Where did the COVID bird come from?
This photo of a landing blackbird was taken on one of the mountains overlooking Innsbruck. It was during a wonderful trip to Austria, kindly offered to me and several other Tour Operators and Travel Agents by the Austrian Tourism Office. It was one of the best trips I have been one, and left a permanent impression of this extremely beautiful and friendly country.
After 5 days of being taken around - and thoroughly spoilt - in the delightful capital of Vienna, my choice was a 5 day tour in the Tyrol region. It is one region of Austria which I had always wanted to explore, and can highly recommend to any visitors. This is a country which has so much to offer, an eclectic mix of the most cultured offerings of music and art, yet it has a wonderful backdrop of mountains, lakes and small picturesque villages. The delicious food and locally produced wine from Austria's warmer region only add to the pleasures of everyday life.
During a visit to Innsbruck, we took the chairlift halfway up the mountain overlooking the town, then went right to the top in another one. A stunning blue sky, views over glaciers and mountain tops and a way-far-below-us view of Innsbruck covered with a slight mist, made excellent opportunities for photos. As we sat down for a delicious outdoor lunch with Austrian wines, sitting right on the edge of the mountain, some blackbirds came in to land near us. The first one was hilarious in the way it ran next to me, pounding the concrete barrier as it closed its wings, and my very snap happy fingers managed to capture this little creature in mid thump!
Why do we call it the COVID bird?
Well, being in the travel business, with years of expertise in European specialized tours, Slow Tours, like many other tour operators / wholesalers, has been hit very hard since the pandemic. All the sales we made last year for 2020 have not eventuated, no new sales and not much on the horizon all amounts to a devastating impact on our business.
BUT ... thanks to COVID we have had time to develop our tours and to find the right partners to work with in the Australia Pacific region. Also to develop our Armchairtravel Club where you can enjoy European experiences from your armchair, and an online shop, using some of the thousands of photos (I'm a keen amateur landscape photographer) to create a range of products, from framed prints and notebooks to beach towels and tote bags.
We would love for you to visit this shop, to buy products and share the experience with all your friends and family. Any profits we make will go towards maintaining staff, bringing others back to the business and to getting our business re-started when international flights are back.
Through all these frustating changing times, we have kept motivated and are looking forward to when we can get back into our proper business of running and selling tours.
During times of extreme frustration, we would encourage each other with 'Come on - let's give COVID the bird'.
Among others, this blackbird became the iconic representation of how we were feeling - normal flight patterns ended, thumping the pavement hard to get to where we want to go, so we could take off again when conditions improve.
So, here is our COVID bird! We have had a lot of fun in creating a range of products using this iconic bird and hope you will enjoy them! The link is on the button below.