Area 47, Austria Trip

I believe this post got deleted, so here it is again:

Earlier this month I attended a gathering of all of the people that do jobs similar to mine at Google. The location of this meet-up was Area 47, ├ľtztal, Austria. Area 47 is an extreme outdoor activity center, which includes many things like caving, canyoning, climbing and rafting etc, and is surrounded by the stunning scenery of mountains and forests.

Cross Golf

One activity we tried was cross-golf, basically cross-county golf. The challenge: about 10 holes, each with an activity to reduce your score if you placed 1st,2nd or 3rd. Activities included rock stacking, tennis with huge wooden bats and rubber dice etc. After leading near the start, my team fell back during the middle of the game as we golfed around our wooden lodges, but went on to pull ahead and win the game! We won a German/Austrian hat full of sweets for our troubles, which now resides above my desk.

White Water Rafting

We had an amazing time rafting, an activity which I would love to do again. Kitted out in full wetsuit gear including a helmet and floatation jacket, we hit the water with our 8 person raft. Had a brilliant trip down a fairly calm river, with fun rapids in places.

 

Area 47 also had a water-park style section, including water slides, a water canon, a large cushion of air to jump on, to throw people off into the water, and a ski-slope that you could go down using a body-board style plastic toboggan, which shot you across the water at high speed.

My favourite part of the trip was being able to relax on the porch of our wooden lodge in the Austrian countryside, with the mountains towering above us, and the river flowing past. Would very much like to go back at some point.

Matt

 

Desk Train Line

Having bought a few more locomotives from eBay lately, thoughts of building a small model railway behind my desk at work started┬ámaterialising. The shelf behind my desk is only about 1.5m long, with a 1.6m gap between it and another 1.5m shelf. Sounded like a small engineering challenge…

Before:

shelves

After:

Train bridge

Built the bridge out of K’nex! Turned out to be a perfect construction material for this project, and I succeeded in building a bridge to fill the gap between the shelves. Below is the current rolling stock on the small approx 4.5m railway

Santa Fe locos with wagons:

Santa Fe train

Both Santa Fe sets:

Both santa fe trains

Network South East ‘Invincible’ and carriages:

Network South East train

The double headed blue Santa Fe’s head across the bridge with 4 wagons of coal:

Double headed Santa Fe train

That’s all for now!

Matt