Austria 2009

On a visit back to Austria to see my family we went on a few local adventures around my native province of Styria. This region of Austria is less well known than other areas, but it’s a gorgeous province with diverse landscapes, from the rugged high Limestone Alps to softer mountains with coniferous forests to rolling hills that are perfect for growing Styrian wine. My brother, my sister-in-law, her sister and I went for a nice hike in Eastern Styria, to the so-called “Rote Wand” (or “Red Wall”) where we saw an large herd of Alpine ibexes (mountain goats with long horns). Of course we sat down for a hearty Austrian snack afterwards at one of the wooden mountain huts that dot the Austrian Alps.

With my travel buddy Gary I went on a driving tour of Upper Styria that included the mountain town of Mariazell, Austria’s most important pilgrimage town. We visited the mountain of Semmering that forms the border between the Austrian provinces of Styria and Lower Austria. The village of Semmering used to be a favourite vacation destination during the late 19th century for the Austrian aristocracy. We also visited the medieval fortress of Oberkapfenberg to get a taste of the Middle Ages.

For several months now I had been planning another trip to Europe, to visit my family in my home town in Austria, as well as to spend eleven days on the beautiful island of Mallorca… Read more.

My first three days in Austria had already been action-packed, full of hiking excursions and culinary delights. My next adventure was going to be a full-day driving tour with my friend Gary, who had also… Read more.