Mar 30, 2012

Where the Hills Are Alive: A Weekend in Vorarlberg

I was more or less stuck at home last week working on a paper that's due tomorrow. I'm still working on it but I really needed a break so I started going through some of my pictures from Austria. That's when I realized that I never posted about the weekend I spent in Vorarlberg. A group of friends and I went to Ebnit in Vorarlberg to spend a weekend in the mountains last year in September. It was great!

We rented a house/apartment for the weekend and went for a hike on Saturday. Since we all had to work Friday, we only arrived at the house in the evening and immediately got around to filling the fridge and making dinner.

Our home for the weekend.

Good women in the kitchen making dinner.

Our fridge with the main staples: beer, wine, and milk.
The first night was spent with dinner, drinking, and playing Activity Club Edition. None of my friends will ever forget this game. 69.

This is one of the least compromising pictures of that night. Let's leave it at that. 
The next morning, slightly hungover and tired, we headed out bright and early with supplies, i.e. cans of beer, to go for a hike. We were really lucky with the weather and could enjoy the sunshine the whole day.

Here are some pictures of our hike:

So many places to go to...

Those are our shadows right there.

Our (almost) complete group.

On the way "home". 
It was definitely a beautiful hike. Two days later, back at work, I started feeling my sore muscles. Worth it, though.

That evening, we decided to barbecue and enjoy the sunny September evening. A lot more alcohol was consumed and a lot more compromising pictures were taken. However, those shall remain private so here's one last look at the beautiful surroundings and the cows we partied with:

They're not Party Cat but they lived up to the occasion.

And on that note...

© Anthony Clark 

Mar 25, 2012

A Little Stroll through Salzburg

As I've mentioned before, I had a visitor in February: my friend and roomie for life Yuna came to visit me for a couple of days. It was February, we were on holidays, and it was Fasching, aka Mardi Gras, season.
We had a couple of days to discover the whole city and spent one of those days in the countryside, visiting my parents. 
The rest of the time was spent wandering around Salzburg, enjoying the sun when it decided to delight us with its presence, and working our way through a number of cafes. 

Day 1, which happened to be Sunday, was spent strolling around the old town of Salzburg which was listed as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1997. Sightseeing takes a lot outta you so we quickly stopped for coffee and hot chocolate with rum and some cake.



Manner Cafe
Later that day, we discovered a, thus far unknown to me, cemetery! My love for cemeteries is no secret so I really enjoyed the stroll around the Sebastianskirche and Friedhof. The highlight of this discovery was the fantastic smell of incense everywhere.

After the cemetery, the weather started to get real nasty so we decided to head back home for some dinner. Also, we decided to head into town again in the evening to watch The Artist in Das Kino.

The next day, we discovered the rest of Salzburg: Mirabell, the cathedral, St. Peter cemetery, to name but a few. Right now there's a great installation in the "basement" of the cathedral:

On Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras we headed to Hellbrunn. Smart person that I am, I left my camera at home and so could only take pictures with my phone, but that's going to be another blog post in the near future.
For now, just a quick glance on what we were up to at night:

The "Before" Picture

Even though I got to dress up for Halloween in Maine and I went to celebrate Mardi Gras in New Orleans, it was great to experience this tradition in Austria again. It was even greater to show and share this all with Yuna! Needless to say, the next day I was slightly under the weather ;) But I did enjoy yet another spectacular view of "my" mountain, the Untersberg.

Mar 22, 2012

Sunday Walk on the Kapuzinerberg

Last Sunday I decided to go for a walk/hike on the Kapuzinerberg. I was not hungover from St. Patrick's Day, it was a beautiful day in Salzburg, and I couldn't wait to get away from my laptop for a couple of hours.  Plus, I hadn't taken a longer walk on the Kapuzinerberg in ages.

Before heading out, I checked some routes to take online and more or less stuck to this one:

I took loads of pictures while taking in the scenery and remembering that Salzburg is a damn awesome place.
As a point of departure I chose the Linzer Gasse.

The entrance.

"Street" art.

One of the six stations of the cross on the way up.
Since it was Sunday, it was not surprising that a lot of people were going for a walk. And (unfortunately), tourists have taken back Salzburg once again.

I took the route "Franziskischlössl über Basteiweg entlang Wehrmauer".

More "street" art.

You know it's spring when you find Bärlauch on the way :)

I also saw my first butterflies of the year. The first butterflies always make me particularly happy and remind me of my childhood.

The Franziskischlössl with the Nockstein in the background.

Yodel session.
It was surprisingly warm on Sunday and since I haven't been hiking in a while, I did get my sweat on which wasn't necessarily unwelcome ;)

One of the absolute HIGHLIGHTS of this hike was the group on the picture above. I was just on my way back down when I heard people yodelling! One of the guys had actually brought his accordion. Naturally, I stuck around for a bit and even though I would not call myself a yodel fan, I certainly enjoyed the songs since they fit in so perfectly with the whole day and the surroundings. These are the moments when I absolutely love being in Austria.

All in all, I walked for about 1.5 hours with plenty of stops to take pictures. The Kapuzinerberg is definitely worth a walk, especially on such a beautiful day. I'm looking forward to seeing the hill green in the next couple of weeks and I'll probably be back soon. Even if it's just to check out the restaurant in the Franziskischlössl...