Mid-December and not long until Christmas. The last days here on board, until we start our Christmas vacation in Germany, we spend with tidying up and small stuff. During the night it gets much colder, which is not necessarily bad if the humidity, which rises like the thermometer, falls. This causes us some problems, as the humidity is usually accompanied by mildew. To avoid this, some effort is needed. Heating, ventilation, draught; preferably alternately. On rain-free days, this is quite easy to manage. If it rains one must be simply fast, in order to get all hatches in time again close. On days when it only rains, the only thing that helps is to heat and keep everything dry. During the day it is pleasantly warm, at least when the sun is shining. Unfortunately the days alternate with rain and sun.
Despite the changeable weather we find now, after most of the boat project is finished, again more time to explore the surroundings. On one of these excursions we discovered a super equipped chandler. Found on the Internet, we set off with our bicycles towards the harbour of Fiumicino and found the dealer in a parallel street. In a normal small house we almost passed it. To be honest, the shop didn't look very promising from the outside and maybe the subconscious said "go on, you can forget that here". But as is the case with the subconscious, there is always an angel and a devil and the other voice said "let's go in and have a look". Who of both said what I leave to the esteemed reader, it was definitely worth it. We only knew the narrow conditions inside from the countless Indian shops that there are in every town in Italy and that sell everything from the car battery to the toilet brush to the toothpaste and because space costs money they pack their goods in narrow corridors up to the ceiling. So the first impression was, we are with the Indian. We followed the narrow corridor, past cleaning and care products, oils and grease, to the paintings. In order to repair small paint damages on the surface ship we still needed a white boat paint. In a shelf, two meters wide and certainly five meters high, we found what we were looking for. Unfortunately the owner did not speak English and so he explained to us in Italian the difference between high-gloss and matt, of which we had understood only half when it came up. The English description on the boat varnish helped us to make more or less the right choice. Nevertheless, we found the dealer's efforts nice and courteous. We continued our shopping, bought some stainless steel nuts and washers to replace rusty parts on the boat. Also here it was equipped above average and one could buy the small parts per piece. In a corner I discovered a tube bending machine, also with cleats, clamps and blocks the dealer was very well equipped. We were glad to have heard the voice that said "we're going in there now...". Well equipped to start our repair work, we went to work the next day and fixed scratches and small quirks. We also replaced the nuts that pulled their ugly rusty noses down from the paint.
Finally on Sunday we made a trip to the neighbouring village Focene at 16°C. The place itself does not give much and in principle there is nothing worth seeing at this place, but we were in the fresh air and enjoyed the warm temperatures. Whether it was the season or the whole year it looks so dirty on the beach, we cannot judge. As dirty as the beach was, we won't return there anymore. On Wednesday we visited our favourite café in Fiumicino again, sat in front of the café in the sun and enjoyed the warm sunbeams. We had said goodbye to everyone in the marina and distributed a small Christmas present to everyone.
People were so happy that we were spontaneously offered to take us to the airport the next day. The next morning, shortly before 8am, the whole marina came together again and said goodbye to us. Max, the owner, didn't miss to take us to the airport himself. We said goodbye to him and started our trip to Germany. With a longer stay in Vienna we arrived home after 12 hours. Vienna is always worth a trip and to experience the feeling of life in Vienna it is best to go to a coffee house. Anyone who grew up with Georg Danzer, like me, goes to the Hawelka. Here you will find the typical coffee house atmosphere that is typical in Vienna. One should quickly forget the classic café as one is used to it.
In Vienna a coffee house is something special. It starts with the waiter, who always has a relaxed saying on it and is not limited to coffee and cakes on the menu. But if you look in vain for a menu in Hawelka, you ask the waiter and you get the answer "I am the menu, what would you like? From goulash soup to Sacher cake, there is a wide range of food and drinks and if it smells like "Buchteln"-I think there is no English word for that- at the entrance, you have to try them. Six hours is a long time for some places, in Vienna six hours is nothing and so we were quickly back at the airport to continue our journey. Due to snowfall the plane had to be de-iced and this could take some time. Therefore our journey was delayed by more than one hour and we were happy to have arrived at our destination after a long day. We were warmly welcomed at the airport and especially Amy our "little" Rottweiler showed his joy and was hard to calm down again. After it was clearly too cold for me, I fled into the car and was glad when we finally drove off.
We'll tell you next week how the temperatures here in Germany are developing and what we're going to do next week, until then, as usual, Fair winds and keep your ears stiff.