Vacation!! Spent three nights on a farm in the southern mountains (Steiermarkt) from Wien. Boy was it a relaxing change from the hustle and bustle of the city. We helped the farmers with the cows, kittens, goats, bunnies, chickens and dog. Anika loved chasing the kittens around the barn, petting the calves, feeding the cows, collecting eggs, and generally running around the barn, hopping in the hay, and getting really, really dirty. There was also an 8 year old girl (sarah, the farmers daughter) for Ani to play with. They had lots of fun. The farmers, themselves were really, really nice, down to earth, not complicated, and intelligent too. We learned a lot about what it takes to run a dairy farm. It's not such bad work taking care of the animals, except you have to do it everyday, once around 5:30am and again around 4:30pm. Everything else around the farms gets done in between. We even got to watch one of the cows get "artificially inseminated." Not a sight for the squeamish, but the cow didn't seem to be bothered at all by the whole procedure.
The other crazy thing about a farm is the smell. Just walking around the barn your clothes and hair get impregnated with the cow/chicken/hay smell. You need a separate set of clothes for the barn, and thankfully the farmers had extra jackets and boots for Anika and Pascal.
We had so much fun, we're pretty sure we'll go there again in the summer or fall, then we can take the cows out to the pasture, and maybe even ride some horses or ponies.