Winter in Australia is… well… somewhat mild compared to Austria. And while there are some absolutely freezing days in Melbourne, especially when there’s a cracker of an icy wind blowing, it’s definitely not on the same scale. So here are 10 things I never knew I’d have to learn about what a real winter involves.
Winter in Austria is cold. I think I’ve reiterated that time after time, and will probably continue to do so… because… well… it just is! I hate the cold – my body’s not made for it. But I do like exercise, I do like sun and I do like fresh air. And just because it’s snowy outside, doesn’t mean that physical activity has to stop.
Since hubby and I are not exactly dedicated to all that’s required to go skiing on a regular basis, we found a great alternative – Snow Shoe Walking.
I’ve always been an avid skier. In my younger years friends and I trekked to New Zealand multiple times to experience ‘real snow’, as well as undertaking yearly mandatory trips to nearby (ok frigging 5 hours away) mountains.
When I moved to Austria and realised I’d hooked up with the only Austrian who couldn’t be bothered going skiing anymore, he put aside his prejudices and organised a number of trips for me.
My husband loves cooking, and he loves India… what a great combination! When I first moved to Austria we started a tradition of Indian curry afternoons. Sometimes it’s just the two of us, filling the apartment with sweet and spicy aromas and eating on the balcony, and sometimes it involves the whole family, all bustling around my in-laws kitchen, drinking wine and tasting multiple dishes in an afternoon that ends with us fully stuffed and goes long into the evening.
Spring is a glorious time in Austria – after enduring a long, cold, dark winter, the change is slow at first and then seems to happen all at once – birds tweet happily in the trees, buds burst open, everything turns green, the sun shines and the gloom disappears.
In Austria there’s a saying: April, April, der macht was er will… which basically translates to: April will do whatever the hell he wants! That means in April you can expect weather ranging anything from a sunny 25°C to below zero with snow.
And last week, April, the nasty bastard, did exactly that, surprising everyone with snow.
The news that my brother would be suddenly and very surprisingly dropping in to visit for a weekend, quickly led to some distressing thoughts about what on earth we would do while he was with us. Because while an Austrian winter wonderland is a sight to behold, it actually wasn’t that cold, and there was no snow in the valley. The nearby lakes weren’t frozen and the mountains were merely specked with patches of dirty snow.