And rescue dogs. What a great Saturday!
Friends were in town both socially and for work a couple of weeks ago, and with one of the days being a UN holiday, the four of us enjoyed a day outing to the Wachau Valley. The day was beautiful, albeit still in summer’s stronghold of high temperatures.
Summer break, the Vienna version, has come to an end for Anna Grace. She departed this morning for a week stateside to visit friends, returning just in time for the start of the school year. All things considered, the summer days we spent together were pretty darn good. I had the privilege of handing off all planning to Anna Grace; and her suggestions were spot-on for great day outings. All I had to do was drive (if necessary) and pay for lunch! Bonus. 😊
And these are the drinking horns!
Call us holiday market connoisseurs. When the Niederösterreich newsletter arrived in my inbox, listing the “most beautiful markets,” of the season I pored over it like I once did the Toys R Us catalog as a I child. And why not? So many palaces and castles that rarely open to the public fill their rooms with holiday greenery and handcrafted, locally produced goods for just one weekend, making visit feel like a mini-holiday. Add in a spectacular setting, and we are happy daytrippers. With so many markets to choose from, though, we have only made rare return visits in our soon-to-be four Christmases in Vienna.
It is no secret that we like to venture out on the weekends; and with Christmas markets opening across the region, the weekends seem to plan themselves.
Saturday dawned sunny and bright, and thus Tony and I needed no further invitation to head out somewhere. One of my news feeds mentioned a festival somewhere nearby in Slovakia, and that was good enough for us. It turned out that the town was celebrating the autumn kill, or something (we don’t speak Slovak!) Though everything on the grill smelled wonderful, eating barbecued animal parts at 1030 in the morning wasn’t for us.
The Austrian Giant Pumpkin Growers (a real group, with an English-language title!) held their annual competition this weekend at Die Garten Tulln, a beautiful, beautiful garden in neighboring Niederösterreich.
The tower was also home to a stork nest, but no one was home, to my great disappointment.
Though the children are almost 14 and 19, at every water scene it was imperative we look for turtles and snakes. The beavers were a little harder to find, alas.
Now this is my kind of Insect Hotel!
Rope bridges over waterways brimming with turtles, frogs, snakes, and beavers? Anna Grace was there!
Sitting still and calm helped us spot snakes catching an early lunch. Circle of Life right in front of us.
This trunk washed ashore near Hainburg an der Donau and was dated to be from the 1300s. Most likely it had been used as a moor and was well preserved. Pretty cool, we thought.
Baa Baa Black Sheep and friends peacefully exist on the island with their reptilian and amphibious friends, too. Today’s outing is something that Tony and I love about our children; they prefer experiences to “stuff,” though they would not turn down the “stuff” if handed to them. How many parents have two teenagers who would say, “This was really fun. I’m glad we came out here.”?
On the route home we passed another Isrealitsche Friedhof, a small space surrounded by modernity. This one was particularly saddening to me.
“Last Funeral: 1938.”