Sound of Music country, Austria.
We were late coming to foreign travel. When hubby and I finally made it out of the UK it was on a eight-day visit to both Austria and Switzerland, by coach! The journey was a story in itself but what follows is what we made of our brief visit to Austria way back when - in 1989.
Where on earth in this world is Austria?
Well I guess there may be some people who have no idea where Austria is, so here goes.
Austria is a landlocked European country; its neighbours are:-
Did I like Austria? Yes I loved it.
I did not travel abroad until in my late thirties. Although this was not unusual when I was a young child, by the time I was this age most people were travelling here, there and everywhere by quite a young age.
Our first holiday abroad was an eight-day coach trip which would take in Austria and Switzerland, with a brief visit to the principality of Liechtenstein.
Looking back now this seems a ridiculously short amount of time for a vacation. I am amazed though at how much we saw considering that the coach journey took 36 hours outgoing and about 24 hours for the return.
Still on the whole it was a great holiday and the weather was kind.
We travelled in early September and experienced a slight heatwave. This meant that even in the mountains the weather was pleasantly warm and the air was clear.
We had been warned that often great views were obscured by fog, cloud and mist but not so for our vacation. We viewed these beautiful countries in all of their glory.
The second part of our visit was Austria which is where I shall begin.
Having already experienced the breathtaking scenery of Switzerland it was hard to imagine anything could be more beautiful. However, Austria has a more rugged, natural style and the views are just as special.
Our base was to be the village of St Anton, which is a popular destination during the winter months with the ski-ing fraternity. As it was late summer all of the pensions (guest houses) had plenty of rooms vacant. This meant that we actually had quite a luxurious small suite of rooms. For the price we paid it was fabulous. Consider visiting off season for a great bargain break.
Although the weather had been kind our entrance into this pretty village was met with torrential rain. It lasted briefly but helped cool the unusually hot Austrian weather. Standing on our balcony, and looking at the view, we saw that we were surrounded by mountains. The heavy rain had given life to summer dry waterfalls which now flushed their way down the green mountain slopes; simply stunning.
St Anton is made up of small wooden pensions, a few shops, some lovely cake shops and the odd bar. A group of us experienced the highly intoxicating Austrian beer, one evening, at one such establishment. The beer, served in huge glasses, was very potent.
Our holiday included an excursion to Innsbruck which we thoroughly enjoyed. Innsbruck has rather up market shops and plenty of wonderful architecture, such as a palace. Set on the River Inn, Innsbruck too is surrounded by mountains.
There was a lovely park here and it was strange to see almost tropical plants thriving outdoors with snow topped mountains nearby. On a warm day this park is perfect for a picnic.
If you visit Austria try and also check out Vienna.
In Austria you can almost hear Julie Andrews warbling "The Hills are alive with the Sound of Music." Those 'hills' are definitely a wonder to behold.
News from Austria 2017:
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