coffee in a friends coffee shop.
On Friday I went with Anders to fly the World Famous Grindelwald which was spectacular to say the least. I flew like a moron and not understanding how far they push into the lee side here and landed at the valley floor instead of flying home but at least I understand now why flying in the lee in Europe is so popular as its the only thing that works...wink.
More great dinners with new friends and old. Who would have thought in Interlacken they would have the best Thai food that I have ever had?
Saturday was spent hiking up in an ALP eating fresh cheese and chasing cows with bells around there necks. Good fun if you have never done it. They are so friendly we even pet them. But the bells do get annoying. The Alp was up at the end of the pass in Adelboden.
I now sit on another train headed to my european family house in Salzburg. Home to Rudi, Esther, Paul and Jakob. I look forward to seeing them all as everything on this trip is spontaneous as I should still be in Spain. I will spend Sunday through till Wednesday morning with them and head to Munich for my flight to Montreal and finally get to see Loic and Caroline.
Sorry for so many words but these trains in the rain are great for spewing words. Now I know why Gadd's posts tend to drag when he is on a train...haha
All the Best for Everyone back Home
Keith( still making the best of everything )
Before that I was still in Piedrahita and some how had to get out. This is when KEITH'S LUCK finally struck. My flights were all changed by late Saturday afternoon leaving me time to join my adopted team the Americans for a swim at one of the local swimming holes.
Early Sunday morning chaos all begin with me packed and ready to go only to find out the one and only bus going to Madrid did not leave till 5pm which just simply was going to suck for my luck. Well up to the plaza to see if my Canadian Charm could get me to Madrid sooner. Well sure enough it did and in a very nice kind of way. Steve Ham mentioned that one of the drivers from the comp had just left in his personal vehicle to go home which was just past Madrid. A short phone call later and 5mins later I was sitting in a pimped out BMW travelling at close to 200km/hr at times across Spain to Madrid. Before long Benjamin and I were speaking and sort of understanding one another with many nods and pointing. I was lucky that my terrible French and his even worse French was still better communication than my english and his spanish. I managed to convey that I knew nothing about bull fighting and this was a terrible trip so far. He proceeded at speeds quicker than I have ever travelled in a car to get me into Madrid in record time. My new best friend then drove right through the trendy section of Madrid to the Plaza de Toro. Next thing you know I was the proud owner to a Seat at Sunday evenings Bull Fights.
Now time to find Brett at his Hotel which turned out to be no problem with a local. Now time to get Brett to the subway and with little convincing he was all the proud owner to a ticket to the fights.
Our Madrid Metro skills are top notch now and we were able to criss cross back and forth with little to no trouble at all around the city.
The fights I will not describe as they are certainly not for the faint of heart but the ambience in the stadium is like nothing I have ever felt before in my life. It was truly inspirational to be a part of and I am so glad to have gone. Brett and I got lucky again as the man next to me was the proud father of a young matador and was there with his family cheering on a female Matador who is 19. The rules are hard to figure out but by the end we were able to tell who should win and who sucks. The basics are that 3 Matadors and 6 bulls, with the matadors taking turns killing one bull each.
By the end of the night it was close to 2am when we got back to Brett's room close to the airport and with maybe 2 hours shut eye I was back up at 5am and in a 3 minute taxi ride that cost 17 euros to get to my 7:30 am flight. Europe is ridiculously expensive.
Its now Monday afternoon and I am sitting on the very packed train to Switzerland with plans for a cold beer and dinner with very good friends.
Germany is stunningly beautiful so far and I have managed to put a large grin back on my face after a disappointing trip so far. I guess all things happen for a reason but this is one that sticks out as strange. Between all the comps I did just to qualify then the support of all the local pilots here I am not competing at all and doing something I honestly never thought I would ever get to do and that is travel Europe. I am totally 100% relaxed and feeling all sorts of energy return. I figured this morning on the plane to Munich to just not worry about and to really enjoy myself.
One last thing I plan to do after Interlacken is travel to see Rudy and Esther as I looked on a map and they are too close to not go see my favourite Austrians.
So thanks again for making this a vacation of a lifetime after a major disappointment at the comp.
I will try to continue my blog with the goings on around Europe. Oh the weather is great...haha but very humid here in Germany after very dry Spain
Claudio flew very well and made GOAL and I believe Brett landed around the 90km mark.
Tomorrow is a new day
Sent from my iPhone
Were trying to get an instructor to possibly open up Sunday and Monday night for the next few weeks to allow for more options. I will update the schedule if that happens so keep an eye out for that.
We also have the fundraiser party for my trip to the World Championships in Spain on Saturday the 18th at 6ish in the shop. I invite you all to attend as it's also a great chance to meet each other and get to know one another away from your lessons.
Any ?'s please let us know
The schedule has been updated in the top right corner of this page so please have a look to make sure there is a session at the time you would like to try and come.
I also have a twitter account for the non-students to check to see if the conditions are good at least when I am there.
As a reminder students are to call the day before at 4 pm to come out the next morning. So example is I would like to fly wednesday morning so I would call 403-804-8373 at 4pm on tuesday to check for the conditions wednesday morning.
Looking forward to a great season with you all.