October 16, 2012
Genuss Fest or "Enjoyment Festival" is a celebration of local food and products. Booths are set up offering samples as well as food and beverages to buy.
Genuss Festivals are run throughout various regions of Austria. This particular event was showcasing the Burgenland region of Austria over 3 days in the city square of Oberpullendorf.
Tables are setup to sit and enjoy entertainment while eating all sorts local goodies. Austria produces 80% of it's own food so there is a lot to offer. There is also a growing Bio or organic movement.
In addition, Burgenland region of Austria is known for it's vineyards. There was an abundance of wine to try at Genuss Fest and a popular drink at harvest time is Sturm. It is a young wine, sweet, cloudy and carbonated with usually less alcohol content.
We ate ox sausage, pumpkin soup, palachinke (crepes) made with chestnut flour, mead (honey wine), goulash, sampled various jams and drank plenty of local wines that Burgenland has to offer.
October 11, 2012
Lots of castles throughout Austria and this is the first one we went to. Burg Schlaining built in 1230 (yes, you read that right, 1230!).
It was closed when we got there (lots off museums are closed on Mondays!) but there is a peace museum inside as it is also the study center for peace and conflict resolution. We walked around the grounds.
I really loved the bridge. Wonderful place for an outdoor theater.
October 8, 2012
One of the first events we attended in Oberpullendorf was Pfarrfest or "Parish Festival". It is a yearly event, run by volunteers. It starts with a mass, then the party is held outdoors in the church's yard.
Tents occupied with tables and benches, music by the local band as well as children's choir singing and plenty of food and drinks! The roast chicken stopped me in my tracks. What a beautiful sight.
The event ran all day and late into the evening. I heard the police had to shut it down at 11pm for noise disturbance. Who would have ever thought the Church would be such a rockin' good time :)
October 1, 2012
"I think we should go to Austria for a couple of months and put the kids in school in September" my husband tells me.
"Uh huh, yeah" I laughed, brushing him off, not thinking he was serious.
My husband was born & raised in Edmonton but every couple of years, his parents would uproot the whole family and live in their native Austrian home for a minimum of 6 months. He had gone to school and made friends, many of which he is still friends with to this day. He had good memories doing this back and forth between the two countries throughout his young years.
When we visited his family in Austria last year, nostalgia set in and then over several months he would bring the up the subject of our children doing the same as he did. I then came to realize he was serious about the matter and it was not a passing thought and even though I said ok, I was still a bit shocked when he actually booked flights.
Shocked because my children never spoke German. Over the course of a year, my children learned basic German by their father (and Rosetta Stone!) as well as with a tutor during the summer. Shocked because I don't speak a word German either. How was I going to go about all my mom duties if I couldn't speak to teachers or ask for something at the grocery store! I like being independent and this would cramp my style.
But mostly shocked because we were going to live in a DORF! A VILLAGE!
I'm a city girl, not a village girl!
Oberpullendorf is a village in the Burgenland region of Austria. It is the east part of the country, very close to the Hungarian border and 1 hour south of Vienna. It has about 3,000 people and it takes 15 minutes to walk from one end of town to the other. Don't believe me? Here's the map:
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We have settled in to our home and I will admit, I have shocked myself a bit. I have been outdoors more in the last several weeks here than I have over the last year at home. The scenery is beautiful and the weather is great. I have come upon numerous people who speak english and have been learning a word or two, mostly at the grocery store :)
Oberpullendorf is harmonious blend of town and country. There are 7 supermarkets, many cafes, restaurants and stores surrounded by homes and farmland. It is a very clean and upkept village with enough small town feel so that people greet one another on the street with a "Guten morgen" or "Gruss gott".
We have been walking the children to school, heading to the grocery store daily if not every other day and weaving our way in and out of various shops and cafes along the main street. Managing to put in some work hours too and getting in a bike ride or two on the bike path that interconnect all the various villages in Burgenland.
I am enjoying a "simpler life".
I think I'll stay a while :)