Exploring the culture of Austria [Backpacking over 60] 10



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This is the seventh instalment of Libby’s journey backpacking through Europe with her husband… To read her previous post, click here


Hello Austria

The first thing we saw was a road closed sign (we think). There was a detour in place and we were sent through some very pretty little alpine villages. There were ski lifts everywhere and they were all working and they appeared to be very well used even through the height of their summer. We didn’t stop as we wanted to reach Vienna in daylight, so we did just that and were met by our friend so he could guide us through the maze of streets to where they lived. What a beautiful old building but when in side it was really modern. They had a rooftop unit which meant they had their own rooftop garden and a very healthy veggie garden as well.

It was great to catch up with them and their children: one child had a very strong American accent due to the International school they attended. We were eventually tired and an early night was in order.


Good morning, Vienna!

First things first, my brother went off to a doctor and my husband and I had a day off, so to speak.

It was so good being able to wash our clothes and ourselves with the luxury of taking our time. As we were tucked up inside, another storm swept through, maybe it was meant to be – I think we needed this day off. My brother was home and it appeared to be nothing serious, nothing that a course of antibiotics wouldn’t cure.

Dinner time and we walked down to a restaurant on a canal that was a tributary of the Danube. We had a very enjoyable evening watching some of the videos and looking at some of the pictures my brother had already taken.

Today we are off to explore; it’s always fun when you can’t speak the language and you have no idea where you are – the spice of life. Everywhere you looked there were old buildings, statues and fountains, and a multitude of people cleaning and maintaining them. It must be a thankless job as all the buildings appeared to have soot on them. I’m not sure whether it was because we were not necessarily in a touristy area or if is just these old buildings. In comparison to Germany, these buildings looked dirty, and it was also more expensive.

As it was starting to look very bleak outside we decided to make our way home. We got lost a few times (what’s new?). When we got home we were whisked off to a massive shopping centre, it was enormous! We didn’t have anything like this in Perth at the time.

Tomorrow we are on the road again.

When we woke we again headed down to the shops to get a few things we would need on the road. When we got back it had been arranged that we were going to a world renowned Bavarian schnitzel restaurant in Vienna before we left.

Wow, I can see why it is held in such high esteem. The schnitzels were the size of a large plate, hence they are served on one plate and all else is served on a second plate. Men’s heaven; too much food for men. I shared with the children. Homeward bound to pick up the car, our friends decide to lead us out of town as it is a bit tricky. We were so pleased they had directed us, as all the roads were blocked off for a massive rally of some sort. We eventually hit an auto barn and headed towards Italy. Many more days of getting lost ahead of us.


Have you travelled to Austria? If not, what other cultures have you explored? Tell us below!

Libby English

I was a child of the "Age of Aquarius", which is a bit strange really as I am Libra through and through. As we were married young we didn't get to do the obligatory tour overseas until recently. We had a blast because we were "grey backpackers" in other words we backpacked but had more disposable income and if doing it rough some days didn't appeal we didn't!!! Nothing special about me I don't have any degrees or anything like that I worked from the age of 16 in the Veterinary profession for over 40 years. Had three boys (younger ones twins) Seen most of Australia following my husbands work and now semi retired for about the 6th time... until something else comes along!

  1. Yes I have spent a lot of time in Austria. In the mountains, it is heaven-luckily I am able to speak the local language and even the Tirolian dialect.

  2. I have recently been to Vienna and yes some of the buildings appear to be dirty but there is so much more to Vienna. It is a wonderful city, full of so many historical buildings. The hop on hop off bus service is wonderful and you can explore the best of Vienna this way including the spectacular Schonbrunn Palace. I would happily spend more time there.

  3. I love Vienna…strange I thought it looked pristine! I also love Salzburg and Innsbruck, and the Tyrol, magnificent scenery. For someone who loves baroque architecture it is a heavenly place.

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  4. Sure have. My favourite city in the world is Salzburg. One day I hope to take on a housesit there for a few months to write in the morning then explore the beautiful old city every afternoon. Bliss! (Oh, and Durnstein is one of the most picturesque little villages of all, set along the banks of the beautiful Danube – with a fabulous historical story to intrigue every listener.)

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