Thursday, March 27, 2008

Austrian gas stations - part 3

This gas station is called "Tauernalm", it´s on the A10, the freeway that goes across the main alps here in Austria (called "Tauern"), close to the highest point, no less (1340m/4396ft). This is a place of almost perpetual winter. We stopped by there last year on Sept. 7th on our way to youth summer camp (!) in the sunny south of Austria, and there was snow on the ground! A few posts further down there is a picture of a tunnel entry - that's only a few feet from this gas station - and it proves my point about the perpetual winter.
I have an interesting emotional bond to this freeway - it's only about a 160km/100mile stretch - but we used to drive it as a family every Sunday morning and back every Sunday afternoon - 4 kids in the back of a Volvo 740 Diesel - my Dad helped start a church in Salzburg, and we lived in Seeboden / Kärnten - on the other end of said freeway. I remember always enjoying the drive - especially in the winter with the snow everywhere, listening to worship music...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Austrian gas stations - part 2

This gas station is in Graz, Austria's 3rd largest city, in the south of the country close to the Slovenian border. We were there for a Pastor's weekend last November. "Jet" is a discount brand here in Austria, of all the discount chains it is by far the nicest, cleanest around and: "Tadaaa" - you can pay at the pump! (with your PIN like at the ATM, but never the less - it accepts bank (debit) cards, and Visa, I think)
This is a big deal in Austria, because gas stations usually equate pubs usually equates you smell like you were in a pub smoking for an hour after you went in there for five minutes and paid.
Brenda and I went to this gas station to buy some whipped cream - but they didn't have any. Don't ask what the whipped cream was for.
"Jet", btw, is a brand of the Conoco group, so having lived in Tulsa for 10 years, this makes yet another reason to buy gas there...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Austrian gas stations - Part 1

I'm bored with this blog, and I haven't really done anything with it, so, to get my creative juices flowing again, I'm starting a picture blog series called "Austrian gas stations". I like taking pictures of gas stations at night - the colors, and the familiarity of them (I've travelled a lot, and gas stations are so universal and global). Plus, most of these pictures have a story.

This one is in Spittal, the town where I went to Junior High - and Highschool, the gas station closest to the school. In the background, you can see part of a mountain called "Goldeck" (gold- corner) where our school would take us skiing. There's a cable car going up the mountain and the abrupt change in altitude would always make me feel nauseated.
I remember riding to school with my best friend in his car one morning and he almost ran out of gas. He stopped at this station, and the attendant got mad at him because he only put in gas for the 50 Schillings he had on him. (this was long before the Euro, worth about $3 back then)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

There's your sign...

We went on a drive the other day (the whole family) to take pictures of signs with funny town names in the area. It was a fun trip for all of us, I think the kids really enjoyed the little outing too. It was getting dark by the time we got to the last place - as you will see. The red sign is for a dentist's office in a shopping center next to IKEA. I'll let the signs speak for themselves...