Blog 31 – Austria


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Hmmmm Paracelsus, can you help me with decisions regarding what I should do in November? It’s getting too cold for my liking in these countries. Although the autumn colours are simply stunning.

“Naaaaa, passt scho”. I like this Austrian expression, something like “she be right” in Australia. Wandered the city of Salzburg today, rugged up to the Hilton! After it bucketed down all night it luckily cleared up today. I passed a local market with lots of Knoedel, REAL fresh Sauerkraut from a wooden barrel, pate in all sorts of flavours, and look how brussel sprouts grow:

20161020_094410.jpgwp-1476973005875.jpgHow these people can do markets in this cold weather, selling fish and all is beyond me. My hands would drop off. I then went up Forte Hohensalzburg with a beautiful view from the top and took the funicular down.

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20161020_115158.jpg20161019_174802.jpgOn the Markart Steg are 1000s of locks from people promissing eternal love to each other. How romantic and great for the lock industry. 20161019_172101.jpgSculture near the Dome by Stefan Balkenhol.

21.10.16 Took a day trip to Hallstatt today, recommended by my Tyrol friend Evi. Very worthwhile and overrun by Asians, mainly Chinese it seems. I wouldn’t want to visit this little town in the summer! The Chinese love this place so much that some rich mining tycoon built a replica of it in 2012 for $940 million in China. Can you believe it? I met someone who’s husband went to see it. They just built the facades and inside is all different. Very weird indeed.

20161028_214246.pngSome google images of the China place. Had to google it, couldn’t quite believe it.

The REAL Hallstatt is so postcard pretty, I mean it’s clear why people love it.

20161021_105655.jpgHouses built against and into mountains.

20161021_140331.jpg20161021_112054.jpgAlso a “Gebeinenhaus”, similar to what I’ve seen in Evora Portugal. Remember? 100 Blogs ago…Hallstatt had no space to bury everybody and dug people out of the ground after 10 or so years, to make space for new bodies. And they painted the sculls and put the person’s name on them. Hmmmm, another reminder of impermanence.

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22.10.16 And today I’m meeting my oldest friends (I mean in time, not in age) Sygun and Verena again for 5 days of spoiling ourselves in Biohotel Sommerau. Nothing but healthy food, saunas, hiking in beautiful surrounds, couple of massages, you get the idea! Before you get too jealous, the breakfast bread was a bit too healthy for my liking and I personally missed a few meringues with cream, but, well, it’s never perfect is it? I’m a bloody sugar addict, that’s what I am! Here we are having an apple juice, well deserved after a long hike: PROST!

20161024_124630.jpgwp-1477598187152.jpgThe bottom right photo is when we visited a salt mine (called white gold in years gone by) in Hallein. We had to put some special outfits on because you go deep into the mine via some slides like this:

20161026_105831.jpgGreat fun! We ran up the steps and did it again….

20161026_110411.jpgAnd because I took so many photos of border crossings on this trip, here is another one. Underground we passed from Austria to Germany. Funny….

It’s quite strange but I never related this area to salt, although many names clearly tell you, like Salzburg, Salzkammergut etc. I thought salt is only found at the sea. Ignorant little me. It made the area and some nobility very rich, while the workers suffered severe hardship underground and died young, the usual. Images of Saint Barbara (3rd century) are everywhere. She is the saint of miners and others who work with explosives.

20161029_073620.pngHer dad locked her in a tower to “preserve” her from unsuitable riffraff. She converted to Christianity against his will and so he chopped her head off. Nice daddy! But he was struck by lightening or so the story goes. Bit of instant Karma.

The Biohotel had no Wifi, healthy, no radiation you know. And whilst I already know how addicted I am to my little machine and that it would do me good to be without it for a while, it was quite confronting. I had NOTHING further booked or planned after Friday the 28th. One idea was to meet Lillian in Paris for a few days before she flies home. Big cities are so much more fun to explore with someone else. I thought I had plenty of time to research and figure all this out in my quiet wellness week. But not so. So, the no Wifi cut Paris off the agenda, too hard or impossible rather to plan in time. Probably good as too expensive for such a short time anyway. Sorry Lil. Discussions with my friends helped with the decision that Crete (still warm with around 20 degrees) and the writing course at the Goethe Institut in Chania is probably a good plan, since I didn’t manage to catch up with Bill Bryson in a pub in England! The book idea is still in my head and even if the course clarifies that writing is not for me, it’ll be a good outcome. And then there is superb hiking on Crete I hear. A few more weeks of walking to finish off the year? Why not! The Biohotelfrau kindly let me use their wifi one evening for an hour, so I could book a hotel in Salzburg again and a flight to Crete. Very helpful. And after that I could really relax and it was easy to be without my machine for the 5 days.

Time went fast and the goodbyes came way too soon. Who knows when/if we’ll meet again. I’m rather sad this evening, 28th October. After travelling with friends now since mid September, and we all had a great time without the slightest bit of disagreement, I’m on my own again. It will be ok, but still, it takes some adjustment. I’m so very lucky to have such incredibly amazing friends. I thank you all for being in my life.

screenshot_20161028-205818.pngBack in Salzburg, check out this colour combo. Nature blows my mind again and again.

20161030_153541.jpg30.10.16 One night in Vienna staying at axe murderer Thomas. Here he looks like a handsome price on his horse, no? Very deceiving man! I picked Thomas up hitchhiking in Brisbane 1995 and he stayed at my place for a few days, where he suddenly asked “How do you know I’m not an axe murderer?” Well, good question of course, some strange people came out of Austria! But I took the risk and see, I’m still alive. We stayed in touch and I let friends know, that if they never hear from me again, start looking in Vienna! No, joke aside. We went for a lovely walk and I just HAD to take a photo of this gorgeous little girl playing in the autumn leaves. She looked like she was in a nest and had such a good time.

screenshot_20161031-064939.pngOk, off to Athens and Crete today. Bit nervous about this writing course. I don’t think I’ve used my brain in any serious way for a while!

I’m starting to correspond with some of my ex work colleagues. Yes, the thought of a different reality is already starting to creep into my mind, the one called WORK! Iiieeek, shrieeeek…..lots has changed in my previous work environment it seems. Every backfill longer than 2 weeks one has to apply for, interview and blabla. Since I don’t have a CV or old sample applications on my Smart phone (shame it’s not THAT smart and write the applications for me!), I won’t be able to apply for anything untill I’m back. Good probably since that would already wreck my time away. ENOUGH OF THIS TOPIC!

Next Blog will be Greece.

4 thoughts on “Blog 31 – Austria

  1. You have taken us on such a lovely adventure, Ursula – thank you! And now Crete. Take comprehensive notes for me as I will be there in May. Enjoy all!

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    1. Thought of you the other day Kay. Have you read “Wild in Nature” by Sarah Maquis? She walked through Australia, China, Mongolia etc……wild stories……and thank you for kind comment.

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  2. Du Liebe, vermisse Dich und die Vreni!!! Schön, dass es Dich/Euch gibt!! Jede für sich, will Euch ja nicht in einen Topf schmeissen!
    Bisouuu, Sygun
    Danke für den tollen blog und gut Schreib auf Kreta!!!

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