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Exploring Upper Austria

Thanks, Global 2000!

sunny 17 °C
View Austria in My Heart on Vic_IV's travel map.

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I was privileged to have a long and enjoyable stay in Austria - that fabulous country. It was a trip to Weyregg with a group of fifteen kids, orphans from a boarding school in Luhansk region. I was selected by the regional educational authorities to be the group's facilitator and interpreter. The kids' vacation was sponsored by "Global-2000", a well-known Austrian environmental protection organization. Many thanks, dear Global-2000!

We stayed at the campus of the Agricultural Vocational School in Weyregg in the district called Reichholz located on the hill. We enjoyed wonderful views of Lake Attersee from our windows every day. It was a low season visit, and there were few people on the beach, which changed on June 30, the last day of our stay, when the high season began, and the beach suddenly became overcrowded. It was a fascinating transformation when we understood it was about time we left for home...

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We experienced fascinating walks through the forests, enjoyed interesting sightseeing tours and a variety of leisure activities and admired the unique natural surroundings. No matter what the weather conditions might be, you can always enjoy every day of your stay there. We bathed, went hiking, visited lots of towns and cities and met many nice people there. In addition, I took many pictures and brought home some great souvenirs for my relatives and friends.

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There are several nice places in Weyregg. The town's name dates back to the 17th century when there was Weyregg County ruled by the Weyr Family. Therefore, the name suggests "the Weyr's Corner". You can still see lots of houses dating back to the 17th and 18th century. At present, Weyregg with its 1,400 residents has several districts: Alexenau, Bach, Gahberg, Miglberg, Reichholz, Seeberg, Steinwand, Weyregg. I enjoyed the atmosphere in this town and met many friendly and sincere people there.

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Weyregg is really easy to reach by A1 highway: turn at Seewalchen and then directly a bit to the south to Weyregg. It is a small town, more like a village (1,400 inhabitants), especially as to its size, but it has all modern conveniences, many hike roads through forests to the hills, and wonderful scenery. There are a lot of mountain roads that often pass through the woods and are good for mountain-bikers and hikers...We used to walk up and down the roads to Reichholz, Bach and drive to Miglberg and Gahberg enjoying the nice forest roads and the lake views from above.

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We stayed at the campus of the Agricultural Vocational School in Weyregg in the district called Reichholz

Among my fondest memories are:

  • meeting different people at the agricultural school where we stayed;
  • many hikes in the forests;
  • dinners at the local restaurants;
  • strolling along Weyregg Street.

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Playing minigolf at the beach grounds was of the "first ever things" during my stay in Weyregg. The minigolf grounds are not far from the city beach in Jubilee Alley. Although I was new in the game, I did my best! My game card reads that I scored 55 points in one game, not too bad at all. I'd like to try the game when I come there again...I would say minigolf is present in all Lake Attersee cities, but I liked this one in Weyregg for its grounds.

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Map of Lake Attersee

Weyregg is considered the sports capital of Lake Attersee. Beside scuba diving, other kinds of sports are well developed here: boating, sailing, running, biking and different games. Among other kinds of sports swimming is number 1. What can be better than a good time spent in swimming in the lake! There are also swimming enthusiasts who swim across the lake, too. The shortest distance is 1.2 km from Stockwinkel to Steinbach. Every year there are competitions of swimmers who swim from Weyregg to the city of Attersee (about 3 km). How much time would you need to cross the lake in that distance?

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We passed many hotels and B&Bs on our way to the lake and back from it and liked them very much. They have wonderful location, friendly atmosphere, and rich menu at the restaurants, great views of the lake and the hills. We have also been to several hotels where we had our meals sponsored by the hotel owners. Thanks a lot! Here is a selection of some of the nice hotels in Weyregg. You might find it useful and interesting just to browse these destinations:

  1. 1. Hotel Bramosen
  2. 2. Landgasthof Zur Post
  3. 3. Gasthof-Pension Landeroith
  4. 4. Strandhotel
  5. 5. Gasthof Sonne
  6. 6. Seehotel
  7. 7. Waldgasthof Foedinger
  8. 8. Ferienwohnungen Blick am See
  9. 9. Ferienwohnungen Kern
  10. 10. Ferienwohnungen W.Staudinger
  11. 11. Frühstueckspension Elisabeth
  12. 12. Frühstueckspension-Ferienwohnungen R.Hube
  13. 13. Ferienwohnungen Jodlbauer
  14. 14. Schmaussingerhof
  15. 15. Ferienwohnungen Rosa Osterer
  16. 16. Pension Schöbringerhof
  17. 17. Wachtberghof.
I was surprised to find out the local people, especially those who live on the outskirts, do not often lock the doors of their houses even if they leave for a vacation. We stayed at the agricultural school in Weyregg and all the group members were struck by the fact that the students do not have the keys to their rooms and leave them unlocked the whole school year... I got used to it quickly and so did the kids from our group, but it was something very special. When in Rome, do as Romans do...

If you decide to walk along Weyregg Street, the main street of the town, you will see lots of wonderful private houses and buildings, among them big and small hotels and stores. I admired the beautiful houses and hotel buildings and wanted to visit as many places of interest as I could. Among the main things to see, I would recommend the following ones:

  • the town beach. If you go to the beach, you will see Weyreggulix, a nice water-spitting dragon that stands at the kid's pool. All in all, there are 6,000sq.m/2.3 sq.miles of meadow on the beach - it's so nice to walk on! Besides, you can swim to two blue jet float islands not far from the shore and jump from them. You can also witness kid’s festival in July and go to the open-air cinema in August. Enjoy!
  • the square in front of the City Council;

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  • the Hand Fountain;

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  • Indivisible Austria monument;

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  • Zur Post Hotel with a local lore museum called On the Tracks of the Habsburgers;

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  • the town aquarium located at the music pavilion. The aquarium presents fish culture of Lake Attersee and you can see about 20 kinds of fish living in the lake. In fact, the locals told us jokingly when we were viewing the aquarium, "Here you can see all kinds of fish living in Lake Attersee, except one. If that one were here, you would see no other fish except that one. Why? Because that one is a pike!" Tel. Aquarium: +43 07664 22 55 0;

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* the ancient Roman mosaic on the wall and in the hall of the primary school (Volksschule) in Roemergasse (Roman Lane).

  • Sternwarte in Gahberg (astronomic observatory located up the hills); http://www.astronomie.at - Chapel in Gahberg (one of the hills that is 860 m high).
  • An open-air museum in Bach (located at: 7 Reichholz) that can be visited upon reservation.
  • Hoarstubn is an ancient spot in this town, an old small house that used to be a shepherd's home dating back to 1850 and located in Reichholz, one of the districts of Weyregg located on the hill.
  • dining at the city restaurants: we were privileged to dine at several restaurants in Weyregg where we, a group of orphans from a boarding school in Luhansk region, Ukraine, their head teacher and me, went on the invitation of their owners.
  • Zur Post Restaurant: This is a nice old restaurant located in the central street - Weyregger Strasse - near the lake. The restaurant has several halls, one of them being a museum dining hall. It is dedicated to the naval glory of the Austrian Empire. Our kids group was invited to have breakfast there during the weekend when the school canteen of the vocational school, where we stayed, was closed. Austrian snitzel was my favorite dishes there. Phone: +43 07664 22 02.
  • Gasthaus Wachberg: It's a wonderful quiet place located on the hill at 79 Wachtberg Strasse. It has nice cuisine, many drinks (especially Zipfer Beer and nut vodka). You can have your dinner at the sunny terrace enjoying the nice views of the lake. We walked two miles up the hill to reach this restaurant from the Agricultural School where we stayed. We managed to dine twice here and those were nice dinners with a friendly company. We enjoyed the nice and quick service and excellent cuisine at the restaurant, the splendid views of Lake Attersee from the hill and everything was just wonderful! Phone: +43 07664 26 33.
  • Jodlbauer Restaurant: We had dinner at that restaurant located at 49 Reichholzstrasse. We enjoyed the wonderful local cuisine, especially the Wiener snitzel. This is where I first tried Marillenschnaps. It was treat of the hosts. Thanks a lot! Address: Reichholz 49 ; Phone: and fax : +43 07664 22 83.

And, of course, one of the most popular customs along with wine drinking is beer drinking. "Zipfer" is one of the popular sorts here. I adored it after a good long hike (when I could afford it)! The brewery's motto - "A glass of pure joy" - is true to life. You will unmistakeably like this sort of beer as soon as you taste it.

Upper Austria is a land of tourists. Wherever we went, we saw mountain-bikers, school students groups and tourist buses exploring the countryside, towns and cities. There are many things for tourists: the villages like the one we stayed at are full of guesthouses and inns, many kinds of sports are well developed here. It was impressive how many opportunities for tourism the young people enjoy. They can travel easily from one part of the country to another enjoying low prices, attractive destinations and wonderful scenery. You can visit lots of interesting museums and exhibitions practically in every town and city of Upper Austria. Even small villages have their own historical sites that they treasure very much.

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I was glad to visit Hallstatt - the UNESCO World Culture and Nature Region, a white gold area where they used to extract salt in the mountains hundreds years ago. When I heard some statistic data about Upper Austria, I was very impressed indeed. The area has about 250 museums, 19 fortresses, 48 castles and 9 monasteries; 8 caves open for public; 12 nostalgia railways. It was calculated that the inhabitants of Upper Austria travel around their province a lot and make about 4.5 million tours, which gives about 119 million Euro to the province budget. It is great statistics showing their love of their land!

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Therefore, the tourism infrastructure is superb and it is simply marvellous to be there! You just want to see and to experience more and more.
The province is divided into different regions that are often called after the natural names such as Salzkammergut where we stayed, Pyhrn-Eisenwurzen, Sauwald, etc. We stayed in the south-west of the province and managed to see quite a lot there including our trip to the border with Kärnten to see the Dachtein Caves and Mount Krippenstein. Linz is the province’s capital and main city. I would say all towns and cities are so to say capitals of their own small areas. This province is rich in pure water: rivers, lakes and ponds; mountains such as Hell Mountains, Dead Mountains, Hausruck and others. I wonder why they called the mountain range Hell Mountains. I forgot to ask. I should ask the locals next time when I visit the area! Our stay in Weyregg at Lake Attersee and tours of the province are my fondest memory.

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St.Valentine's Church, Weyregg, Upper Austria

Among the advantages of this area are: pure water, fresh air, lots of cultural legacy and activities, sports and hikes. Briefly, it is the Nature Realm.
I do hope I will have another chance of visiting that wonderful piece of this marvellous world!

During the farewell concert, Weyregg, Upper Austria

During the farewell concert, Weyregg, Upper Austria


Posted by Vic_IV 02:27 Archived in Austria Tagged lake_attersee weyregg global_2000 Comments (2)

We Were Lucky

My Austria Diary

sunny 23 °C
View Austria in My Heart on Vic_IV's travel map.

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At the town beach, Weyregg, Upper Austria

June 11
In the evening we, a group of 15 kids, their teacher leader Gallina and me got to the place of our destination: Agricultural Vocational School in Weyregg, Upper Austria. We arrived to Vienna by "Austrian Airlines" flight from Kharkiv.
Christoph and Eva met us at the airport. I was glad to see Christoph whom I had met before in Luhansk during his humanitarian aid visit to our city. We got on the bus and sent out to the west of the country. After four hours' trip, we arrived to the shores of Lake Attersee.
We had our rooms on the third floor of the school. The kids had three and four-bed rooms. Their rooms overlooked the lake and mine - the schoolyard. The school was only one kilometer away from the beach in the city district called Reichholz in the street that led to Wachtberg (Watch Mountain ) located three kilometers from the lake.
We met our student leaders in the bus: two girls who had the same name: Verena. Verena Seemayer, a 16-year-old student of the agricultural school, was the author of the project of receiving a group of Chernobyl kids (as they called us) at Lake Attersee. She had written many letters and contacted a number of organizations and institutions asking for sponsor help for the kids. That was very kind of her. The whole project was in the framework of the activities of Global-2000 under the name of Chernobyl kids.

June 12
It was the first day. After breakfast in the school canteen, we were shown about the school and introduced to many teachers and our guide Wolfgang, our student guides' teacher. The school year was not over yet and all the students were still there. In fact, it was a girls’ school for there were only three boys. There are about 200 students studying at the school's five faculties.
In the morning after breakfast one of the sponsors came - a representative of Lenzing AG, who presented us all with nice big beach towels and sun milk, very useful things for staying at the beach! We went to the beach for the first time and enjoyed it immensely. High season has not come yet and there was enough vacant room at the beach.
After lunch, we stayed in the schoolyard playing games and picking cherries. Then we went for a walk in the forest for an hour. There was only one danger in the forest: ticks that could bite you, but as our student leaders told us, they were not poisonous at all, just unpleasant.
We had to go to bed as all the school at 9.30 p.m. without any discussion. Order is order!

June 13
In the morning, the faculty members and students gathered in the yard and all the 15 kids performed several songs for them. It was, so to say, a welcome concert. The concert was quite short - about twenty minutes, but everybody enjoyed it. We gave some souvenirs to the school principal, and she was very glad.
After the concert, everybody played in the yard and continued talking to girls who were free from their lessons. The kids had asked me for a couple of words and phrases in German and used them successfully. They began writing messages to their new friends and my book of poems that I had brought with me came in handy.
After lunch, the kids were invited to the school swimming pool and to the gym to use their inexhaustible energy. At 4 p.m., we went to the moorage station to take a ship to Attersee, a city at the opposite shore, and from there we went to St.Georgen to have dinner at a bio-restaurant in Kogl called Biohof Soriat. We spent the whole evening there. I tasted the young apple wine and the kids had lots of homemade apple juice. The restaurant is located at a farm on the outskirts of the city and we could see the pig and six horses. We saw the horses off to their meadow where they went with their master to stay overt there.

June 14
We had our breakfast in the open at the school terrace for it was very hot - about 30 degrees centigrade. June was very hot in Austria then. After breakfast, we went to the beach. I bought a phone card and made my first call home from the beach. It was nice to hear the voices of my wife and daughter. Our group leader Eva from Vienna presented us with an ice cream and after that, we had ice cream every day at the beach. Our three student leaders were with us every day, too. After lunch, the kids drew visiting cards for their entrance doors and at 4 p.m. we set out for a hike in the forest. It took us more than an hour to get to Alexenau, one of the city districts at the lakeshore. We came to Hotel Bramosen where Hilda, the leader of ladies' folk costume group, and her daughter Daniella were waiting for us. They took us up the Alexenau Stream to Alexenau Holzstube located at the height of 693 m above sea level. It took us another hour to get there. What nice dinner awaited us there: snitzel and sausage fried on the huge Austrian pan in the open fire! Frau Rosa and Frau Traudi waited for us with the wonderful dinner there. I drank the Austrian beer for the first time there. Then we entered the forest hut to see its interior. The kids got many presents and were quite happy. The way back was very fast. We came to the hotel and the hotel bus took us home from there. In the evening after that delicious dinner, nobody wanted to go to bed early, but we had to. Everybody stayed in the rooms drawing the visiting cards and exchanging impressions of the day.

June 15
Our new morning began with God's worship at the local church called St.Valentine's Church. All the members of our group and our three student leaders went to the service. The Ersatzpfarrer (substitute priest) introduced our group during the public worship as Mitchristen (Christian bothers). We admired the interior of the church and the murals.
At the end of the service, the kids were asked to sing a song, which they did with pleasure. They sang a rather sad song called Childhood. As some members of the parish said, Russian is so melancholic. After the worship, we took a common picture with the priest at the church entrance.
At 10.30, we were already at the beach. We saw it was quite empty for it was Sunday. The kids jumped for joy and leant to swim to take an Austrian swimming test to be able to swim without ring buoys.
After lunch, Wolfgang invited us to his place in Bach. It took us about an hour to get there on foot. Wolfgang showed us around his home and began cooking Kaiser, an Austrian national dish (sweet omelet). He cooked it on a huge pan in the open fire in his yard. Then his friends came to see him, his wife Sabine and his children Vivian and Felix. Everybody continued having fun, riding a bike, playing games. We did not go home on foot. One of Wolfgang's friends was kind enough to take us home in his Ford Cabriolet. It was for the first time we went by cabriolet! Of course, we took pictures for memory of that event.

June 16
We had to get up with the whole school every day at 6.30 a.m. After breakfast the kids worked I the school plot and hoed the weeds. After the work, they stayed in the yard and played games or drew. After lunch, we went to the lake to bathe and to lie in the sun. We applied the sun milk, of course, the kids ate ice cream and I drank some beer and lay in the sun. After dinner at the youth hotel, we went to the computer lab in the cellar to work on the Internet. I taught the children how to work and what to do and open Russian web servers for them. We continued visiting the lab every evening and enjoyed it immensely. The kids could do without my help soon.

June 17
In the morning, we had a short rest after breakfast before we went to the beach. Wolfgang took us to the youth hotel by bus where we met a group of primary school students heading for the lake. We went to the lake together. I met the local teachers who were with the group. The kids of our group practiced the required crawl swimming style for their young swimmer test that they had to take soon. We had unusual lunch at school on that day. The students, who study restaurant business, were our waitresses and served us like at a restaurant. We had frikantensuppe and knoedel. It was very unusual, but delicious. We thanked the girls very much. After the lunch we all went to the beach again. The road down the hill was easy and fast, but the return road was a bit harder and made us sweat each time. Good exercise, though! After our Internet hour in the evening, we went to bed at exactly 9.30 p.m. As the local people say, better to be three minutes early than three minutes late!

June 18
After breakfast, the kids had about an hour's rest and I decided to go downtown for the first time. I went to the post office to buy some envelopes and postcards for my friends in Germany and went to see the souvenir shop. It was Kaufhaus Kreuzer at 77 Weyregg Street. In the morning, the kids went to the school swimming pool because the weather was not sunny and cool. I worked on the Internet in the Principal's Apartment on my floor where my room was. The weather changed for the worst in the afternoon. There was even a storm warning at the lake: the yellow light of the lighthouse. We stayed in the schoolyard playing games and running about. In the evening, our Verenas invited the kids to their room and they listen to the music, mainly Tatoo that everybody liked and knew many songs by heart. We began to think about our forthcoming farewell party and what we would do there. Tolik said he could show his tricks with a string and recite a poem. He recited "My Testament" by Taras Shevchenko. I said I would recite the German translation of it at the party. In the evening, I tasted some Austrian wine and went to bed a bit later than usual.

June 19
It was beginning to rain in the morning and it was clear we would not go to the beach. We had known it was Fronleichnam on that Thursday, a very special religious holiday. We decided to take part in that holiday whatever the weather. This wonderful holiday - the holiday of the Blood and Body of Christ - is observed on the second Thursday after Whitsunday. It is observed by public worship, procession of the parish about the city/town towards the outskirts/fields. The procession is accompanied by the firemen's orchestra. All the house doors are decorated with birch branches to keep away the evil spirits. You can see Austrian national flags flying at the houses, which is a rare occasion that happens only on that day. People have a day off. We attended the liturgy and then were invited by the priest to take part in the traditional procession to testify our Christian faith, which we did with pleasure. We went towards the outskirts of the town and made a prayer stopover at four prepared and decorated stations. Everybody knew what to do except us. We had not been instructed what the procession would consist in. We were supposed to know ourselves. The only "uncoordinated" thing happened when we remained standing, when all the participants of the procession knelt on one knee all of a sudden at each station. It is not customary in Orthodox faith to kneel on your knee. We usually kneel on both knees when we feel tired after standing during a long liturgy (we always remain standing) or to venerate some special icons in the church. Of course, seeing seventeen Christian brothers and sisters standing, when all others knelt, was a surprise for the participants. Nevertheless, I hope this misbehaviour was forgiven. After the end of the procession, we took a common picture in the churchyard with Father Yanush and the ladies folk costume group.
Gallina, the teacher leader of our group, had long wanted to visit a Catholic cemetery. Therefore, we went there to see the graves. They were not much different from ours I would say. I had believed there were no pictures at the graves at the Catholic cemetery, but I was wrong, there were lots of them there.
After that, we went for a walk along Weyregg Street to have an idea of the town. We visited Kreuzer souvenir shop at 77 Weyregg Street. We had a special lunch on that Thursday: we went to a holiday center of the Austrian Water Rescue Service located at the opposite lakeshore in Zell, a suburb of Nussdorf. It was planned we would go there by water rescue patrol boat, but it was in action and we went by cars. We learnt later that there was an accident in the waters of the lake in its southern part and an emergency team tried to rescue the man, but it was too late: a 35-year-old man from Tirol died at 25 m deep soon after he had dived. He was in a hurry... RIP.
We had lunch at the camp in Zell, watched a video film about the activities of the rescue service and saw the amenities of the camp. It turned out it had all modern conveniences and could receive a large group of students. After lunch, our swimming trainer Manfred presented the kids with certificates and afterwards we played soccer at the small soccer field there.
On our way back we saw a huge white limousine at the parking lot in Zell. Its owners, Night Shift Club from Germany, allowed us to get into the limousine and I even sat at the steering wheel. It was all for the first time with us, members of the group from Ukraine. We took many pictures and laughed a lot. We went back to Weyregg by the rescue boat with a lot of turns and sudden curves, and high speed. It was unique and a great privilege!
In the evening, we went to the youth hotel located next to the church and its leaders treated us with dinner cooked in the open fire. Our guide Wolfgang was with us, too. Before going to bed, we had some time to watch video. Such was our very busy and special day on Fronleichnam.

June 20
We could stay in bed longer in the morning and only had our breakfast at 10 a.m. Since all the students had left for home for the holiday, we had a complete freedom at last!
We took a ship to the city of Attersee located at the opposite lakeshore to bathe in Erlebnisbad - the well-known holiday spot at Lake Attersee, the best beach of all we had seen. The kids enjoyed sliding down the water tube most of all, and so did I.
After our active relaxation in Attersee, we took a ship to Unterach located in the southern part of Lake Attersee, where we had lunch at Golden Anchor hotel at the beach. The lunch was served by one of Wolfgang's friends and included back currants juice, Austrian national drink, and a huge snitzel. We relaxed after lunch, explored the restaurant a bit and took some pictures. It was beginning to rain, but Wolfgang said we would not board a ship right away, but would go for a walk to see a surprise he had prepared for us. Therefore, we went for about two miles and came to the canyon called Burggrabenklamm located in Salzburg Province. The thing is that the neighboring province has a piece of shore in the south of Lake Attersee.
We went to the waterfall along a narrow slippery path located not high above the canyon. We saw the waterfall and admired it. Thank goodness, nothing happened and got back safely to be just in time for our ship. On our way to the pier, we saw Old Timers Race that was going on along the Lake Attersee highway. It is a traditional annual race. In the evening, Wolfgang brought us hot dinner from home and the kids could bathe in the school swimming pool for an hour and play games in the school gym.

June 21
We had our breakfast at a special place: Zur Post hotel in the museum hall. The hall was decorated as the Austrian naval glory museum. After breakfast we explored the restaurant, took some pictures there and some souvenirs.
We went along Weyregg Street and visited our baker's that baked morning buns for us and thanked the owners for their service. In return, they presented us with a box of Kinder Surprise, which was a real surprise for us. We also visited Kunstschmiede Oberwanger at 49 Weyregg Street and admired the skilful work of the local smith.
We also dropped in at the florist's for who can stay indifferent to flowers?
We explored the street up to Spar Supermarket and went back home full of good impressions.
After lunch, Wolfgang made us another surprise. He took us to Weissenbach (the White Stream) located near the town of Weissenbach at our lakeshore. We went to the ice-cold stream water and were shocked at first, but later the water seemed much warmer and more pleasant. We went up the stream for some time until we found a good place to stop, make a fire and have a bite. After our rest at the bank, we divided our group into two subgroups: one would go down the stream barefooted in the water and the other would go along the forest path. I was in the latter this time. You know, it was not comfortable to walk on the stone bottom of the stream. I wished I had good shoes for that. Maybe next time.
We gathered at the parking lot full of impressions, wet and noisy. In the evening, we went up the hill to Kegelstueberl located in Reichholz. Mrs.Karl, the owner of the inn, treated us with dinner. Her daughter Catherine was our waitress. It was delicious and pleasant. At the end, Mrs.Karl treated us, the grownups, to the traditional Marillenschnaps, which was great.
The way home was faster than to the restaurant and we knew the vicinity already.

June 22
We attended the God's service in St.Valentine's Church again. This time it was dedicated to those who had 25th, 40th and 50th jubilees of their weddings. It was a real holiday for the town community. At 10 a.m., we got on our school bus and a car (Daniella's) and went to Salzburg for a day's trip. It was another pleasant experience from beginning to end. We managed to visit the main sites of the city. First, we, like many other school students, went to the House of Nature. We also visited Getreide Gasse where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in 1756, Residenz Platz and Mozart Platz. Wolfgang invited us all to the coffeehouse Glockenspiel at 2 Mozart Square where the kids had some ice cream and we, grownups, had some real coffee with a cake. We could feel the well-known atmosphere of an Austrian coffeehouse. Thanks, Wolfgang! We went to see Hohensalzburg - the biggest fortress in Europe - located high on the hill dominating the city landscape. From there we could see a beautiful panorama of the city. We went home and could see the attracting countryside again. We passed Mondsee (Moon Lake) on our way, too. We came back home in time and went directly to Wachtberg. After dinner, the kids were allowed to bathe in the swimming pool again to take away the day's fatigue. After 9 p.m., we saw many fires at the opposite lakeshore. It was Solstice Day and according to the tradition people made a fire after 9. We made a fire too and sat there for an hour enjoying the fine weather.

June 23
We only went to the lake in the afternoon and in the morning we had to stay at school preparing our wall newspaper. The kids also played games in the schoolyard. After dinner we played minigolf not far from the beach. It was for the first time in my life as well as in the life of all the group members. The kids turned out to be good players. So did I. Practice makes perfect.

June 24
We spent almost all day in the city of Attersee where we went for a walk, bathed and lay in the sun at the beach meadow. I took many pictures taking advantage of fine weather. Christoph came from Vienna in the evening, talked to the kids and invited Gallina and me to the bar to have some beer and talk. We went to the beach bar of Zur Post Hotel.

June 25
We had some spare time in the morning and then went to the boat hiring station, took a boat and water bikes and sailed to the middle of the lake. I had an electric boat, which was very convenient and nice. After that ride we went to the beach again and continued lying in the sun and bathing. In the evening Gallina, three girls and I visited the Rabl family who lived in our street. We often saw Alfred on our way to and from the beach and he often invited me to see them. So we agreed about that evening. It was also another discovery for us to see how the people live in the town. The hosts invited us and showed us the rooms and invited us to the table at the terrace. We talked and told them about our impressions of our stay. Johanna, Alfred and their daughter Maria are very nice people!

June 27
We spent all day in our trip to Dachstein, a mountain range in the south of Upper Austria. We went there by bus and by car and it took us more than an hour to get there. We saw the Giant Ice cave, went by funicular, stood at Mount Krippenstein at 2,100 m and had a bite at Schutzhaus at 2,050 m. The weather was just appropriate for that activity. It was drizzling all day. On our way back we stopped in Hallstatt because Wolfgang wanted to show us that special city. That city as well as Dachstein Massif is World Cultural and natural Heritage as UNESCO proclaimed them in 1997. I took many pictures again. In the evening, we had a disco until midnight. Therefore, it was another special day during our stay.

June 28
It was a special day for we had breakfast at Gasthaus Schoeberingerhof at Miglberg and then went directly to another inn to have lunch. Therefore, we walked on the hills half the day. We had our lunch at a forest inn called Waldgasthof Foedinger in Bach. We had nice spaghetti there.
After lunch, we boarded a ship and went to the city of Attersee on the invitation of our Frau Rosa to attend a folk costume festival.
After that, we went to the opening ceremony of the city aquarium that took place in the music pavillion. The aquarium shows several fishes living in Lake Attersee.
We had our dinner at Bachtaverne in Bach, a district of Weyregg. In fact, that restaurant is the closest to our school where we stayed. I got to know about it only on our way back home. We had our dinner with our beloved Mrs. Rosa Osterer.
In the evening at about 10 p.m. Verena's granny came to school to meet us. She survived the Second World War, was deported to the Soviet Union from Serbia where she used to live. She lived and worked about five years in the Donets Basin. It was a very touchy meeting. The kids listened to granny very attentively and presented her with toys.

June 29
Our farewell party began at 7 p.m. in the big hall of the school canteen. More than sixty persons came to the party including the city mayor, bank manager and others. We were very busy all day. Gallina wanted to cook borsch - the traditional Ukrainian cabbage and tomato soup and she managed it with the girls' help. We also made two wall newspapers and painted a huge piece of cloth in the form of a sail.
Everybody was very pleased to be there. The guests donated some money to the party at the end. There was one dangerous moment during the party: Wolfgang wanted to pour the vodka Gallina had brought to treat all the guests, which we did together. Then he put all the vodka glasses onto the tray and the bottle, too. I had to carry the tray and he distributed the glasses. Thank goodness, I did not drop the tray. I was very careful and turned out to be a good waiter.

June 30
In the morning, Gallina and I went shopping and bought some souvenirs for home. We also had our films developed and our pictures printed. As a result, each child received a nice photo album and was very glad. After lunch, we went to the beach to say goodbye to it. There were a lot more people there, you could see the difference at once: high season was beginning! After dinner, we went to Sternwarte - astronomic observatory at Gahberg located at 863 m. We saw telescopes and stars through one of them. At midnight, we went to bed.

July 1
At 9 a.m., it was time for us to say goodbye to everybody at school and to leave for Vienna. Many students, teachers and the principal herself came to say goodbye to us.
We arrived to Vienna in about three hours, had lunch at "Residenz" cafe and went to the Zoo. Christoph and Eva took us there. Two Verenas were with us, too. It was a wonderful excursion.
At 5 p.m. we came to our hostel in the 17th district where we stayed overnight. Christoph was so kind as to take me about the city. He showed me a lot of sites downtown, took me to the Prater Park. I was happy to take a ride in the Giant Ferris Wheel that dates back to the 19th century and takes you to the height of 65 meters. The Wheel became one of the symbols of Vienna. Christoph told me many stories about the sights of Vienna. He presented me with a nice book about Vienna in Russian so that I could show it to all my friends.

July 2
At 8 a.m., a big bus came to take us to the airport. There was a city guide there, so the one-hour trip to the airport was going to be an interesting one. We did not get off the bus for we had little time before the departure, but he showed us the places we passed and told us interesting stories about them. We got to know that:

  1. 50% of the city territory is greenery, 25% are farms and gardens;
  2. the city residents drink very pure mountain and artesian water;
  3. Kärtner Street is the central pedestrian precinct of the capital;
  4. There are 23 districts in Vienna;
  5. Ruprecht Church is one of the oldest in Europe: it is over 1,000 years old;
  6. There are 1,000 km of roads inside the city;
  7. Prater is the biggest park in the capital covering 1,000 ha and is one of its symbols;
  8. There are 1bout 1,800 coffeehouses in Vienna.
We came home safe and happy.
Thank you very much, our dear sponsors and everybody who met us during our stay!
See you soon in Austria!

Posted by Vic_IV 03:44 Archived in Austria Tagged vacation austria upper global children's 2000 weyregg Comments (0)

Visiting the Town Environs

During our Three-Week Stay in Weyregg

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We stayed in Weyregg for three weeks. We managed to see something of the city of Sankt Georgen im Attergau, too. It was a long ride, but full of new views, new impressions.

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Our hosts were kind enough to take us there for a weekend trip. The city is well known in Upper Austria for its cultural life and natural surroundings. We did not see the city itself, but only had dinner on its outskirts. The city is located in Lake Attersee valley in the area called "Attergau".

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One day we went to the district called Kogl n the invitation of Tina Soriat who lives there and whose family keeps a "bio-restaurant" there. They serve different farm products there including the famous Most - a young apple wine that attracts lots of visitors every year. "Soriat" is a season restaurant that is only open during two summer months. When we came there, it was not high season yet. The restaurant menu is very rich and includes many Austrian national dishes, some of them having funny names such as Rossknoedel. We, adults, tasted the Most and the kids enjoyed drinking the apple juice. We also visited the farm itself and saw their pig and three horses and even saw the horses led by their owner to the meadow, where they usually stayed at a fenced area for several days.

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It was great to see the vastness of the surrounding forests and to run at the huge meadow! You could feel you were in the country - a familiar feeling from my childhood when I used to spend a big part of my summer vacation at my grandparents' in the country. We stayed at the farm until it got dark. The kids ran and played at the meadow, we talked and drank more apple wine and then left for home. Thanks a lot, dear Soriat Family!

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I will always remember the hospitable people, the unspoilt nature, the delicious dishes of the Austrian cuisine, and the wonderful apple wine!

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Alexenau
Alexenau is just a small district of the town of Weyregg. We, a group of kids from Luhansk region, their head teacher and me as an interpreter, stayed in Weyregg for three weeks on the invitation of Global-2000. This district is, in fact, a separate village and would be considered town suburbs in Ukraine. One day we went hiking through the forest to that part of the town, which turned out to be more than one hour walk. These beautiful buildings on the picture were the first ones we saw after our long walk through the forest.

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At Bramosen Hotel, Alexenau, Lake Attersee
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This four-star hotel is very impressive indeed. I would even say it looks like a five-star hotel to me. Can you imagine a four-star hotel located in the suburbs of a small town? Not in Ukraine at least. The hotel owners were our hosts. They treated the kids with ice creams and showed us around the hotel. It was very impressive indeed to see a village hotel that has four stars, all modern conveniences, and receives many foreign guests every year.

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Our group in the hospitable Alexenau

We took another hike up the hill to the tourists' hut that serves as a lunch and dinner point for tourists. We were treated to a splendid dinner sponsored by the owner of the hotel. The dinner with Frau Rosa and Frau Hilda from the town folk group was very rewarding and memorable!
We enjoyed the beautiful countryside, the fine stream, the thick forest, meeting hospitable people. However, it was a rather long distance to walk from where we stayed - but it was a healthy walk! Briefly: it was more than just a hike.

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Visiting the camp of Austrian Water Rescue Service in Zell, Nussdorf, at Lake Attersee
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Across Lake Attersee by a rescue boat od the Austrian Water Rescue

Nussdorf
During our stay in Weyregg we were invited to the Austrian Water Rescue Camp in Zell, a suburb of Nussdorf, at the opposite bank of Lake Attersee. We had lunch there and those kids from our group, who passed the Austrian "beginning swimmer" test, got their certificates. It was very interesting to see a video film about the activities of the Austrian Water Rescue Service. The camp, where we stayed, had all modern facilities; it would be fun to come here with a group one day.
After we had lunch at the holiday home, we saw a limousine parked at the parking lot of Zell. We were allowed to approach it and to take some pictures! That was an adventure for many young people too. The car owners allowed us to take pictures in turn. Therefore, I decided to be a "driver"... It was a car of Nightshift Club from Germany. I have never been inside a limousine before... Therefore, it was quite an event for all of us. Thanks, Nightshift Club, for such a rare opportunity.
Our trip back home across the lake was another great event! The boat of the Water Rescue Team was superb, with lots of sudden turns and high breath-taking speed! The speed, the turns, everything was unique and for the first time! Thanks a lot to the Austrian Water Rescue Service that kindly allowed us that unforgettable trip.

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Unterach
During my stay in Weyregg at Lake Attersee I had a splendid chance of visiting this nice town located at the shore of the lake. We enjoyed spectacular views, wonderful countryside, meeting hospitable people. We visited Unterach during our lake voyage when we took a ship around the lake. We had a short stay in this picturesque city. It was great to take a walk downtown and to visit the famous waterfall on its outskirts.
Totes Gebirge (in German) is the name of the mountains located at the shore of Lake Attersee. I think they were call so because of their sharp and abrupt top where you can hardly walk and the abyss you see from above.

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There are several hotels and restaurants on the lakeshore and we were privileged to have lunch at one of them. We had a nice lunch at this hotel and could relax a bit after it enjoying the lake views and a talk with the owners.

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We did some swan feeding at the lakeshore. The white swans looked fantastic and very attracting. It was fun feeding them.

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Weissenbach
Weissenbach is, in fact, a part of a bigger town called Steinbach ("Stone Stream"). It is located at the place where the Weissenbach falls into Lake Attersee. It is a small mountain river with very fresh and very cold water!

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I made sure the water was too cold

Weissenbach is a very picturesque part of Steinbach and provides you with different hike routes. One day during our stay in Weyregg, we decided to follow one of them, on the advice of our guide, a teacher of the Agricultural School, who took us there.
We went up the stream at first along the path and then went a part of our way in the stream itself. The water was more than cold at first. It was just icy! However, later it became "warmer" and you could walk in the stream without wanting to scream aloud. It was so pleasant and whenever I have a look at this picture, I want to try that hike again.

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We did not go very far up the stream, but stayed at one place in the stream's middle part to make a fire, have lunch and relax. It was very good experience, especially entering the cold mountain stream for the first time!

Posted by Vic_IV 04:43 Archived in Austria Tagged upper_austria weyregg global-2000 Comments (0)

Discovering Salzburg

Mozart City

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A view from Salzburg Castle

A view from Salzburg Castle

During our holiday stay in Weyregg at Lake Attersee we had a day trip by bus to that famous city that I had long wanted to visit - Salzburg! Of course, you need several days to see the main sites and to explore the city, but I was happy I had that chance!

A view from Salzburg Castle

A view from Salzburg Castle

Salzburg lies in the center of Austria about 1,400 feet above sea level and has the population of about 150,000 inhabitants. The city is located on both banks of the winding river Salzach at the feet of three wooded hills, among them Moenchsberg (Monks Mount) and Kapuzinerberg. The city is famous for its lovely surroundings and well-preserved medieval architectural legacy. Salzburg is often called Rome of the North for it enchants you with its specious squares, old streets, churches and monasteries, marvelous mansions and palaces, gardens and parks.

Mozart's birth house, Salzburg

Mozart's birth house, Salzburg

Getreide-Gasse is the street we decided to see first. At last, I could see THE HOUSE where the Great Composer was born and lived. It is really a sacred place for lots of people. You can see many visitors there. I found it even hard even to approach the house and to take a picture of it. There were so many people around. I had to wait in turn like at a bus stop. This is the address: Mozarts Geburtshaus, 9 Getreidegasse. It is a typical old Salzburg house, a world famous museum now. Full of different feelings, I saw the house where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in 1756.

A view of Salzburg Castle

A view of Salzburg Castle


A view from Salzburg Castle

A view from Salzburg Castle


We also visited Hohensalzburg - the famous medieval fortress on the hill that kept the city riches during the hard times of invasions in the Middle Ages. The impressive medieval fortress called Hohensalzburg (High Salzburg) has been a symbol and protection of the city for hundreds of years. Hohensalzburg is one of the largest European fortresses built in the 16th century. You can have a wonderful panoramic view of the city from its towers. Here are some contacts for you: Festungsverwaltung, 5020 Salzburg, 0662/84 24 30-11, Fax 0662/82 24 30-20; www.salzburg-burgen.at

Mozart Square in Salzburg

Mozart Square in Salzburg


Visiting Salzburg

Visiting Salzburg

Residenz Salzburg is the present cultural center of the city. It contains a rich collection of paintings and furniture of different styles. You can marvel at wonderful fountains in the courtyard. The square is always full of people and street performers. Like in any big city, there are always street musicians downtown. He was a Chinese actor who put lots of glasses and a sparkling wine bottle on his head playing his flute at the same time.
Visiting Mozartplatz and seeing this wonderful monument to great Mozart is a must in Salzburg. We walked about the square and had a coffee at a coffeehouse here enjoying the views from the second floor of the coffeehouse. One of the truly Austrian habits is to spend some time weekly at the coffeehouse. "It's Austria!", they say. It is really relaxing to sit and drink nice coffee with a piece of cake! Isn't it marvellous!

Mozart Square in Salzburg

Mozart Square in Salzburg

The Natural Museum is an attracting destination and a must for students from all over Upper Austria. The museum has 80 rooms for exploration filled with nature attractions, an aquarium, reptile zoo, exhibitions, cafes on the terraces, etc. We were all surprised to see so many wonderful exhibitions, the reptile zoo, terrace cafes and so on. Everyone was happy and a bit tired after the three-hour excursion about the House of Nature. We managed to see all the halls and exhibitions and were very impressed by their diversity. All the kids liked the games and panoramas of the wild animals and prehistoric models. Everyone was so curious and not tired at all. You could spend the whole day there knowing you can have a bite at the numerous terrace cafes there...

During our visit to Salzburg

During our visit to Salzburg

There is still a lot to see there and I do hope that when I go there next year, I will see some new things as well as revisit those I have already seen!

Posted by Vic_IV 05:19 Archived in Austria Tagged salzburg upper_austria global-2000 Comments (2)

The Dachstein Massif

A Wonderful Cave Walking Tour

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Entering the Ice Caves

Entering the Ice Caves

Regrettably, I travel to the mountains very seldom. The nearest mountains are located about 1,000 miles from where we live. I have only been to the Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine, but I did not climb Mount Hoverla (2,061 m - 6,762 ft), the highest peak of Ukraine. During our stay in Upper Austria, we had a chance of traveling to the mountains. Our hosts were kind enough to take us there. Our enthusiastic guide Wolfgang from Weyregg at Lake Attersee took us to Dachstein Massif for a day trip. UNESCO elevated the Dachstein Massif into the status of the World Natural Heritage in 1997.

How to get to Dachstein Caves

How to get to Dachstein Caves

It was about an hour trip by bus. We first came to the town of Obertraun located at the foot of Dachstein and from there we took a ropeway (Seilbahn) to the Giant Ice Caves and from there another ropeway to the height of 2,100 m/6,890 ft to see Berghotel, Mount Krippenstein and the massif.

We took a ropeway (Seilbahn) to the Giant Ice Caves

We took a ropeway (Seilbahn) to the Giant Ice Caves


We took a ropeway (Seilbahn) to the Giant Ice Caves

We took a ropeway (Seilbahn) to the Giant Ice Caves


Although the weather was dull and it was going to rain, we enjoyed the trip very much for we saw the Giant Ice Caves and Mount Krippenstein, Obertraun and Hallstatt - world heritage places. Visiting the ice cave is considered to be a good bad-weather activity in that area. If you go to the Ice Caves, you will be taken along the 800-meter-long (2,625 ft) path through the cave. The path leads slightly upwards and the exit lies 40 m/131 ft higher than the entrance to the cave. You can have your picture taken at the entrance and get it at the exit.

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During our cave walking tour, we felt the change of atmosphere, marvelled at huge amounts of ice and listened to the interesting stories of our guide. The ice was not slippery at all. The only thing to be aware of during your cave tour is to mind the steps. The ice is not slippery, so it does not represent any real danger. We were allowed to step on the ice at one point - in one of the "squares" - and tried to "skate" there in our shoes, which was too difficult. In general, there is no real danger inside.

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The first cave section is free of ice. You can see the Bear Cemetery and listen to the guide's story about it. Then the ice section begins and the guide will ask you to put on a sweater for the temperature is about zero centigrade there.

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The ice section begins with Tropfensteinhall Stalactite Hall. It is the warmest part of the ice cave with the annual temperature of about 3 degrees centigrade. Then you will see King Arthur Cathedral - a huge ice hall where large amounts of rock fell down in ancient times because of water erosion and formed a chamber. Other ice halls are called after the heroes of the legend of King Arthur: Queen Kondwiramur Palace (at the beginning of the ice section), Percifal Cathedral, Ice Mountain, Montsalvat Glacier, Gralsburg with Frozen Waterfall, Tristan Cathedral, Monte Cristallo, Tristan and Isolde, Isolde Castle and Ice Chapel that is perhaps the most impressive of all halls.

Visiting the Ice Caves

Visiting the Ice Caves

It was great to have lunch at Schutzhaus, 2,050 m - at that altitude amongst the picturesque mountains! Simply unforgettable experience at 6,726 ft! We also reached Berghotel located at 2,100 m (6,890 ft). I was enchanted by these high mountains...

We also reached Berghotel located at 2,100 m (6,890 ft)

We also reached Berghotel located at 2,100 m (6,890 ft)


At Berghotel located at 2,100 m (6,890 ft)

At Berghotel located at 2,100 m (6,890 ft)


I was glad to get the unique chance of reaching that height and seeing a real mountain hotel. We reached the hotel during our tour of Dachstein. The hotel looks very remote from the valley and is very impressive. The landscape is very nice: mountains and glaciers all around you. You can stay at the hotel, go to Schutzhaus Pub or go hiking there. This is how we got to Mount Krippenstein (2,100 m/6,890 ft): From Obertraun: Talstation Krippensteinbahn to Schönbergalm (the area with giant caves), from there by another funicular to Krippenstein.

Posted by Vic_IV 06:01 Archived in Austria Tagged upper_austria weyregg global-2000 Comments (0)

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