“What is this up there?”, Ana asks me and points to a beautiful jutty right inside the old town of Krems. “Yes, ah, … that right?!” Once again, it hits me: What is it with us travellers that we are always keen and motivated to discover something new, foreign, remote (see my trip to Ushuaia in Patagonia or me missing New Zealand!) and yet, we do not know (to appreciate) what is in front of our doorstep. To be honest with you, I have never even “seen” that particular jutty Ana has spotted here in Krems. Personally, I put it down to the colourful Benetton store situated right underneath it. 😀
So here I am, met with the “challenge” of entertaining my dear friends from Spain who have come to experience a very Austrian Christmas & New Year. Being the unofficial travel guide, I of course know where to take them (Göttweig & Melk Abbeys, the Wachau valley as well as Vienna & Salzburg are eligible “evergreens” on any short holiday in this area) – but more details are certainly contained in Ana’s travel guide about Austria – especially in Spanish.
Dürnstein & Melk Abbey count among the most famous travel destinations in the whole of Austria. Almost one and a half million visitors (!) per year travel to these two single spots alone, situated right inside the Wachau World Heritage cultural landscape.
As a resident being used to the mass tourism that befalls the wine town of Dürnstein in the Wachau during the season from April to October, I enjoy an unusual moment of peace & quiet when walking through the old town at this time of year. On the other hand side, the large volume of (international) visitors) makes for guided tours at Melk Abbey being offered in Spanish each and every day. “We have a Spanish travel group here from Vienna each day”, is what the friendly lady at the counter tells us and smiles. “You are more than welcome to join!”
Done then – visiting Melk Abbey in Spanish is a first-timer even for me, and so I really enjoy the visit alongside my travel companions. “Vámonos entonces, muchachos!”
Besides visiting the World Heritage city Salzburg, I really recommend you to take a walk across its Kapuzinerberg hill. Magic vistas & pure nature are what you get!
I have already been fortunate enough to enjoy the beauty of Salzburg many times over, such as during the Austrian Travel Bloggers Meet-up, my trip to a string puppet theatre and the Hohensalzburg Fortress as well as during our creative beer making workshop. This time, however, instead of leading my visitors the usual way towards old town & fortress, Ana’s travel guide decided otherwise. I will never forget the beauty of this sunny winter walk across Kapuzinerberg hill in Salzburg !! Pure nature, quiet forest landscapes and views all over town and across the Alpine upland is what you get from here. Such moments of peace make it easy to forget the hustle & bustle of an otherwise very busy Austrian town, marked by the likes of delighted Asian visitors carrying enormous photo cameras. What a sight! It is beautiful, here, really – I do suggest you come and see it for yourself!