Austria, a world-class destination
Austria is a world-class destination. It is landlocked country home to some of the greatest musical composers in the world, skiing and action hero Arnold Schwarzenegger. The country is an excellent spot for tourists since it borders Germany, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, Italy, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
I took a trip with my adventure buddy Leah to Austria to explore the mountainous terrain. Since everyone spoke German, it should be fairly easy to get around. There is also a UN office in Vienna. You know how I love visiting UN offices, so a visit to there was on the cards. Leah loves animals, music and castles which are the top three things she tries to capture in photos each time we visit new places.
The hidden gem that is Salzburg
Salzburg is one of the most well-preserved cities I’ve ever visited; its baroque architecture reminded me of the sound of music (which was the movie’s setting). Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, the city is also a surprising hotspot for college students with three universities placed there. I expected way more old people there drinking hot chocolates and reading mystery novels.
This was the first stop for me and Leah’s Austrian adventure. If we weren’t amazed by the well-kept buildings and monuments, then it was the Alpine mountains filling the sky.
The main thing we really wanted to do was go skiing. There are a lot of holiday villages situated in Salzburg, but we chose one called Saalbach-Hinterglemm which was a little tricky to find. Luckily the resort was well-established with almost every slope offering different level difficulties. The modern lifts and Skyrides were fun to ride, and the pistes are easy to prepare with snow-making equipment.
When we become tired of using the pistes, we went indoors where there was a massive range of activities instead. One great way to reward ourselves for all the skiing was to attend a classical music concert.
Austria is infamous for its prolific history of classical music though I felt like I was watching a war dramatisation. The whole thing bored me to the point that I was tempted to draw eyes on my eyelids to allude that I was paying attention. However, Leah was thrilled by the performance.
Castles and coincidences
Leah loves castles, I guess there’s a real sense of romanticism when walking through, and you could visualise yourself as a prince and princess in a way. Fortress Hohensalzburg on the top of a mountain and is the centre point of Salzburg. When the sun is out, the castle creates a silhouette across the whole city. Unless you didn’t have a neck, there was no way you could miss this huge castle. There’s a fast funicular rail that leads up to the top. Once Leah and I got there, we starting wandering around inside. We got lost so many times, but the panoramic view from the top was breath-taking.
There was a group of Russian scouts who we had recognised from our hotel. They seemed as equally impressed by the castle as we were. We briefly said hello before leaving them to enjoy the rest of the building.
The next day, Leah and I visited Schloss Hellbrunn, a magical place consisting of a palace, huge park and trick fountains. On the outskirts of the city. Hellbrunn was established in 1613 by a Prince who commissioned the landmark location. There are so many gardens to explore and cool water sprays from sorts of tubes and spouts. We happened to bump into the Russian scouts again who were just as surprised to see us too. We said hello again though worried that they might think we are stalking them. Though we did see them again (unintentionally) when we went to the zoo so maybe we were stalking them.
A day in Vienna
Vienna was the next stop on our tour of Austria, and the historical city had a lot to offer. I really enjoyed the Naschmarkt, the largest open-air food market in Vienna. I admired the many different stalls, from wine to fresh figs and so many more things too. It was an exceptional location for breakfast. Though if you want a quick snack, there are lots of sausage stands.
Whenever you visit any city, it’s worth visiting the highest spot to get an overall view. This can help you navigate around and get a feel for your surroundings. You can also take some awesome photos. For Vienna, it’s taking a ride on the giant 19th-century Ferris wheel or also known as Riesenrad. It’s the only remaining work of British engineer Walter Basset, famous for building wheels in London, Paris and Blackpool.
The Museums Quartier is a hub of bohemian, art connoisseurs and a great way to unwind or do a little people-watching. There are three artistic buildings to check out each with a distinct emphasis that plays into Austrian’s culture such as the Leopold Museum, the Kunsthalle and Museum of Modern Art.
Since I Knew Leah enjoyed music, we took a trip to the musical park, where you can find concerts and statues of the many famous composers who helped influenced the classical music genre. When it comes to food, the local favourite is the Käsekrainer – oozing with cheese, and fondly referred to as an Eitriger or pus-stick.
The beauty of travel is the interesting people you meet in the most unlikely places. We met a Brazilian guy called Yuri. He had a master in engineering from Zurich University in Switzerland. He was such a friendly and relaxed guy, so we spent the rest of the day with him. Yuri decided to go euro-tripping after finishing his studies with his next stop being Bratislava. Even though Yuri was around for a short time, we had a lot of fun and exchanged travel stories because isn’t that what travel is about, learning and growing.
That’s all folks, thanks for reading my blog! Read other blogs here. Don’t forget to like and share this blog with your friends and family! Have a wonderful week!