So where's the snow?

Muddling through in Austria, God and life, teaching and gardening plus the occasional cow


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Such a windy dry spring!

Spring here is always at a breakneck speed as the Lungau catches up with the rest of Austria! This year, before Easter we had strong winds laden with snow that didn’t lay, and it’s still windy now. We had the late snow which didn’t hang about, thank heavens and I think only the cherries might have got frosted. Certainly the apple blossom is stunning, today the petals were being blown about by the aforesaid wind.

The weather direction has been from the North and indeed, north of the Tauern mountains and Obertauern, there’s been plenty of rain, but like the snow its got stuck there and we’ve had token rain, but everything is so dry, I get shocks off everything! The grass is well behind what it should be, but nothing stops the Dandelions!

I’ve seen a few mutant dandelions again this year. Dave reckons its snow damage. This beauty will have four heads when it flowers!

Now its flowered!

And then,and I’m not sure what these trees are, lots of them are carrying normal leaves on one side and the others are laden with seeds like in this picture. I’ll find one if full leaf soon and know!

All signs of unusual weather, or a reaction to the cold, windy winter? What do you think?

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Pinks and Greys #2

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I repeated the walk about a month later in the sunshine, this time, my joys was in the sparkling water and the brighter colours. Which do you prefer?


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Pinks and Greys #1

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Walking  along the river Mur at St Margarethen  at the begining of August, on a dull morning that forboded autumn, I was bowled over with the grey colour of the river, contrasting with the pink of the Baldrian flowers that were starting to go over. Some of the newcomers to the Lungau, the pigeons flapped out of the trees and for a minute I wondered of I was in the UK.

A touch of autumn in the water

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Cow Piccies!

September 26th

The cows are down in the valley, endorsed by the amount of dung on the roads! At last some cow piccies, enjoy!!!!!

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Parochialism

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I got an urgent call from the Adamwirt, asking me to attend a meeting of the Tourist Association. They wanted me to represent the holiday house we look after in the village. The owners were there, but as they spoke no German, it seemed fairly pointless they attend!  As soon as I got there, I was asked to get a proxy authorisation so I could vote, why they hadn’t done this earlier, heavens knows!I managed to contact the owners, they slunk in and signed and left me to it!  All the local pubs and holiday places were there.

Now Lungau has 15 councils, all of which have a tourist board. They do their own advertising and their own websites, although they are all linked to the Lungau one. Considering that there are about 20,000 peeps in the Lungau, it seems a bit of an overkill!

First of all we had a presentation and here’s some interesting or useless facts depending on your point of view…..In all areas such as visits, the overnight stays and arrivals in the past few years has increased (despite bad marketing).  Most guests come from Germany, not Austria!  With the eastern block countries next- no mention of the UK!!!!

Most of the website adds are not geared up to direct booking online, and the owners don’t check the websites for traffic, and there is no one in Lungau with a direct payment link on the website.  Over half have less than 10 pictures on the site, have the site in another language, hardly any have a best price guarantee.  With over 600 calls a day on the helpline, and one guest in four visits the business homepage, you can see a lot of trade is being lost and the Lungau is in the dark ages!

There is a booking offensive planned but the first step is……. the Tourist boards must work together!  They might actually have to open the offices when the tourists need them – on the weekend, they will have to make it possible to buy Cross country skiing tickets when people need them! They will have to let people from another Geminde advertise on THEIR website, heavens forbid that someone in Tamsweg could book in Ramingstein!

Our Mayor went on about all the wonderful things there are in Ramingstein, completely unable to see the bigger picture. Then someone said, and if we vote for a collaboration in five years time you’ll want to it all under one board, the answer to which was –yes!  I could see people thinking, bugger, there goes my nice little earner!

However, commonsense did finally prevail and now, there are three groups of five councils having to face reform and be dragged into the new century, but I guess they’ll stop moaning when they make more money!

Yet a little voice says, do we want MORE tourists, don’t want the Lungau ruined…………


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On the Bus

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Dave was surprised when I wanted to go alone on the bus to Salzburg and I approached it with a sense of glee. As we left the Lungau, in my high chair, I could see over garden walls, see new things being built, it was the excitement of a holiday trip. It was less interesting once we hit the motorway, but I was just doing my Garfield, pinned to the window. Dave rang me, oh, how I so hate having these conversations in English, but we couldn’t do it in German, its almost embarrassing.

I love travelling, being the observer to things normally missed but soon forgotten. How can you remember all you saw? I like the idea of the headcams on motorbikers helmets, you can do it all again. It was good to arrive, and the journey back was just as interesting, but the thrill had worn off, it was going home to the usual. No exciting escaping the Lungau for the moment.   Never mind, maybe I’ll get another chance soon for another trip!