On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions.
From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
Happy to see otmar returning to On the Road. And on a Friday! Today we don’t just appreciate the beauty and joy around us, but we also celebrate family with a trip that includes grandma and the kids. ~WaterGirl
I was an eager adopter of Alain’s “On the Road” idea, loving the idea of giving you all a glimpse of life and travel in Europe. For quite some time, I managed to get featured almost every Friday.
As life got rather frantic here (if you know my job and followed the right news, you can connect the dots and guess what kept me busy), I had to skip submitting pictures. Then came a few cancelled trips and now the Covid lockdown (btw: Austria is a few weeks ahead of the US, we had our facepalm-worthy mistakes but we managed to kill the infection chain early enough to be already in the “how do we best reopen the country”-phase.)
Anyway: I went into my archive and pulled few pictures from a family trip with the kids and grandma to Castle Hochosterwitz from 2012.
The castle is smack in the middle of Carinthia, between St. Veit and Althofen. It can’t be seen when you take the highway, but the train tracks pass close by, that’s what brought you a first glimpse in 2017.
Right in the middle of a plain, a single rock was just perfect to build a castle on. That was the time when raiding parties from the Ottomans we a common occurrence in south/east Austria. There is a string of castle in that area built with that threat in mind.
See also the Wikipedia entry.
The path up to the castle on the summit winds around the mountain. 14 fortified gates were built to defend it against intruders.
As usual, such a castle also includes a church (or at least a chapel).
The summit also features a garden.
The altar of the chapel.
Once you made the way up you are rewarded with a stunning view back over the plain below.
The red/white/yellow flag of the castle alludes to the colors of Carinthia.
Grüße, otmar! I’ve always enjoyed otmar Friday on OTR. And today’s photos are no exception.
These boffo photos remind me of a great book. Danubia by Simon Winder, is “A charmingly personal history of Hapsburg Europe, as lively as it is informative”.
It combines pieces of history, culture, geography, and travelog, and I found it very absorbing.
J R in WV
Otmar, thanks for taking the time to share your world with us, the proud, the few, the Jackals. Alain would love this set of photos. Also glad to see that you are making your way through the Covid-19 disaster! Easier said than done!
Maybe someday we can travel again to Europe and see the Alps, ride the trains, see the historic locations and castles, Mad King Ludwig’s confections, etc, etc. Maybe…
Take care, stay well~!!~
Good Morning! Otmar, are you able to get out and about now?
I got to spend a week in Austria years ago – it was lovely to be reminded of its beauty this morning.
Lovely. Still considering where I would go next if and when we get the chance.
Beautiful! What a view, both looking up and down!
Austria is so green and peaceful and the castle looks like something in a movie. Thanks, otmar, it’s good to see your pictures again.
Welcome back, otmar. What is the pyramid in the square down below?
If I can’t go to Europe, this is the next best thing. Thanks, otmar!
Mike in Oly
What a beautiful place! Thanks for sharing.
Otmar and Austria! thanks for the trip!
@JPL: We never had a full “don’t leave your house” quarantine here. We were always allowed to go for walks, provided social distancing was observed.
Actually, the government was stricter in their press conferences than what the actual ordinances said. There were a few areas where their legal foundation was shaky, so they used scaring the population into observing a stricter lock-down than was actually decreed. Observance of the social distancing was really good during those first weeks.
Anyway, we’re way past the (1st, sigh) peak now, we’re relaxing rules in 2-week intervals. Today is the first day that restaurants can take sit-down customers again. My kid’s in-place school start next week (they’re splitting classes: half of the students come in on a given day), and we’re really looking forward to send them off to school and hockey training again. Shops are all open now (with some restrictions), most companies are still doing home-office as a general rule, but office buildings are getting increasingly used as well.
Right now, the numbers are looking really good in Austria. We’re at about 1000 known infections, 165 cases in hospitals of which 47 are in ICUs. An average of 7000 tests a day result in ~40 positive cases. Most of these are in known clusters, contact tracing is possible.
So everybody is focused now on the next steps: how to get to a maximum of normalcy without risking a 2nd wave.
@HinTN: According to their website, the square is the “Tiergarten” (enclosure for animals). The pyramid is just the roof of a small building there.
Thanks, otmar! That’s a great castle.