Another end of seasonal work, another road trip. This time we left Slovenia and headed east towards Austria. Two years ago we worked for Headwater Holidays and made a great friend called Gareth. Whilst we were posted to Italy, he worked in Austria and he never left! He is now living in a little village called Murfeld. It’s location is very close to the Slovenian and Hungarian border in the region of Styria, which is a mountainous and heavily forested state.
On our way to Murfeld we drove over the Predil pass to reach the most north eastern part of Italy to cross to Austria – three countries in one day! We stopped off at Lake Wöthersee in Carinthia which is beautiful. We pulled up at Maria Wörth peninsula and took a walk around the tiny village.
I really wanted to take a dip but it was super windy and the temperature of the water put me off. I wish I had my wetsuit! It’s a lovely lake and I bet the area is crawling with tourists in summer. Autumn is a great time to travel as there aren’t as many crowds and accomodation is really cheap.
The countryside in this part of Austria is stunning with empty rural roads and quaint little villages with loads of pumpkins and squashes decorating the streets. We met Gareth outside his newly refurbished house and he showed us around his home. Gareth’s girlfriend, Anna, runs a horse riding business so he was keen to show us their babies… 7 gorgeous Icelandic horses along with many other animals; 10 chickens, 2 rabbits, 2 dogs and 2 cats. Their house is surrounded by dense woodland which is great for foraging! We picked a few parasol mushrooms for eating.
We ate out at the local buschenschank. These are awesome restaurants serving seasonal home grown produce and wines. They are very popular for their cold meat and cheese platters. As we were 4 vegetarians we were served a huge cheese platter and a sheep cheese salad with local pumpkin oil dressing and seedy bread. It was all so delicious and fresh. We tried some of their higher priced white wine which was only €10 a bottle. White wine is usually not my drink of choice but it was crisp and very easily drinkable. We then moved onto the ‘house white’ which was €6 for 1 litre and had to be diluted with sparkling water. Still tasted good!
Anna’s father was kind enough to roast us some chestnuts in his garden on a special chestnut fire pit. The autumn sun was shining and I began to feel very festive! The chestnuts were from a tree in their garden.
We enjoyed the sunset from the weinstraße, which is the the wine route through the local vineyards. The views were breathtaking and they took me back to our time in Italy. Buschenschanks line the wine road which were bursting with tourists enjoying cheap, local food and great wines.
Our time in Austria was great as we got to catch up with old friends, eat out a local buschenschank and experience the rural lifestyle. Hungary is our next stop which I am really excited for as it’s a new country to add to my list.