As an Austrian, living in Germany for the last 7 years was not easy.
All these jokes about people from the mountains with no access to a sea - even got called Schluchtenscheisser once by the ex- major of Estebrügge (OK - it was after a couple of Kümmel enriched by smoked eels - but still hurt).
Also having lost our last marine battle ships (plus port) to the Italians sometimes in the last century and now trying to secure the Danube with a couple of 1920s Cannonships did not help to build up a solid marine reputation.
So it is of great pleasure that I now can prove now to all of the Germans - THAT AUSTRIANS CAN SWIM.
Every day at 06:00 and 07:00 in the morning a group of people - calling themselves the Bold and Beautiful - gather on the shore of Manly Beach and go for a 1,5 km Ocean Swim to Shelly Beach (and back).
Not an easy task, considering that you have to break the vicious surf of Manly Beach first, circumnavigate The Point with rocks and breaking waves and survive several Blue bottle attacks out in the dark black sea. (see previous Blog Entry)
Having said that, Jules and I have been practicing since summer this year "with great mental support of my neighbours - Judith and Andreas in Frankfurt" to manage this challenge once we would be here in Australia. On the 24th in the morning we did it the first time followed by a another one with proper outfit this morning.