Staying Positive

Receiving the news that we no longer had the flat was devastating. The day that should have been spent moving in was instead spent trying to get in contact with the landlady. We wanted to prove to her that the payments wouldn’t be an issue but she simply ignored our messages. We realised after waiting a few hours for a reply that we weren’t going to get one. We had to stay positive and come to terms with the fact that the flat was no longer ours.

Betty being the kind person that she is – offered for us to continue staying with her until we found a new place. Of course, after everything she had already done for us, we couldn’t take her up on the offer. We knew it’d be another hotel-job for the next few weeks.

After saying goodbye to Betty and Nina, we headed into the city to find a café and book the hotel. The road next to Betty’s house was one we had driven down several times before without any issues. In fact, we quite enjoyed driving down it. There’s only room for one car soone of you have to mount the curb to let the other fit through. Since our car is built for off-roading, Jordan took every opportunity to be the gentleman, letting just about every car go past.

For the final time on this road, a car approached and as expected, Jordan pulled over on to the snow. Before we knew it, the car had fallen and we were completely stuck at the side of the road. The other car had stopped with the Italian driver and passenger running over to see if we were OK and call someone to help. They let us know that the orange and black striped poles we had seen sticking out of the ground every day actually meant ‘hidden ditch’. Our right two tyres had fallen into a stream covered by snow and the weight of the car (especially with all of our stuff in the back) meant we couldn’t drive it back out. Perfect.

Car in Ditch
It doesn’t look too bad here, but there was no way we were getting out of there!

From the photos that I took, it doesn’t seem too bad but there was no way for us to get out. The two left tyres were barely touching the road and the two right tyres had hit a sludge mixture of mud and snow. On top of that, the bottom of the car was resting on the road, meaning every time we tried to move, it grated on the tarmac. So many lovely people stopped to see if we needed help. An Austrian guy even came with ropes and attempted to use his Volvo to pull us out with no luck. The ropes just kept snapping.

Although it was so heart-warming how many people stopped to see if we were OK, my favourite person was definitely the young lad who stuck his head out of the window and shouted “you bad driver…go home!” It genuinely made the day so much funnier.

In total, we were sat by the side of the road for nearly three hours waiting for help and I’m proud to say that I didn’t cry once! We got the picnic blanket from the car, sat on the snow, admired the view of the Untersberg in one direction and the hilarious view of our tipped over car in the other.

Untersberg
At least we had this epic view to keep us happy while we waited for help.

The laughing stopped when the breakdown service arrived and they broke the news that none of their cars were big enough to pull us out. We were told our only option would be for them to call in a crane which would cost is over €400. I think he felt a bit sorry for us when he saw the look on our faces so he told us to try and find a farmer who could use his tractor to pull us out. The last thing I wanted to do was fork out over €400 so I headed off back into Betty’s village to look for a farmer.

45 minutes later and I hadn’t found anyone that owned a tractor or knew something that did, so I started to head back. As I turned the corner, I could have finally cried when I saw a tractor lift our car out of the stream and none other than Betty stood waving to me. Turns out there was a farm right next to our car but in the opposite direction so Betty had convinced them to bring their tractor and pull us out. We paid the farmer and thanked Betty as much as we could before she had to go back to her day of piano lessons. Unbelievably, the car was completely undamaged. We had been so lucky as a broken car would have been a disaster, especially after losing the flat the night before.

By the time we arrived in the city centre and booked a hotel, it was time to check-in so we headed straight there. Thankfully, it was in the middle of the city so we didn’t have to go far. The rest of the night was spent calling family to tell them of the last 24 hours where everything had gone wrong at once. We knew that it could have been so much worse – the car could have tipped or got damaged, we could have been injured, we could have been told we could no longer move in once we had already arrived at the property. There’s so many more things that could have easily gone wrong but didn’t so we knew how lucky we had been.

We knew that moving country would be hard at times but we stayed positive and didn’t let it dampen our spirits. Plus, it’s a pretty funny memory to look back on now that it’s in the past!

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