Austria
Styria

Here you’ll find travel reports about Styria. Discover travel destinations in Austria of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

124 travelers at this place:

  • Day155

    Graz, Austria

    November 28, 2016 in Austria

    After finding one more closed Slovenian stopover, we crossed the border into Austria. There were booths and officials at the border but no passport checks in place.

    The water was turned off at the two Austrian stopovers we tried but we did manage to empty the toilet at one. The need for water becoming more pressing, we decided to head to the €21 a night stopover in Graz that prided itself on being open all year round. On the way we passed a number of houses with Christmas decorations, including leafless garden trees sporting large shining baubles. Small Christmas trees strung with fairy lights stood outside individual shops in towns beneath lights put up by the local authority.

    It was with almost ecstatic relief that we pulled into the large Graz site, turned the fresh water tap and saw that it worked! There were 160 pitches and we couldn't resist parking at number 122, the number of our old home in Netherton. We booked in for 2 nights, giving us plenty of time to make use of the good quality showers, washing machines and tumble dryer :)

    The manager had given us Graz brochures, including one for advent and a bus map. He has circled the stop we were near as well as the central depot so we decided to give it a go and headed to the bus stop, hoping this public transport excursion would go better than the one in Dubrovnik. The buses came every 7 minutes so we didn't need to wait long. Upon boarding we saw there was an information screen with audio announcements that tracked our progress - brilliant!

    Getting off (at the correct stop!) we made a beeline for the Christmas markets. There were about a dozen in total and instead of the huge 'super market' like in Birmingham, they were intimate collections of around a dozen stalls secreted away in small squares. Each specialised in something different, such as handmade items, colours from around the world or the children's Wonderland. The air was infused with Glühwein spices mixed with a little smoke from chestnuts roasting on open fires. We treated ourselves and warmed our hands around steaming mugs of Glühwein.

    As the sun set and the lights were turned on, they'd focussed on the classic fairy lights instead of different coloured LEDs and there were lots of real trees and pine foliage. The effect was to create a warm and classical atmosphere. The main street had hundreds of lit up trees suspended upside down in a grid that criss crossed above the road. The markets had been quiet when we arrived but the atmosphere livened up as the evening progressed. After searching on Will's Maps.Me app, we managed to find the square that contained a nativity scene ice sculpture. Though it hadn't had any signs directing people to it, it was an amazing piece of art.

    We finished the evening off with another mug of Glüwein, fish and chips for Will (just not the same as the ones back home) and a Baumkuchen for Vicky (a dough string spiralled around a cone then toasted and dipped in cinnamon sugar).

    We bussed it back to the site feeling warm, happy and very Chrismassy!
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  • Day154

    'Zbogom' to Croatia!

    November 27, 2016 in Austria

    During our month in Croatia we were never far from the clear blue waters of the Adriatic. There was a lot more of the country to explore inland in the North East but as camping outside of designated sites isn't allowed and there weren't many sites listed in this area, we focussed on the tourist orientated coast.

    Visiting outside the summer months meant we weren't able to swim in a warm sea or lakes, but it did give us space to explore a stunningly beautiful country. For us, it would have been too hot and crowded to be enjoyable in summer.

    Things that will stand out in our memory include:
    1. The amazing coast road that kept us so close to the sparkling clear blue sea and the sunsets over it for hundreds of kilometers.
    2. The numerous islands, some of them like the mainland, others devoid of vegetation and others small, round pimples, with lush green trees growing right up to a thin strip of rocky shoreline.
    3. The craggy mountains that rose up parallel to the coastline and contained the most amazing waterfalls in their valleys.
    4. The olives, clementines, pomegranates and figs growing wild or being farmed and harvested. We foraged some and bought them at markets or roadside stalls. Dried figs were a particular favourite of Vicky's.
    5. The markets that sold so much fresh local produce, including fish and seafood straight from the nearby harbour and homemade olive oil.
    6. The number of people who spoke English, not everyone by far, but a huge percentage in the tourist areas.
    7. The abandoned, bullet pocked houses; scars from the war 25 years ago when those Serbians that survived were expelled from the country. It is recent history in Croatia but it made us think of other countries where those that aren't seen as 'indigenous' are the subject of intimidation and violence.
    8. New developments, signs of a tourist industry on its way up.
    9. Stones, and lots of them! Rocky landsacapes supporting not much more than sage, endless dry stone walls, light stone buildings ranging from ancient structures such as Pula's Amphitheatre to tall terraced homes lining narrow stone streets in old town centres.
    10. Our encounters with the numerous cats and dogs roaming free - we did well not to come back with some!
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  • Day186

    Auf Wiedersehen Oestreich!

    December 29, 2016 in Austria

    We explored Austria over two trips and will remember it as two distinctly different parts.

    Our first experiences were of the beautiful mountain ranges of the West, traversed by steep hair pin roads from which the ground often rose or fell steeply away at either side. Little wooden fronted houses and farmsteads nestled cosily in valleys with snow capped mountains behind. The high altitudes and resultant low air pressure sometimes made things difficult, for example the fridge wouldn't light and the water pump was less effective, but we got by. The country wide ban on staying overnight outside designated areas also restricted our options and made for some long days driving between stopovers, but the landscape was so stunning and different from what we knew that it was worth the difficulties.

    Our second trip took us to Central and Eastern Austria where there were still hills and mountains, but they weren't so extreme. Urban and industrial settings were more dominant. Unfortunately, with these developments came visible air pollution which was a shame. The presidential election rerun that took place while we were there caused a little anxiety for us, but the comfortable defeat of the right wing candidate by a former Green Party leader brought some much needed political good news and made us feel more welcome. Austria was an amazing place to experience in the run up to Christmas! The markets were atmospheric and original with new as well as traditional hand crafts taking centre stage. Decorations focused classic fairy lights, real trees and branches. Mistletoe grew in great swathes, large baubles decorated garden trees and streets were lined with Christmas trees we'd seen being grown on farms.

    The sub zero temperatures caused problems with the van but they helped us get in the Christmas mood and gave us some amazing scenes with the resulting thick frost, ice, icicles and snow! It was interesting to see the ski towns with the artificially produced snow winding white ribbons down the hills. The white wine was good, although at this time of year we tended towards warming glüwein!

    We'll remember Vienna with a smile. It is now our favourite city and we could have spent a lot more time there. We prioritised the markets and only looked in from outside the palaces, opera house and museums. There are also many more grand old cafés with delicious cakes to sample!
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  • Day185

    Sankt Andrä; our last night in Austria

    December 28, 2016 in Austria

    We had stayed in Vienna for 10 nights, but felt we'd only just scratched the surface of this incredible capital! Our focus was on Christmas markets but there were museums, palaces and the opera, none of which we'd looked around. But there is more to Europe than Vienna and it was time to move on.

    The weather had been very windy and unseasonably warm at Christmas. We'd had torrential rain the previous night that kept us awake and left a large puddle outside the door. As we drove south west on the motorway it started raining again. The rain turned to sleet, then to snow and then to very thick snow that started to lay on the dual carriageway we were now on. Vicky had as good as written off our old Fiesta car by crashing in snowy conditions so was understandably nervous driving a 3.5 tonne van! Conditions were very bad and the tyres slipped several times but the snow lay even thicker in the laybys so we carried on with extreme caution. Like Austria's 4th emergency service, the snow ploughs came out on mass, clearing the carriageway ahead and gritting behind them. The snow eventually receded, visibility improved and the road surface could be seen again. It was a nerve wracking experience but the Austrians really do know how to deal with snow!

    Further on our 280km journey to that night's stopover, we noticed that the road signs and lane markings didn't direct towards settlements within Austria, but towards the countries of Italy (I), Slovenia (SLO) and Germany (D). We were looking forward to starting the Italian part of our journey the following day!

    Our stopover was at Andräer See; a partially frozen (and closed) swimming lake beside fields and a river. We arrived just before sunset and enjoyed the last bit of sunshine on a walk along the riverside path. It felt good to be back in more natural surroundings again. We'd not noticed ourselves missing it when we were in the city, but there is something soothing and relaxing about the countryside that you just can't find in busy urban areas.

    At just after 4am Vicky took Poppy outside and received a surprise when she opened the door; everywhere was covered in snow! Poppy didn't want to come back in but it was -3°C so Vicky was fairly confident it would still be there in the morning. It was a beautiful scene when daylight came. Mist had flooded the previously starry sky and blotted out the view beyond 50m. We needed to leave quite promptly as we had a long journey ahead to get to Italy, but we made time for Poppy to go and have some fun on the snowy field! The roads were thankfully free of snow once we turned out of the stopover and visibility cleared to treat us to some beautiful views of the mist bowl in the valley we'd just spent the night.
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  • Day158

    Judenburg

    December 1, 2016 in Austria

    Travelling north west towards Salzburg, we stopped over at Judenburg in the swimming baths' car park. The town had a great independent textiles shop, its assistant was very helpful and enthusiastic about the materials Vicky wanted, providing suggestions as to what might be best. She told us the old till that showed the price in groschen and schillings was 100 years old, the shop had been there for 70 years and she had worked there for 40 years!

    Judenburg had its own little Advent market with a large tree and wooden huts arranged around a square with a couple of fire baskets that were kept topped up with logs. Will had a Glühwein and Vicky a hot chocolate with rum as we admired the handmade decorations on the stalls around us. The lights were again mostly traditional fairy lights but there was one modern display of two led snowmen measuring around 6ft and 12ft tall!
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  • Day159

    Liezen

    December 2, 2016 in Austria

    On the journey to Liezen we passed lots of large wooden chalets and mountains that had strips of snow in places but were snow free in others. It was only after a while that we realised this was due to snow machines churning out piles of snow that were then shovelled onto the ski slopes by ploughs.

    We entered Liezen through a corridor of large outlet stores lined with giant advertising billboards. The stopover was outside a sports centre and had enough room for three vans, although we were the only ones there. The narrow, straight road that ran adjacent to us was used for running and nordic walking and had a flat plain on the other side of it that led to a backdrop of mountains.

    As darkness fell, the temperature dropped and the biting wind grew in strength. We spent a restless night as it buffeted the van, but were rewarded at just before dawn by the sight of pinky peach rays of light peeking over one hill, shining through the clouds and on to the snow powdered mountainside!
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  • Day40

    Morgens in Wien ging es nach dem Aufstehen zum Spar. Auf dem Rückweg sah Jo aus der Ferne Qualm aus einem der Fenster im Erdgeschoß des Nachbarhaus aufsteigen. Es dauerte nicht lange bis auch Flammen aus dem Fenster schlugen. Beim Erreichen das Hauses traf zum Glück die Feuerwehr ein.
    Jo ging erstmal in Ruhe frühstücken. Nach dem Frühstück beim Losfahren war die Aufregung dann auch schon vorbei und nur noch ein paar Einsatzkräfte zur Sicherung vor Ort.

    Die Fahrt aus Wien entlang dem R9 gestaltete sich nicht ganz einfach. Großstädte bieten immer so viele Verfahrmöglichkeiten, mit Unterstützung vom Navi wurden es dann "nur" 20km mehr als am morgen abgeschätzt.
    Der R9 ging hauptsächlich ruhig am "Wiener Neustädter Kanal" entlang der Anfang des 19. Jahrhunderts zum Transport von Zielg, Holz und Kohle gebaut wurde. Die Besonderheiten am Kanal sind die zahlreichen Wasserstraßenkreuze.
    Beim militärischen Speergebiet neben dem Kanal erschreckte sich Jo. Wie aus dem nichts tauchten plötzlich 6 Helikopter knapp über der Baumkrone auf. Jo staunte fasziniert und begeistert wie 4 Helis Soldaten absetzten bevor sie wieder im Tiefflug verschwanden, während die anderen beiden zur Sicherung über der Absetzstelle kreisten. An so einer Übung hätte Jo auch gerne während seines GWD teilgenommen, schließlich wollte er mal Helikopterpilot werden.

    Der weitere Weg war unspektakulär. Nach 110km ging es noch mal 700 Höhenmeter durchs Semmeringer Skigebiet und weiter zum Warmshower Alfred, einem super netten begeisterten Outdoorsportler.
    Bei Alfred gab es leckere Nudeln mit Bärlauchpesto, die auf einem Holzherd zubereitet wurden! Der Holzherd ist am Warmwasserspeicher angeschlossen und kann somit das ganze Haus heizen. Jo findet das richtig cool! Jo
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  • Day41

    Abstecher nach Graz

    June 15 in Austria

    Am Morgen standen aufgrund der Empfehlung von Warmshower Alfred mehrere Routen zur Auswahl. Jo entschied sich für ein Kompromiss aus Entfernung 100km, Höhenmeter 2000m und Sehenswertem, wobei maps für die Routeplanung zu Hilfe genommen wurde, was nicht die schlauste Entscheidung war.
    Zwischen Alp und Fischbach im Nichts gab es 5 Wege, aber nur einen im Navi. Dieser entpuppte sich mit der Zeit mehr als Bachlauf mal mit mal ohne Wasser. Fahren war 4km bergauf als auch ein Großteil bergab nicht möglich. Somit gab es die erste Wanderung in den Bergen :) (leider mit Fahrrad). Zur Entschädiung gab es nach der Wanderung ein schönes Panorama, wo Bergbauern Weiden mähten und das Gras zum Trocknen aufhängten.

    In Graz besucht Jo seinen Bruder. In der angenehmen Sommernacht ging es noch zu einem kurzen OKG (Ortskontrollgang) durch den Stadteil Lend mit pulsierenden Straßen, unzähligen Bars und jungen Leuten.

    Hamburg - Graz 2742 km
    Neuer Topspeed 85,66km/h

    Sa ist Pause und So geht es dann mit dem Bus zurück nach Wien an die Donau, von wo aus die deutsche Fußballnationalmannschaft angefeuert wird und Wi wieder dazustößt. Jo
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  • Day46

    Dachstein Mountain

    October 11, 2017 in Austria

    When you are staying somewhere with lots of mountains, it is inevitable that a “thing” you want to see if on the other side of several mountains. The case today, where we drove nearly two hours back around the top of Salzburg and then south, and then west to get to the Dachstein Mountain in the Austrian Alps. Agenda: A cable car up to 2,700m, a walk across a suspension bridge, a daring walk down the “stairs to nothingness”, a journey through the “ice palace” carved inside a glacier, and then once we had come back down in the gondola, a 1.5 hour hike.

    We were blessed with perfect weather today – clear blue sky, 20C up on the mountain (but a lot colder in the wind) and 30cm of snow. The views across the alps were simply breathtaking.
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  • Day46

    Suspension Bridge and Stairway

    October 11, 2017 in Austria

    So there is a suspension bridge which takes you across a ravene, with the option on walking out onto a platform called the "Stairway to Nothingness". I was the only one up for the challenge, until Finn, my boy who is usually afraid of heights, decided to join me. There is no logical reason why this increases the fear factor, but the last three stairs and the platform are made of glass, and really slippery with ice, and just stepping onto them increased the heart rate considerably.

    Good fun though!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Steiermark, Styria, Stiermarke, Estiria, شتايرمارك, Ştiriya, Steiamoak, Штырыя, Щирия, Stiria, Štajerska, Estíria, Štýrsko, Sztejermark, Στυρία, Stirio, Steiermargi liidumaa, اشتایرمارک, Steiermark Wappen.svg|55px, Styrie, Stirie, שטיריה, Stájerország, Շտիրիա, シュタイアーマルク州, შტირია, 슈타이어마르크 주, Štirija, Štīrija, Штаерска, Штир, श्टायरमार्क, Stiermarken, Штири, سٹیریا, Штирия, Istìria, Štajersko, Штајерска, Иёлати Штирия, รัฐสติเรีย, سترىيە, Штирія, 施泰爾馬克州

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