Dear friends!

Greetings once again from Hauptschule Ziersdorf sportsweek. It´s now two years since our last trip to Camp Kölbl at Ossiach. The time has really flown by and to be honest, it certainly doesn´t feel like it´s been that long a time!

As usual, on Monday morning, bright and early, our group assembled at the school. The group was a little smaller than the previous one, yet still a fair size. Once our luggage and the bikes were loaded, the principal wished us all a pleasant trip and we were off. Although the journey is quite a long one, the time passed very quickly. For me, this was because some of the students were keen to talk with me, as I was to them. All in all, a very promising beginning!

Upon arrival at the camp, we began with the usual order of business. Unload the bus, allocate accomodation and settle in. This was followed by lunch and then coaching schedules were explained to the students. The sports this year were tennis, 




rock climbing 


and horse riding. 

After the students had gone for their first coaching sessions a plan was devised for English conversation lessons. This done, the rest of the day and evening passed quite easily. Though an early night was the order of the day, as everyone was very tired.

On the Tuesday, we had an early breakfast before everyone set off on their courses. At different points through the morning,various students would join me for English conversation. 

And of course, this was how it would continue each day.

Our afternoon program however, was very much dependant upon the weather. Sadly, the weather this time was not so favourable. Both Monday and Tuesday we had quite a lot of rain. So on the Tuesday it was decided to visit Warmbad spa pool. 

As I don´t swim, the bus dropped me in Villach so I could do a little sightseeing. I wandered through this really nice town for a couple of hours admiring some of the architecture. Whilst there, I also took the opportunity to replenish our dwindling stock of shuttlecocks for badminton. Later I took the bus and rejoined the group for the journey back to the camp. After dinner, like most evenings, the group played volleyball or football before bed.

On Wednesday, our excursion was to Terra Mystica.

An interesting place that all the students seemed to really enjoy. One part of the visit involves a train ride through the underground tunnels. However, on this occasion there was some problem with the train and we had to wait a very long time for the train to arrive. Despite the cold, spirits remained high and there was a great deal of laughing and joking going on!

For Thursday, one of my personal favourites of our excursions was planned. The visit to the ruined castle of Landskron! Unfortunately, (or thankfully in my case) some of us were unable to rent bicycles. Also, as our noble leader, Anton Ehrentraud had managed to injure his leg, it was decided that whilst the rest of the group would cycle to and climb the hill of the castle, we with four of the students would go by taxi. Naturally I was disappointed at not being able to cycle there. Who am I kidding?! There had been some changes since the last time I went. For a start, they had built a new flying arena to show the birds of prey. Because of the strong winds, not all the birds could show their skills and grace, so the show was shorter than usual. However, everybody was greatly impressed by the magnificent birds we did see.

For the evening a barbecue and disco had been planned. This had to be cancelled though, because it was too cold. The disco was rescheduled for Friday, which pleased the students who had been looking forward to it.

And so to today, our last full day at Ossiach. The plan for this afternoon is a trip into the town, for a little sightseeing and shopping. 

On the way back we´ll stop at the summer toboggan run for those who would like to have a go. 

Then in the evening, the disco. When we go to the town, those without bikes will walk there with me. It´s not a long way and as it´s quite sunny today, it should be a pleasant stroll.

Tomorrow after breakfast we´ll leave for Ziersdorf and our sportsweek will be over. Once more I´ll be sad to say goodbye to the teachers and students of HS Ziersdorf. I´ve had a wonderful time with them all and hope they´ve enjoyed their time with me.

On Monday I shall go home to England, where my fiancee will join me to prepare for our wedding next month. But, she will have to understand that, if I get a call inviting me to join my friends here again, she´ll have to do without me for a week! I couldn´t possibly NOT come back!!

So farewell again my friends.
Good luck for the future in all you do.
See you all again.
Your friend

Had a lot of fun!