Aktualisiert: 12. Okt 2020
So, now the adventure of the sabbatical could begin.
After the bagpack was packed and I said goodbye to my loved ones for a while (see previous blog posts), I planned to start the journey on Wednesday. But it turned out differently than expected ;-) On the one hand unfortunately due to personal circumstances, furthermore if you still have a more than busy day with two big projects in the office the day before, you shouldn't be surprised if you finish work at 9 pm and set the absence note for (WOW) three months. The projects at work were of course handed over to my colleagues step by step the weeks before, thanks by the way to my dear colleagues who are also reading this - without you my trip wouldn't be possible either. Back to my original plan to start the next day at 09 am - which my colleagues were only smiling about by the way. In addition, the uninvited guest "migraine" knocked on my door that evening - unfortunately. Okay, I got it - a day of rest between the hustle and the journey must be possible. Did I then also take it to handle "in peace" the insolvency application for the travel agency of my flight booking, which arrived just on this day with "request for immediate processing". And yes, I did nothing for a few hours also, really :)
Thursday morning I started relaxed and without migraine. After the last hugs, a few tears, a lot of treats for my cat Findus and full of anticipation I started the engine of my most faithful companion in the coming weeks. 54.412 km the good golf counts to the start, let's see where we are after the three months!
The first stop for me was planned in Regensburg. This is where Maria lives and works, whom I got to know through my job at Heidelberg. Over the year a close friendship has developed and while we successfully mastered many hurdles in digital printing projects with Primefire last year, it was more the peaks when hiking the last months (I wonder what was more challenging for us Maria ;-)). Since Maria no longer works at Heidelberg, I was so looking forward to see her again and meet her family, who had invited me for lunch. But first there was a guided tour of the family's print shop, so I felt very much at home with all the Heidelberg equipment ;-) I was very impressed by the family-run business - especially the passion for what they do. And that is the most important criterion for success in my opinion. I am so happy for you Maria that you can continue to grow in this environment and will certainly learn a lot. I am proud of you, and I know that you will master your path fantastically - you have already more than proven that at Heidelberg! By the way, Maria is the new format on my website "Friends and Friends of Friends Europetour" - here I present the encounters of my journey, because it is the people and conversations that make the adventure so special.
Afterwards I headed to Passau. Just like in Regensburg, Passau had decided shortly before my arrival that the rain should stop and sun should shine. I was really spoiled with the good weather the first days. Kristina lived with me for three years in my flat (WG) and as she said when she invited me to her wedding last year, "you are practically family" - yep, feels like. If only for one night, I was happy to see Kristina and Felix again and to enjoy the beautiful Passau for a few hours. The city is absolutely worth seeing, the beautiful alleys, along the shore, the small cafes - some people say the "Bavarian Venice". Hopefully I will be able to draw the comparison soon, because I want to visit Venice in the next two weeks! The most beautiful gift from Passau (besides the sweet travel emergency box from Kristina) is the trust of friends like you - "you will find your way, we believe in you, we know how brave you are right now and we are with you". I am very grateful for the support of my friends and family.
The next day I went to Salzburg, more precisely to Seekirchen at the Wallersee (outside the center and the green zone regarding corona infections - yes, Austria is one step ahead of some countries, here the traffic light system is very helpful to understand the course of numbers at a glance and not like in some other regions and countries where I felt I wrote a bachelor thesis to get results and developments of Corona). I had rented a cute Airbnb room and in retrospect I am so happy to have landed here. As Line and the girls would say again "fate". With Elenora it is not only super cozy and you feel like at home, she rents two rooms at once and that's how I met Christina, who is joining a conference. Even though I was skeptical how the contact to others will be while traveling alone in Corona times and not sleeping in hostels, I hoped that everything will work out somehow. My colleague Claudia said at our last lunch "I'm not worried, you will surely meet people". Yes, you were right Claudia, already in the first Airbnb I had such great conversations - not huge groups like in hostels, but that's not necessary. It was a super nice and exciting exchange, Christina is a physiotherapist and started her own business shortly before the lockdown and then of course everything turned out differently than expected - perfect timing. We talked until late in the evening about the importance of work for her, growing up on an organic farm and many other things. In the end, she invited me to her place in Innsbruck and to friends of hers on a farm in Kärnten, has already talked to them on the phone and organized arrangements and I am currently planning if and how I can arrange it. If it works out or not - but thanks a thousand for your support!
Scenically the Salzkammergut has fascinated me already last year. Exactly one year ago, after a delayed pneumonia, I took a week's vacation in this region and it was so amazing. That's why I was looking forward to the Salzburg area so much. I also know Salzburg itself very well - my favorite city in Austria, but I wanted to avoid it because of the increasing number of infections. Friday the sun was shining for me again and so I went up the mountain right after the check-in. Only 20 minutes away is the Wolfgangsee, from where a historical cogwheel train goes to the Scharfbergspitze. I discovered this rather by accident and I am very happy about this great ride to the summit. To my dear friends from Instagram "you have to hike up there to be rewarded for the climb" - sorry to say, but I don't have to do anything right now ;-) Except to pay attention to what I like to do and what I don't like to do. And on the second day alone as a woman and still injured from the 30 km hike of two weeks ago (never mind, we made it Ilja and Lorena :)) the trip to the summit by train felt more appropriate for me. And on the top it was also a nice and safe hike! Mom, dad - I hope this calms you down to read ;-)
The view of the mountains is fantastic, whether mountains or sea, I could enjoy this view for hours and it is so relaxing. Especially at the present time nature is painting in the most beautiful colors. I can definitely recommend the view and drive, it is also great for all families with kids (Janine, Jonas would have fun here :))
What I love the most is just to drive and stop where I like, that is of course the advantage of travelling with my own car. And so I discovered some more wonderful stops which you can find in the photos. I always find the small lakes fascinating, in which the mountains and forests are reflected, as well as the mountain chapels and tiny river, which find their way through the landscape.
This morning I went to the Fuschlsee, where I had an appointment with a former artist from the agency ah-Live (the start up I was allowed to set up) to go hiking. We have always stayed in contact over the years and so I was very much looking forward to the reunion. "Laura, it's supposed to rain tomorrow, do you still want to go hiking?" Clara asked the day before. "Of course, we will survive," we both agreed. Besides, I was spoiled with sunshine the last days and the one or other rainy day during a three month trip can't be avoided anyway ;-) Oh and there was the sweet Charly - Clara's dog, who accompanied us on the Fuschlsee trail. At the Fuschlsee I had already spent vacations with my family more than ten years ago, it was a wonderful time with exciting happenings, about which we all laugh even today. That's why it was also nice to come back to the place and let memories pass in review. Clara and I have shared some of our memories - both common and unifying ones. And so the four hours flew by. Clara is such a great person, I also introduce her at "Friends and friends of friends Europetour". Have a look at her. She is not only a musician but has published such valuable poetry books, lines from her soul, which she shares with the readers and which really touch them. Courageous and so important - thank you for letting us participate dear Clara.
By the way, it only really rained after a few hours when we were sitting comfortably warmed up in the Italian restaurant, ordered pizza and enjoyed the view of the lake. A perfect day, thanks Clara for your openness and friendship.
And on this day I really arrived. Slowly I realize that now it really starts. Or rather, I am already in the middle of an adventure.
Up to now I was more surrounded by people than alone, which I did not expect in this situation but of course I wished for. I have already experienced so much openness and helpfulness. Nature has captivated me again and I notice how my heart and the memory card of my camera is being used joyfully :) Some also contacted me if everything is okay because I didn't answer for a few days. Everything is fine and I am glad that you are thinking of me. Lorena gets a daily sign of life from me as a security :) I'll answer you as well, but not always on the same day - and I'm very happy to read from you!
Now I wish you a nice rest of the weekend, this starts for me with a change of plan (what a surprise :-)) - even though I wasn't in Salzburgstadt, here in this little town there is no increased infection rate, the whole region of Salzburg has been classified as a risk area from the Swiss point of view. Therefore I cannot travel to Switzerland tomorrow as planned and will stay in Austria for a few days more and then leave for Italy. It remains exciting - my very personal adventure Sabbatical in 2020, be curious how it will continue!