Unspoken Conversations are the topics that are often swept under the carpet, whispered amongst the closest of friends and bitched about by many. I want to create awareness about difficult things that people face in life; grief, mental health, money, illnesses, family troubles, relationship difficulties and putting yourself first. I want to tell the truth about things that really matter.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Come fly with me to AUSTRIA!


Just beautiful scenery.

Today we're off to Austria, the very first country that I visited outside of Australia.

I didn't go yodeling in the Austrian Alps Sound of Music Style (although I totally would've if we went to the Alps) BUT I did full in love with the beautiful country that it is.

First things first it was my first proper winter. I'm talking thermal underwear cold. Yup, i gave up an Aussie summer to head to Europe in freezing cold winter. Needless to say, it didn't take me long to invest in some warmer clothes. The funny thing is that you'd rug up to your eyeballs with thermals followed by ten layers of clothing, a jacket, scarf, beanie and gloves but as soon as you stepped foot inside you'd be stripping everything off at again! But it was a fun cold. By that I mean that it didn't rain, it was just f-f-f-reeeeeezing! I guess, for me, it was a bit of a novelty.

Nawww Kim and me skiing in Austria!

Did I mention that it was right near Christmas? My oh my Austria was like a Christmas party on steroids. Cute little towns would have stalls set up selling freshly roasted nuts and gluwein (hot alcoholic punch), with carols playing, handmade goodies on sale with merry go rounds for the kids (and big kids if you are me!) and all things festive. It rocked my socks and was much different to our Christmas lead up in thongs and bathers at the beach in Australia!

The Christmas markets make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside even now. Each stall was in a wooden barn hut thing. I could imagine families (I mean, father christmas) going around and buying hand crafted goodies for their friends and family. They sold everything from hand made wooden soldiers to crystal baubles to home made jewellery, candles and so much more!

The beautiful Christmas markets!

Who can forget to mention the food! My oh my Austrians sure know how to make a pork snitty and the potato salad was to die for. Not to forget the apple strudels and pork roasts and cheese fondue...my mouth waters just thinking about it. Every bite was to die for and filled your belly to the brim that you almost needed an afternoon siesta to process it!
Now that's what I call a snitty!

Did I mention the deliciousness of their alcoholic beverages? Austrians don't mess around. They have cellars full of tablets aka two litre bottles of schnapps...all sorts of schnapps. Peach, liquorice, strawberry and more! Oh and the beer. I hate beer in Australia because it's so bitter but over there it was sooo delicious and cheap. I particularly loved Stiegl. And the beer comes in 500ml bottles! A 6 pack cost around AUS $15 for 3 litres of beer!

Mmmm...beer!

Ohhh oh oh and there's the snow. That white powdery stuff that we don't get much of at all in Australia. Yes, we made snow angels and yes we made a snowman but we cheated because we found a big ball of snow for its head (okay so our snowman is kind of pathetic but hey, he was made with love!)
We also went skiing. Luckily for me I had been before so I quickly caught the hang of it. Unfortunately Kim hadn't skied before and spent 80% of her day hooning down the slopes, totally out of control, screaming at the top of her lungs. My favourite photo is when Sissie and I stopped half way down the the mountain, posed and when we looked at the photo there was a tiny Kim in the background coming down the slope with one leg in the air, arms flapping trying to gain control! Gold.

Kim spent most of our skiing trip looking something like this except this almost looks elegant!
We were so lucky that we knew a family who lived in Mödling just outside of Vienna. They welcomed us into their home and treated us like family. I will never forget the toilet water swirling in the other direction, the heated floors, that Austrians eat a huge lunch aka a roast and have a light tea like a sandwich, that it gets dark at 430pm in winter, that it gets so cold that your snot freezes, how gorgeous the castles were, the old buildings and the true beauty of Austria. It was like taking a step back in time.

We spent a whole day looking through a castle which was a small train ride from the CBD in Vienna. It was such an amazing experience seeing how the royals lived considering we don't have castles in Australia. The gardens alone were bigger then most botanic gardens!

The amazingly huge and old church down the main street in Vienna.
I'll let the photos tell the rest of the story...


Enjoying some "snow men" after a hard day of skiing (basically a hot alcoholic shot with whipped cream on top!)

Snow angels!

Giggle - we may have cheated with our snowmans head!

Our very special snowman!

Did I mention cheese fondue?



OMG it's all backwards!



The love heart tree!

Hot alcoholic punch was served in cups THIS BIG (just kidding, a little smaller haha) over the christmas season!



YUM! I'm starting to realise why I put on 5kgs in 6 weeks in Europe haha



MY TIPS:
  • I think 2-3 days tops is enough to spend in Vienna. This would give you enough time to walk through the city, go into the HUGE amazing church, consume copious amounts of pork snitties and beer and to visit the castle just outside of the city.
  • If you go in Winter, PACK THERMALS, a beanie, a scarf and gloves!
  • Take the time to just wander the cobbled stone streets and to sit in a cafe and enjoy every mouthful of your strudel or pork snitty!
  • Take a day trip (or longer) outside of the city. Modling isn't that far out of Vienna and is so cute!
  • If you go near Christmas, take your time to look around the Christmas markets. They are truly amazing!
  • Leave room in your suitcase to bring back goodies! Leave your home with a suitcase 1/2 full so that you have the other half to buy buy buy!
Have you been to Austria? What did you love about it? Do you have any tips to share? Or things to go and see and do?
Look after yourself and those around you,
Kirsty xxx

3 comments:

The Thrifty Challenge said...

Wow, Austria looks amazing. I'm so keen to go to Europe and I'll have to add Austria to the list of countries to visit!

Kirsty Arnold said...

Austria is seriously and beautiful, especially in winter with the snow and Christmas markets. Every Thursday I'm writing a travel blog. Next up...Italy :)

Michael Engele said...

I live there ... and let's say i don't really understand why everyone loves it so much there, haha i would die to live in Australia - NO JOKE haha