Thursday, 23 August 2007

Exploring Austria (iii)

We left Neusiedler See under a violent rainstorm that made us change our original plan to go through a mountain road to Semmering and Mariazell, and we decided to go directly to Graz.

Even though Graz is a very nice city that deserves an own post, this visit was so "blitzy" that I can't leave any fotos. After enjoying some delicious Ochsenherzenparadeiser (literally, ox heart tomatos; that's how those huge and sweet tomatoes are called) and walking up the Schlossberg, we hit again the road to visit Saint Barbara church in Bärnbach.

Hundertwasserkirche shines magically in the sunset. I love tomato photography because of its roundness.

When the church needed renovation, the town council decided to let Friedensreich Hundertwasser take the project. And looking at the result, I think it was definitely the right decision! A walk around the church leads through a number of colourful gates representing world religions. There is even a gate without any symbol for the atheists! Afterwards we continued our way home to Salzburg, which was our base for the following visits.

We visited Hohensalzburg fortress in Salzburg, enjoying the magnificent views of the surroundings. Legend has it (and tourist guides as well) that this fortress was never taken by any enemy. Given the slope that one has to walk up to reach it, I understand it totally.

On the next day we did our favourite Salzkammergut tour. The landscape in this lake district is smooth, green and perfect, as if you were in a model train. Hallstatt, one of the eight World Heritage Sites in Austria, hangs impossibly between the vertical Dachstein walls and the Hallstätter lake. Besides of giving name to an Iron Age culture, Hallstatt is one of my favourite towns in Austria (with permission from the newly discovered Rust). I love its narrow streets, finding little details behind every corner, walking on its roofs, and the fact that the lake and the mountains make for the perfect background to every angle...

The ossuary at the Catholic church in Hallstatt preserves skulls with their owners' names written down, decorated with little crosses and flowers. Other countries, other fashions... ;)

After an inexcusable visit to Zauner pastry shop in Bad Ischl (the same that served cakes to Empress Sissi), we ended the day taking a walk that skirts the Wolfgangsee not far away from Sankt Gilgen.

The next days brought us to the Großglockner high alpine road, to Krimml waterfalls and, last but not least, Munich...


Di said...

Love the photos... and the words to go with ;)I know it's a lot of work... thanks for sharing

Tonicito said...

Thanks for visiting! I loved the photos on your blog as well!
Cheers! :)