A World of Color: Austria in White

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A World of Color: Austria in White

My recent two-week tour of Austria with Best of the Alps and the Austrian Tourism Board began in the awe-inspiring Alps and moved on to three spectacular cities. From west to east, I thoroughly enjoyed some of the best vistas, culture, history, food, wine, and people that Austria has to offer. This was easily one of my most favorite trips.

 Austria in White

With the mountains covered in their winter coat, I couldn’t help but be drawn to the color, or rather non-color, white. Perhaps I’m taking the easy way out by choosing the hue of snow and clouds for the Austria installment of my World of Color series. I could simply slap up a multitude of landscape photos and call it a day. Besides, my “Malaysia in Gold” post was vibrant and required a bit of creativity. But as I perused the thousands of photos from my trip, I found that white was prominent in much more than Austria’s wintery landscapes.

Arlberg

Located in the western most part of Austria in the state of Tyrol, is the Arlberg region. Known as the cradle of Alpine skiing, the Arlberg is legendary for its beauty, hospitality, and contribution to the evolution of the sport of skiing. Here, the majestic mountains fascinate with their unspoilt and idealistic beauty. For over 100 years, this area has also attracted visitors {and European royalty} for their world-class ski resorts, most notably St. Anton and Lech Zürs.

St. Anton

 Austria in White

Given such grandeur, it’s important to stop and take it all in.

 Austria in White

Being on the Arlberg is like standing on top of the world.

 Austria in White

When skiing, it’s nice to stop for something warm, complete with whipped cream.

 Austria in White

Drink in the white wine and views of the Arlberg at Hospiz Alm Chalet in St. Christoph.

 Austria in White

Gourmet food and this spectacular view have skiers clamoring for a table at Verwallstube.

 Austria in White

White gloves, white truffles, and white sauce are perfection at Verwallstube.

Lech Zürs

 Austria in White

The clouds tease skiers throughout the day.

 Austria in White

In the small, carless village of Oberlech is this even smaller church on the slopes.

 Austria in White

One course from the uber-luxurious, Aurelio’s–an egg atop an upside down wine glass.

 Austria in White

Meat marbling aside, in Austria one gets schmaltz–clarified goose fat–to spread on bread.

Innsbruck

Having hosted the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics, one would expect Innsbruck to be a outdoor-lover’s dream. With plentiful opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, bobsledding, hiking, biking, and anything else remotely active, Innsbruck is a year around draw. But there’s more to the city than sports. The capital of Tyrol, Innsbruck is well-known for its university, which brings about a certain energy. Cultural offerings such as the opera, theater, and numerous museums and historical locations, make for a well-rounded city with much to offer visitors.

 Austria in White

From Innsbruck, a 15-minute gondola ride takes visitors 1,900 meters high in the mountains.

 Austria in White

With Innsbruck below, skiers, snowboarders, bikers, and parasailers take the fun way down.

 Austria in White

An espresso with a spectacular view is enjoyed at Grünwalderhof.

 Austria in White

My guide, Elisabeth, invited me to her home for homemade biscuits and Champagne.

 Austria in White

The light pours in the Spanish Hall at the Ambras Castle, built by Archduke Ferdinand II.

 Austria in White

 An entire day could be spent looking into the Innsbruck-area churches.

 Austria in White

With its Baroque style, St. James’ Cathedral is stunning with its white stucco.

Salzburg

One can’t rightly say the word “Salzburg” without some sort of song coming to mind. Whether it’s Symphony No. 31 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart or “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music, lovers of stage, music, and art will find Salzburg enchanting. Known as “The Stage of the World,” Salzburg, a former Roman settlement, is also seeped in history. The Old City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and filled with architecture styles from the Middle Ages, Romanesque, Baroque and Renaissance periods. Setting out on foot through the narrow alleyways and cobblestone paths is the best way to experience all Salzburg has to offer.

 Austria in White

Christmas & Easter in Salzburg features beautiful, hand-painted eggs throughout the year.

 Austria in White

A trip to Austria is incomplete without sausage, hot mustard, and horseradish.

 Austria in White

Modern art sits alongside historical buildings, which provides an interesting contrast.

 Austria in White

Sometimes looking up yields the best view, like the dome of the Salzburg Cathedral.

 Austria in White

Dreifaltigkeitskirche Church plays backdrop to “Caldera” by English sculptor, Anthony Cragg.

Vienna

Salzburg’s favorite son, Mozart, once proclaimed Vienna as “…the best place in the world.” Really, who am I to argue with such a great talent? Truly, Vienna is one of my favorite cities. It’s a grandiose place without the hint of arrogance. Vienna is like a gorgeous girl who is unaware of her beauty, which ultimately makes her even more alluring to others. A walk through the old city leaves visitors drenched in splendor. Hapsburg history is found around every corner, and after ruling for more than seven centuries, has left an indelible mark on Vienna.

 Austria in White

Art seems to adorn every square inch in Vienna. This dramatic scene is on a roof.

 Austria in White

The Hofburg was once the Hapsburg’s Imperial Palace.

 Austria in White

The Holocaust Memorial not only recognizes the murder of more than 65,000 Jewish-Austrians, but also is a visible reminder of the change from Nazi attitudes. Designed to look like shelves, each book is represents one Jewish life lost during the Holocaust.

 Austria in White

Before entering the Spanish Riding School, make sure to look up.

 Austria in White

 Fieikers, or horse-drawn carriages, still hold a prominent place within the Ringstraße.

 Austria in White

Pastry-lovers shall rejoice at the number of choices in Austria.

 Austria in White

 Demel is one of Vienna’s famous bakeries, having once provided sweets for Empress Sissi.

 Austria in White

The Baroque Spanish Riding School is where the famous white Lipizzan horses perform.

 Austria in White

The tack room at the Spanish Riding School houses both performance and practice equipment.

 Austria in White

Words don’t do justice to the art and skill required by both the riders and Lipizzan horses. 

Whether its the mountainous landscape after a dusting of snow, grapes growing in the hills, pristine ivory buildings, or legendary Lipizzan horses, white will always be synonymous with Austria for me.

I was a guest of The Best of the AlpsSt. Anton am ArlbergLech Zürs am Arlberg, and Austria Tourism Board. In no way was I swayed to write a favorable review based on the pure mountain air, Austrian hospitality, or obscene amount of pastries I was offered. As always, opinions are mine.

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