Touch Down


It’s a long way from the blue skies of Los Angeles to the green hills of my Austrian hometown Linz. Pushing back from the Tom Bradley Terminal gate to the parking position at the Blue Danube Airport, this journey is one of almost fifteen hours. Quite a trip. That’s why I don’t come over here just for coffee.
Talking about coffee. One of the many specialties Austria is famous for. And this enticing brew of fresh ground coffee beans comes with many names: Melange, Grosser Brauner, Kleiner Brauner, Verlaengerter, Heferlcaffee, Cappucino. Well, the last one moved up north into Austria from Italy and we all know what a Cappucino tastes and looks like. Right? The rest of these names might sound Chinese to you and since it would take quite a while to explain what makes each of these coffees unique, I will hold off with my in depths explanation till I can take you to the most famous coffee house in Linz, Cafe Jindrak.
Now back to our welcome Kaffeklatsch at my sister Elfi’s home (that’s where we are staying right now) in Gallneukirchen. This charming hamlet of about ten thousand souls spreading amidst the rolling hills surrounding Linz was our home before we packed our bags almost thirty years ago and embarked on our travel adventures across Africa, Asia and Arabia. And even though I have seen many gorgeous places, Gallneukirchen still strikes a very special chord in my heart.And every time I return to her bosom and look out over these green hills dotted with gleaming homes, I remember those days and marvel where life has taken us.
Today, gathering around the cozy dining table amidst Elfi’s family, we all indulged in the scrumptious home made strudel, cherry that is, not the apple strudel Julie Andrews sang about in “Favorite Things.” As the buttery dough melted on my tongue, I closed my eyes and wondered to which exiting locales this current journey Bob and I are on will take us.


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