Hiking In (Lower) Austria

So I went on a hike this September (about two weeks ago) in Lower Austria, to be more exact at Schoberalm. I took a train to Wiener Neustadt, where I got picked up and then off we went, after parking the car close to Haltberg.

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Start of the hike, through nice forests

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I like my country, but I find it easier to see the beauty in other countries, on my travels. It’s probably because I am used to seeing the views in Austria, all my life. Of course, I can’t see mountains every day, even if sometimes people believe that Austrians live in the mountains. I do live in a city!

When trying to see the beauty of my own country it helps to look through my camera lens. I’ve been watching the British TV show “The Hoarder Next Door” once or twice lately (just for relaxation after busy days, and yes, I’m a bit ashamed when admitting it) and in one episode the psychologist tells a hoarder to take pictures of the mess, to realise it fully. It’s a bit like that with me and Austrian views.

So, we went to Schoberalm, parked the car and hiked up. It was an easy hike most of the time, just when going up it was a bit hard. It took us 5 hours, but we had a (great!) lunch break at Öhlerschutzhaus with mushroom sauce and dumplings.

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Great for refilling water bottles!

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Funny looking tree in the middle of the meadow

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Short break before hiking up there

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From Schoberalm you can nicely see Schneeberg (“snow mountain”- not covered in snow in September!) and very far. It was a clear and warm (but not hot) day and I enjoyed it very much!

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When hiking down from Öhlerschutzhaus we took a road, and I think there would have been nicer ways to walk down again (there were a few options to pick from). Still, there were some nice views, like this one:

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All in all, it’s a great hike to relax a bit and get away from the city. It’s not very challenging and has amazing views. I recommend hiking in the area highly!

 

Links

This is not the exact hike we did, but about the area (only partly in English): Bergfex

This link is in English and also about the area: Summitpost

 

 

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The Helsinki Island Series 3 – Pihlajasaari

This post is going to be about another island in the Helsinki area: Pihlajasaari. You can take a waterbus there and it has beautiful beaches. When we went there it was already too cold to go swimming, but it was very nice to have a picnic at the beach.

Unfortunately, the waterbus only operates in summer (timetable), now I guess you can only go there with your own boat (we don’t have one ;)). I am sorry that I am posting this too late in the year to still visit. But maybe someone wants to see it next summer or will just enjoy the beautiful views on the pictures here.

We went from the Ruoholahti stop. The waterbus ride is very short and costs € 7,50 for adults (with a return ticket), children and young adults under the age of 17 pay € 3,5.

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At the beach where we had our picnic

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Even if it looks warm, it wasn’t! We were wearing sweaters and didn’t sit too much in the open.

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The Restaurant

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A seemingly abandoned house

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Houses that looked private

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On the second island

The second island (also belongs to Pihlajasaari) has this small bay, a campsite, a nudist beach, and (according to a sign) a sauna. The sauna was a real surprise, the island being in Finland and all. 😉

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Part of the campsite

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The view next to the campsite

It is indeed a very nice island to go to! I recommend taking the waterbus in summer and packing some food and (if you’re lucky with the weather) your bathing clothes. Well, you wouldn’t need them on the nudist beach. 😉

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A tiny red house! Something you wouldn’t see in my home country!

Travel Tip: Portobello, Edinburgh

Since I’ve been gathering pictures of most places I’ve been to, I thought I’d share information and tips about the places I’ve liked most over time.

This one is going to be about a suburb of Edinburgh, Scotland called “Portobello”. I went there in summer 2015 and I very much enjoyed my time there! I remember finding Edinburgh a bit too busy and crammed with tourists, but Portobello wasn’t like that at all. Regarding Edinburgh I have to admit that we went there in July, one of the most touristic months! I enjoyed the city, still. It’s a very interesting place to go to and there is lots of things to see. Also, being a die-hard Harry Potter fan, I like the connection with J.K.Rowling.

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Portobello is full of thrift shops (I love browsing their stuff), small cafés and local people. There are many families with young children and pensioners. And of course, there is the beach. We didn’t go into the sea because of the temperatures, but it was nice to sit there and relax (also after busy days in the centre of Edinburgh!). We found out about many good places to eat via Trip Advisor. (I am starting to have a strange passion for this web page, looking up restaurants a lot. I guess, I’ve eaten in bad places a lot during travelling before!)

We went to eat at “The Espy” once because we read that it has the best burgers in town. It wasn’t the best burgers I’ve ever eaten, but they were still good. Also, it was a cosy place to sit.

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Portobello also has a history of being a well-known beach resort. Even though I haven’t seen anyone diving into the ocean, I am sure there are times when you can do so!

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We stayed at Ardgarth Guest House, close to the beach and in walking distance to the centre. It was a very nice place but unfortunately is closed now. I’m sure there are other nice B&Bs in the area, though. Buses go to the centre of Edinburgh all the time, and it’s a quick ride.

I really recommend staying there if you go see Edinburgh. If you just stay in the centre, everything is overwhelming, but with staying in Portobello it gets a bit calmer! It’s just a very nice place to stay at (and probably live in, also). Although I don’t think the Dire Straits Song “Portobello Belle” is about this Portobello. 😉

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Helsinki City Museum

This post is going to be (as the title suggests) about our visit to the re-opened Helsinki City Museum. It’s located in Aleksanterinkatu 16, very close to the main harbour and Helsinki Cathedral. This is their Official Website and the entrance is completely free, which is nice.

We went there in the middle of August. If you want to see the “Museum of Broken Relationships” that I will be talking about now, you should be quick because it is only open until the 11th of September.

The Museum of Broken Relationships is located on the top floor, and we started our tour there. People have brought objects (clothes, toys, cooking equipment,…) to the museum and shared a story with each piece. How the relationship started, what the displayed object meant to the couple and finally how the relationship ended. It was very interesting to see, but also gave you a feeling of melancholy. Some were funny, some were fierce. The descriptions are written in English, you could get a booklet with Finnish and Swedish descriptions.

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Next, we went to Helsinki Bites, where it was very cool to see the past of the city. There are also plenty of things to play with: you could sit in an old-fashioned living room or dress up as people from the last century. They made it interesting and also fun. If going with kids, they will also enjoy it. There are also plenty of maps, showing Helsinki now and then. Most of the descriptions are also offered in English, just the recordings you could listen to in the phone box were in Finnish.

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The next area (on the first and second floor, if I remember correctly) was the Children’s Town, made with a lot of love. Children were very much enjoying the old school classes, the toys to play with and a puppet theater. I suggest taking your children, nephews and nieces, small brothers and sisters there. We went without children, but still liked looking at the old school place and toys from past times. We were wondering what museums would put there hundreds of years from now. Maybe tablets and hoverboards!

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On the ground floor, at last, there was a photography exhibition, with a big photograph from Helsinki harbour in the beginning of the 20th century. There is also a small museum shop and a café (that is a wine bar in the evening!). Right at the entrance is the Time Machine, a place where you can use Oculus Glasses (Virtual Reality; in 3D) to see both the old and new Helsinki and have a direct comparison between them. It’s a new feeling with those glasses because it’s almost like you were really there!

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I really enjoyed my time there, the museum is made with love and you can see it. Also that it’s free of charge is a big plus and it teaches you a lot about the history of Helsinki.