Carinthia, the southern most state in Austria, is situated in the Eastern Alps; Klagenfurt is the state capital while Dan has been posted in Wolfsberg for the majority of this term acting as a course tutor.
Wolfsberg is in a picturesque valley within the Lavanttal Alps and is a small city with a population of around 25,000 people. Given the fact it is reasonably isolated the town is well-equipped with restaurants, supermarkets and shops, better than where we live in Gmunden. It has the pretty castle, Henckel-Donnersmarck, overlooking the city and several walking trails surround its grounds. While Dan was off at work, Lou managed to get out and about and explore the countryside – and also do a bit of shopping!
Klagenfurt am Wörthersee has played a major role in Lou’s life having spent six months there at university when she was a little bit younger. 19-years on and not much has changed, the lake is still picturesque (although the weather on the day we went makes this statement hard to prove), the university has spruced itself up but is still admitting students and mini-Mundus still shows the world in miniature.
A day-trip there revived old memories of hard days spent ‘studying’ German and provoked tales of yonder aplenty as we strolled through Lou’s old haunts and drank hot chocolate in the same cafe she did nearly two-decades ago. Very much a summer destination, the man-made beaches were empty, the lake bereft of swimmers and the footpaths largely under-utilised except for joggers and dog-walkers, Klagenfurt felt like a city holding its breath and waiting for the hot weather and summer months – as it must be said are we after enduring our first winter for about six years!
Here comes the summer…