I woke up to a sunny day, a first in a string of cloudy days, and decided to get out of the house and head to the city of Graz for the day. And as usual, I never leave home without my camera; I took my camera with the lens attached, and two others. I walk for about 15 to 20 minutes, stopping along the way to photograph a site to see I see composed in my head.
When I arrive at the train station, I have 40 minutes for until next train arrives. So I head across the street to a small quaint cafe for a quick breakfast and much needed coffee....life is good. Even though I speak a little German, I apparently speak what I know somewhat correctly and without much of an accent, because people I speak to respond by blurting out German at full speed and without a pause as if I'm a native speaker. I then have to tell them, "Ich verstehe nur ein bisschen Deutsch (I understand only a little German.); I will get better in a place where no English is spoken...total immersion.
Just relaxing while I have my morning coffee and a quick breakfast snack What a great way to start the morning Coffee and a treat while I wait for the trainGreat coffee with a complementary chocolate covered pretzel at the Cafe Express
So off I go via the train (der Zug), than a tram (der strassenbaum) from the main train station in Graz into the city center.
On seeing the beauty of the city and all there is to do, I quickly realize I should arrived much sooner and decided get my butt up real early in the near future and return for the entire day to see and do all I can: Art Museums, shops, Historic sites, majestic churches...
It was getting late so on the tram I go heading back to the train station, or so I thought. When I realized after a short while the return route did not look familiar, I asked a young lady and she told me I was on the wrong tram heading in the opposite direction...crud! Just at that moment, the doors opened at a stop, and she invited me to follow her. I hastily jumped off the tram and followed as she graciously went out of her way to walk me about a block away to a city bus stop she said would take me directly to the train station. A few minutes after I arrived at the bus stop, panicked hit me like a ton of bricks...WHAM...I left a $1800 camera lens on the tram.
I immediately became sicked as this was an all too familiar event with me...leaving things behind that are not tied down to some part of my body. I sluggishly and sadly make my way back to the house where I'm staying, stopping along the way to capture some sights that again, compose themselves within my head with a lens I managed not to lose.
On the walk back from the train station to where I'm staying I had to capture this image again, this time with my professional camera versus my cell phone Watch for adults walking with children A little waterfall of the small creek that feeds into the Mur near where I'm staying In the housing area where I'm staying
As I walk up to the house, I whimper up to my hostess Annalise about my forgetful mistake. I speak enough German to explain to Annalise my unfortunate mistake, and I understand enough German when she explains in German that there is a lost and found center for the city trams in Graz and we can call tomorrow to check. There is always hope, but for piece of mind, I had to assume my lens is gone forever and begin the road to emotional recovery.
Annalise then, seeing how distraught and stressed I was, sits me down, gives me a shot of local Snapps; boy was it good, then serves me a meal of the equivalent off American Grilled Cheese, but with an Austrian flair. I then decide to call it a night, but the desire of wanting to process the images of the day grabs ahold of me; I know I won't be able to sleep until I satisfy it.
After I'm done and gaze upon what I captured of the day, I realize I have been blessed to be in a place such as this, and for such a wonderful reason - The Special Olympic World Winter Games. I will not allow my loss by human error take away from this experience, and more importantly, distract me from the upcoming task at hand: to share with all that I can the grandeur of the Special Olympic World Winter Games Austria 2017 and the courage and inspiration of the attending athletes through my articles of stories and the images that accompany them.
Near the city square The city tramThe city tram is free to ride anywhere in the city This building is one side of the city square The view in one direction from the city square A statue in the middle of the city square Near the city square A look along the main Boulevard towards the city square The reason I am here Darn, I should have removed my jacket as this looks weird Selfie time... Taken with my wide angle lens that I ultimately lost One more selfie Trams are constantly running from 8 AM to 8 PM Down the boulevard from the city square A look up the Boulevard towards the city square I'll have to stop here next time A scenic place to have lunch to people watch