Trip Report Austria 2019

Heinz

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The traditional view of the Graz Schlossberg from an aunts apartment:
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Eisernentor
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Heinz

Fully vaccinated but nowhere to go
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Went to Kapfenberg today - about an hour north of Graz to see the castle up there - Burg Oberkapfenberg. The castle dates from back in the 12th century and has a vey good view of Kapfenberg and the surrounding countryside. The castle itself and exhibitions were very interesting but most impressive was the falconry and the birds of prey demonstration.

Castle
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View
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Cellar
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Heinz

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Really nice weather in the last week or so, lots of fine sunny days around 20C. Drizzly day today so chance to catch up.

Nice walk around St Radegund with family.
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Heinz

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Easter is pretty serious in Austria. There is some chocolate, but much more real eggs and lots of Geselchtes (smoked meats).

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Bonfires are also a big thing. They are allowed in certain districts - Fire services though were quite busy.
We had a fairly small one, but saw several much larger ones.
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Heinz

Fully vaccinated but nowhere to go
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Yesterday was a climb of the Schöckl the local Graz hill (1445m) which is very popular especially on days like this.
Walk up was fine, but felt the effects of the walk down - wasn't great for dodgy knee and also ended up with sore lower back - will take the gondola down next time.

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Heinz

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Oct 14, 2005
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There is a Klanglicht festival in Graz at the moment with light shows on at several venues in the city. Had a wander around last night.

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Heinz

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On my last full day in Graz we visited a Kürbiskern Ölmühle - a mill where they press Pumpkin seeds into an oil.

Kernöl is a specialty of Steiermark (Styria) and Slovenia. My Mum had been using for many years here on salads, although it was hard to get in Australia for some time until it became available in Continental food stores. So I was very much used to it on salads and have been using it myself regularly since. More recently though I found that it is also very good with ice cream. I had a Kürbiskernbecher in Austria - Ice cream with Kernöl and the seeds which I really liked.

Dishes in Steiermark will regularly include either the oil or the seeds in various forms. One I really like is a Backhendlsalat. I posted a sample earlier on.

So I was keen to see the source. We went to this place in Lebring just south of Graz. Although they said they weren't running the presses that day so no proper tour, the son did show us a video, showed us around and provided a tasting which was very good. Then we checked out the shop. They produce quite a few things from the pumpkin seeds apart from the oil. They roast the seeds with various flavours which we were able to sample. They also produce a liqueur and other things. Interestingly they don't actually use the pumpkins themselves - they have a special harvester which extracts the seeds and then ploughs the pulp back into the field.

I bought a couple packets of the seeds - roasted & Wasabi, a Kürbiskern marzipan and a bottle of the liqueur.
 
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Kletterer

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Yes @Heinz mum used to prep her own Kurbis seeds - some of them quite soft for sweet dishes and harder ones were salted and some kind of savoury flavour added to eat like nuts. Realy tasty . She also did a mean ( and extremely popular) Indianerkrapfen -----
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Heinz

Fully vaccinated but nowhere to go
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As mentioned my final day was in Vienna on a warm sunny day.

My first visit to Vienna was in 1982 with an aunt. One thing we did back then was to visit Schönbrunn Palace which was quite impressive. I had never been back since so made a late decision to revisit. Of course though I had completely forgotten how dramatically the tourism landscape has changed since those days. Back then we had no trouble getting a tour of the palace and then wandering the grounds and the zoo.

This time I got off the U-bahn station and saw dozens of tour buses from all over and hordes of people. Saw big queues in the ticket office and heard that tickets had been sold out for the day. So easy decision - didn't really need to tour the Palace itself. Still, it was a nice day to wander the grounds and the large park for an hour or so - plenty of people doing that as well.

Afterwards went back to the city centre for lunch at an outdoor cafe in Graben, then checked out the Time travel tour on the history of Vienna - quite impressive with videos, special effects and a bit of humour - well worthwhile.

A bit more wandering along the Kärntnerstrasse, an Eiskaffee then back to the hotel to collect my bags and catch the train to the to the airport. A final beer before boarding and the long journey home.
 
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MasterOfNone

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Thanks for sharing!
It doesn't stand comparison with the other resorts mentioned here, but I'd be interested to know whether those who know Austria well have come across the tiny resort of St Oswald. Near Bad Kleinkirchheim in Carinthia. It was the scene of our first family ski holiday. The ski area is very small, but we were all beginners - just some dry slope lessons in preparation. The resort doesn't appear to have been in the brochures recently. Probably too far, much too small, not much English spoken, etc. But for us, at the time, it was perfect. In fact, it's not far from perfect, hence we are going back for some more next year! I love Austria. Graz is amazing! Graz itself is a gem and offers a lot of entertainment. Town architecture is amazing. It's an eclectic mix of old and new ranging from Gothic to Contemporary, and a very successful one. People are generally friendly. I got a taxi from graz airport and went to explore this city. I was very suprised that such a small city as Graz has so many attractions, sucha as: museums, galleries.
 
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Heinz

Fully vaccinated but nowhere to go
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Oct 14, 2005
27,644
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Adelaide
Thanks for sharing!
It doesn't stand comparison with the other resorts mentioned here, but I'd be interested to know whether those who know Austria well have come across the tiny resort of St Oswald. Near Bad Kleinkirchheim in Carinthia. It was the scene of our first family ski holiday. The ski area is very small, but we were all beginners - just some dry slope lessons in preparation. The resort doesn't appear to have been in the brochures recently. Probably too far, much too small, not much English spoken, etc. But for us, at the time, it was perfect. In fact, it's not far from perfect, hence we are going back for some more next year! I love Austria. Graz is amazing! Graz itself is a gem and offers a lot of entertainment. Town architecture is amazing. It's an eclectic mix of old and new ranging from Gothic to Contemporary, and a very successful one. People are generally friendly. I got a taxi from graz airport and went to explore this city. I was very suprised that such a small city as Graz has so many attractions, sucha as: museums, galleries.

Re Carinthia(Kärnten), I have never actually skied there. There is just so many places to ski in Austria.The closest would have been Ost-tirol. There are certainly a few ski areas that would be worth skiing. Bad Kleinkirchheim is of course the home of the great Franz Klammer. There is a ski pass that covers both Kärnten and Ost-tirol. From my experience in Ost-tirol there is certainly much less english than the main regions of (Nord)Tirol & Salzburg especially. Also Kärnten for Austrians is more popular for Austrians as a summer location with all the warms lakes.

On Graz, obviously of course I really like it especially having a large extended family there, so have been regularly. But even apart from that it is a very compact small city with plenty of attractions. The old town is lovely to walk around in especially in warmer months when all the cafes have outside seating. Very relaxed, easy to get around, the Schlossberg, the parks. I am able to visit several sets of relatives all within a half hour walk. I am planning on going back there in June 2021.
Vienna is great also but it is quite a bit bigger and busier, so not as easy to walk around in. Salzburg is beautiful and also very compact but is much more of tourist magnet.
 
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