Winter Wonderland in Austria

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My first view of the Alps from the Zugspitz Arena,in Ehrwald, Tirol

“Powdery snow, sunshine, and the Zugspitze mountain–these three words describe my first Winter Wonderland holiday experience in Austria!”

Last week, my little family went for our first holiday for 2017  in Austria. We thought that it’s a great chance to escape for a while and have a family getaway since here in Bavaria ,we have 2 weeks for the Christmas break and we are really itching to go on a short trip. It’s my first winter wonderland experience and what an experience it was! I was so excited to welcome the new year and to go on this trip to finally see the Alps and seeing it for the first time was really overwhelming. Arriving in Ehrwald,the biggest village, where we start our adventure gave us a chance to see the quaint life and culture in this small Tyrolian village in the Wetterstein mountain chain in the area of the Tiroler Zugspitz Arena.

The Alps has an unforgettable beauty, and now I knew why my husband spent most of his childhood holidays here. It has for sure a different charm during Summer, Spring and Fall, but seeing the Alps in Winter is so breath-taking!

The highlights of our trip was our trip going up to the Ehrwalder Almbahn where my 2 year- old daughter & I rode the cable car up to the mountains and had magnificent views up in the ski resort. We stroll along the villages of Ehrwald ,Lermoos and Biberwier and watch the Austrian life goes by. There has been lots of playtime in the snow, sight-seeing,tasting the local food. We had the adventurous hiking trail as we explored the nearby villages. Trekking & hiking in the winter wonderland here in Tiroler Zugspitze Arena brought a new height to my Wandertag where I saw glittering lakes and glowing springs. With a toddler on tow, we are limited on some activities since she is too young  but we managed to enjoy each day! The sight of horses, donkeys and goats,even Alpacas is something that we never expected to see but it was there. We’ve met wonderful people, and created lots of memories.

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Zauberhafter Winter in Austria

Our trip from Ingolstadt to Ehrwald up to Biberwier offers a lot of majestic views and I thought that the trip was even short, maybe because I was too engrossed admiring the views. As as soon as we reached our Pension House in Biberwier, the sight of this Winter Wonderland gets into my system further more. I inhaled the crisp winter air and feasted my eyes on all the foreign things around me, the landscape,which shows natural beauty of nature. The people, the scenery, the flow of life in the village, and the coziness of the place made our trip worthwhile. We had a smooth 3.5 hours train travel and my daughter was the best jet setter travel buddy. She behaved so well in the train, she played, took her nap and enjoyed the train views as well.  It was a sunny Tuesday afternoon when we arrived and I was even more glad that we have a nice weather to welcome us in Austria.The weather suddenly changed on the following day and  did not expect the heavy snowfall which made us cancel our planned trip to go up the peak of the Zugspitze. It was snowing heavily that it become hard for us to push the stroller in the knee-deep snow and winds and it’s not a great day to enjoy the views up there.

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Another glimpse of the Alps from our room in Gästehaus Panorama in Biberwier in Tirol

Even if you don’t plan to ski or do winter sports, a trip to this place offers so much. Nature has so much wonder that this place is heaven for a nature lover like me. The local Tourism Center has a daily program of activities for all visitors to enjoy.The Alps is simply  breathtaking ,with all the trees covered in snow  on its bottom, and the valleys covered in whiteness is something that I did not expect to see. The shadow cast of the sun is so magical that I could stare at it for hours. One of the unforgettable experience I had is watching the sunset here. The sun slowly goes down and cast a magical brownish shade against the pine trees. I watched it with glee.

 

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View from our room in the Pension house in Biberwier

The views from our room are totally priceless. I am so glad that we have stayed in Gästehaus Panorama where we have a panoramic view  every single day! The mountains are calling us, the nearby Marienberg ski resort, and the winter wonderland valley sights brought us beautiful mornings each day. We literally woke up, ate, lounge, and sleep with this view! It’s all like a dream.Watching the snow fall each night is so magical, like a chapter of a book that you don’t want to put down.

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Winter wonderland in Tirol, Austria

I never imagined that winter could be this beautiful. On a sunny day, the snow glistened like diamonds against the bright sun. Now I know why you need to wear your shades especially when you are up in the mountain where everything is just covered in snow.The pine trees are standing so pretty with its thick snow covering its leaves, just like what I imagined it to be. Travelling with a toddler in a cold, freezing, winter wonderland here in Zugspitze Arena is possible and a trip that I would recommend to any family.

Also, what a coincidence that today was my first (1 YEAR)  year anniversary with WordPress. It’s been a year when I registered and created this Blog and thought that this post is just timely to celebrate a year of fruitful writing my Expat life and sharing with you here. For my followers,thank you all for being with me here and reading my posts!

Stay tuned for more posts of our holiday in Austria!

Little Peaked House in Bernkastel-Kues

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Little Peaked House , Anno 1416.

Why you need to see this amazing  Peaked House?

Because its a beautiful relic of History.

This unique peaked house, which was built on the smallest surface area possible ,becomes progressively wider the higher it goes.

When I saw this striking structure, I understand why people from all over the world stop to pay a visit to this picturesque building during their holidays in the Moselle region. The narrow-gabled little house with its sturdy ground floor dates back to 1416 and is one of the most photographed attractions along the river Moselle.

The Architecture is rich in detail. Has an impressive timber frame, which overhangs on three sides, was only exposed in 1914. The timberwork had been rendered over in the preceding years due to the risk of fire. The pretty oriel window and the half-timbered facades are hallmarks of the traditional architecture of the Moselle region.

The style of the pointed house symbolizes the transition from the Renaissance to the Baroque period in a vivid and tangible way.
At the same time, the building is also a typical example of an old Moselle-style winegrower’s house with its oak-beamed wine cellar supported by blocks of slate, the upper floors protruding outwards on both sides and the tall attic for storing winter food and accommodating pets.
The ground floor of the building now houses a wine tavern run by the Schmitz-Herges family winery which for generations produced fine Riesling wines and also Pinot Noir red wines since couple of years ago.

Unfortunately, my daughter did not see this beauty. She was fast asleep taking her midday nap in her stroller which I parked just beside this peaked house.But someday, I will tell her the story when she dozed off to la-la land in front of this beautiful building.

Have you’ve been to Bernkastel -Kues?  How was your experience?

Burg Eltz , A fairytale trip

Visiting Burg Eltz is like  stepping into a fairytale . I have never seen a real castle in my whole life and seeing one for the very first time is a dream come true. I was excited and at the same time thinking if going there would be baby-friendly . I’m so glad we went through with it. This is a great family destination !

A scenic setting

We drove from Osann-Monzel through the quaint towns of  Münstermaifeld  & picturesque Wierschem . The road trip itself  is wonderful , the long  & winding road with views of scenic countryside . I always wonder ,”Where is the castle ?” The element of surprise is always there.

 We arrived around 4 p.m  & we  decided to take the shuttle bus from the car park which led us to the castle within 5 minutes. From the steep winding road , it was really a magical experience to finally  have a glimpse of  Burg Eltz .It was erected  in a strategic position along the lower Eltz River, which serves as a tributary of the Moselle. This was a popular trade route linking the Moselle  with the Eifel River. The castle was built atop a 70 meter high rock giving it a commanding view of the Elzbach Valley and River Eltz, which flowed around the base of the castle on three sides.

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Burg Eltz as seen from the footpath.

If you want to have a short hiking adventure, (approx. 15 mins. )  starting from the lower car park , the foot path and the private road  will  both brought you unforgettable views of the castle. We took this road  on our way back to the car park since we want to make the most of this adventure . I strongly recommend to wear your baby  in a sling for an enjoyable walk through the woods  although this footpath can also allow you to have a push chair for your child.

Best Kept Secret Beautiful Architecture

Burg Eltz is simply gorgeous. It is located in the perfect setting , hidden like a gem in the forest . Even though the weather was a bit gray , Burg Eltz still charmed us  with its Tudor style buildings & cone-shaped roofs . It’s so striking between the luscious greens of the forest around it.

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A scenic view of the Burg Eltz

This castle is one of the  most beautiful castle all through out Germany. Burg Eltz is one of the few Rhenish castles that was never destroyed & preserved. As a result of skillful diplomacy, the castle avoided conflict during the 30 years war when most of the Rhine castles were destroyed by the French.The castle consists of eight towers with living quarters grouped around an inner courtyard.

We took the English tour which lasted of about 45 mins. I was really in awe of the interior of the castle . It’s like you are being transported 850 years back. I felt in awe knowing that Me & my daughter is standing at the same floors were the ancient Eltz family stepped on . With  baby in a sling around me , i let myself be absorbed through the wonderful journey inside the castle .

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Inner Courtyard

A castle with Legacy 

Burg Eltz has  a distinctive  Medieval siege tower at the top of the hill.This is the Trutz-Eltz ,erected by archbishop Balduin of Luxembourg in the mid-14th century.He was trying to take over the entire region between Trier & the Rhine river but the Eltz family & their local allies refused to give in.This was the beginning of the so-called  “Eltz-feud” (1331-36), during which Balduin laid siege to Eltz castle. In the courtyard , the stone balls that his men had lobbed at the castle  from Trutz-Eltz (also known as Spite-Eltz )  can still be seen.

It’s a wonderful experience that through the tour , you can have  an idea what is the living areas of a wealthy noblemen in the late 15th century look like . What’s amazing is how the features like oak beams and fireplaces stayed in place after all these years . The famous  Virgin & a child with grapes painting adorns the Lower Hall . It is such an important piece of art . The castle is filled with murals & the ceiling reflect the oriental influence that spread throughout Europe after the crusades. One interesting feature i saw in the Burg Eltz is the built-in toilet . The toilets were flushed using rainwater collected from the roof , through a sewage duct ,and into the valley below . In the middle ages , they use hay & cabbage leaves as toilet paper.The Rodendorf Kitchen is also worth a look .From this ,you can really see what does a 15th century kitchen looks like ,with its built in oven made of volcanic stone ,the huge chopping board , the replicas of food hung on the ceiling to keep out from the reach of rodents.

I highly recommend for you to take the tour in your preferred language to learn more about this castle because it’s amazing. There is a nice Restaurant that you can grab a drink and eat after the tour or just simply enjoy the views surrounding the castle. Clean bathrooms are also present & they also have a souvenir shop.

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Travel Tips !

  • If you’re travelling with babies , babywearing is much better than carrying them since strollers are not allowed inside .The castle has no ramps and steep stairs during the tour is a high concern.
  • Take advantage of getting into Burg Eltz through the short hike ,the wonderful nature is also not to be missed.
  • Wear comfortable shoes as the castle grounds is cobbled and climbing the narrow, steep stairs could be a pain .You also need to watch your head during the tour because the ceiling is low in some passageways.

You can find more helpful information in Here if you plan to visit Burg Eltz.

Have you’ve ever been to Burg Eltz ? How was your experience ? Please feel free to share it in the comments.

Again , have a nice day & Thank you for reading !