We are back together. As cliche as it may sound; Bubbel is back in Europe and I have been teleported to his hometown in Austria and we are simply just happy. And Happy people love telling stories. So here goes. Another one. Get ready for plenty of love.. not only to Bubbel. To Austria, I think, in general.
Like in all fairytales, it is not always going to be easy though. So be prepared for tears… I had to get up at 3am to catch my flight at 07:15am. The flight, that was than late and not on track. I have to say, for a split second I did feel connected with Bubbel on that one. After he wrote his last post (and after I’ve removed all the ‘bad’ words – not to his amusement) I told him it was a bit too much of a complaining one. But while stranded on my 7:15am Ryanair flight, which was not moving, with no comms from the cabin crew, I did think, that perhaps he did not exaggerate that much.
But going back to the story; the bumpy ride finally brought me to Linz. I arrived at this small but nice airport welcomed by these two waving hallo at me.
So here goes…time for yet another introduction. Everyone, please meet Cara. The cutest, most well behaved creature which I miss more and more, each time I need to say goodbye to her. She lives in Austria, but similarly to me, was not born here. I guess this explains our special connection. Although this, I think, is a story I will leave for Bubbel to tell.
We jump into the car and drive to our flat, where yet again, Bubbel proves, that romance is not dead. I am being welcomed with a bunch of herbal roses, the most tasty coffee and this amazing breakfast. And I really need to break it down and explain what we ate. So there is this bakery in Linz called Brandl. Right in the heart of Linz, just a short walk from us. Master of Hand Pastry, is what they call themselves and believe me, they live up to this tittle. The grand selection of bread and pastries plus typical Austrian coffee are to die for. This is where schokoknopf and handsemmerl start their live, before they end up in happy bellies of millions of Austrians, but not only!
The pastry is thick and fluffy. Covered with almonds, filled with chocolate or plain, these treats are a perfect breakfast for those who like it sweet. No room for watching calories, I am afraid. No matter what order you start in – choco or no choco, you always end up tasting both anyways. And you definitely want more. I mean, look at this.. Do you dare to say no?
We top it off with some fresh strawberries from a farm (they do taste so good) and some coffee in my favourite Gmundner Ceramic. If you are ever in Austria and see Gmunden on your map ( you surely will, if you head in the direction of north end of the Traunsee) you really should make it one of your stops. Their name is extended to ‘Real Piece of Austria’ and with a long history, going back to end of 14th century, they produce real beauties. Cups, mugs, plates, bowls, in different colours and sizes. And when I mean different, I am so serious. Just look at this one for example;
I know the photo is not summery at all but I did not have one from this summer:)
Then the plan for the day is to have a little nap and hit into the direction of a lake. When in Austria, you pretty much have an endless list of choices. There are mountains, lakes and more lakes. One more beautiful, than the other. We want to go for an option not so far from us, to make sure we can still make the best out of the day.
So far all goes to plan. The nap is not too long, but long enough to give us this so needed boost of energy. And then it happens. The jealous universe decides to mess up our plan. To take away the joy. To kill the love and make us remember this moment for all the wrong reasons. Bubbel goes to the bathroom. Bends down to get my suncream and the next I hear is those words I removed from his last post that start with F.. and S.. and are generally muted during films appropriate for under 15s. He cannot get back up. He basically cannot move. Panic. I know what I want to do, but I don’t known what I can do. Since Bubbel and I Have become a team ( not revealing details now. Keeping it for a future post, hopefully a special one) he has only been unwell once. With a toothache. That one time, he was shivering in bed next to me from high temperature and I swear I thought he was dying, but he would not talk to me and forbade to talk to him. Before the delirium started he managed to pre-warn me; don’t ask how I feel, don’t try do to anything. Very unusual ‘ill male’ behaviour – I have to say. I am not really used to the ‘I can handle myself when I have a flu’ type of a man. Sorry boys, but usually, as you know, the flu equals dying, a toothache is comparable to giving birth and (God forbid) broken limb, is the end of your life!
Bubbel is different. He moans without words, with body language only, and believe me, this is 1000000 times worse. So I face the drama, patiently waiting for him to give me a sign. After what sounds like a fight of good and bad demons captured inside him and few attempts of bouncing back from the floor to a straight position, the 190cm body of my man raises up like phoenix from the ashes… I mean, that’s what I saw it as, as I was so happy to see him being able to stand up. In all honesty, the phoenix looked more like Dobby from Harry Potter, but I felt the sense of drama was not far from appropriate here. He stands up and announces that we go. Not to the hospital, not to the doctor, but to the lake. To meet with his friends and their little baby boy. And I know that there is no room for a discussion.
So we go in the direction of Ausee. The 23-hectare lake in the middle of the beautiful Donauauen. Getting into the car takes lifetime. And is, again, accompanied by the sound of fighting demons. But he does not want to hear about changing our plans. The lake is really just a short drive away from where we are. What I love in Austria, is that one minute you are in the centre, and shortly after you are on another planet. Surrounded by nature, singing birds, blue waters and nothing but sunshine. We find our spot, lay down on the grass and admire the view before our friends join us.
If you are a dog owner, I better pre-warn you. Sadly, dogs are not allowed there so Cara stayed at home and I bet you, she was so grateful she did not have to join us in this heat.
Eventually our friends arrive and we continue enjoying the nature, whilst the little one is getting more and more interested in Bubbel’s big toe. He chews, squeezes, investigates. The lack of interaction from Bubbel’s side tells me, things are not good. And he does not talk. Like, at all. Normally, he is the most talkative part of the party, but today the demons took over not only his body but his voice too. We make an attempt of walking. Our friend jumps into the water which is fresh and cold, that my little toe hurts after 2 seconds of contact. Ok.. maybe it’s not that bad, although the water is cold. But so clean at the same time – amazing.
We walk back to our patch and decide we will go home and seek help. The plan was to go to a pharmacy to get some painkillers. Not much they can do for us there unfortunately, so we get home with Ibuprofen and hurting back. Bubbel falls asleep. After an hour he wakes up in even more pain, and here is where the fairytale really turns into a nightmare. We decide to go to a hospital. We walk. That is after a 5min conversation and pointless attempts of him telling me I should not go. The hospital is 5min away from our flat but it feels like hours. Bubbel is mad, I think. He says; ‘babe, could you walk behind me and tell me if I am walking straight? If not, can you fix me so that I am walking in a straight position?’. I am jumping behind him and I can see he needs to go approximately 30 degrees to the right. This means a risk of further injury, return of demons and me breaking down. No way I am doing it. I lift his arm up by 1mm and tell him, that he walks perfectly straight. He believes me ( or not…?). We get to the hospital and wait. I have to say, I’m impressed. It’s not such a long wait after all and he is quickly given a drip. They also ask how he got himself in to this state. As bad as my German is, I understand the suncream story he tells the doctor and I can clearly hear her heartbreaking joke, that next time I should get it myself. As if I did not know! If only she knew, that I already bought out the entire stock of suncreams from Amazon, I cleared out the bathroom and bedroom cupboards to make room for the stock. She would not be making those comments.
I am hoping the drip will help. The weird thing is that we have to go back to an open room, where he needs to sit and wait for the it to finish. After an hour or so the drip is over, but they are not ready for us yet. There is this lovely American woman sitting right next to us. She is clearly worried, waiting for her husband, and is looking to strike up a conversation. Bubbel and I are really good at this stuff. We are starting to chat, he offers her one of our Manner Wafferl. They are to die for and I think they release your tongue and make you say things you would not normally say. Why? Well.. Take this American lady for example. She must be in her late 60s, early 70s. She takes a bite of the Wafferl, looks at B with this Marilyn Monroe look and says; ‘your hair is amazing’. And then goes on to telling us a story about her son-in-law, whose hair looks just the same and explains, how he is the most handsome man. In simple words – she is hitting on B under the spell of the Wafferl! Good job we are called back to the doctor’s room. After further inspection Bubbel gets even longer and thicker needle in his back, they inject something that miraculously gives him strength to stand up and walk straight. We head home. It was a long day and we are both tired.
I am hungry. I finish the pizza gigante (did you know pizzas for 1 in Austria are the size of half of woman’s body?!).
We give Cara a kiss goodnight and we all fall asleep, hoping tomorrow will be yet another sunny day. We have a plan for the day and all we need is a healthy back, four wheels and sunshine in our pockets. Let’s hope the fairytale goes on…