Tag Archives: Austria

Lech am Arlberg, Austria

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Travelling from Vienna Hauptbanhof to St Anton am Arlberg on a fast train will take approximately six hours. More likely than not, a change of train will be required at one of the major cities enroute with minimal connection times. Most times a few paces across the platform and onto a waiting train is all it takes.

So I’m on my way … Have you ever wanted to visit a destination which is the same as your own surname – as an example? Well, I have now and Lech was on my to-do list for quite some time … And happy to say, Lech am Arlberg being quite prestigious, is best known particularly for its skiing, toboggan runs and mountain hiking trails; making it one of the most visited regions in Austria as it caters well for adults and families alike.

Other activities may include game watching, tandem paragliding and snow shoeing whereby you can discover there’s much more other than skiing.


Obviously there’s snow still hanging on as winter transitions into spring time. Lovely small wooden huts can be seen along the way piercing their way through and trying to make a more respectable appearance.


Nearing St Anton’s station towards the end of the day’s travelling, it’s comforting to know there are transport options available. Taxis are readily available at a cost of around 58 Euro or you can take a warm public bus which have regular services for around four Euro one way, per adult. The buses are about 200 metres from the train station.


The public bus takes around 30 to 40 minutes and will go directly to the main part of Lech am Arlberg at the Post Office stop. From there taxis again are handy and many hotels are centrally located around the main street.


Umm – think there’s been some serious snow being held up!


My stay on this occasion is with the very friendly family-owned Stulzis Hotel; lovely, warm and close to everything. They can easily provide guests with a ski storage room, ski/lift passes and free self parking. Supermarkets and cafes can be found close by.


Also available is half board which includes a traditional breakfast and dinner (evening meal is a different set menu each night). Here pictured and relishing my starter of thinly sliced duck with a portion of seasoned red cabbage.

Food and drink in Austrian ski resorts apparently is cheap compared to Switzerland, comparable with France, but maybe not as cheap as Italy.


As Lech am Arlberg is a skier’s dream destination in Austria, the best place to head to first up is the Lech Tourism office in the centre of town. There’s a myriad of activities you can partake in and they offer you really helpful information with maps which show you all around the region. Walking tracks are ideal for someone like myself who loves the look of snow, but is not a skier.

For more information please see https://www.lechzuers.com/lech-zuers-tourist-office


However, few resorts have a more exclusive image than Lech. Princess Diana was its most distinguished patron and other past visitors include the Jordanian royal family, the Dutch royal family and Monaco’s Princess Caroline. Oops, better mention too it’s the home of a number of World and Olympic ski champions!

Lech, Zürs and Warth-Schröcken’s combined ski area runs to 180 km of pistes and there’s plenty of entertainment for every standard – although the slopes are best suited to intermediates. Lech is the middle village, with Zürs to the south and Warth, which connects to Schröcken to the north. Their combined ski area divides naturally into three distinct sectors which also include Stuben, St. Christoph and St Anton; collectively making it the biggest ski resort in Austria and the 5th biggest in the world with a massive 305 kms of ski runs.


Despite its international reputation, Lech remains true to its farming village origins, but the original cluster of inns around the church and the river  has expanded over the years to meet consumer demands. But, perhaps not the ones pictured here, their time was up a while ago …


The church of St Nicholas, which is thought to have been built around 1390 is within the centre of the township and definitely worthy of a visit, even to just to marvel at its  interior’s magnificent ceiling and architecture.


Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or an adept skier in need of a family-friendly ski holiday, Lech offers fantastic value for money. World-famous Austrian (along with international ski instructors), work in with the ski resorts on a seasonal basis, with many visitors taking advantage of the expertise being offered here.

In Austria, children attend ski schools at an early age making them some of the best around as they become more experienced and confident with their training.


As much as I’d love to take a horse-drawn cart for a lovely trot along the snow-covered trails for the day, I’m going to hike over to nearby Zug.

Three and a half kilometres of walking to help all that wonderful Austrian cuisine dissipate off the waistline has become a high priority on my to-do list for the day.


Well posted signage to point you in the right direction to Zug. No need to worry as there are quite a number of walkers going both ways if you feel you could have  potentially strayed a little. From Zug to Lech and return there is a free shuttle bus which operates daily and approximately every 20 minutes during the day.

Don’t forget – it’s good to see the garbage is there to be used …


Lots of streams and waterways awakening after a long winter. Nice and fresh with the air so clean while meandering along towards Zug, it feels aesthetic and a big reward after a hectic long flight from Australia where it was heatwave conditions when I departed.


Have a seat? Don’t mind if I do thanks, even if only to simply admire the view for a while.


Undoubtedly, the snow has been falling here well and truly during the winter months. Sandwiched in like icing on a cake, it’s packed down tightly in layers and shows Lech is determined to deliver the goods in its peak and subsequent shoulder seasons. No one’s complaining that’s for sure.


At the end of the day, Lech’s atmospheric conditions? Warm, inviting and cosy – regardless of the chill in the air. I found people had travelled from afar and were destined to have a memorable time at Lech. Why? Because many had done it all before …

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Travelling to Vienna for Radio Days 2018

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Travel Gracefully at Radio Days 2018 with Steve Ahern from Sydney, Australia reporting for http://www.radioinfo.com.au

Vienna was the host city for this prestigious annual event in 2018 and the turnout was amazing with fabulous, informative presentations over the three days.

Thoughts from my short stay; the city’s stylish and elegant persona is evident and being here again is a treat. Cafes, restaurants and cute boutique shops all within exquisite architectural marvels are filled with the sound of laughter, clinking glasses and the smell of a well-cooked schnitzel with all the sumptuous trimmings.

Read more at: https://radioinfo.com.au/news/travelling-vienna-rde18 © Radioinfo.com.au


And, if you love radio as much as I do, it’s a perfect fit to come along and learn somewhat more about the intricacies of where the face of radio is heading towards in the future. As days have gone by, so have some of the memories of what it used to by like … with lots of fond memories like these beauties!


First day up and #RDE18 unfolded faster than a raging bull struck by a cattle prodder filled with radio waves.


Exhibitors made the most of the three days showcasing the most innovative and the latest technologies on offer. Here the first sessions of Radio Days Europe in Vienna had begun and the world was listening.


One of my favourite presentations was Breakfast at My Place with Claudia Stöckl, who has been broadcasting for more than 20 years and previous to this was a successful model. She presents an in-depth interview style show whereby she really likes to find out about her invited guests before going on air.

Why does it work for her? “If it’s exciting for you, then it’s exciting for the listeners,” she said.

Her advice is that broadcasters should want to know about each guest, to exhibit a curiosity which shows as being genuine.

“A good interview is not having a PR question to allow them to promote their own agenda… I like to surprise them with anything other than, how are you today”.


Niall Power who is the Head of Station Sound at the multi-award winning Irish regional radio station Beat 102-103, showcased his selection from the last 12 months of the most innovative radio promotions across the world.

Of course, our own thought-provoking Australian duo being Jackie O and Kyle from KISS FM, were placed second and they were in their element at the time. With a radio promotion and an abundance of Hyundai i30 vehicles, they were able to give them away to anyone who could make it through the pipeline – a car for each caller on the day. It was a first for the radio industry.

And in a real tease for one unsuspecting caller, Kyle and Jacquie O had him in such a state as they kept asking him – are you there? Pretending they couldn’t hear him, it sent the caller into a spin. Luckily they stopped their barrage and gave him a car much to his relief – and the listeners! This had everyone on the edge of their seats and social media went ballistic for many days thereafter. Over 12 million calls were recorded on the day the cars were given away on KISS FM.


Even if Midge Ure of Ultravox fame in the early 1980s was a little before your time, you’ll certainly know the sound of ‘Vienna’ which was a ground-breaking and edgy arrangement within its era. Anyway, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, classical instruments built into say, even pop-style music is without doubt splendid listening – worthy of inclusion and more often than not, incredibly successful. And yes, that’s the sound of Vienna.

Midge (pictured) finished off the day with a performance of Vienna having been the band’s most commercially successful release and it’s often played live in his solo performances. He wasn’t without fans here at RadioDays 2018 as attendees flocked to hear him once again and the applause was ongoing.


At the Haus of Musik in Vienna, take time out to visit and simply hear a range of hi-tech interactive and multimedia presentations which introduce the world of music; from the earliest human use of instruments to the music of the present day.

Those involved in developing the museum included four Austrian universities, two foreign university institutes, a team of musicians and music theorists. Artists from multimedia, sound technicians and students also contributed to its accomplishments.

The Haus der Musik is located in the Palace of Archduke Charles and very near to Karlsplatz station.


What did you say Sonny boy? Haus der Musik with its interactive sound systems gives this gentleman something to think about.


At the end of the day, a treat with some Austrian hospitality is always welcome, with local cuisine being served to the masses of radio dignitaries, broadcasters and any one who relishes the sound of radio and its makings here at the City Hall.


After parties are always a great networking activity … And the social gatherings are kindred to those who partake in these conferences for years to come.


Some jazz to liven up the atmosphere is always easy on the ear. The mix of the saxophone, trumpet and cello are so aesthetically pleasing together, it makes the style so unique to itself. So many artists came from nothing to jazz and it speaks in volumes to so many people on various levels.


On the travelling side of attending Radio Day’s big event, don’t forget connections to the airport are made easy with a dedicated rail service from the main station to the airport (and vice verse). Less than 13 Euro each way and less than 30 minutes travelling time on the fast City Express Train or better known as CAT.


Travelling by train? Don’t forget the main rail services can divide at a given city and make sure you’re waiting at the correct sector on the platform to ensure you’re alighting the carriage going in the right direction.

Although my final destination is St Anton, I need to be heading for Innsbruck to change, however half the train will actually separate after arrival at Salzburg.

For me it’s via Innsbruck to Lech am Arlberg in Austria. Have you been to a place which bears your surname? Toot toot, next destination Lech!

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Doesn’t matter how many times you may have visited Vienna it never disappoints. With some days of free time to look around, it reaffirms the city is a leader of classical music, art collections and traditions drawn on centuries of history.

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Within Vienna’s most important landmark, St. Stephen’s Cathedral is the heart and soul of Stephansplatz, an important square which marks the city’s geographical centre. Noted for its interesting mix of new and old architectural styles, it’s a wonderful place to simply hang out and watch the world pass by from the comfort of a café patio, or perhaps do some shopping.

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The only way to look is ‘up’ when inside St Stephen’s Cathedral with its magnificent imposing gothic style – enticing an uncontrolled ooh, ah and wowser factor whereby the attention to detail is flawless to the eye.

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And, sometimes you can benefit from an afternoon visit and maybe find a Russian choir practising for the main evening’s performance. Tickets are on sale at the door generally – but be early for any concert  …

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Bitzinger Wurstelstand near the Albertina is a must for some quick local goodies as you’re very much on the run to see so many sights.

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Yum, on a fresh crusty roll … Choose between a delicious Bosna, hot dog or Käsekrainer and a range of traditional side orders. Draft beer, bottled wine or champagne are also on the list.

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And of course the Albertina which hosts a plethora of artistic works is easy access from the train station. It houses one of the largest and most important print rooms in the world with approximately 65,000 drawings and approximately 1 million old master prints, as well as more modern graphics, photographs and architectural drawings.

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A Pinocchio shop – better believe it. A myriad of wooden products for sale.

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I’ve been asked this before and the spelling is just a little too much alike I’m afraid. Hence the reason I’ve had mail returned via Austria!

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However,  there’s an Aussie pub  close to the Tourist Information office which is great to know; just so one can reconnect with some Foster’s and have a chat.

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Might have to return to my abode on one of these though after a couple of bevvies!

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But, it’s always a treat to head to the Sacher Hotel – go early generally there’s a line up. Created in 1832 by 16 year old apprentice chef Franz Sacher at the court of Prince Metternich, considered to be the most famous chocolate cake in the world today. The recipe for the Original Sacher-Torte is a well-kept secret, known only to confectioners at Hotel Sacher in Vienna.

Ten euro will buy you a slice with a coffee from the menu.
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The area of the city where I stayed is a short train ride and quite bohemian with fantastic market stalls and pretty buildings abound.
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Grab a bargain alright! Can’t take anything with me this time around …P1220270
Just around the corner there’s green grocers and the displays are enchanting.

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Even at the end of the day, there’s still a lovely twilight which hangs around till later in the evening. Have to rest up – being a horse lover, and on the agenda is the Spanish Riding School for my next day’s outing in Vienna.

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Dürnstein, Austria – Tauck River Cruise

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What better way to spend an afternoon once training has finished, we’re all up for some polished service while relaxing with local wines from the famous Wachau Valley.

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Not far from docking now and looking forward to a visit of the UNESCO World Heritage Site within the Wachau Valley.

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Deb Corbett our representative from Australia taking it easy while we chat about our itinerary.

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From a short stretch, it looks almost fairy tale in its splendour. Gliding up towards these magnificent castles and abbeys is one of the best ways you can simply enjoy yourself, basking in the sunlight and marvel at the views.

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Once docked at the pier on the Danube, it’s only a short walk up to some impressive sites.

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Another scenic walk along the esplanade towards the small township which is filled with remarkably beautiful Baroque-style architecture of the 16th Century.

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This wine growing region is part of  well-preserved medieval landscapes which have provided boutique white wines for centuries.

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In the distance, Dürnstein is famous for the Künringerburg Fortress, where it was said that the English King Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned in 1192.

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Friedhof Dürnstein, Austrian cemeteries are quite interesting because they rent graves instead of buying them and must continue to pay or the remains are removed.

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This monastery of the Augustinian Canons was dissolved in 1788 by Emperor Joseph II as part of a larger reform. It was first built on a rock cliff high above the Danube in 1410 and then modified and baroquized in the first half of the 18th Century.

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Doors galore, just waiting to be seen, admired and photographed. Plenty to choose from …

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It’s that time of the year colours here are changing as well readying itself for the winter.

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Finishing off the day with a wine tasting at the Alte Klosterkeller, sampling some of the region’s best varieties. Prost!

Next stop Vienna …

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