This is a guest post by Andrea from No Money Will Travel.
When I first learned I was going to Austria I thought of two things: schnitzel and beer. Little did I know that in a few days’ time I would not just fall in love with Austria, but her way of life. Based in Salzburg, home to both Mozart and the Sound of Music’s Von Trapp family alike, I decided to take a tour of Salzkammergut: Austria’s famous Lake District. It is now a protected and popular UNESCO World Heritage Site.
To travel is to immerse yourself in a new culture. To question your own way of life. Austria’s Lake District is the perfect place to embrace traditional alpine culture and learn about “the way they do it on the mountain”. Driving through the Alps you will see numerous dairy farms. Austrian yodeling originated as a way of calling to fellow farmers and their herds. While traversing the alpine region I had the chance to hear both farmers in the middle of nowhere, and yodelers in the middle of somewhere perform.
There is also a movement to revert back to traditional Austrian dress. Prepare to admire the intricate detailing of the female Dirndl and the male Lederhosen, while enjoying a slice of homemade apple strudel in a small family-run restaurant with a panoramic view.
Whether you decide to visit in the summer or winter months you will never be bored. From hiking, to canoeing, from canyoning to para-sailing, from cycling to scuba diving: there is plenty do and lots of small villages to see! Start at Lake Traunsee: known for its medieval castle, Schloss Ort. According to Austrian legend, the lake is home to a mermaid-like lady who rides the back of a sea-horse in order to protect the waters from outside corruption.
Then head down to Mondsee: home to the historic Mondsee Abbey; used to film the wedding scene in 20th Century Fox’s The Sound of Music. To finish off the day hike to Lake Wolfgangsee. A resort town, this village was named after Saint Wolfgang of Regensburg. According to legend, Wolfgang built the first church here in the 10th century. Mozart was later named after this town, as his mother was born here in 1720.
Visiting a small town, you are able to better connect with locals and learn about their thoughts, values and ideals. While in Salzkammergut I learned that many natives of the region have chosen to adopt a life of simplicity: one where time is not wasted on things, but experiences. By preserving the Alpine culture, they said, they are able to best live for the past, present and future of Austria.
Andrea is an eighteen year old Canadian gal whose planning a backpacking adventure under the idea that to live life is to explore life. A full-time student and part-time dreamer, she uses her blog to write about her travels and to prove to the world and herself that she can do anything, even on a student budget!
Visit No Money Will Travel for more information about Andrea’s travels and adventures
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