Sunday, August 21, 2011

On the Road Again!

So, as if July hadn't had enough travel, I decided to drive up to Hamburg from Vienna to get our boxes from storage in our attic there. I thought I would share what turned out to be a very *interesting* trip with you!

I started out by picking up the rental truck from a company here in Vienna, and was waited on by what appeared to be a teenage girl who seemed far more interested in the fact that I was from FL, than in helping me get the rental truck! Ah well! About a half hour later I was on my way!

The first part of the trip was uneventful (so we'll skip that bit!) As the tank reached about half, I thought: I think I'll go ahead and fill up so that I'll get better gas milage! I stopped at a rest stop on the Autobahn, and to begin with read the signs wrong, and ended up on the semi truck side... :/ After some finagling and driving - for a very short moment - the wrong way on a one way in the parking lot, I got to the gas pumps. I was, understandably, a bit out of sorts due to the recent events, but still thought to look for any sign that the little car (a bit smaller than a US mini-van) might possibly take any special type of fuel. There were no markings in the car that mentioned it. The "helpful" girl had not mentioned anything, and when I opened the little door to the gas tank, I didn't see anything. What I didn't notice was a small little sticker on the INSIDE of the little door that said 'diesel' ...

I think you've probably figured it out by now. I filled up the second half of the tank with regular when I was actually driving a diesel! I noticed it first as I was putting the nosil back on the gas pump. I thought: Well, Lord, I just read this morning about how You'll give Your angels charge over us to keep us, and I thank You that You'll keep me safe and get me to HH! What I can tell you from this experience, is that, with some angelic help, a diesel WILL drive on half a tank of gas and half of diesel! I wouldn't, however recommend it! ;)

My first stop on the trip north was in a little German town called Würzburg, where my bike had been confiscated from me on one of my trips in July (I wasn't permitted to have it on the type of train I was traveling, but having a bike in Germany was new to me, and I didn't know that rule at the time!) I've been trying to get them to ship it to me since then, but the man in charge of lost and found (where the police kindly dropped my bike for me!) was not interested in going out of his way at all to get it to me! I, hence, decided that on my trip to HH, I would make a 1 hour detour and get it myself!

Getting the bike was no problem at all! The guy I'd dealt with on the phone was gone for the day, and the guy who was working didn't even make me pay the 15 Euro fee I was supposed to have to pay to spring my bike from jail!

The problems started when I got back in the rental truck (which btw had no A/C on the roads that were about 97 degrees according to roadside signs!) to crank it... It wouldn't do anything. I thought, OK, I'll give it a minute more, and try again: still nothing. I went to the nearest shop (which happened to be a different auto rental store) and the guy there was very helpful and called the nearest shop of the company I rented from for me. They said that they couldn't offer me a trade because: 1st I had rented it in Austria, and 2nd because they had none of the model I was driving. They offered, however to send an employee over to see if he could jumpstart it. It thought: I don't think the battery's the problem, but OK!

When he got there, he got in, turned the key, and it cranked perfectly! 5 times in a row! I said: wow, I tried that three times, and it didn't work for me, to which he replied, while holding up his hands: healing hands! I thought, or an angel of the Lord!

12 hours after leaving Vienna, I made it safely to HH, but unfortunately all of my able-bodied friends were working night shift, so after three hours I had loaded (much more than I thought possible) into the little van, and was on my way to crash at some friends' house on the couch. The next morning meant a leisurely breakfast with the friends, then on my way back to Vienna.

As I didn't have to stop by Würzburg on the way home, I took what the GPS told me was the quickest route. Little did I know that meant I was going to be driving through the Czech Republic! Not only did I drive through the Czech Republic, but directly through downtown Prague - wow, it was beautiful! It happened to be rush hour, so I got to see A LOT of it! ;) Below are some pics that I took with my phone while sitting in traffic! Not only did I drive through Prague, but also through many very, VERY small towns and even through fields (where I thought: please GPS, get me home!!! And about 10 hours later, she did!)

Love and hugs!

While approaching Prague, I was reminded that I have not lived anywhere that I didn't understand the signs in about three years! Quite a feeling, let me tell you!

Cobblestone streets in Prague!

One of the beautiful buildings that I got to look at for SOME TIME while waiting to move in rush hour Prague!

I got gas, er, diesel in the Czech Republic, and yes, you're reading correctly, it cost 339.00 per LITER! This was, of course in Czech Koruna, of which one equals about $0.06! Still not the best price, but much better than one might first assume!

One of the fields I drove through. This pic I stopped to take because... you can see, NOTHING was coming!

Another example of signs that made me go: huh?

At times, there were other "travelers" taking the same scenic route!

When I saw some of these roads, I thought: is THIS really the quickest way between Hamburg and Vienna!??!

And finally, a pic for Pop - no, I promise I wasn't looking at the phone as I was taking this picture - I was still looking at the road!!!

And the adventures in Europe continue! Sidonie has started rehearsals for Deloris (the Whoopi character) in Sister Act, and has been told that she might get to play her as soon as previews (which begin in about two weeks!)

On the job front for me, I got hired to teach voice, acting and dance for The School of Pop Music here, and will start in September, I also interviewed with a very well respected dance school to teach jazz, modern, and musical dance classes, as well as private voice, and should hear back from them soon! At church this morning, I got asked to sing with a gospel choir that will be at the church in a couple weeks, so things are picking up, as you can tell!

Don't be a stranger!Link


Edress said...

Great blog, as usual, and of course great photos! Those signs look a lot like the signs we saw about three weeks ago :~). We couldn't read those either!

Laura :) said...

So exciting! I am loving living vicariously through your adventures! I just got home from three consecutive shows away, so I've been gone since June. I have a whole five days off, then I head out on a real adventure: My first show in Los Angeles! I'm so excited!

Love to you both!

Laura :)