The last few days we’ve been in Schlaiten, a village in Osttirol with less than 500 inhabitants, located near the Italian border. Up the mountain, on a farm above the village, lives Bowser’s oldest relative: die Uroma. She’s been living here for hundreds of years with her cow Linde, who is now – like every summer – on holidays higher up in the Alps where she can run around in the grass and play with all the neighbour-cows. Die Uroma stays behind on the farm with her rooster, four chickens and fat dormouse. It is a peaceful and quiet place and the view from the terrace is breathtakingly beautiful: perfect for a four-day-stop on our way from Vorarlberg to Croatia.
Die Uroma lives on a huge piece of land, in a very old big wooden house that is the exact opposite of the Doctor’s TARDIS: it is smaller on the inside! When I was here for the first time, I hit my chest against the lamp hanging from the ceiling and bumped my head several times into the top of the doorframe. I am also not able to stand straight under the shower and have to kneel while doing the dishes. However, once you know how exactly to manoeuvre through the house without breaking stuff or hurting yourself and are used to the constant heat (die Uroma likes to make a fire in her old-fashioned kitchen stove, even when it’s already a hundred degrees), it is a lovely place to be.
Bowser also likes it very much. He rides on the tractor, plays in the hay and jokes around with die Uroma. I think Bowser and die Uroma are good friends, but I can’t say for sure, for I neither understand the tiroler dialect of die Uroma, nor the baby brabble that comes out of Bowser’s mouth. But the two of them seem to communicate without any problem and are having the best time together, while Anna and I sometimes are clueless about what’s so funny.
Bowser is fascinated by die Uroma, visiting aunts and uncles of Anna and the chickens that come up on the terrace now and then to look for leftover bread that Bowser threw on the floor at breakfast. He doesn’t seem to fully appreciate the scenery, though. Every morning, when Bowser and I go for a walk through the forest up the mountain, he just falls asleep against my chest. As if there’s nothing interesting to look at. I, on the other hand, enjoy to see the sun rising up over the mountain slopes, unveiling the villages down below and making the grass and the many trees around us look even greener than before (as you can see on the photo above this article).
Die Uroma’s farm is surrounded by mountains in the east, west and north. Looking southward, there are some villages in the valley with behind them the Dolomites. We will go and see this Italian mountain range from up close when we visit friends in Südtirol next week. But first we are gonna spend six days in Croatia, the country we lived in for a year but haven’t been since we moved to the Netherlands last summer. We are looking forward to it…