We’re staying in a little town in the Austrian mountains called Gries Im Sellrain. And true to its name there was rain. With my new-found appreciation for rain, you can imagine I was very happy.
(Near Florence, notice how flat the land is)
So… we left Florence yesterday morning at 8.45am and we arrived here at about 5pm and it’ wasn’t such a bad day. We did have a high of 30 degrees but we had a low of 17 degrees also. It was a bit of a shock to the system when I realised I might be cold. Hadn’t felt that for a while. The reality was that it wasn’t too hot and it wasn’t too cold and it wasn’t too tiring. And… it seems my body has got used to travelling for long periods in one position and it wasn’t complaining.
(Now you can see some hills in the distance)
I saved myself a lot of worrying and imagining scary things for nothing. Instead I spent my time noticing what was exactly in front of me and appreciating the stuff I liked. Scenery and nature were in front of me. Although Florence is very beautiful, we didn’t see a lot of nature. Not that there weren’t gardens, there were, but we didn’t go to them. We spent time in the streets and the museums and art galleries. So even though we were on a six lane highway now, there was plenty of nature all around us. And it was changing all the time.
(The hills and mountains are getting closer)
We stopped every hour (ish) at motorway services and we have it down to a fine art by now. First one, breakfast. Second one fruit and water. Third one, lunch. Fourth one, ice cream or coffee and pastry.Last one shower! That makes five hours of driving and three hours of stops.
Yesterday I promised to write a gratitude list and that has made me realise that I appreciate being able to go on this journey. To be able to take the time to do something so different. To have the health, the means and the will. To be able to visit places I have only read about or seen in documentaries. We live in privileged times and we don’t know it.
(And finally we arrive in Austria)
While on this road I have been remembering my Dad tell us stories as children about his trip with friends to Rome. The story goes that they drove all the way from Baltinglass in Co. Wicklow, Ireland to Roma, Italy, more than fifty years ago. Before air conditioning, before motorways, before wi-fi! I would love to ask him about it now, but it’s too late, I didn’t know when it was possible to ask that I would want to know. And I would love to see photos of his journey but I don’t know if any exist.
(In a little town with a funny church steeple)
So here’s my gratitude list….. Nature, the landscape of northern Italy and Austria from flat lands to huge craggy mountains. Motorway services – really! The journey. Rain… And finally I am grateful that I have the opportunity to write, to take photos and to make you all listen!!!
(This is just one of that many signs to tell us… we are welcome :))