Oct 31, 2012

Amazing Austria (My favorite things)

                                             A U S T R I A

                              I loved working in Austria. What a magnificent experience!


Don't miss Schwarzsee lake in Kitzbuhel for a refreshing swim. Set against a wooded forest with walking trails Schwarszsee meaning (black lake) in German attracts locals and tourists for a picture perfect place to spend a few hours swimming and relaxing on the grassy shores. I often rode my bicycle here during my work breaks and swam in this splendid lake alongside ducks. This popular lake offers diving boards, slides, a children's playground, boat rentals, restaurants for dining and sweeping views of the Alps. The national Austrian railroad passes through Schwarzee daily with passengers coming from Innsbruck and Salzburg.

Swimming in any of Austria's stunning lakes. Some popular lakes include Hintersteiner, Mondsee, and Faakersee.

The Sound of Music Tour (on your own) is a better way to enjoy the film location shots without rushing.

The "Salzkammergut Region" is a vacation paradise. One of the most photographed villages in all of Austria (Hallstatt) is in this region.

Salzburg's Nonnberg Abbey, Mirabell Palace & Gardens, and  Schloss Leopoldskron are magnificent to visit and (The Sound of Music) fans will have vivid memories of visiting those sights.

Staying a few nights in a family run pension (guest house) is a wonderful way to feel like a local.

Untersberg Mountain (near Salzburg) is a breath-taking mountain.

Wilder Kaiser is Tyrol's gem of a mountain and worth hiking.

A day in Innsbruck (Known for the Olympics)

When shopping at a supermarket such as Spar or Bille stock up on  Reber Mozart Kugel Chocolates and Manner Original Neopolitan Wafers. (Austrian specialties)

There's no shortage of bakeries in Austria. Breads, rolls and pastries are especially delicious in this part of the world where everything is still made from scratch with wholesome flour and grains. My favorite pastime was picking up a variety of rolls at nearby bakeries and having a picnic in the meadow with a cup of cappuccino made with local farm milk.

A day or two in Hohe Tauern National Park (famous for Krimml waterfalls) is spectacular.

Mingling with the dairy cows on any of Austria's hiking trails and gathering some edelweiss flowers.

                                           Austria has lots of cows!

My ultimate favorite thing to do in Austria was to run barefoot through the meadows in my dress and apron and sing to my hearts content.

Edelweiss, Edelweiss, every morning you greet me.....


Austrian Apple Strudel (Apfelstrudel) should be sampled at least once by everyone and speaking of Apfelstrudel here's a recipe I'd like to share:


                                              Austrian Apple Strudel (Apfelstrudel)

For the dough mix together 2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon melted butter, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 cup warm water. Knead the dough on a lightly floured counter for 3-5 minutes. Divide dough into two equal halves. Knead each half for an additional minute and form into ball. Brush dough balls with butter and let sit 45 minutes.

For the filling, core and peel 2 pounds of apples, and mix the apple slices with 1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg. Cover and set aside.

Brush one dough ball with melted butter, roll out on a lightly floured pastry board or counter. 
Stretch dough gently with your hands until it's 16 to 18 inches long. Brush the dough with melted butter and set  aside for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of ground walnuts over the stretched dough and squeeze out any liquid left in the 
apple filling. Spread half the apple filling over the dough and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of golden raisins.

Carefully roll out the strudel and place it one half of greased baking sheet.

Repeat everything for second strudel.

Brush both strudels with egg whites and bake them 30-35 minutes at 400 degrees

Strudel is best served warm and with some clotted cream.


Things not to miss while in Austria:

Skiing and Snowboarding on the slopes

Sampling a bottle of Almdudler (Austria's national drink) made of grape and orange juice

and mixed with herbs

Taking a train ride to the popular lakeside towns of Zell am See and Hallstatt

Having a gelato in one of Austria's many towns or villages. (Some of the best ice cream in the world)

Drinking some locally produced buttermilk from a farmer

Dining in a restaurant and listening to traditional Austrian music

Keeping your ears tuned to the beautiful sounds of cuckoo birds scattered throughout Austria and buying a cuckoo clock as a souvenir

Enjoying a beer at the summit of a hiking trail

The hospitality of Austrian people who will make you feel very welcome to their country


yes   ja                               draft beer   Vom Fass

no   nein                             ice cream   Eis
bitte  please                      
danke  thank you
guten tag   good day
bread   brot
milk   milch

I loved my time in Austria and look forward to returning to this small country that brought me big adventures and unforgettable memories.

AUSTRIA really is amazing!!!


Amazing Austria

A   U   S   T  R  I  A

                        Beautiful "Hallstatt" is the most photographed village in all of  Austria!

Austria with its stunning alpine scenery and hospitable people never seems to disappoint its visitors.This is the land of apple strudel, hand crafted cuckoo clocks, vast mountain peaks, countless sparkling, lakes, charming villages nestled in valley bottoms, lush meadows with wildflowers, and immaculate cleanliness. Whether its visiting the magnificent cultural city of Vienna and attending an opera, learning the waltz, basking on the shores of Bondensee (Lake Constance), enjoying the music festivals in Salzburg, hiking or skiing the famous Alps of Tyrol, or riding a train through the spectacular scenery, Austria is the kind of place that's hard to leave.

Austria is the most mountainous country in Europe and extremely popular with hikers and skiers. People from around the world come to hike it's glorious trails and ski the incredible slopes in ski towns such as Soll, Seefeld and Kitzbuhel but Austria has more to offer than just its mountains. In this relatively small country one can also sail the Danube River, watch stallions pace at the Spanish Riding School, indulge in cappuccino and linzer torte at a famous cafe, watch cows parading through a storybook village, visit enchanting castles, learn German at a language immersion school, and explore local wineries. 

I'm a little partial to Austria having recently returned from working several months at a retreat house near Kitzbuhel. I have nothing but praises for this German speaking country that I wish I could someday call home. I love Austria for many reasons; the mountains, the cows, the chocolate,the cleanliness, the scenery, the sweet mountain goats, the marvelous lakes for swimming, the authentic idyllic villages, the delicious food, the friendly people,  are just a few of my favorite things about Austria.The Austrians take such pride in keeping everything so spic and span. They're also very dedicated to their heritage and celebrate their holidays with much enthusiasm. Most cities and villages host concerts and parades during certain holidays and almost everything is closed on Sundays and holidays.

I shall never forget all the sweet memories of my six months living in the tiny village of Reith (three kilometers from famous Kitzbuhel). Every morning I would make up  at 5:00 am to the church chimes and walk down the steep hill where I could hear cuckoo birds singing in the forest. I would participate in meditation and singing with guests and staff in the yoga hall and afterwards attend the staff meeting to receive my job duties for the day. A typical day for me was cooking organic vegetarian meals for guests and staff, managing the guest houses, leading hikes through the Alps, and teaching yoga classes.Working with an international clientele was quite stimulating and I was able to make wonderful friends.

During my free time in Austria I rode the endless bicycle trails, took the train to nearby towns like  Zell am See for recreation, played the guitar, hiked steep mountains trails, swam in glorious alpine lakes, learned German and yodeled with the mountain goats. Often I would gather grass for my beloved goats who thanked me with their baa baa sounds. If there's one place I could live for the rest of my life, it would be AUSTRIA.

AUSTRIA is wunderbar!

Auf Wiedersehen

Oct 22, 2012


Traveling awakens the senses and opens the mind to an amazing world of adventure, diversity, and cultural immersion.

There's seven continents and almost two hundred countries to explore. Where on earth do you want to go?

I hope you can visit all the countries you wish to the most and that your travels will keep you happy and fulfilled.

Happy Travels!

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