Lindwurm fountain at the New Square, Klagenfurt
It was probably the hottest day of the year. 29°C on a sunny day in May. Who would have known that it could get so hot in the spring in Austria?
My mum and I took a day trip to Klagenfurt to take a break from my wedding preparations (three years ago). On the way to Klagenfurt we admired the view of the mountains and the green lush scenery. But then we reached the Karawanks Tunnel at the Austrian-Slovenian border and lost a lot of our precious time because of the road works. When we finally reached Klagenfurt I already felt exhausted but my spirits lifted when we started to walk around this pretty little town. Actually Klagenfurt is the sixth biggest town in Austria with the population of around 99 000 people and it’s the capital of the Austrian federal state of Carinthia. It’s on the lake Wörthersee and on the Glan river. According to a legend the city was founded after a couple of brave men slained the dragon like creature Lindwurm who fed on virgins. Today you can see the giant Lindwurm fountain at one of the city’s beautiful squares.
So what did we do in Klagenfurt? My mum and I just walked around and admired its many sights. The first thing we came across was the Theater built at the beginning of the 20th century by the famous theater architects Helmer & Fellner. Next to it is the Stadthaus with the flower clock which actually works. How neat! We noticed a lot of hanging flower baskets around the city. Then we saw the parish church and came to the Old Square (Alter Platz) surrounded by the houses from the 16th and 17th century. You can see the Plague Column at the square and the oldest house in Klagenfurt. It dates from 1489 and it’s got a golden goose on its façade above the entrance. Just around the corner is the Landhaus with the Renaissance façade where the Corinthian parliament holds meetings.
the flower clock actually works 🙂
Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna
Kangaroos and koalas? No, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Austria is famous for the waltz, the apfelstrudel and other delicious cakes, Christmas markets, beautiful landscapes, the movie The Sound of Music and the Hapsburg Empire that once encompassed the entire Central Europe.
I first visited Austria’s capital Vienna (Wien) with my other best friend M. (not the one that I go to London with) in 2005. We spent a couple of days in Vienna at our high school friend’s who was studying there. I even got to celebrate my birthday there and enjoy the Christmas markets. Since then I visited Vienna twice (one afternoon whilst returning from another trip) and a short business trip last year. I’ll be travelling to Vienna again next month because of my work but I’ll be sure to find some free time to enjoy the many Christmas markets.
I’ve visited a couple of other Austrian cities too but I still haven’t done any skiing or hiking in Austria which is a shame because this small country offers plenty of outdoor activities in beautiful nature.
In 2013 I went to Graz, Austria’s second largest city and visited the chocolate factory Zotter in Riegersburg with my boyfriend (now my hubby). That was a fun day even though it was a gloomy November day. I’m a chocoholic but after trying out a huge amount of chocolate (from almost 90% cocoa content to milk chocolate standard of around 30 % cocoa content) I was put off of chocolate for a few days. Luckily I soon recovered from that chocolate overdose and continued to enjoy chocolate in its many delicious forms.
Only a month after this chocoholic experience I visited the Christmas markets in Villach and Velden with my mum who also loves browsing Christmas markets and drinking mulled wine and eating pretzels and other sweet stuff. There’s something almost magical about the Christmas time in Austria; everything is so beautifully decorated, you can hear carols in the streets, the smell of cinnamon and punch wafts through the air and there’s a promise of a white Christmas.