Thursday, July 12

Passage of Time

In general, the inkling that the weekend ahead is bound to be pleasant is confirmed when you set your luggage down in your room and there are chocolates adorning your pillow.

And when your morning breakfast, presented after waking at your leisure, is filled with traditional Austrian delights, including homemade elderberry jelly, you can be assured that this getaway weekend was indeed a good idea.

In my opinion the best way to see any country—villages, cities, towns and tourist spots—is through the eyes of a native of the land. The insight and the information regarding local culture and custom are priceless. As is the chance to spend some bonding time with a friend.

Sonja met me at the train station in Linz late on Thursday evening, and as we drove to the city toward her village, I could not help but loudly exclaim “Wow, what a beautiful country!” It is a visual splendor to see the farms and the barns stretching on through the hills: Barley, Wheat, Hops, and Cornfields decorate the land, far as the eye can see in every direction. As she steered the car down narrow snaking roads over the hills toward her home, I grinned, then giggled, and grinned some more.

The next three days that grin didn’t fade in the least.

I spent my first night in Linz chatting long into the night with my friend, then retiring to my perfect guest room, and slept soundly and long.

Friday we toured the city of Linz, spending the day just the way I love to spend time anywhere, wandering along streets, camera in hand.

Friday evening we dined at a local restaurant in the countryside, along with part of Sonja’s family (a brother, a sister-in-law, a niece, and her friend).

My beauiful friend Sonja and her darling niece.

That is where the table full of Austrian teases got their giggles on teaching me German (specifically Austrian) words, and getting a right guffaw out of my murderous attempts to pronounce words with the “Pf” diagraph.

However, I did master the word “Brettljause” (bray-tle-YOW-zah) which is a plate filled with thinly sliced meats, sausage, bacon, shaved radish, red pepper, onion, potato spread, hardboiled egg and a pickle. The tray of meats is served with a hearty brown bread in slices. You then pile the farmers bread with the plate’s contents as pleases you and gobble it down. Since I could say it, everyone agreed that I should order it for dinner. So I did.

And I drank this:

A drink made from Pears, called Most. It was most delicious.

The dinner ended with a shot of apricot schnapps, which my dinner company assured me was the traditional way to top a Brettljause dinner. I think partly they were hoping that this raucous American would get up and do some tap dancing on the wooden tables. Alas, it wasn’t THAT much schnapps. I must admit, I did join in on the tongue tricks demonstration (I can touch my tongue to my nose) and I did do my share of loud open-mouth–head-thrown-back laughing. That wasn’t the schnapps, or the most either. That was pure joy over keeping company with new friends.

What way to spend a day.


  1. What a rare treat! You are so right: a weekend that begins with chocolates on the pillow (and ends with apricot schnapps!) is bound to be great. Thanks for a wonderful post & gorgeous pictures.

  2. I love the pictures that you took. Candid pictures like to ones of the town and people are my favorites.

  3. What a way indeed! Oh..... I'm feeling incredibly jealous right this moment. I spent a whole summer in a town just an hour outside of Innsbruck, studying German. And yeah, they laughed at me too. Hahaha. I love your approach to seeing places, by the way--less touristy, more resident-y. (that makes sense, right?)

  4. Wow! What was that word? Beetlejuice? :)

    So what was that those men were doing, playing a giant game of chess. Was Baron Munchausen there?

    Sounds like a lovely time with lovely people. I'm so happy for you! No sex, though, huh?

  5. Alas, Teri, no. No Baron, and no sex. But yes, a game of chess in the streets. Kinda cool, huh?

  6. To: twbwop--
    Welcome! And thanks for the comment, or compliment rather. I love getting candid shots of people as they are.

  7. anno, jami, brillig-
    as always, thanks for your support, kindness, and yes, your COMMENTS!

  8. I just realized that those guys are playing chess in front of Woolworth's. Are there any Woolies left in the USA?

  9. jami-
    I am glad you picked up that detail. I was totally surprised to see WOOLWORTH in Austria. I hadn't seen one in years!

  10. The photos are gorgeous! It sounds like a wonderful way to experience Austria.

  11. That sounds like a most delightful and enjoyable trip. Good for you!

    Uh...Jenn? I lost your address! Could you please send it to me? I'm such a slug; I promise your package is forthcoming.

  12. Love the photos in this post and the one before it. I agree, the best way to experience a country is with the help of someone who lives there. That's why I love Bed & Breakfasts.

  13. What a great description of one of my favorite countries! And I agree, hangin' with the locals is the best way to see a place.

  14. I'm so happy for you. Happy, happy, happy.

  15. Whoa, great photos. I just might have to send my friend Dan over here to view the giant chess game. He's a major player (of chess, that is).

  16. How fun, I hate to moan about how jealous I am but it's hard to keep quiet with the pictures and all.

    I'm terribly jealous. How lucky!

    My daughter's learning German and she struts around throwing out German phrases and sounding like Schwarzenegger with a cold.

  17. "waking at your leisure"
    I became so envious at this point thst I had to leave... sob!

  18. Since I've gotten to see you all refreshed and relaxed after I am almost over my jealousy. Almost. However you neglected to tell me that you did not bring me back any "Mozart kuegeln". Not sure how long it will be 'til I forgive you...;)

  19. wow, that sunset looks amazing.

    great photos.