Celebrating Hottest 100 Day – my favourite Aussie tradition

Australia_Day_2Australia Day has different meanings for different people. For indigenous Australians it has always been steeped in unpleasantness, but that’s not what I’m here to discuss. I’m here to tell you that Australia Day for me was never about the arrival or subsequent invasion of the British. For me, Australia Day has, at least from when I was a teenager, been about the Hottest 100.

Because I’m a simple little thing.

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Prost!

Schanpps prostShort and bitter.

This post is dedicated to those times I thought I had everything under control, those times I thought that I understood the German conversation flowing around me perfectly.

And then BANG – I suddenly realise I’ve accidentally agreed to a second schnapps, or a third, on top of all that other alcohol.

So here comes the schnapps. And I smile, like it was my plan all along. Just like that time I ordered the wrong sav – the cab instead of the blanc.

And I drink it down, and I sigh appreciatively like a good Austrian-in-training should.

Prost!

 

Chestnuts and Hot Beverages – the perfect wintery Christmas combination

Christmas markets Austria

As autumn winds down and the first frosts hit, it is a sure sign that winter is coming. Yet not everything about winter has to be cold and horrible. With the air cool and crisp and the first flakes of snow threatening, December is one of the most beautiful months to be in Europe – with Christmas markets aplenty!

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Stadtfest (Town Festival)

Summer in Austria equals festival time! On any given weekend there’s usually something going on, be it a small, local event or a bigger, region-wide festival that completely takes over.

I have visited a number of town festivals over the last few years and although some of the bigger ones are a lot of fun, there’s nothing better than simply walking the 10 minutes to the Wolfsberg city centre when it’s our turn. Everyone in town turns out to crowd the streets, catch up with one another and party the night away. But no matter the size or the occasion, there’s definitely common elements to all.

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Day of the open cellar doors… Wine tasting in Podersdorf, Burgenland

When you think Austria, you probably think immediately of beer. Which is the right connection to make, but what you might not realise is that Austria also has a flourishing wine industry. Grüner Veltliner is the dominant white grape, producing dry whites, but there are multitudes of other varieties, from red to white to sweet to dry and beyond.

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I spy with my little eye… plenty of wine!

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Ball Season – let’s put on our high heels and go out in the snow

Prom/ball season in Austria is big. It extends from November to February and on any given weekend could include a number of events in or around the surrounding towns. I feel as if I should explain a little bit here, because a prom or ball in Austria is not like one in Australia.

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All dressed up with somewhere to go!

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