Dürnstein Ruins

dürnstein

It’s the middle of october and autumn is fully here – it literally went from 25° to 10° in just two days and it’s so cold! I almost forgot what that feels like… but 10°C is nothing, what makes me really hate this weather is the constant drizzle – not real rain, but also no sun, just grey sky and everything is wet. Anway, back to warmer days. These pictures were taken at the beginning of autumn – the leaves slowly started to turn, but the weather was still summery and hot. The grapes where already ripe and you could pick and eat them right away, but it wasn’t yet quite the season for sturm (new wine, sweet and sparkling). In between summer and autumn, much preferable to our current situation!

I already mentioned it somewhere, but this september, my brother celebrated his fifth wedding anniversary and we had a family reunion. We spent the day in the Wachau, a Danube valley in Lower Austria, famous for its wine and apricots. I’ve always wanted to hike to the ruins of the castle of Dürnstein and so I was excited when we decided to do just that.

It is the castle where King Richard I of England (Richard the Lionheart) was captured and had to pay an enormous ransom to be freed again. There is also a really stupid story about the king’s bard who discovered where Richard was kept by singing as specific song, but I don’t think that’s actually true. Anyway, the castle was destroyed around 1650 and never built up again.

I guess it looked more impressive when it was still intact, but I was surprised to discover how small it is (and actually slightly disappointed). But even if the ruins aren’t very spectacular, the view is. I know many people who’s favourite austrian region is the Wachau (my father is one of them) and you have a beautiful view over the valley. The vineyards on the hills opposite, the blue church tower of Dürnstin and of course, the Danube.

It was a beautiful day, with perfect weather for our little expedition. I’ve seen pictures of the ruins in winter though, with low hanging clouds, black trees and spooky fog above the river. Who knows, maybe these ruins are being haunted once the summer tourists move on and silcence settles over the valley… (Halloween is soon)

dürnstein

dürnstein

dürnstein

dürnstein

dürnstein

dürnstein

Merken

Merken

Merken

Bad Gastein

Bad Gastein

Do you remember that one of the things on my Summer Holidays Bucket List was to visit a place in Austria I’ve never been to before? Well, I chose to visit Bad Gastein for a day. I’ve passed through it often, when I spent the holidays in Carinthia as a child – the train goes right through the heart of the Austrian alps. I’ve always loved this route through the mountains, but I never actually stopped and took a closer look at this little alpine village.

The first impression: There are hotels everywhere. Do people actually really live here? Do they even find work during the summer, when many of the hotels are closed? I guess winter tourism is the biggest source of income in this area. They try to get more people to spend their summers here as well, but everything seems to be focused on the colder season. It was pretty quiet, with just a couple of tourists (and maybe two-three locals), but in winter, it must be hell. Or at least not how I imagine a peaceful skiing holiday. But anyway, it was nice to breathe some mountain air and see the famous waterfall that goes right through the village. Pretty stunning! There is a path next to the river, you can follow it all the way through the valley – I returned after walking for an hour, but I could have continued forever: The sound of the water is so calming and the air is filled with mist and moisture – too bad you can’t breathe in advance!

Even though I had a good time, I probably won’t stop again. There is not a lot to see and once is enough. But I will continue to enjoy driving through the valley, marveling at the beauty of the mountains! :)

Bad Gastein

Bad Gastein

Bad Gastein

Bad Gastein

Bad Gastein

Bad Gastein

2 weeks in Soulac

soulac - atlantic

I find it difficult to write about something that is not ‘exciting’. A time where little happened, where life was not filled with activities, but with relaxation, calmness and where the days all followed a similar pattern – like on my holiday in Soulac-sur-Mer.

The village is close to Bordeaux, at the Atlantic coast. It’s small and even though touristic (I think in winter, there are only a handful of people left), the visitors are mostly french and come here with their families. They rent one of the many small villas (each one has a name) and spend their days on the beach and the evenigns in the centre – just like we did. I stayed with a friend in her family’s apartment, which is close to the sea: The sound of the waves was always audible.

Can you believe I’ve never actually been so close to the Atlantic (or any ocean) before? It was always the Mediterranean or the Channel. But the ocean is somthing completely different. The waves are bigger, the current stronger, the water saltier. Real swimming was possible only once or twice, we mostly jumped with the waves or dived underneath them. The rest of the time was spent with reading (a lot – I finished 6 books), walking along the beach or simply tanning. Good times!

soulac - villas

soulac - dunes

Soulac - to the beach

soulac - opalescent

soulac - high tide

soulac - low tide

Soulaac sunset

July

This July, I…

Soulac sunset

  • visited a Loden factory
  • re-upholstered a sofa
  • cut my finger badly
  • stayed at work for 12 hours once, but we had pizza at the end
  • went to the cinema (Star Trek Beyond + Pets)
  • and to the opening ceremony of the Salzburger Festspiele
  • spent a whole day traveling and then cooled my feet in the ocean after dark
  • got a sunburn on my upper back
  • ate delicious crêpes
  • found sand on my pillow every morning
  • chased the perfect sunset

zippers

Loden Steiner

fishmarket

Soulac

soulac sunset

 

Happy Days

backyard

The semester is officially over! I finished all my exams and now have my diploma. Ahhh, I’m so ready for the holidays! I am working for the most part of July (interning), but then I’m going to be in France for ten days and August will be spent travelling around Austria, maybe including a couple of cities like Munich, Prague and Trieste. I’ll see! I don’t have very concrete plans, for now I’m just going to enjoy the sun :) (and the view, I feel like I’m living in a treehouse)

May

This May, I…

kuretake

  • attended my niece’s baptism (sounds very formal, but I’m just not a ‘church person’)
  • finished some of my final exams, the last part will be at the end of June
  • received the wonderful Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolours
  • spent a long weekend in Graz at my Grandmothers’
  • had the best (vegan!) burger of my life so far
  • saw a badger in a park at night (I was nicking flowers, ähem.)
  • planned my summer wardrobe
  • bought tickets for a trip to the south-west of France (end of July)
  • spent a lovely afternoon hiking/exploring/getting lost in the Wienerwald
  • went to cinema to see X-Men: Apocalypse (parts of it were really, really good I think)

in bloom

türkenschanzpark

sunday hike

graz

schönbrunn

fabrics

wax print

April

This April, I…

apple

  • finished, printed and finally handed in my diploma thesis
  • and the portfolio of my collection
  • cut into my precious Liberty fabrics
  • bought two new pairs of shoes
  • enjoyed the warm spring weather
  • visited the editorial offices of a local newspaper
  • ordered the most wonderful set of watercolours
  • made pair of shorts for my sister
  • got a positive answer for an internship in June and July
  • fell in love with brush lettering

pink gras

diploma thesis

Marylin

cherries