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Spittal an der Drau

Spittal an der Drau

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I've had a great time so far in Spittal an der Drau, with everything going my way in terms of classes going well, great colleagues, a fantastic contact teacher, crisp but clear and sunny weather, unexpected culinary experiences, and an interesting, picturesque town and valley to explore after class.

It turns out that since the school includes Gastronomy as a subject, which involves both cooking and serving, the school canteen is set up like a restaurant so that older students can practise table service (perhaps some of the cooking as well). After classes have finished for the day, we've had lunch here on the house, with the contact teacher. What a lovely and delicious surprise! Yesterday we had a vegetable, pearl barley and bacon soup with a bread roll to start, then Marillenknödel (apricot jam dumplings) with custard to follow; today we had a three-course meal - a semolina-based soup with croutons to start, then Leberkäse (literally 'liver cheese', but not actually containing either; it's a type of meatloaf, served here with a fried egg on top) with vegetables and a fried potato and onion mixture, and finally chocolate mousse to finish.

Yesterday I went for a really nice walk round town after school, after dumping my stuff, changing and having a short rest at the hotel. I started off with some photos of the outside of the historic Catholic parish church - the place was closed, but hopefully I'll catch it open at some point before I leave on Saturday.


Then I wandered past Schloss Porcia, apparently one of the foremost Renaissance buildings in Austria. It has a famous arcaded courtyard which is a venue for concerts, recitals and a theatre festival, and elsewhere in the building is the Folk Culture Museum. I promised myself that I'd return to visit it another day, as that sounds right up my street. Near the front entrance to the courtyard I saw a rather disconcerting statue of a disembodied arm on top of a pillar, brandishing a sword.


After that I walked round the adjacent park, admiring the architecture and a mural on the way.


There were some remnants of snow around on the grass, and an open-air rectangle of ice which I decided to investigate. I wonder if it's some kind of public ice rink? The ice didn't seem very smooth, though. Regardless of what it was, and the fact that I was wearing trainers and not skates, I couldn't resist a quick slide or two before exploring the rest of the park.


From there I walked a couple of blocks and up a steep hill on one side of the valley into the outskirts of the town to admire the fantastic views.


After school today I went for another walk, this time across the other side of town and beyond. Once I'd left the town I was walking along an extremely flat plain, still snowy in places and with the most fabulous views of the valley, forested hills and then snowcapped mountains beyond. The air was so clear and fresh and there wasn't a cloud in the sky - it was magnificent. After a while a paraglider came into view, soaring above. He was extremely high at first but then slowly descended, circling somewhat before eventually landing in a field close to the edge of town. I was jealous - I so desperately wish I could go paragliding some day!


Posted by 3Traveller 21:56 Archived in Austria Tagged landscapes mountains churches buildings snow palace austria explorations english_teaching austrian_cuisine spittal_an_der_drau

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Looks like a lovely little place. I'd like to go there some time.

by Emma

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