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  • Writer's pictureUrsula

Burgenland and Styria 6.9.-24.9.20

Updated: Dec 30, 2021

We continue to Lake Neusiedl for a week. Without mountains, the area seems a bit monotonous to us and the Pannonian rows of houses look closed and not very photogenic on the street side, but offer beautiful courtyards. We enjoy some beautifully landscaped beaches, such as Rust (is also the prettiest town), Mörbisch and Breitenbrunn where a short detour to the historic cellar district is worthwhile.

Of course, a short visit to the famous lighthouse in Podersdorf is not to be missed. Afterwards we continue to Illmitz in the National Park Neusiedler See. We get advice and decide for a 13 km long flat hike, where you should see birds, wild horses, steppe landscape, salt ponds and wetlands. This turned out to be a hike with few highlights due to the dryness. Doing a sailing or cycling tour would probably have been the better choice.

To sweeten the day a bit we visit the winery Salzl Seewinkelhof in Illmitz for a wine tasting. We are thrilled by the white and red wines and immediately buy 2 boxes.

We take another excursion to the Esterhazy Castle in Eisenstadt, which tells an interesting family story, before continuing on to Thermenland.

A spa hotel must have visited and we decide for 2 nights at the Hotel Styria (because it has a Tesla Charger). From there we make a short visit to Bad Blumau and the thermal capital Fürstenfeld.

We continue via Riegersburg Castle and Bad Radkersburg, which lies directly on the Slovenian border, to Graz. This is our starting point for the next 10 days.

The pretty alleys and many restaurants of the old town of Graz invite you to linger. We marvel at the beautiful facades and buildings, the Schlossberg, the double spiral staircase, the Murinsel, the architecture of the Kunsthaus and even the huge central cemetery. We decide to take a guided evening tour of the Lendviertel, which, along with the Griesquartier, is one of the more run-down areas, but has all the more interesting stories to offer. Graz calls itself the gourmet capital of Austria, so we have to try out the best restaurants (according to TripAdvisor). Number one is the 'Dreizehn by Gauster' and we are thrilled. On the last evening we go to number 2, the 'Caylend', which is very good but not as refined as number one.

The surroundings of Graz have a lot to offer in all directions. We decide for the following excursions:

Graz's local mountain Schöckl, with the cable car up to 1445 m from where you have a 360° panoramic view. At the top you can take small hikes and watch the paragliders.

Worthwhile visit to the sculpture park on the outskirts of town and a short detour to the Nova-Air Hotel with 2 airplanes on the roof, one for dining, the other set up as a bar.

A little further away in the north we make a hike to the Fölzalm, a good 2 hours 650m high. It is quite steep and our knees are badly strained on the way back. The view of the mountains is magnificent and worth the effort in any case.

Another recommendable excursion leads to Semriach to the Kesselfallklamm (the bigger sister Bärenschützklamm nearby is closed because of falling rocks) and to the worth seeing potstone cave Lurgrotte (9° cold) with light show and classical music in the huge dome.

The charming towns of Bruck an der Mur and Frohnleiten to the north are a worthwhile detour for lunch or a snack.

Heading west, in Bärnbach we visit the St. Barbara Church by Hundertwasser and the glass museum with a sales outlet with quite affordable glass items.

A few kilometers away in Köflach is the Lipizzaner stud where the foals for the court riding school in Vienna are raised.

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