Saturday, 20 August 2016

8 Reasons you Need to Visit Austria

For the past few months, whenever I found myself trapped in one of those awkward small talk convos where people ask 'are you going away anywhere nice in the Summer?' my reply always got a bit of a strange reaction. A kind of half smile, half expression of bemusement and an 'oh that will be lovely' that was less convincing than Lucy Hale's acting in Pretty Little Liars when she held her phone to her face upside down (lolz remember that?). But I guess Austria wouldn't really be the first place that springs to mind when compiling your list of bangin summer holiday destinations for 2016, but it bloomin well should be. I can honestly say I've never fallen in love with a place like this before and, now that I'm home, I'm pining after the mountains and trees like a teenager lusts after their secret high school crush, I'm literally beyond obsessed. I miss the fresh air that makes you feel healthier just by breathing it in, I miss strolling along the Ziller river passing through town and after town and I even miss the majestic night time thunderstorms - the kind that make you feel so safe and cosy tucked up in your bed. If you get the chance, I honestly think everyone should experience the magic of the little landlocked country nestled between Germany, Switzerland, Italy anddd pretty much every other European country you've ever heard of. So here's 8 reasons you need to visit Austria.




1. The scenery is to die for.

I don't think I've ever gasped so frequently in my entire life as I did during my first few days in Austria. But then again, the only other place I've ever seen such a gasp worthy combination of mountains, meadows and trees is right here in Scotland but they tend to be hidden by mist and rain a good 98% of the time. Everywhere you look there's something else even more beautiful to look at (and Instagram), the place is literally a landscape artist's dream.




2. The buildings will make you want to move there.

I'm being serious. Moving to Austria has very quickly become a serious contender as a new addition to the ten year life plan. Basically I just need to live in a house with a slanted timber roof and pretty window boxes filled with colourful geraniums. I think if that happened I would probably have to make an Instagram account solely dedicated to pictures of my own house, a gal can dream.


                            

3. The locals are super friendly.

Now I'm not suggesting that all of the locals are bell-wearing cows but a good proportion of them are tbh. However, their human counterparts were all so welcoming and helpful and the whole place just had a really lovely, relaxed atmosphere. And although I was loving being able to practice my German by ordering schicken-käse toast (aka my bae a ham and cheese toastie) pretty much every day, I was shocked at how well everyone spoke English so it was nice to still be able to have a chat when my German failed me...which was pretty much always.  



4. You can experience it all from above. 

As if Austria wasn't omg breathtaking enough from the ground, some genius only went and decided to make it super easy to go up the mountains, with absolutely zero effort required and experience it all from above. Using all of the cable cars scattered throughout the different villages was without a doubt my favourite pastime as it felt so bloomin exciting being transported higher and higher towards the clouds to a new world thousands of feet above ground (but omg once we went through a cloud and I very nearly wee'd with fear). The mountains were filled with walking and cycling routes, play parks and restaurants and were like little villages themselves, plus they gave you an even better vantage point of those stunning views I was talking about *takes 500 pictures a minute*. 



5. It's full of natural wonders. 

The area we stayed in was pretty much a geography fanatic's dream. Not only was our hotel situated in the Ziller Valley which was carved out by ice thousands of years ago, but it was also surrounded by some pretty stunning geographical sites which were really close by. We took a day trip up the Hintertux Glacier which is one of only two ski resorts in the world that is open 365 days a year, mainly because there's just so much bloomin snow. Admittedly, I kind of wish I'd known just how snowy and cold it would be before I packed my suitcase because your gal had to go up in Converse and Hollister's finest summer knitwear- but obv I wasn't planning on skiing anyway, let's be honest. A few days later we also took a coach to the Krimml Waterfalls near Salzburg which is the highest waterfall in Europe and the 5th highest in the world. The views were incredible and as we trekked up the massive hill to the side of the waterfall, getting drenched with the spray, I was 100% pretending I was an explorer in an action movie.




6. There's a perfect mix of villages and cities. 

We stayed in the beautiful, quaint little village of Mayrhofen, which is definitely where I'll be retiring to in like 50 years, but we also loved to walk along the river to visit all of the other villages in the valley. Second to Mayrhofen, our favourite was Zell am Ziller where we went to the same cute cafe for lunch way more often than I'd like to admit and had cheese, ham and pineapple toasties - don't knock it until you've tried it. However, when we felt like we needed a change from small town life, the big cities were super accessible and not all that far away. We spent a day in Innsbruck and a day in Salzburg which were two of  the dreamiest cities I've ever visited. We lunched, shopped (European Zara is the one) and explored and I posed for pictures like a weird, embarrassing tourist.Unfortunately Vienna was just too far away from us but I have promised myself I'll make it there one day. However, on a side note, I do feel like being in Salzburg where they filmed The Sound of Music was good for my spiritual wellbeing.




7. The street parties are insane. 

As if by fate, the Mayrhofen Street Festival was due to take place while we were there. After seeing signs everywhere, we didn't know quite what to expect from this 'party' in our sleepy little town but omg it. got. cray. There was yodelling, accordions, Austrian dancing, tightrope walking, rock music and a lot of food and Ziller beer. It was pretty much the best party I've ever been to. Suddenly the little town square was full to the brim of people cheering, singing and dancing and basically just having the time of their lives. One member of my new fave Austrian folk band, Zillertol Pur, even made his way out in to the crowd and started shredding the accordion whilst lying on the table and drinking other people's pints. It was all a bit bizarre. But amazing.




8. The ice cream will change your life. 

If the previous 7 statements haven't convinced you to get yourself on flight scanner and book the next flight to Salzburg airport then this one might. I have honestly never tasted ice cream so deliciously fruity, creamy and indulgent in all of my life. And I've had a lot of ice cream. From cones of pineapple ice cream, to 'strawberry dreams' and Heiße Liebe (which literally translates to 'hot love' and consists of vanilla ice cream with hot raspberries poured over the top) we had it all. Multiple times. And although my body now kind of hates me and is still trying to burn it all off, it was beyond worth it.



I could write another hundred reasons why Austria (especially the Ziller Valley) is the place to be but really you huns just have to go and find out for yourselves. I'm now currently counting down the days until Summer 2017 when I can be reunited with my one true love and run about the hills pretending to be Heidi once more.


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9 comments

  1. Wow, Austria looks incredible! I once drove from Italy just into the border of Austria when I was on holidays but it was night time when we got there and we basically didn't see anything. Hence why I'd love to properly spend some time there!

    All of those views look really spectacular and so good that they almost look fake?

    www.thesundaymode.com

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    1. You definitely should go if you get the chance. You're so right, the scenery is so picture perfect that it looks edited!! Xx

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  2. ohh such a beautiful photographs! :)
    I've been to a few cities in Austria, and loved them, even if we only visited them for a few hours, as were on a way to Italy heh would love to visit again though & spend at least a few days there!

    xo
    http://itsevelina.com

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    1. Thank you! I would definitely love to spend more time in the cities but I think my heart lies in the mountains and the little towns. Xx

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  3. You've sold it too me, I need to go to Austria! I have always loved places like austria as I love germany and so when I saw this post I just had to ready it and my love for these countries have grown. Next year I would like to see a little more of europe and especially austria and more of germany (as I've only been to a few places there) and this post has definitely inspired me to go even more now!

    Tabitha | http://whattabithaloves.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Hahaha I'm so glad! I really hope you get to go, Germany is on my list as well especially since I loved being able to speak German in Austria so much. Xx

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  4. Austria looks incredible - it hasn't really been on my travel list until this year, but now it firmly is! The cities look amazing, and it truly looks like a place you can relax 100%. Those houses as well, beautiful!!!

    Suitcase and Sandals Blog XX

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    1. Aren't the houses just hashtag goals?! You definitely need to go Hannah, it has the best of everything! Xx

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  5. This post is everything to me! It's such a beautiful part of the world although I haven't visited it in summer which is frankly just a crime. But I did work there in winter in a ski resort. I worked in St Anton in the Alberg/Tyrol region (also where Chalet Girl was filmed) and the area is just stunning, it takes your breath away. If you really do want to spend more time in the area you went to you can work a summer season and basically get paid for being there! I'm 90% sure the company I worked for offered summer work in the town you stayed in Mayrhofen.
    Out of curiosity's sake, did you book the trip by yourselves or through a company? Just curious for when I eventually get round to visiting!

    Amy at Amy & More

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