Innviertel: an English perspective
Wenn man via Workaway zu jemanden kommt, hilft man demjenigen einfach im Alltag mit, so als würde man zur Familie gehören. Und da mein Alltag viel mit Bloggen zu tun hat, habe ich meine beiden Besucherinnen gebeten, einen Blogbeitrag zu erstellen. Zuerst dachte ich, ich würde ihn übersetzen, aber das fände ich schade. Und da wir eh alle im Innviertel so international sind, ist er auf Englisch geblieben.
We are Georgie and Heidi; two young travelers from England, visiting Austria for the first time. The perception of Austria in my hometown (Stourbridge), is solely that it is the mother country of the Famous composer Mozart and that the hills are alive with the sound of music. Nevertheless for me, it has always been a much anticipated country to visit because I have heard plenty about the scenic countryside views, mountain slopes that are perfect for skiing and the rich musical culture, from my friends, family and own research. So, when we decided to travel around Europe, Austria was a must.
As we visit Innviertel, we are now into our 5th month of traveling via a platform called “Workaway”. With this, we commit to helping out for 4-5 hours each day, 5 days a week in exchange for room, board and an authentic cultural experience with natives! Finding Mosauerin and Mosauer (our current hosts) was a stroke of luck.
Being tucked away in a remote ranch in Hungary with limited WIFI, we were finding it difficult to secure a placement, but we stumbled across their page and now have spent one week living and working at an old farmhouse. Our daily life is relaxing and enjoyable. We wake up in the morning when it is best for us, and work outside in the warm sun, surrounded by chickens, Geese and Cats; the best company! What is refreshing is that it doesn’t feel like ‘work’. For us, it is more like we’re helping out friends each day and then spent the rest of it relaxing in the sun, walking, swimming or bike riding in the mesmerizing Austrian countryside.
Here we have the best of both worlds. On one hand, the quaint little town of Altheim is a few minutes down the road and on the other, one can escape down a quiet, peaceful country road in a matter of minutes, surrounded by pure nature. Guided with a helpful map of the area, we followed a route recommended by Mosauerin along unspoiled and solitary country lanes that lead us to two delightful small castles, one of which is situated right on the vast river “Inn”.
What an experience it was, to sit on the edge of this river when Germany lies just on the other side. How strange it was for us to be staring at another country, so close.
Our ride also lead us to lake ‘Badesee Gundholling’, where we soaked in the summer atmosphere by sunbathing and swimming as we pleased. It’s such a pleasant lake, with a park and an opportunity to buy food and drink or to maybe relax with a beer. My favourite aspect of this lake is that it is both public and private. There are people playing in the park and leaping into the lake from the platform in the middle, adding to the pleasant atmosphere with their joyful laughter. However, the path surrounding the lake contains little nooks where one can easily relax in private and in peace. My favourite thing about staying with local people is, that they can share with you the hidden gems of the area.
We were lucky enough to be staying with a few generous and helpful Innviertlers enabling us to see some beautiful sights! Just a few minutes from our house lies the remains of a Roman Bathhouse and a little further along is a scenic part of an river with an abundance of birds resting from their migration.
And we couldn’t get bored of cycling from town to town. My favourite was Obernberg which was home to a large church with pristine gardens occupied with various different plants and flowers which helped to calm the mind for a few minutes.
When planning a trip to Austria people will insist that you must visit Vienna and you must visit Salzburg- because they are a must see. Both are in fact, deeply interesting cities to visit but Innviertel is a wonderland of nature with a deep peace hiding just behind the busy roads and shops, just waiting to be found. It is hidden gems such as this that really introduce you to the Austrian culture and make the trip worthwhile.
Heidi & Georgie from UK