the hills are alive...
...with the sound of myriad 15-yr-olds descending upon an unsuspecting Austria.
Early Monday morning Boy15, his classmates and two other 9th grade classes will set off on a 13-day Outward Bound adventure to a tiny little place called Baad in the Kleinwalsertal, a valley surrounded by the Allgäu Alps in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg.
(click to enlarge)
My dad grew up in Bregenz in Vorarlberg and was thrilled to know that Boy15 would be visiting the Kleinwalsertal because many of Dad's ancestors came from there.
It's a seven hour train ride from Hannover to Oberstdorf in southern Germany. There the adventurers will be met by buses to take them to their final destination. I just spent two days helping Boy15 organize and pack all his stuff and I am pooped, especially after discovering that we couldn't get all the gear to fit into the bag we had chosen. The kid has size 13 (German 47) feet and just two pairs of shoes take up an inordinate amount of space. A few moments of frenzied rummaging around up in the attic produced a more suitable bag and we're ready to go. Phew.
Outdoor activities will be the order of the day; hiking, climbing and biking, along with some free time to discover what else the area has to offer. Apparently there is a bus service operating every 10 minutes connecting the little towns in the valley so they'll be able to get out on their own and explore.
And now to get us in the mood here's a video of some wild and crazy Austrians doing the Schuhplattler, a traditional dance performed in Bavaria and the Austrian province of Tirol, right beside Vorarlberg. Yep, I had Lederhosen just like that when I was a kid.
And here we have lots and lots of yodeling, also from Tirol. For heavens's sake don't try this at home. You might hurt yourself