A U S T R I A
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!