2018 Holiday Days 6 & 7

Tuesday 03/07/18  Rest Day (nearly).

Rest Day, we’ll keep it a local day. Ok, I admit it I’m a lightweight! I really enjoy the driving, especially over here where the major routes are so much quieter than at home, but it requires a lot of concentration,

a) I’m getting older, my reaction times aren’t what they were etc.

b) My Left eye is definitely substandard so to see in the opposite door mirror at all I have to turn my head, not just glance– when someone is approaching at the speeds they do over here, and you’re bearing down on the back of a truck or motorhome you have to plan very carefully to not become a statistic!

c) I’ve just spent 5 of 6 days driving, and a long day tomorrow.

After a lazy morning tryping and Kindling, we wandered along to the local Ice Cream Cafe 4 doors along the Lakeside road and indulged in treats, rather special Iced Cream sundaes for the two of us. (Come on, it’s Thursday am in real time now, I can’t remember what I had!)  Cue link to their live webcam… http://www.cafe-eichhorn.at/eichhorn_cam_stream.htm Looking out at almost the same view as our room.

Wandered back to the Hotel and collected the car, drove to the far end of the village to the Spar shop and bought some Skimmed UHT milk for our Teas in our room as the Carton we bought on Friday would be pongy by tonight, and got some cakes as well to go with the Tea. Driving back towards the Hotel decided to have a drive around the Lake and refresh our memories of some of the other local villages, pulled over a few times to let others pass as I was only going quite slowly and as I’m usually the one behind getting cross it was the least I could do!

On getting back to the hotel we relaxed for a while before walking along to the other hotel for our evening meal, we both had the ‘Sliced Pankake Soup’ followed by a Brisket roulade with finely chopped vegetables inside, served with Spiralle pasta and a lake of a delicious gravy. No room for dessert!

Back to the hotel for an early night Zzzzzzz.

 

Wednesday 04/07/18   The  Grossglocknerhochaplinestrasse.

The day those Colonials across the pond celebrate refusing to pay taxes to us Brits!

Right, now to carry out one of my ambitions, ever since I first came to this beautiful Country, I’ve wanted to drive along one of the most stunning routes in Europe. I’ve seen loads of photos, quite a bit of video of it and driven up a mountain before, almost up to the Snow Line in Summer but now it’s time to carry out this dream and drive the Grossglocknerhochaplinestrasse. (Big Glockner High Alpine Road)

The Grossglockner is a rather large mountain towards the Eastern end of the Alps, located south-west of Salzberg and without an alpine pass anywhere near, when the Chancellor of Germany annexed Austria in the early ’30s, it was decided to counter unemployment by a road-building program (Birth of the Autobahns) including building a road that heavy army traffic could use to invade Italy from an unexpected direction. Hence the Grossglocknerhochalpinestrasse.

I’m not going to get into the politics involved, nor the deaths incurred in building it, nor the outstanding feats of engineering using the technology of the day. Suffice to say that since first hearing about it it was something that I’ve just had to do and today is the day.

We set off after breakfast at about 9 am and took the A1 West for about 64kMs past Salzberg and then the A10 South for about 51kMs, coming off onto the B311 Westwards for about 32kMs to the junction just south of Bruck which takes you south on Grossglocknerstrasse towards the pass road itself which starts at Fusch. Whilst on the B311 we came across a maintenance crew who were shutting the road in stages to clear overhanging vegetation and trees that were in danger of falling onto the traffic and road, this was just before a tunnel so barriers were strung across at each end of the tunnel and just before they were working. No prior notice, you’re meant to know they are there! Still, I’ve been in traffic Jams in worst places.

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The Temperature according to the car was 27C at Fusch. 813M asl ( above sea level).

We set off on this road, not reaching the Toll barrier until we got to the ‘Wild and leisure park’ at Ferleiten some 13kMs in! The toll seems a bit stiff at first, €36.00 but you do get a car sticker, a small leaflet and access for a whole day to some of the most breathtaking scenery in Europe! (The cost of course, also covers the Park Rangers, road and carpark building and maintenance and Snow Clearance in the Spring.)

We reached the first important stop (Tea in, etc.) at Piffkar, some 1620M asl, the Temperature here was down to 19C. and we looked straight across from the Shop with outside tables directly at this view.

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And this is the view back down the hill so far from the layby on the other side of the road.

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That bright white bit in the middle of the picture isn’t a cloud, you’re looking horizontally through the clouds at a snowfield the same elevation that we are!

So we carried on, uphill all the way, some almost straight parts, a LOT of Hairpin Bends and even they were at a ratio of 1:4 Up.

Our next stop was at the Haus Alpine Naturschau at 2,260M asl where there was a really nice Cafe, an indoor exhibition of the rocks and Large lumps of various crystals, and a souvenir shop. (These shops were at every building in the park, not too heavily priced either.)

The following pictures show views from various laybys that I stopped in on the way further up before we turned off to go to the highest viewpoint at Kaizer-Franz-Josefs-Hoche.

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Quite how those Cows stay stuck to that hillside I don’t know!

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The stone blocks at the side of the road are the Crash Barrier, they are deliberately placed MORE than a Cars’ width apart, and are all that stops you going over the edge!

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Some of the snowfields are literally right next to the road, and people have carved their names in with their fingers or sticks.

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To stop the snow melt running across the road, they have small waterfalls to take the water down into a pit then it’s piped under the road and comes out the other side as a waterfall again! Pics I took of these have evaporated! Mind you, this Phone does take rather good pictures, even with me doing it.

Despite our elevation at this point, the flow of water over the falls is very powerful.

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The above is the view over the last Coach and Campervan park before you get to the  Kaiser-Franz-Josef-Hoche Glacier, for us mere car people to get to and from the cafe we would have to had to go down and then back up those stone steps, That’s the lower of 3 flights of steps, and no we didn’t!

The following two photos are not very clear, Yes they are in colour but dirty Ice and Scree doesn’t show up very well in these, You are looking at the bottom of a Glacier, the vertical wall is the end of the Glacier looking down from the observation pathway at the Kaiser-Franz-Josef-Hoche. (2329M asl)

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And turning around, we haven’t moved the Car, it’s parked in this 4 level Multistory car park!

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After looking in the exhibition next door to the car park, and around the souvenir shop, we were going to go into the Cafe/Restaurant next door… until we saw that the menu boards outside only showed overpriced meals and NO prices for drinks at all!

So we left the free carpark (€36 remember?) and drove downwards towards the next cafe, where we stopped for a light snack (ok I had plum filled Yeast Dumplings with Vanilla sauce (Germknodel)) and Tea for the boss & latte for me.

This was at about 3pm, we still had to complete the road and then get back to the Hotel!

We decided to continue South and find another way back rather than turn around, so we continued downhill all the way to Heiligenblut (1288M asl) at the bottom of the pass and rejoined ‘normal’ roads again.

The highest point by road on the pass is 2500M asl

From Heiligenblut we followed the B107 South then after some confusion (Roadworks, roundabouts being built/moved etc) we picked up the E66, B100 East towards Spittal and then the A10 North. We followed Trucks along the B100 nearly all the way, so it took what seemed like forever to do the 63kMs or so, but when we joined the A10 Autobahn North, I at least thought I’d be able to get a move on a bit.

We went through the first tunnel on this route, and found a full stop Toll Gate! and No, the barrier didn’t lift after seeing our Vignette! We had to pay an extra, €11:50 to use this stretch of Autoroute which includes the Tauern Tunnel which at over 5kM long seems to go on forever, we drove in from bright Sunshine and out into a wall of Torrential Rain! Can I get my money back, please? (I checked online since, and the costs of building the Tauern Tunnel is why there is the top-up Toll.)

We continued in the Really horrible heavy rain until we saw a set of services from a known brand, and stopped for our evening meal. Got wet, but fed ok.

The rain died off not too long after leaving the services and we followed the A10 until we re-joined the A1 going Eastwards towards the Attersee.

We got back to the Hotel at 9pm, Tired but have both had a VERY long but very good day.

 

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2018 Holiday Days 4 & 5 Cologne to Weyregg am Attersee.

Sunday 01/07/18 Cologne to Heissdorf.

We left the Karsten http://www.hotelkarsten.de/ after a leisurely breakfast and rejoined the A559 South, joining the A3 further down, and almost pottered on down to Heissdorf. We stopped a couple of times on the way at Services that we knew were good, we marked all the services on our Europe mapbook before we travelled the first time, and any services that we stopped at we put a ring round the good ones and a cross through the bad ones.

Below are two Copies from my Facebook, What do mean that’s cheating? I’m the one on Holiday!

A3 Southbound, the Services are called Bad Camberg. Named after the nearest village it may be, but we don’t think it is Bad at all, in fact, we think it is rather good here! The only downside is the steps up to the Restaurant, the last visit 4 Years ago and I really struggled with my Knee, but this time was ok. Heissdorf tonight, a little short of Nuremberg then Austria Tomorrow. It was 23°C when we left the Hotel in Wahn-Heide this Morning at about 9:15, currently a bit HOTTER! (About 27C)

Hotel No. 2 Please The Aurora at Heissdorf https://hotel-aurora.online/ueber-uns/ …. got here ok, no Dramas. Nice surprise on arrival though, 1st-floor room facing away from the Autobahn AND Tea/Coffee making facilities provided. Ok 2 teabags, one Cammomile and one Darjeeling and Coffee whitener, but at least we’ve got a kettle and cups! Last twice we didn’t have despite being advertised, no longer advertised but provided…maybe my whinging on those review sites worked 4 Years ago? AND we’ve got a Large bed, last time it was 2 singles With Wheels! I’ll let your imagination work on what happened.

This is a lovely hotel, modern and in an ideal location for travelling, there’s an Aldi and a Rewe on the business park (and if you’re desperate a McDonalds Ugh). We’re only a short distance (relatively) North of Nuremberg here (24kM via the Autobahn) so an even shorter drive tomorrow.

Monday 02/07/18 Heissdorf to Weyregg am Attersee.

The lack of Teabags and milk doesn’t stop my Julie, we bring our own! She bought a Decent travel kettle Years ago and brings a sealed plastic tub and a screw top carton of skimmed milk with us. The milk is still ok as I type this (on Tuesday Morning) and we bought it on Friday! Never Ever get in the way of us Brits and our cup of Tea! I am happy to drink decent Coffee, especially when away from home or work, but Julie has gone off it over the Years, so we always have a supply of Tea at hand, and the Spar Supermarket in the Village sells all types of milk so that’s not a problem.

Now, where was I? Oh yes… After breakfast, (we don’t go back unless they offer Give you a good breakfast) we departed the Aurora and picked up the A3 South again at a leisurely pace (ok, 70mph but on a road with no speed limits and a recommended speed of 130kM/81 mph that IS leisurely) and almost immediately noticed the difference.

Sunday was a day when only commercial vehicles carrying Fresh perishable produce were allowed on the roads (you see hundreds of the other Trucks parked in every rest area), resulting in quiet traffic and few needs to overtake anybody, After a Saturday of British Manic Motorways, and French, Belgian, Dutch and then German Idiocy on our first leg, Yesterday was really pleasant and the Holiday laid back feeling came on.

But Monday? That’s when ALL the Trucks in mainland Europe are moving, especially the Trans-Continentals. There were enough going South with us to warrant a few overtakes of fairly long convoys, (Didn’t see any plastic chickens though) but Coming North? Wow, there were literally Tens of Thousands of them. Amongst the ones we recognised, a handful of Eddie Stobarts, The entire convoy of the Formula 1 Renault racing team and a few trucks and hospitality units from Mclaren and Mercedes teams. I can’t take pictures and drive, and to be honest Julie hasn’t used the camera on my phone before so no pics I’m afraid. It was the Austrian F1 Grand Prix Yesterday and they’re all travelling to Silverstone for next Sunday!

Of course, we met most of the trucks going our way at hills! Bearing in mind that a lot of the lower stretches of this Autobahn are two-lane each way and no speed limit AND the drivers of big Mercs and BMWs will not slow down, coming up on a convoy takes some quick thinking. You’re travelling at 120 to 130kM/Hr 70 to 80mph, the Trucks are at a Maximum of 100kM/hr 63? mph and the overtaking lane on a busy Monday is running at about 160kM/Hr 100mph upwards.

I found the best way is to start seriously looking for a gap about a Mile 1.6kM before you meet the Trucks, keep it in your peripheral vision and only accelerate when it gets near you, indicating just before when the last car before the gap is too close to allow you in. Floor the pedal and aim to pull out so you just miss his tail end, bearing in mind that you’re driving a 1.6Litre Deisel and an eco model at that! Our Peugeot 3008 Automatic is very economical, usually giving an exceptional fuel economy but ask Her to lift Her skirts and fly, and the raised eyebrows and open mouths of the surrounding drivers is a phenomenon that I take great pleasure in. Looks like a harmless SUV, Drives like an economical SUV, got a ‘Caution Grandparent Driving’ sign in a back window and goes like a scalded cat when you ask her to, She comes as standard with the same tyres as a BMW M3 for a good reason, as you’d never get around a bend without them at a time like this (or change lanes on an Autobahn).

The traffic eased as we went further south, the biggest problem being that the Services we set our minds on for our first stop were closed for a rebuild! We stopped at a later one, not far from the border and thought we’d have a drink and a leak then fill up with Deisel and buy our vignette afterwards. I followed the signs to the Car park, only to find that getting back to the filling station is impossible here! Huffm Stuffm Puffm!!! We went in and got ourselves sorted, then I walked around and bought our Vignette from the Checkout in the filling station.

This is a peel front sticker that you put in the top left corner of your windscreen (windshield), it must be stuck there or you will get fined, it proves you have paid a Toll to the Austrian ministry of transport to use their motorways for a fixed period of time. You can get 3 days, 10 days, 3,6 or 12-month ones, we want 7 nights here including today so a 10 Day one does it. 9 Euros — not bad at all really.

The Vignette is read automatically by gantry mounted cameras at various points around the network, and if you don’t get stopped and Fined on the spot by their Police then you get a Fine sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle. They do it, they enforce it and they don’t forget.

We left the Services and drove on down through to the border, the same road then becomes the A8 in Austria and after a few miles, we took the Right fork to travel and pick up the A1 Westbound.

We stopped for Lunch at a set of Services at Lindach and very nice they were too, the time passed 2pm whilst we were there and that was the earliest we could have checked in so with less than 30kMs to go it worked out pretty well. Apart from the cost of the diesel that is, €1:55 a Litre Ahem, as the last time we filled up was in Koln at €1:22/L that came as quite a shock! I know it is on the primary East/West route through Europe, this road goes from Hungary to France but even so.

Arrived at the Hotel at about 14:45, rang the bell at reception as Thomas the owner was serving in the Bar, and he greeted us with “Hello Mr&Mrs Windsor, I wondered if it was you two when the booking came through”! It has been 4 Years since we’ve been here, and to be greeted with a friendly handshake by both Thomas and his Wife really makes us feel welcome.

A second-floor room this time, but the stairs are wide and shallow and no problem at all even with the cases. I always book a Lake View room as we get the Balcony and of course the Lake View facing West.

The first photo (Panoramic) was taken this evening into the Sun, and the other Three were taken tomorrow morning from the same place.

And the last one? The top balcony is ours! The picture was taken from ground level.

2018 Holiday Day’s 1,2,and 3 Cornwall to Cologne.

Thursday 28/06/18  Hampshire bound.

Left my place in West Cornwall at 9am, called at the local Pasty Shop and collected 6 Pastys, 4 for my Sister and 2 for the Eldest Daughter.

Left the area about 9:20 and headed East up the main trunk road (A30), heading for the Family homes in Basingstoke some 223-225 Miles away.

It was a good drive up, very light traffic between Rush Hours, and stopped at Cartgate about 160 Miles in to grab some Lunch, arriving at My Sister’s House early to mid-afternoon. Stopped for a cup of tea and left with a Lemon Drizzle Cake! My Sister really knows the way to a man’s heart!

Drove across town diagonally to My eldest Daughter’s place, parked up outside and walked in the unlocked front door to be greeted my Wife Julie waiting for Jake our Grandson to come home from School as Sue is working longer today! A sight for sore eyes indeed, it’s been about 6 weeks since we’ve met.

Waited for Jake and Sue to both come home, left their pastys, then Julie and I walked over to Her place about 300 Yards along the road, had a meal and some Lemon Drizzle Cake then chilled out for the Evening.

Friday 29/06/18  Rest Day.

Slow start today, lazy morning as befits a rest day, and then we went over to a local shopping centre to get my Hair cut (Normally do it myself with my Wahl Clippers on No.3 but with Tennis Elbow I cannot get my Right Hand up there with control. The Amusement factor doesn’t count, I’m not doing it! Took me 3 goes to get my beard anywhere near right (Left Handed)). Why do I do it myself normally? Well, today was cheap, only £9.50. My Clippers with all the combs cost £28.00 and I’ve been using this set for at least 10 Years! I like having short hair for work, all that fluff & Dust sticks to my really thick hair like glue so a No.3 buzz cut is ideal.

Went into the local branch of a Major Supermarket chain (Tesco) and got a couple of bits and back to the flat again. Sue and Jake called in after he came home from School, and I took him round to open the family lock up to retrieve a couple of Pillows, as the Hotel beds often come with only one each.

Back to the Flat and loaded the Cases into the car, then upstairs for another meal then TV for a bit before an early night.

 

Saturday 30/06/18  Travelling to Cologne.

Up relatively early at 05:25 and loaded the overnight holdalls and this laptop into the Boot (Trunk) and bags with our Maps, nibbles etc. into the body of the car and set off about 06:00. Left the Cake behind, never mind, it’s Jake’s favourite too!

Cooked Breakfast at Maidstone Services on the M20 Motorway, not that’s gone downhill since we came 2 Years ago, I may stop recommending it.

Left earlier than we had planned, Traffic had been really quiet for a Saturday Morning and it stayed that way the rest of the Journey to the Eurotunnel Terminal at Folkestone.

Pulled up at the self-check-in Automat Machine, to find it is still only 08:30, and the machine would not let us transfer to an earlier Train as they were Really busy today. We are booked on the 10:50.

Oh Bum, still it isn’t a bad terminal, much better to be here than at Maidstone Services we thought, Wrong!  Yes, it IS better to hang around at than Maidstone, and they don’t give you a parking ticket for staying over 2 Hours either, but it has gone down, they seem to have crammed a lot more concessions in, and as the machine had intimated it was really busy.

Still, we waited and waited and then got called for our train, left the Services building and passed through both Passport Controls and Customs ok without getting searched or shouting Bomb! Went and drove into the Queue lines for the Train Boarding, and after what seemed like a few minutes were released to drive round to the train.

We managed to get into the lower deck and only 2 carriages from the Front (so drove nearly half a mile through the train before parking up) and right at the front of a carriage so the roller shutter door was right in front of us. This slides down from the ‘Ceiling’ in slots in the fold out door frames at each side that are there for people to walk through in search of the toilet whilst the train is under the Sea.

I do like using the Eurotunnel Shuttle trains, they are quick, efficient, the staff always seem to be polite and courteous without being sycophantic and you drive out onto the correct side of the Motorway in France!

If you read my blog of 2 Years ago, I’d better tell you that I got onto the Correct Motorway (Autoroute) this time! (I don’t tend to use waypoints anymore.)

Stopped at one of the first set of service in Belgium for a cup of Tea and then again at the one just before the infamous Brussels Ring Road madhouse to get some lunch. This one was always good, we’ve always stopped here, no not again, drove on, round the Ring and stopped at the first one on the A4 instead. Got a filled baguette roll each which the young gentleman proceeded to Iron for us! Why do they do this?, we didn’t ask him, and I don’t do Ironing at home, let alone my food! Coffee was out of a vending machine that didn’t offer Tea so Julie had mineral water. The rolls were very good, even though Ironed!

Drove on Eastwards along the A4, stopping at the Services just into Germany after Aachen, which we Know are good, had a GOOD Mug of Tea each, a jug of Real Milk (Not Coffee Creamer) on the counter as well so set off for our final stretch down into the Rhine Valley refreshed and rested. Turned South on the A559 and off again at Porz-Whanheide, filled with Diesel and round the corner to our Hotel for the Night The Hotel-Garni Karsten.

This is a small family run Airport Hotel with a free shuttle bus to and from either the Airport or the local rail Station (Park and Ride into the centre of Cologne) where we were greeted as old friends, just walked into reception and was handed the room keys! Off again Tomorrow morning.

 

 

 

Blimey, I need a Holiday!

24/06/18

Four Weeks ago, Whitsun Weekend was a Bank Holiday Monday here in the UK, went back to work on the Tuesday with a niggling pain in my right Arm.

I’ve got various aches and pains at any time, so hadn’t really given it much thought as it was above my elbow at the front, and I thought that maybe I’d collided with a door or something and had a bruise that was below the surface?

I Struggled through the Tuesday, the pain really acute when twisting my arm, being totally Right Handed this made carrying my Toolbox very difficult and climbing into the new Van that I received at work not a week before was silly, having to pull myself in using the steering wheel with the wrong hand!

Went into work on the Wednesday having rubbed what seemed like half a tube of ‘Voltarol Emugel’ into my arm as it was so painful by now. Said hello to the Lads, went to make myself a Mug of Tea, somebody beat me to it… Result!

Went to drink my Tea, Ahh, Problem! Lifted the Mug up as far as my chest and couldn’t get it any further! The pain was Really Horrible, now I’m no wimp, I’ve got a very high pain threshold as a rule and rarely if ever complain about it. My Mate was there talking with me at the time, looked me straight in the Eyes and said: “Get yourself to the Vets Andy, You’ve got Tennis Elbow”.

Yeah, Yeah said I, thinking to myself that it’d be ok in a minute? walked round to our Service team Controller’s desk and put my tea down. “Are you ok?” She asked, yes of course, well I’ve done something to my Arm but I don’t know what. Pick up your Tea then”  I tried, really I did, “get yourself down the Doctors NOW”. Drank my Tea left handed and had to agree as She had just taken all my Service breakdowns off my screen.

Drove round to the Doctors and managed to see a Doctor within an hour of walking in the door, He apologised when I related what was wrong about what he was about to do, (Strange, thought I, what does he mean) so I sat there whilst he felt around my elbow, the muscles and tendons etc, all the while asking if it hurt and watching my face like a Hawk. His fingers relaxed but didn’t let go and still watching my he started going through the possibilities finishing with “Of course, it’s not only those because if I do THIS (waited for me to climb off the ceiling) it proves to me that You’ve got Tennis Elbow”.

I was advised VERY strongly that I was to take at least a week off work, I was to go home via the chemist, getting my prescription filled and to take one of the Naproxyn twice a day, no more and with food and definitely no other anti-inflammatories or I would be in Casualty. “Do not do anything you would normally do with your Right Arm”, (Raised Eyebrows) “especially that” Ooer, Matron! No, I didn’t ask him what ‘that’ was.

Drove myself home Very carefully, calling in the Chemist on the way, also work to let them know and went indoors and attempted to make a pot of Tea left Handed.  This is going to be different thought I, as I live alone and tried to unlace my workboots with the wrong hand!

I don’t like being home off sick, it always feels like I’m Skiving even though I definitely have a reason that I cannot do my job!  Didn’t go out at all until Friday Tea time, when I drove myself to the Chippy to get my usual Cod & Chips… Phew, that was far enough! can’t drive much further than this at the moment, too Bleddy painful.  Drove to Tesco Supermarket Sunday Morning to do my weekly shopping, couldn’t push the trolley round with both hands as usual, couldn’t grip items picked off high shelves either.

Monday comes round and I’m thinking that I’m going to have to ring the Surgery and make an appointment for Wednesday as that’ll be a week, and my self-certification for work will run out and there ain’t no way I’m going to be able to return to work anytime soon. Went into the Doctors Surgery as I prefer that to a phone call, spoke to one of the receptionists who informed me that nearly all the appointments were taken already, and certainly all for the Dr I saw!  She said She would put me on a list for the Duty Dr to ring later in the day today, and that it would probably be after 6pm.

Received a phone call about 18:30 from the duty Dr who discussed how it was going etc, advising me to go to the Pet Shop and get myself a Dog Collar to strap around my lower arm to restrict the pull on the muscles, also that he would leave a sick note for work at reception for collection tomorrow.

Tuesday comes round, I get collected in the Morning by one of the younger Lads and taken to an Engineer’s meeting that we usually have twice a Year, Didn’t want to miss it and there’s free Tea, coffee and biscuits as well! Got dropped home at lunchtime, went out almost straight away and collected my sick note from the Drs and went to the Pet Shop. 3 different sizes of Dog collar on sale, all tied onto their cards so I couldn’t see which size I needed! Asked a young male member of staff if he could advise me, No! Knew I should have waited for a female member of staff!

Gave up and went home via a pasty shop, I was really flagging by then, my arm felt like it was on fire and I’d bitten my lip in an attempt to be nice and polite with the young man who’d nearly had to get off his stool to come and help me!

Looked at the Sick note, it says a calendar week from Monday, Hummphh! Sometimes I have a day that goes according to plan, I must do I suppose, they can’t all be like this, can they? Yes? Thought so!

Rang the office to let them know and ordered two arm straps from Ebay for less than the cost of one Dog Collar!  Took a couple of Paracetamol to extinguish the fire in my upper arm and elbow and flopped in my chair in a heap for the rest of the afternoon.

The straps turned up on Friday, just the straps, no packing note, no how or where to wear them, nothing.  Spent a bit of time with Google and YouTube and found out.

Wow, what a difference, the pain just disappeared and though I still have restricted movement, it is now uncomfortable as against Bally Painful! Drove myself round to get my Tea again, phew, that was better, not right yet but definitely better.

Another week off work followed, I drove further and further, did some clothes shopping and bought a few other things as well and fitted a new pump in the Pebble Pool water feature in my back garden, Phoned the office on the Friday, “I’ll be back on Monday and we’ll see how it goes”.

So I’ve been back for a week, the first two days were bloomin difficult, especially as we were very busy and I can’t work at my normal speed, but I’ve stuck with it and I asked for someone else to do my on-call this weekend so it’s Sunday today and so far so good!

What about this Holiday then?

Well, this next Thursday I leave home to drive to my Wife’s flat, We’re going down to Austria by Car on Saturday, Sunday and Monday (1000 Miles) then we stay for 7 Nights before the 3-day drive home. So a 3 Day week for me this week, Shame!

I’ll try and take photos of this trip as we go, and of course, I’ll post them here as well as Facebook.

 

 

 

 

That was a hectic day!

Went to the Scillies again Yesterday, this had been mentioned to me a couple of weeks ago before I went off on a Weeks course to renew my Gas Acreditation, what with that then a Weekend up country with my Lady Wife and then Easter on my own the following weekend I forgot all about it!

What am I doing over there? I asked our Service Controller when I received the Flight ticket by Email, “oh, they want all their equipment servicing” was the reply. This particular Hotel has 3 of 30lb and one 20lb load Tumble Driers (2 Hours each), and Two 32lb load and one 16lb load Washing Machines (45 Minutes each). Que stunned silence! Oh, and they have a detergent dosing problem with one or two of the Washing Machines as well!

How long am I there for? ” Just one Day, is that a problem?”

The Lady is just doing Her job, She does not deserve a Tirade or getting cross or being sworn at, ‘How many machines are showing up on the computer?’ “Only Three, Two Washing Machines and a Drier” Oh Shit! Easy day that’d be, no wonder nothing more was flagged about it, The Lady must have thought I was ignoring Her as She said “You still there, is there a problem?” ‘Yes to both!’ I managed to squeak, Can you please look up their previous owner’s trading name The Hotel on the Isle, St ***’

“Hang on a minute. Oh here it is, there’s another Drier here, will you have time to do this as well?” ‘Oh there’s more than that says I, our records are out of date by at least a Decade’.

Upshot being it’s too late to change anything, My relief for area is on Holiday and staying overnight is out as it’s the Easter School Holidays and the Hotel is full, the Flight and Boat is booked and I’m on a hiding to nothing.

But Wait, it gets better, Much ‘better’!

Left home at 06:10 for a 7am check in, arrived at 7 to find 3 of our vans in the Airport car park. Oh good thinks I, Help is available! Umm No, they’re not coming with me they’re installing equipment on the main Island for 3 days and can’t spare anyone for today!

We were delayed by low cloud, and so late in taking off and landing, Caught a shuttle bus down to the Harbour and luckily the boat waited for me at the Quayside! Received a phone call from the Hotel I was going to at 9:09 to tell me that the boat would be there at 9 O’Clock to collect me. .. Ummm, I’m on the boat now.

So arrived on the Island I’m working on at about 9:30 and got straight to work. Investigated a detergent dosing problem and Serviced Three 30lb Driers, 2 Hours or so per Drier and stopped at about 15:45, just taking my Overalls (Coverall in American) off and the Housekeeper comes through and asks me what time my boat was to go back. ‘I hope you could tell me’ Why, what time is your flight? ‘You booked it, don’t you know?’ Oops I’d better go check!

Now I knew it was at 17:35 as I had the ticket, so check in at 16:35, so the boat had to be at 16:00 to get me back for my return Shuttle bus from the Quay at St Marys.

15:50 now, ‘We’ve made you a cup of Tea’ I’m told, ‘and your boat will be here at 16:30’.

“WTF?? That’s no good! I have to be at the Airport for 16:35!”

So, I’m half way through my tea, (First sniff of a drink all day since I left the mainland) they’ve phoned the Shuttle bus driver and asked him to wait, when I get a text from the boat company telling me they’ve just left another nearby island and will be at the Hotel’s Quay in a couple of minutes but don’t say anything.

Picked up my tool bag, Overalls, and folder and walked down the Quay to the end and this Jet Boat comes round the corner almost on it’s side, glides to an elegant stop right alongside me and I climbed aboard. I’m glad I wasn’t paying for the fuel on the trip back to St Marys! Climbed up the Granite steps from the boat at St Marys Quay and the bus is waiting for me.

Fastest trip I’ve ever had in a vehicle over there up to the Airport and walked up to the Check in desk at 17:00. The new young Lady looked up, jumped out of Her seat, shot out to the staff area shouting “It’s ok, He’s Got Here!” Quickest check in ever, had to be weighed myself which meant one of the baby planes, but that’s ok.

Got my boarding card and walked through to the coffee shop and knowing I wouldn’t have time for a Coffee got a Caramel Slice, Lunch! Before I could take a bite they called my flight so I spent the pre-flight safety briefing Video wolfing down my Slice, just got the last bite-full in and out we walked to the Aircraft!

Sure enough was one of the Smaller ones, sat in the last but one row from the back, Row 3.

The Pilot sits in Row one.

We landed ok and I left the Car park at 17:50, Had to get Fuel on the way home so went to a Store fuel station and used their car wash as well.

Got home at 19:08, then had to cook my evening meal!

NOT the most calming day that I’ve ever had, but a lot of people ( NOT the customer ) went out of their way to help me without being asked and for that I’m very grateful.

The Islands are a small community, and by the time I was at the Airport people were telling me who cocked up and they wouldn’t be allowed to forget it!

17 Years of chatting to people and making a lot of friends obviously helps.

More time on Tresco

Found my Bag along with my room key waiting for me in reception (unmanned at this time)

Not that I’m known over here or anything!

Up to my room and unpacked, showered & changed then down to the pub bar and ordered my evening meal at 7pm.

Over the next few days, I’ve got a couple of more pictures, one from my room window looking out across Tresco Sound ( not noise, the maritime kind of sound) and another of the Harbour at New Grimsby amongst others.

Now don’t ask me what the names of the plants are, I don’t think they are really called ‘Cabbage looking succulents with petals or leaves that feel like shoe leather’ but that’s what they are!

A lot of the vegetation including the trees pictured have been planted during the 17 Years I have been coming here, as there has been a lot of expansion of the facilities and accommodation. The Concrete road is the main road throughout the Island and the Tractors with the trailers attached are the Buses.

The Main Road, being Concrete doesn’t like the Salt air much, nor the occasional frosts that seem to be more common nowadays, even here out in the Gulf Stream! The photo’s I’ve taken seem to have all the poor bits of road in them! It’s not that bad really and they are patched pretty quickly.

This really is a unique place.

That above is the supermarket, a surprising array of products, with surprising prices to match!

Below is the Lake at the almost centre of the Island, known as Great Pool.

And of course the local Buses, there are also much smaller ones, based on small vans.

And this is where I’ve spent most of the week, working in the Cottage Laundry.

From my room, I got a view over the rooftops of part of the Harbour in Old Grimsby,

but this is a better view! Large and industrial it isn’t.

Wiltshire may have Stonehenge, and Cornwall its Cheesewring, but Tresco has Little Henge! Clue, it is a LOT newer than the other two!

It’s not always the Dry and Sunny, got soaked last evening talking to my wife on the phone as there are only mobile signals on EE and O2 in exposed parts of the Island, ok for a getaway but a pain (at times) when you’re working!

Left the Island on the 13:30 boat and got off at St Marys Harbour That’s the Cyclone Jet Boat in the picture below, (My personal water Taxi, well I was the only passenger!) followed by a view of the outer part of the Harbour complete with the Lifeboat.

Waited a short while for the Minibus shuttle up to the Airport where I’m now sat in the Cafe waiting for my flight to be called. Victoria sponge cake and a Large Latte, very nice it was too.

I’ll be back here in a weeks time (St Marys that is) for a one day job.

Hey Ho, more time in paradise!

I’m sorry I haven’t posted last year’s Holiday but my dearest Mother in Law was taken ill whilst we were away and Died not long after we returned, sortof killed the moment really, so am writing this entry of a work trip to an Island in the Atlantic to see if I can get my waffling Mojo back!

Monday 5th February 2018

Set off from home at 06:15 to drive to Lands End Airport, getting there 55 minutes later.

It’s not that far, only 28 Miles or so, but after Penzance the A30 road is a back lane all the way.

Checked in at 7:15 for my 8:15 Flight, Large Latte and a Bacon Roll later and caught the plane. Big one this time (Relatively speaking, 18 seater!) very wet still, was teeming down with Rain up till now and landed ok on St Marys.

Caught the 15 seat shuttle bus put on for me down to the Harbour then one of Tresco Islands own Jet Boats again the only passenger. I know how to travel, or is it something that no one is telling me?

Worked through to 16:30 then walked up to the Pub, the New Inn where I’m staying until Thursday and Flying back Thursday afternoon.

I’ve had worse walks ‘home’ from work, but glad the rain dried up!

I’ll try and get some more pictures of the Island if the Weather holds during the next few days.