Last week I went to Austria with my parents. I was so excited for all the hiking and the pretty landscapes, epecially when the weather forecast said that it was supposed to be nice and sunny. Well guess what, of course it wasn't... :D Well not exactly, it was warm, or like..very hot when we arrived, and then on the last day, which actually worked out pretty well.
We left at 5 a.m. on Saturday morning, which meant I had to get up at 4 a.m. I was actually surprised that I didn't have a problem with that. I normally get up at like 9 o'clock, but recently I've been getting up much, much earlier even when I don't have to. We arrived to Austria around 10 a.m. and our first stop was a Carthusian monastery in Gaming. And of course the first thing we did was beer tasting. You can imagine that drinking beer in 30°C isn't such a good idea...
From there we went to the lake in Lackenhof, which was near the location we were staying at. The lake was really pretty and it was very humid there, so there were a lot of people swiming in the lake and lounging around. There was a lot of cottages around that you can rent as well, so that's a great place you can spend your holiday, if you're not the beach, seaside resort type.
We had only and hour there before we had to move due to our schedule. We were supposed to go to the highest peak of Niederöstereich, Ötcher, but as we were driving there it started raining and when we finally got there, the man from the cableway told us, that a storm is coming and it isn't safe to go up there, which really sucked, cause I was really looking forward to go hiking.
So intead, we had to go to the hotel, which sucked even more, because there was no wifi there, and nothing else to do either. Thank god I brought my Game of Thrones book. (and two other books, but since I started reading GOT I'm not able to tear myself away from it even though I should be reading one of the dozens of books for my uni course)
The next day we went to the infamous Mariazell, a place of pilgrimage. We went to the church, which was really impressive. I don't know what it is about churches, but even though I'm an atheist I love to visit them. They have this strange energy around them. And I also love the architecture. The one in Mariazell wasn't any different and it has gorgeous organ. Well, it actually had two organs, one was the beautiful old one, and the other was modern, which looked very ill fitting in the baroque bazilica.
After visiting the church we went to Bürgeraple mountain, but because it was drizzling and heavily raining the day before, we couldn't really see anything for the thick fog there. So we just took a short hike to a lookout and went back down to the city, where we visited the traditional local gingerbread bakery, and of course bought some gifts for friends and family. I was also surprised to see the locals casually strolling around in the traditional costumes, which for about 300€ you could also buy.
And of course I, the biggest foodie in the world, had to try the apfel strüdel, and mom tried the Mariazell cake. I have to say she made a better choice, cause the strüdel tasted just like the one we make, so I was kind of dissapointed with that.
On our way back we stopped by at the lake Erlaufsee near Mariazell. For some reason it reminded me of Swedish countryside a lot. But I love how all the Alpine lakes are so clear you can see the bottom. I was also surprised how warm the water was, because it was like 15°C outside, but the water felt a lot warmer.
Because we left Maraiazell quite early, we decided to try Ötcher again, the clouds cleared out, it was nice and sunny and we thought ehy not, what are we going to do at the hotel? But this time, the cableway wasn't running either. The man from the cableway decided to quit early that day or something, even though the cableway was supposed to be open for the next two hours. A lot of us were starting to get really frustrated about it, but there was nothing we could do. So we decided to walk back to the hotel, and I'm glad we did cause we saw beautiful goats and sheep and I (of course) had to feed them, and also fell in love with on of the sheep. They have such beautiful eyes!!
Back in the hotel we had dinner, and one thing I will say about this hotel is that they have delicious meals. I don't think I have ever been so full in my life. Aaand they have one of the best ice creams I have ever had in my life.
The third and also the last day in the morning, we finally went to Ötcher. Then we went to Hochkar, only to arrive there and find out, that the cableway is closed again!!! At this point we only laughed about it. Next we went to the Paulfauer Wasserlochklamm, or the Paulfauer defile if you will. And I have to say that for me, that was the best part of the whole trip. All those waterfalls and the river and the rocks, it was beautiful. And it was also the greatest hike. Like a really good cardio. And because of the humidity from the waterfalls and the scorching sun that finally decided to appear, there were certain points where I thought I'm going to die. :D On our way back we climbed down to the river and I tested the water. It was ice cold alright.
Have you ever been to Lower Austria? If so, share your experiences with me in the comments.
Love you all,