Friends from Near and Far

Old friends are a treasure. When someone can call you up out of the blue and ask you if it would be OK if she brought some of her friends over to go sailing with you, even though you haven’t seen this person in over a year, that is a friendship that is worth having. The old friends, Sandy and Ernie, were having guests from Austria. Michael and Sylvia were visiting with Sandy and Ernie because when Sandy was in high school, she lived with Sylvia’s family in Austria as a foreign exchange student. Sylvia and Sandy became “sisters” for a year, and they’ve kept in touch through the years. Each couple has visited the other in their home country, and this is Michael and Sylvia’s latest visit to the USA. Michael enjoys sailing, so Sandy called to see if I would be able to treat him to a sail.


It was a perfect day for it! I had told Sandy that the wind normally is best in the morning, so, they arrived at about 9:30 AM. The wind was brisk from the south, it was sunny and warm, and we had a wonderful 2-hour sail on Cayuga Lake. After the sail, we took a quick swim and headed for the Thirsty Owl bistro for lunch. During lunch I told Sylvia and Michael that I was always interested in learning something new for my blog, and asked them to tell me about their home.

They are from Graz, Austria, which is in south-central Austria, south of the Alps. Graz has buildings dating back to the Roman Empire. The central part of the city is the oldest, most historic part, and the government has regulations to protect the historical nature of the buildings. Most of the buildings have red-tiled roofs, and if you own one of these buildings, you must maintain it with the same kind of roof

Graz Roofs

The Red Roofs of Graz

As we talked about Graz, history, language, culture, wine and winemaking, climate, and geography, we got to know our new Austrian friends.

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