On my parents’ recent visit, I was very excited to take them on my ‘ Free Wolfsberg City Walking Tour’ (ice cream tips accepted). The town is small enough that you can get around it, but big enough to be interesting, with beautiful, scenic views. In fact I was so excited, that I think I went a bit overboard, but there’s nothing wrong with wanting to show your folks all the good parts of where you live!
Unfortunately, I didn’t really take into account the weather (forecast for 23 sounded perfect, but it ended up being more like 30), the fact that my parents have never been here before (and therefore take 10x longer than I expected to do everything), or that they are a little older than me, and therefore need a few more stops along the way. In the end, however, it was a slightly shortened walking tour, but still delightful.
The first thing I did was take them blueberry picking… because the blueberries were ripe, plump, juicy and surprisingly violet-coloured. And even though my mum announced half way through that she “didn’t really like blueberries”, she still appeared to consume a great many, plus a few cherries and brambleberries as well!
Next we headed along the river to hunt for raspberries, though mum and dad were so busy looking at all the new flowers, plants, honey bees and crops, they barely noticed the berries. Mum took at least 200 photos, on a route that I run along every other day. Admittedly it made me slow down and take a look at things in more detail as well. Never a bad thing.
Finally we arrived in town and of course we were so thirsty that a coffee stop was mandatory. We did this in the garden of Hotel Aldershoff, where we were having the wedding celebrations. Then we proceeded to slowly, walk through town checking out the sights: the Town Square, the column dedicated to the Virgin Mary (also known as the ‘Plague Column’), the Rathaus, churches and plenty of old buildings. Now seems like a good time for a couple of facts: Wolfsberg (which translates to Wolf Mountain) has just under 26,000 inhabitants and is located in the Lavantall Valley, surrounded by gorgeous mountains. This region is commonly referred to as ‘the Paradise of Carinthia’ (ok, by commonly I mean in tourist brochures) because of its picturesque beauty. The town is situated at 461m above sea level which makes it great for hiking in summer and skiing in winter.
But enough with the facts. After we’d seen enough of town we climbed our way up to the Wolfberg Castle (build date unknown) where I finally allowed my parents to take a break for lunch (even though we were an hour behind schedule!). We ate my homemade sandwiches (with plenty of gherkins) in the castle gardens and then continued on upwards toward the mausoleum.
And though they were blown away by the scenery and views that the town affords, the heat and the amount of upward climbing had started to take its toll. We skipped the last scenic part winding through vineyards and steep paddocks, and headed straight to my favourite cake and ice-cream shop, Café Eberhard, where we each ate an ice cream the size of my head!
We almost had to call for a pick up, but in the end the coffee and ice cream revived them and they were happy to make the short trek home. Of course I then had to leave my parents for a few hours so they could have a nap before they endured the final difficult task of the day – an evening grill (BBQ) and swim with the in-laws!