Reflections on the Four Seasons – Week 1 – Winter

I love the fact that in Austria there are four distinct seasons. Over the next few weeks I’ll be publishing creative pieces on the sights, sounds and smells of the four seasons. This is the first week, beginning with winter. Enjoy!

Winter

4 seasons winter austria

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The Advantages of Winter

winter Austria snowIt’s finally coming to the end of winter. Thank goodness, since it has been an exceptionally cold and snowy one. Yet as much as I prefer the warmer months, I still managed to rack my brain and come up with 10 reasons why winter is not all bad.

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Schneeschuwandern – the winter hiking alternative

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.

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The Death Pass – an excellence place for an Aussie to learn about snow driving

My job is conveniently located (despite quite a long drive) just off the autobahn out of Graz, which means I have an easy run every day with no traffic problems. The only problem is that it also requires me to drive over ‘The Pack’ which I have affectionately renamed: the Death Pass.

It's not surprising it's always snowing on the pack
It’s not surprising it’s always snowing on the pack

It is one of the higher parts of the Austrian autobahn, climbing up over a mountain range and being notorious for heavy snow and ice. With my minimal snow driving experience, the thought of driving the Death Pass in winter scared the crap out of me. I was sure I was going to be stranded overnight in my car as thick snow slowly built up around my car turning it into an icy death den… ok so I was being a little bit melodramatic.

So now that winter is finally over, here are my more realistic reflections on the Death Pass.

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Terror on the roads – my first snow driving experience

My first winter, I had exactly one.

In retrospect, it wasn’t that bad. Though at the time, pretty traumatic.

Ice on windscreen
First thing you have to do is scrape the ice off your windscreen

I scraped the car windows and drove out of the slippery, ice covered parking lot. So far, so good. The weather conditions weren’t bad, but I had a 45 minute drive on the autobahn… and as I found out, conditions can change a lot.

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