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Austria

 

Beethoven’s or Mozart’s or Just For Lovely Ski Resorts: 

 

This small central Europeancountry is slowly taking a big seat in the list of world’s popular holiday destinations. The capital city of the country, Vienna is voted as one of the favorite attractions in Europe by travelers from across the world.

Indeed the attractiveness of thecountry lies in the quality of life that the country enjoys and it is enviously high. The attributing factors for the high quality of life in
Austria are many, includingraising economy, stable governance, safety of people and freedom, education,medical and health facilities to one and all, transport and other publicservice including the underground trains, trams and bus services, and veryclean environment. The country’s diverse culture and lovely countryside with the majestic Alps also add to attributing factors for high quality of living here. 

The official language of Austrians is German,but it is the purest form of the German that these people tongue and it sounds as good as music to ears. 

 

History…..

 

Austria , a fertile valley of the Danube and the Alps , like other European nations, was occupied taken control by the Bavarians during 5thcentury BC. They exercised control especially between the regions of Wienerwald and the eastern March. By 8th century Charlemagne, the Roman emperor and king of Franks started to colonize the Danube valley area, the eastern Marchor the Ostmark area. By 9th century this area was being referred to as the Ostarrichi and this term has become forerunner for the German word Österreich , and he started to spread Christianity in this land. 

Romans concentrated the Carnuntum area (as we see it’sbeing reflected in the amphitheater as well as the archaeology park today). During 10th century Leopold Von Babenberg became the governor of the Ostmark area and the Baberbergs took upper hand of Austria . They ruled until 13thcentury BC. 

Henry II shifted to Vienna during the 12thcentury and made it a capital of the country. It was during this time that the St. Stephan’s cathedral was complete and todate it is a landmark of the country showcasing different architectural styles. The Schottenstift monastery was also founded by Henry II and today we see a statue of Henry IIinside the monastery to honor him. 

After the Babenbergs the Habsburgstook over this land during the 15th century and they developed the city as to what we see today. The Habsburgs ruled Austria until World War I. Because of annexing Austria to Bosnia and Herzegovina Austrian Emperor’s nephew was assassinated in 1914 and both Austria and Hungary declared war against Serbia . Russians came to the rescue of Serbia and then WWI slaughter started. 

During the Habsburgs thecountry became a melting pot with immigrations by Hungarian peoples, the Czechsand the Polish so even now we see the surnames of these countries with the Austrians 

Geography, Demography…Best Time to Visit Austria

 

Austria is a land of bewildering mountain peaks (the Alps ), silver blue lakesand rivers and all these satisfy the pursuit of a holidaying traveler, in fact a freewheeling stop for anyone. 

The country falls in the climatic zone of the central Europe , although there is Continental climate along the eastern Austria . Alps receive goodprecipitation, and the country experiences short summers with long winters.People coming down to this place should be ready for all temperatures here.Winters can be harsh and the months of December and January are especially verycold and freezing. But January and February months can be quite comfortable. The low-lying plains are dry including the capital city Vienna . Skiing tourismensures that the ski resorts here are open from December through April 

Sightseeing attractions …

 

Austria has so many attractions to offer. Indeed it is a one-stop place for fun and entertainment amidst natural beauty. From listening to the melodies of Mozart to cosmic spas andgrandeur of palaces, you just name it to experience the splendor in this mystic land. 

Begin your sightseeing of Austria with a visit to the world’s largest ice cave. It is called Eisriesenwelt Höhle also known as the Giant Ice cave. It is worth visiting if you wish toexperience numbness amidst beauty of ice due to freezing temperature. Be anEskimo and enjoy the 75-minute tour inside the cave viewing several ice formations. 

From the world of chilling cold, you can take a tour through the High Alpine Road of Austria and treat your eyes with some unspoilt spectacular landscape enroute the highest mountain peak of Austria , the Grossglockner . It is one of thegreatest tour destinations as on your way you can see the vagaries of naturalbeauty from meadows, alpine pastures, ice and rocky plains. Apart from savoring the scenic view, you can also spend some time at Hohe Tauren National Park, one of the largest parks of Europe that has some rare exotic flora and fauna. 

The natural beauty of Austria does not end here; one can take a bus from Zell Am See to see the Krimmi Falls. This hotspot of Austria attracts a large number of visitors every year during the summers. Walk up from Durnstein for 15 minutes and get a spectacular view of the River Danube from the ruins of the castle Kunringerburg, situated high up on the hill. 

If you are at Austria , you must spend a day or two at Salzburg and Vienna . Both these cities of Austria have hordes of things to offer from twilight cruise along the River Salzach to the grandiose of Vienna

Vienna , especially is a must for tourists. The art buffs can visit the famous art gallery such as Bawag Foundation and one can also indulge in some great evenings in lavish concert halls or in renowned wine taverns. The feast for eyes is the Gothic architecture, the Imperial   Palace and the cultured history of themuseums. Some of the renowned museums that reflect the art, architecture and culture of the bygone days are Albertina   Museum , Gustinus AmbrosiMuseum and the Bestattungsmuseum. It is at Vienna that you can pay a visit to the National Cathedral of Austria, The Stephansdom Churchthat reflects Gothic architecture. Take a guided tour of the cathedral and enjoy the many anecdotes about it. 

Another must visit place is the Schloss Schönbrunn, which was the summer retreat of the Habsburgs emperors.The place now boasts of parks, a big palm house, a zoo and a lovely butterfly house. Visit also several neoclassical palaces in Vienna and enjoy the Tiergarten Schonbrunn Zootoo. Ringstrasse a former border of the city center is now a fantasticthoroughfare where people freak and definitely worth a walk to the place. Also, make sure to take your children to Prater, the famous amusement Park in Europe . For the shopping freaks, the area around Graben is great with fancy boutiques. While you shop, take a break with coffee and a piece of Sacher tart at the modern roadside cafes of Vienna

If you wish to explore the remnants of the earlier days of Austria , the place is Salzburg . The Altstadtis the biggest UNESCO world Cultural Heritage Site. One will marvel at the elaborate cathedral called the Salzburger Dom, the castle Hohensalzburg and the scenic hills on the Northern edge of the Alps . Spend a day at Salzburg to visit the Hellbrunntrick fountains. Visit the open-air folk museum to catch a glimpse on the traditional rural life. The famous Sound of Music film location was at Salzburg for its stunning scenic beauty. 

 

Outdoor activities at

 

Whatever be the season, Austria is a place to offerabundant opportunities with respect to outdoor activities and it’s a haven if you especially an active outdoor enthusiast. 

Variety is the order of day at Austria ; hence the place provides perfect terrain for some great walking. If you indulge in mountain walking amidst the Alpine and if it is required to spend a night onyour walking tour, you can utilize the network of mountain huts that provide with dorm accommodation in mountainous areas. 

Again skiing is great fun at Austria and it runs in theveins of every Austrian so much so that a person with no skiing interest is notregarded as 100% Austrian. Top 10 world skiers will include at least 3 fromthis country. Skiing tourism is picking up very well in this part of the world and it has innumerable ski resorts, in the Alps are quite famous world over and draws touristsfrom all over. In fact as the mountains are inhabited, the ski resorts here are more or less natural. 

We see sophisticated lifts and skitracks with all kinds of accommodation in the skiing areas. They are also neatly organized, connecting the valleys very well. 

Austria is also a snowboarding-friendlycountry and the skiing areas allow snowboarders to avail the facilities such aslifts and the tracks. The country has been a host to many (big and small) skiing as well as snowboarding events. Innsbruck , of Austria is regarded as the "snowboarding capital" of entire Europe

These days the skiing holidays are extended into more fun with enhanced nightlife, fun partying, etc. Kitzbühelis a meeting point and a malting pot for such fun and partying. People of Austria are as welcoming as the place. 

In the summers, it is themountains that provide adventurous hiking routes and the hikers simply enjoy being there. Additionally the numerous lakes of Austria , predominantly, the lakes of the Salzkammergut, the Worthersee and the Neusiedler See serve as a great sporting avenue and are also equipped with windsurfing and sailing schools. Waterskiing,paraskiing and scuba diving are the popular activities. 

Golfing at Vienna is also very popular. The mild climate, scenic beauty and the perfect infrastructure of Austria contribute to make a fascinating holiday for a passionate golfer. 

After the hectic skiing and teeing, you can unwind and relax at any one of the several thermal spasand wellness therapy centers at Austria . They offer body massages, sauna,and beauty treatments as well. So get into any of the spas and come back rejuvenated. 

Vienna also boasts of great culinary traditions. When in Vienna , indulge into the delectable Viennese cuisine at any of the traditional inns or within a cozy restaurant. 

Events and Festivals at Austria   

The most renowned fest of Austria happens in the month of January and it is believed that it ushers in good fortune; it is the Perchtenlaufenwhen the people parade through the streets in colored dresses wishing andpraying for a good year of harvest. The month of February resonates with vibrancy, as it is the carnival season or Fasching as it is locally called. The feasts of spring and early summer are Easter, Whitsunand Corpus Christi . It is in thebeginning of December that the lanes, alleys and main streets, everywhere get illuminated with the setting of Christmas markets. 

Nightlife in Austria

 

Austria has plenty to offer in terms ofnightlife beginning with scintillating music and rocking dance. Simply perfect place for hanging out, be it partying, wining and dining, Austria ’s night sings intolife to make it memorable. The life after sunset is filled with activity andvibrancy. The diverse nightlife includes an infinite number of bars, pubs, taverns and discos to tap your feet to the beats of the drums. If you are at Salzburg , drop in at Shamrock, the extremely popular Irish pub before going to Tribeclub Afterhourthat offers some great DJ performance with club music. Some of the most popular nightspots of Austria are Graz , Linz and Salzburg

Ski Resorts also transform intoparty huts by evening and the mood here is upbeat and people just unwind after a hectic day skiing. 

Getting to Austria 

Vienna is the main airport in Austria , but one can choose to fly to Salzburg , Linz , Klagenfurt or to Graz . The Austrian Airlinesflies to several international destinations. The rail network here is also veryreliable while being modern. Buses are also there but they are relatively slow and less in terms of comfort. 

The roadways and motorways are excellent, so by no means there is any hindrance to getting around Austria . There are underground trains and frequent trams and buses plying to all cities of Austria

So, take time to waltz to the musicof Mozarts or the Beethoven’s or just awe all of your senses in this small lovely piece of land on earth.



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