20 Photos to inspire you to travel to Austria!

 

Photo Opportunities in Austria

Guests and visitors to our region are overwhelmed with stunning photo opportunities.  And of particular interest is nearby Hallstatt.  Many guests from the UK have not heard of this ancient, picturesque village clinging to the hillside – and yet for guests from further afield, it’s a ‘must see’ location, along with Vienna and Salzburg.

Click below and take a quick look at the following photos / article – showing what’s photographically possible during the month of October!

Byrne Photography – Austria – Resource Travel

Three Wise Men …

ThreeWiseMenIn Austria we are often asked ‘so, what is the mathematical equation written in chalk on your door’?  And to many people, this is a total mystery.  This year it’s

20 – C + M + B – 16

and we totally agree – it certainly does look like something out of an algebra class (and brings back memories of not really understanding anything about it!)

However … after people start to guess at what it could mean, they may take a look at the numbers in the equation … and realise that the numbers actually relate to the year – so 2016.

Then … what about the letters … perhaps the title of this article gives it away?  it’s the initials of the names of the Three Wise Men (Caspar and Melchior and Balthasar)!  They come to sing a song and bring blessings to the house for the year.  In return they receive chocolates and sweets (to share with the other ‘Wise Men’ who are visiting other villagers) and a donation for local good causes.

So rather than being perplexed by memories of maths classes – you now know one of the mysteries of the universe 🙂

 

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Happy New Year and Welcome to 2016!

Happy New YearIt’s minus six degrees – it’s almost the New Year – and the local Obertraun band have just visited to play music in our entrance hall … first a few tunes … and then a few drinks …

Our lovely guests were able to wish them all a “Happy New Year” in various languages ?

I hope the schnapps will help keep them warm as they continue on until midnight! ❄❄❄

Click here for a few seconds of video

 

 

Landhaus Lilly, Lake Hallstatt – On the telly … in Australia!

Wendy_KenWe were so delighted to meet Wendy and Ken, who visited recently from Australia.  What a fabulous couple!  They were excited to spend time in our lovely area nearby Lake Hallstatt and to explore the sights.

Wendy also mentioned that the reason they had sought us out specifically and had booked so far in advance was that they had seen us on the telly in Australia!  The TV programme, Escape to the Continent,  followed another couple from the UK who were thinking of moving to our region and set up a hospitality business.  At the time, we had only been up and running for 2 1/2 months so it was certainly in the early days!  We were experimenting and finding out what worked for us in running a new business together.  The programme wanted to show what goes on ‘behind the scenes’ in a new B&B with insights that may be helpful to the potential new B&B owners.

During the original TV show we showed some rooms that we hadn’t yet renovated and it looked like a building site.  Over a year later we were able to show Wendy and Ken the totally remodelled room with its additional windows, separate shower room and brand new kitchen and seating area that we now rent as an apartment.

We’re hoping that we will see Wendy and Ken again one day – and very grateful that being ‘on the telly’ brought us together – how wonderful!!

 

 

Balcony flowers

IMG_3948 Finally the weather has warmed up and the snow has stopped falling on the local mountains … and we have planted our balcony flowers – the first at Landhaus Lilly …

I’m not sure how large they will all grow (and hopefully I’ll remember to feed and water them) – but for now I’m delighted and look forward to them blooming all summer long (with a bit of luck!)

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BBC’s Escape To The Continent, Salzburg, with Anita Rani – now on Netflix!

Landhaus LillyBeing featured on the new BBC series ‘Escape to the Continent’ was not something we had envisaged – just a couple of months after opening Landhaus Lilly!

We moved in Austria in the summer of 2013 … and by the October we were (apparently!) the ‘local experts’ for Rob and Annette, a couple who were looking to move Austria.  It was quite an experience having the camera crew here, together with Anita Rani the lovely presenter.  We had fun during the filming – and have since welcomed guests here, who saw us on the tv 🙂

Netflix now has the ‘Escape to the Continent’ series available … we’re featured on the Salzburg programme – Happy Viewing!

Anita introduced us to Rob and Annette, who were hoping to move to the area and perhaps set up a B&B or a holiday apartment.  It was exciting to meet them, as they were potentially at the beginning of something new and challenging in their lives and their journey was similar to ours a few years ago…  Like them, we spent many hours (well, actually months and years!) … planning and dreaming and wondering whether we could realise our dream of moving to Austria and running a B&B.

We had our trials along the way – we missed out on a house in Austria we had hoped to buy, then after 5 months our house sale in the UK fell through at the last minute and we feared losing the rental property we had lined up to move to (before the ‘big’ move to Austria).  Then Paul had to have a heart operation … Then, the month before we moved to Austria, thousands of pounds worth of damage was done to the house following the flooding in Europe.  So, to be fair – it hasn’t been ‘plain sailing’ – but I’m sure most people who take up the challenge of moving abroad would perhaps have a similar story to tell.  We were also project managing from afar as we were still working in the UK whilst renovation works took place in Austria.  Paul was very busy with long shifts during the summer due to the Olympics and we were visiting Austria to meet with our project manager and the team of local builders every few weeks … it was a hectic time!

The original old smallholding did have a few B&B rooms, but you would have to use the showers and toilets at the end of the corridor.  We were fortunate that the rooms are a very good size – so we completely renovated and updated them so they now have modern en suite facilities. We wanted to keep some of the original Austrian charm and feel of the house keeping, for example, the carved wooden ceiling in the breakfast room, some carved wooden furniture and wrought iron work.

We wish Rob and Annette every success with their exploring so they too can find a place in Austria that they can call home.  Perhaps like us – they may also have people from all over the world come and visit and marvel at this ‘little piece of heaven’ as some of our guests have described the area!

Flower Power – a nature walk on the doorstep

IMG_3690Various flowers have been emerging recently – in the undergrowth, around the trees, alongside the river and pathways near our house and around Lake Hallstatt.  As we take Leo on his (at least) twice daily walks, it’s been interesting to notice the subtle changes in the surrounding woods and pathways from one walk to the next.  Now, I’m sorry to admit that I do not know much about flowers – especially the Austrian varieties that could be emerging at this time of year in the Salzkammergut area.  So – how fortunate we were to have a lovely guest who happened to mention that she saw an abundance of flowers on her walk at the weekend.  We chatted for a while about her walk and then she kindly volunteered to write down the names of the flowers … and as a bonus, she added a little picture and description too, so I would know what to look for …

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So armed with this knowledge I felt a bit like a mini-adventurer on our next walk …  I had a purpose of not just walking the dog and moving a bit – but to see if I could track down some of the flowers as well.  Admittedly we did not go on exactly the same route as our guest – but we did come across some of the flowers and I started to photograph them.  As time when on, however, it was not only the looking for flowers that made the walk so special…

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We are pretty familiar now with the route that we took … and the scenery is absolutely spectacular (we have to pinch ourselves regularly to remind ourselves how incredibly fortunate we are to have such dramatic scenery on our doorstep!)  But during this walk I was looking both at the stunning scenery, appreciating the warm sunshine – and also keeping an eye out for things I could capture in a picture.  I started just looking for the flowers that we had spoken about – but there were so many other interesting things that I wanted to capture as well!  So … our nature walk started with a search for flowers – and ended up being about just noticing (and often capturing on camera) anything that seemed potentially interesting.

IMG_3768I’m still on the hunt for the other varieties of flowers and look forward to exploring again soon on future walks.  But a big thank you to our lovely guest for this gift of knowledge about flowers … it’s amazing what a little chat over breakfast can lead to!

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