Category Archives: Austria

The (almost) perfect town of Kalwang

The picturesque village of Kalwang (pop. 1,016) where everything looks perfect, exquisitely clean, footpath to the forest carpetted with thousand and one varieties of colourful wildflowers, even the canal is crystal clear!





Wanted to buy some chocolates but all we have is Hungarian forints, forgetting that we are now in Euro land!



Looking for Charlie from the inside of the church



Gravestones on the church ground


The May Pole is still up!




Good idea for our flat tires










Town Hall


Baroque altar of St Oswald Parish Church

A brief stop at Spital am Pyrhn, Austria

Why is it that everytime we are in Austria we always tend to sing “The hills are alive” of Julie Andrews? There is something in this country that blows us away even if it’s only a cattle farming community such as Spital am Pyrhn. Literally means “village in the mountains”, Spital am Pyrhn is set in a picturesque landscape famous as a skiing resort in the winter and an equally popular hiking paradise the rest of the year. What makes it attractive for nature lovers is that, it is the gateway to the Kalkalpen National Park, the largest forest region in Central Europe, which boasts of hidden gorges, untouched mountain streams, caves, fantastic flora and fauna, among others.

If only we had more time, we would have loved to explore the forest and Charlie would have the ball of his life. Oh well, we might just go back, after all, it’s not too far away from where we live..

IMG_4936bWaking up to a staggering Alpine scenery like this makes us yearn to explore the ever so beautiful Austrian countryside more and more
@Haus Johanna, Spital am Pyhrn, Oberweng, Upper Austria..










20151104_090754bThat red and black pole is a snow marker, as the name suggests, is used to measure the depth of snow
and to mark the boundary of the road when it is too covered in snow..








20151104_085327bA children’s playground

20151104_091142bThe start of a hiking path as symbolized by the pairs of shoes.



A B&B that bespeaks the legendary Austrian Hospitality

“You’re becoming a B&B geek.” my husband tells me as he drives the van out of Villa Elizabeth.

Indeed, another exceptional experience we gained staying in the guesthouse of our dreams that night.

Move over chain hotels!  Five-star or Budget,  we are definitely sticking to the more personal touch of beautiful homes, generous breakfast  and charming hosts who treat us as treasured guests rather than customers.  Even better than that, like long-lost friends, for which hotel in the world whose owner or staff would give us the French bisous (a kiss on each cheek) while saying our goodbyes?  No, this simply doesn’t happen in chain hotels but we have experienced these in some B&Bs in France and Italy but Austria beats them both as the owner, Anna Maria, went all the way as to thrust cereal bars taken out of the buffet counter, into my hands, to sustain us on our drive to our destination.  Such kindness.


Villa Elizabeth, so-named because the owner adores the Empress of Austria of same name, is an elegant house transformed into a 5-star luxury B&B  (with spa and pool) in Admont, a small town sitting at the foot of the Austrian Alps where verdant and undulating landscape make you sing Julie Andrews’ Sound of Music signature song  “The hills are alive…” through and through.

Anna Maria made us feel so special, offered us chilled local beer in our room, where chocolates are neatly spread out on all of the  beds and flowers adorn every corner.

“I’ll give you the most beautiful room in the house.” she told us as we were coming in and truly so,  we were just blown away by its size.  It’ss more than a bedroom, it’s more of a Presidential suite with an  extra room for two more people and the huge bathroom prides itself with not only a polygonal bath at the far end but also a window showing a postcard view of the town dominated by the church and the mountains in the background.

 The town of Admont as seen from the bedroom terrace


The elegant lounge which made me almost teary-eyed with joy.  I felt so privileged to be in there.  Every room of the villa is a work of art!

Still the lounge, with its palatial chandelier, and the adjoining room on the left.

 The adjoining room on the right of the lounge

The sumptuous buffet breakfast corner

Our dining table which is located in the glass conservatory that overlooks the gardens.
There are three tables here,  the longest one was occupied by four other Austrians guests who were on holiday.


We always believe that staying in small family-run guesthouses is part of the joy of travelling for we get to experience true local hospitality,  listen to some history, meet and make friends, gain valuable ideas,  the list is endless…

And Villa Elizabeth satisfies each of all these points.  We are definitely going back bringing our friends and family so they, too, can experience a memorable stay in this charming place that bespeaks the legendary Austrian hospitality.

Villa Elisabeth
Paradiesstraße 86, 8911 Admont, Austria
60 euros/night, double room