We have been without WiFi access for a few days now so apologies for no contact. Here’s a quick update.
The snow in Austria did limit our travel, and we were advised to wait before making the trip to Innsbruck. When we finally did I saw why. The road is over mountains and very steep at times. We could not have done it on icy roads. So we didn’t get much time in Innsbruck but did make it to Absam nearby where a man called Jacob Stainer once lived. He was a violin maker who lived before Stradivari (around 1550) and is considered one of the fathers of Violin making. It was a valuable trip for Papas research. Austria is an awesome place, very humbling in its beauty and magnitude.
We then got a phonecall telling us that the car was ready and we had 24 hours to pick it up and drop off the hire car. So we had a decision to make, bearing in mind that the garage is 400 miles north in Erfurt, Germany and the weather is unusually bad, we decided to cut our time short in Austria and start from Erfurt towards home. Rather than take the chance of travelling all the way back down to Austria and the roads being dangerous we will head home and come back in spring to finish our research off in Austria and Italy. At least access will be better and we can make sure the car is up to it.
So after 12 hours travel through traffic and more snow in Germany we picked up our car and a hefty bill! But the European breakdown RAC were excellent and arranged everything, they paid all taxis and hirecar costs and did all the translating between Ford and us. Which made it easier when we realised the next day that……..all our coolant was gone again!
We had driven another 200 miles to Hochsauerland and Papa checked to find, yet again, no coolant. The work had been done but the garage had failed to put the cap back on! Can you believe that ? So another call out, check up and we are praying that, that is all that was wrong.
After such a lot of travel and waiting around we decided to treat the children on the way home to a three night stay in a resort with a pool- so here we are. No research, no garages or shops or museums or libraries or churches or meeting people – just family time resting and swimming. And it snowed again the night we arrived but at least we had our wellies and warm clothes. The pool here is inside and also goes out into a heated pool, so last night we all swam out under the stars and it was gently snowing, which was quite magical. They have really enjoyed stopping and playing in the snow and the pool.
So now each mile we drive is a mile closer to home, we are excited about getting back. We need everyone’s prayers to bring us home safe and healthy.
We have travelled over 3500 miles, slept in 9 different beds, visited five different countries, spoken two languages, visited countless museums, shopped in about 50 Lidl and Aldi shops and eaten about a thousand croissants and pain au chocolates, too many creme Patisserie’s, brotwursts and stollen!
We’ve seen oceans, lakes, woods, mountains, hills, castles, waterfalls, cities, villages, churches, cathedrals, statues, towers and lots of violins!
We miss, our dog, real tea (I’d even drink ty-phoo), cheddar cheese, fresh milk, water from a tap, washing machines, driving on the left side of the road and of course our family and friends. But WOW- what a trip! Every minute has pushed us, shaped us and stretched us but we have seen some incredible sights together as a family.
As we begin to wind our way home, we thank God for watching over us and coming with us every step of the way. I just cannot put into words what an incredible earth God has given us, just the tiny bit that we have seen on this trip is enough to fill my heart with joy for the rest of my days.
Just another thousand or so miles left until we are home.