Week 143 of Gibraltar Diary

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Sunday 5th December 2010

In the afternoon we go for a walk and also have a look in the chicken shed. There are industrial quantities of chickens and I can see all this going badly wrong. I send a text to the owners saying as politely as we can that the chickens are not acceptable.

Mentally, I prepare to look for another hut to stay in.

Monday 6th December 2010

In the morning I ask my secretary to pursue a final solution to the chicken problem and to dust off the Austrian Hut file. Ominously, we hear nothing from the owners of the hut. Apart from the chickens, the other problem with the hut is the shear amount of junk. So much junk, in fact, that there is nowhere to put our stuff. Not to mention the Creepy Dead Guy on the wall.

We venture down the mountain to Billa and then we get a text apologising for the chickens and saying that they have now all been moved. Hurrah! We don't need to look for another hut. We can just about live with the CDG.

There is a fair bit of snow but it is melting fast.

Tuesday 7th December 2010

We go off looking for better sledges but with no luck. But on the way we find an IKEA where we buy some wine glasses, a wall clock and a reading light. The whole bill comes to about 12 Euros. Wow!

Wednesday 8th December 2010

For a while now we have had two rechargeable torches - Miss Kitty Cat and Mr Piggy. You just squeeze the handle and they run for ever. To find out how long they will run for, we leave Miss Kitty Cat lit and she burns for 48 hours. Amazing! I then pump the handle but nothing much happens. My suspicions mounting, we carry out and emergency operation which reveals that she is a sham - she is not rechargeable but runs off a lithium battery. We have been conned.

The view out of the window as the sun comes up and lights the distant mountains is some consolation for having been duped.

We set off down the hill - the snow is melting fast. Very disappointing.

We go for a drive - the whole of Austria is just one big picture postcard.

Thursday 9th December 2010

When we wake up there is lots of snow but we head down to Billa to buy bread and other essentials such as chocolates and wine.

We then head to a nearby town on the outskirts of Innsbruck which is just amazing - endless medieval streets. Just gorgeous.

We almost make it up the hill but the car slides on a corner and turns round - luckily without going into the ditch. We go to the bottom and try again but this time is even worse and things are looking a bit hairy. We manage to get the chains on before we slide over the edge and make it to the top feeling a little shaken.

Friday 10th December 2010

We wake to find mega snow and decide to go for a walk. Eventually, looking up the mountain we see our hut! What could be simpler then walking up a steep slope under two feet of snow? Well, standing on your head singing would be much easier. Finally, we make it with my girlfriend continually asking why I am going so fast. I try to explain that it is for the same reason that you would walk quickly along the top of a wall with a twenty foot drop either side.

Later, when I walkinto the bathroom I find a mysterious creature lying dead on the carpet. Or maybe it a load of socks waiting to be washed?

Saturday 11th December 2010

Another foot of snow has landed. Things are desperate - we have no bread and are getting low on chocolates. We set off down the hill with the chains on. No problem.

We drive past Swarovsky and then back to the scary hill. There are several cars at the bottom but we are confident we can do it without chains (which are a big pain to put on) and off we go. There is a snow plough coming down and we stop but then start sliding so we reverse down.

At this point sensible people would have put the chains on but we don't. We set off at a gallop but when we get to the tricky part there are lots of people walking up the hill. We cannot slow down and fortunately they hop out of the way and we just make it round the hairpin bend. Phew!


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