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!
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.
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.
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.
So I’m pretty big on keeping fit and healthy. When I was living in Melbourne I pretty much stuck to the same routine all year round. Swimming has always been my favourite, followed by running and then I would usually add in a bit of yoga or some strength exercises to finish off the week.
And in Melbourne, while it can get quite cold on those winter mornings, it never really gets so cold that you can’t do one of the above-mentioned things.