Austria: Attersee

I stayed in Austria with a family that invited me through helpx to stay with them for a month, which lived about 40 minutes away from Vienna in a huge house which were actually two big houses on the same piece of land, so basically I lived in one and the family on the other, even bigger one.

Once I was there they told me they would take me to their summer holidays at the lake house of the mother of the family’s brother, in a place called Attersee and there my only task would be to play with their four kids and encourage them to practice their Spanish, which was already pretty good.

The house was small and right in front of the lake, with an amazing view of the mountains behind and the turquoise blue water. On our first day there the weather had a sudden change from warm and sunny to cloudy and stormy, especially during the evening, when the thunders started running all over the sky and the wind became so strong, big waves were formed on the lake which went pretty far out the shore, almost crossing the whole terrace and touching the house, it was amazing. I grabbed my camera and started recording through the window, using the opportunities when the rain stopped to go outside and film the lightnings until the wife of the brother came out all scared to ask me to come inside cause it made her nervous to see me risking being hit by a thunder, saying that once she was with her baby son outside during a thunder storm and one of them hit very close, giving them a scary shock of electricity. I didn’t really want to come inside but I agreed as the whole family then started telling me to listen to her and get to cover. The storm continued during big part of the night so we all just went to sleep.

The next day the weather was restored and I didn’t really see any damages, just the usual dirt carried by the wind and water. Later during the day, the brother came to me and asked me if I would like to swim with him the next day to a boat which was always anchored in the middle of the lake, which belonged to an elderly neighbor and had suffered some damages during the storm. I agreed so the next day we swam all the way to the boat, climbed up to greet the old man, who didn’t speak English, then the brother started chatting with him and checking out the mast of the boat which had snapped in half and needed to be removed. We began by removing some cables that went up and down around it, afterwards the brother took a chainsaw the neighbor had prepared already for the job, he started it and asked me to hold the mast which we would be cutting in a few pieces in order to be able to take them on a smaller boat and transport them to the shore. It was a bit of a tricky operation as the boat was lulling with the movement of the water, the floor a little wet and slippery and one of us was operating a chainsaw while the other one held the mast with his(my) hands a few centimeters away. The pieces fell, I threw them one by one to the water, then jumped and pushed them towards the smaller boat where the neighbor waited for me to pull them out of the water.

We managed to get all the work done and then the neighbor pulled a long rope out of the water to reveal a bucket with a couple of bottles of some fruity soft drinks which we enjoyed at the temperature of the cold deep waters, we toasted our success and after a moment we found ourselves swimming back home.

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