Monday, June 16, 2008

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


At June 16, 2008 2:26 a.m., Blogger Silvia said...

Pretty place to go to, your Boy is lucky! He will have a great time,tho. Are you sure about his shoe size??? Sounds awefully big for a boy his age???

At June 16, 2008 3:15 a.m., Blogger Maribeth said...

Hope boy 15 has a great time. BIG feet. My goodness. Is he also tall???

At June 16, 2008 4:04 a.m., Blogger Rositta said...

A little nostalgia there for me...we used to have a German club here in T-Dot that brought us this type of entertainment from time to time. Lots of fun, I actually like yodelling music, am I nuts...ciao

At June 16, 2008 5:47 a.m., Blogger Pam said...

What's the big deal? It's like that every day at our house. :P

At June 16, 2008 10:49 a.m., Blogger Andrea said...

The first video makes me think of the movie European Vacation with Chevy Chase :)

At June 16, 2008 2:07 p.m., Blogger Jul said...

Andrea - me too! The best American movie ever made about Europe, I tell you...

At June 16, 2008 5:01 p.m., Blogger Carol said...

Visions of my mom's heimat! Thanks for the treat. I've been going through definite "Germany withdrawals" lately...


At June 16, 2008 5:12 p.m., Anonymous ian in hamburg said...

I hope it goes well for him. Sounds like a trip with memories to last a lifetime.

At June 16, 2008 5:52 p.m., Blogger Pardon My French said...

Loved the videos, although next time I'll watch them after I've had my morning cup of coffee. The baby didn't seem to mind, though.

At June 18, 2008 1:29 a.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

Oh how fun! I'm sure you'll have a lot to tell us once he returns, Christina. :)

At June 25, 2008 2:30 p.m., Blogger christina said...

silvia - It looks beautiful there - I'm jealous! Yes, his feet really are that big - he's 6'1" so it all fits together.

maribeth - Yep, he's 6'1" already and will probably take another growth spurt some time soon! Yikes!

rositta - The best videos of this stuff actually seemed to come from associations outside of Germany and Austria. I really like the yodelling too. Reminds me of my childhood.

Pam - I knew you'd say that. :-) I bet Mr. NEV looks fetching in his leather shorts. When I was a kid my parents actually used to have parties involving lederhosen, yodeling and accordions so I'm no stranger to it.

Andrea - I love that movie! It does look a bit like that but I think these guys are serious!

Jul - Another fan! Chevy Chase kills me.

Carol - Happy to oblige. There's just such gorgeous scenery down there, much more interesting that up here in the north.

ian - He's pretty adaptable and usually has a good time wherever he is.

pardon my french - Maybe you can teach her to yodel!

ginnie - We finally got a postcard today after not hearing a thing, so that means he's still alive!


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