International Rover Meeting 2019

From a participant's point of view:

International Rover Meeting 2019 – just great, unbeatable!

There were several considerations regarding the location and the orientation of the event before Andreas declared his willingness to carry it out together with his wife in southern Styria, namely in Schwanberg. Encouraged by the success in Linz 2014, it did not take any persuasion on the part of the board, no, he offered it on his own.

With Kurt Kert he had found an experienced organizer with local color and well connected, who else was found to cooperate, these people remained anonymous. Whenever Andreas was asked if he needed help - always the same answer, thank you no, everything is going well.

Tenders, conditions of participation, prizes in various categories, travel and hotel documents, route plans, even the tickets for the motorway toll were considered and sent on time.

Driving away from home in the early afternoon of 23 May in perfect weather, the ROVER P5 from Zug (CH) ran into operation on the A2 motorway shortly before Graz. The welcome after ten years was more than warm. The same thing was repeated shortly afterwards in Schwanberg, where the first twenty vehicles had already arrived – and only nice people with whom you like to surround yourself. Yes, some were missing, as they have known each other for decades...

After dinner together in a Buschenschank –  most of the participants had already arrived – it was still a long evening with typical local delicacies.

A participant missed the departure in the morning, the hotelier delivered it by refrigerated truck. At Piber Castle, a  guided tour of the Lipizzaner stud farm took place, which elicited the realization from a German guest: "A horse has four legs, one at every corner, if it had three, it would fall over". And this after this visit and the explanation of how the horses are shod. It's called independent thinking ;-)

The onward journey after dinner brought the entourage over the Gaberl with 1,550 m to the Red Bull Ring, where a timed classification  was driven on the driving range (much more fun than on the golf course and proof that ROVER can also be moved sporty). The race track was occupied by formula cars, as the "hell noise" proved.

Pass and hairpin bends were still too little, so Andreas guided us a bit to Carinthia, further over the 1670 m high wine plain with its 16% gradient, before we went back down to the lovely wine region of Western Styria.

In the evening our president Veronika and her vice-president Thomas arrived, both of whom were still "school-aged". During and after the meal, the Marktmusikkapelle Schwanberg with about forty people intoned hearty marching and folk music in perfect performance. For many of the approximately 80 guests certainly one of the emotional highlights of the meeting, because at "O du mein Österreich" no eye remained dry.

Saturday our convoy was again guided from Schwanberg with traffic lights switched by the police. The guided tour through the production of a seed oil mill, known as the green gold of Styria, was followed by a short ride on the "bottle train". This does not bear the name because of the everywhere offered Schilcher or Rabiatperle, no, the train passengers visited a miracle doctor, who diagnosed the disease on the basis of the urine transported in the eponymous bottles! A strange little people, the Styrians. Need a try? Höllerhansl Lied.

Back by train at the mill, the group was familiarized with the various applications of seed oil. Among other things, delicate in egg dish or vanilla ice cream, the nibbles promote potency, the reference to it at least the sale. So also for ladies of occasional use.

The visit and guided tour by Princess Alice Liechtenstein at Hollenegg Castle was  worth seeing, even if there was better air in the Rossstall, where the gala evening took place. It was remarkable how the patronage of past times can still be lived today, so that international artists are supported and what range of art (this year on the theme "at the table") can be created.

In not all exhibits I could recognize the intention of the creator and the intended use. I was able to gain more artistic and usable value from other exhibits.

The gala evening was first-class in terms of ambience, style, cuisine and conference.

Andreas confidently led through the program, which was accompanied by a photo show from thirty years of club life. After the obligatory award ceremony (overall victory in the technical disciplines as always, Walter). The other prizes were exported to Hungary, Germany and Belgium.

The honours were presented by Bgm. Mag. Karlheinz Schuster and Rupert Mauthner as tourism chairman, who added another pearl to this event through generous sponsoring. Mrs. Mauthner: hip guests with booking still want to check in at 10 pm without any problems! (Note: does this fit here?)

A planned breakdown vehicle was not needed, everyone came to the quarter daily under their own power and the few necessary hand movements happened "blindly and routinely".

The worthy conclusion was a wildly romantic drive along the South Styrian Wine Route to Austria's highest wine-growing town Kitzeck with  a fabulous panorama and with a grandiose farewell dinner with the award-winning chef.

As a long-time roverist, I have only missed two meetings in thirty years and know many countries and events. But what Andreas has offered us with his Jutta and a handful of helpers does not allow any improvement. The term perfect is far from accurate. It was the ultimate solution!

It is hardly to be expected that not all participants from A, B, CH, CZ, D, H, L and SLO agree with this opinion and I hope that the four days with the WCC will remain unforgettable with you. It was very nice. I was very pleased.

Happy Rovering