Off we go to the carnival, or more accurately, masked street procession in Weer, which is just down the hill. Much of
this feels very medieval - politically correct it ain't. Black people, old people, cripples - all ripe for mockery.
Most of the "girls" are men in drag who have been getting drunk all day. These look like real girls though ...
Afterwards we go to Innsbruck where my girlfriend poses with a postcard at the very spot it was shot from.
At 7.20pm Hutte Zeit ("hut time" - we operate two hours in advance of the rest of Austria to get us up in the morning) it starts to snow ...
It snows all day ...
... and we huddle up close to the fire. Brrr!
And the snow keeps falling - right through until midnight ...
We wake up to brilliant sunshine at about 10.00am hut time (which is really 8.00am). Today is a major anniversary for
one of us and we set off over the Brenner Pass (on the old road, which is free) towards Italy. The stuff in the sky is not
clouds - it is genuine mountains.
We stop to admire a Mercedes pickup which I have always fancied.
Eventually, we reach the top of a mountain which is 2,094 metres high. In old money, that is 6,870 ft high. The temperature is down to
-12^C. Very chilly.
We stop at a bar which is encased in icicles.
In the morning I am curious as to how hot the hut gets when I light the fire. To my astonishment, the temperature hits 32^C which is
90 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, it is -12^C outside (which is about 21 degrees of frost). The fire goes out at about mid day
and the hut temperature drops by one degree per hour.
Finally, after two weeks, the pan of water outside has frozen.
This is the Berghof, about 5 miles east of Innsbruck.
Finally, we set off for the UK past the terrifying ski jump in Innsbruck. After a while we hit a big hold up that without
our navigator would have probably held us up for an hour. But with the aid of high technology, we quickly find an alternative route
that, after an endless series of screw ups, adds three hours and 100 miles to the journey.
Exhuasted and irritable, we arrive at our hotel in Saar-Louise where we eat an indifferent but very expensive meal and go to bed.