Traveller Story: Snow Falling in Austria
Stephen and Rachel travelled on our Austrian White Christmas tour in December 2014. They loved celebrating a Christmas in the Austrian village of Leogang with the locals.
What tour did you travel on?
When did you travel?
Who did you travel with?
Why did you select this particular tour?
Austria and Switzerland are the most beautiful countries in Europe (in my humble opinion) and I have always wanted to visit Vienna.
Have you travelled with Albatross Tours previously?
What was your favourite places on your Albatross tour?
Just about all of them! We adored Vienna, with it's grandiose architecture, wonderful culture and music, and so many Christmas markets.
The lovely town of Leogang, in part because our hotel was so incredible, but also because we celebrated Christmas there, and had our first taste of pure snow there.
What was the most amazing thing you saw or did on your Albatross tour?
Waking up on Boxing Day and seeing a white landscape - so much snow!
Tell us about your most memorable moment on tour?
Very hard to go past our Christmas Eve.
It started with a fire torch lit walk up the hill from our hotel, so we could look down on the township, with the lit up gold spire of the church steeple rising above the town. It was dusk and we were surrounded by mountains that were outlined by a pink hue as the sun was going down.
We took many photos of this beautiful scene, then returned to the township and our hotel (which was originally a working farm dating back to 1326 - and now lovingly restored) the former 'barn' building attached to the hotel. There we enjoyed warm gluhwein and ginger biscuits while a local girl from the town came and sang traditional Austrian Christmas carols. Sublime.
Returning to the hotel for a delicious Christmas Eve dinner then a walk around the town at night, at 9.30pm trumpets sounded out of the bell tower of the church (across the lane-way from our hotel), heralding the township to come to church. We went to church on Christmas Eve with the entire township of Leogang. What an incredible opportunity to experience Christmas not only like the Austrians, but with them!
What was your favourite meal on tour?
The Vienna schnitzel in the old restaurant in the Griechenbeisl Inn. 500 years old, with signatures of Mozart, Beethoven and Mark Twain on the walls!
What advice do you have for anyone interested in travelling on this tour?
Take warm clothes! For us it's all about beanies, gloves, and warm waterproof jackets.
Would you recommend this tour to family and friends? If so, why?
This tour is a wonderful combination of the glorious city of Vienna (so different at Christmas time) and the immersion into the Austrian culture with the small town 4 night stay in Leogang. I forgot to mention Luzern at the end of the tour is a delightful Swiss treat!