A Travellerspoint blog

Wanderings around Spittal and the foothills of the Alps

Spittal an der Drau and Schwaig

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My feet are hurting, most likely because before this week I hadn't taught face to face since last November and therefore wasn't used to wearing my work shoes for 5 hours a day Monday to Friday, and now my elbow and knee are a bit too after a minor accident earlier today (see below). However, overall I've still had a good time since my last post, with some lovely experiences!


Since the course I was teaching this week included some Gastronomy-related English lessons, in one of the double lessons today one of the classes cooked, served and tried an English breakfast! They had already done some work on how to describe cooking processes, as well as looking at other vocabulary related to food, cooking and serving, so this was a chance to put some of it into action, as well as to try something close to an English dish. They did well despite not all the items (like the bacon and mushrooms) being the same sort we would get in the UK. There were also no baked beans, though that was for the best in my opinion (I can't stand baked beans!)

After lunch (a starter I've forgotten now and a delicious meaty goulash with green beans, carrots and dumplings for the main, with a side salad), and a rest at the hotel, I went for a late-afternoon walk round town. I soon came across a simple stone wall shrine with a terracotta figure of Mary and Jesus, and nearby I noticed a house with what I guessed was an old yew tree in front - neither of which is something you see every day in the UK. (We have yew trees, of course, but usually in graveyards/ cemeteries rather than outside people's houses).


After looking out over the Lieser, a tributary of the main river here (the Drava) I started circling into the centre of town, admiring on my way round some of the architecture and exterior building decoration.


I also admired the Easter display in a bakery window, though it wasn't open for me to go in.



After lunch on Thursday the contact teacher kindly took us into the teachers' café at school and served us glasses of different types of local fruit schnapps - cherry, pear and Gurktal Alpine herbs. Cheers!


I had been thinking of trying to get a bus to the Millstätter See, a lake nearby which would be over an hour each way to walk, but at this time of year there didn't seem to be that many buses going and after staying later than usual at school today I would have had hardly any time at the lake before I'd have to get the bus back again, so I decided to leave it until the next day.

Instead of that I decided to look round Schloss Porcia and the Folk Culture Museum, as this was also something I had in mind to do before the end of the week. I admired the impressive galleried courtyard of Schloss Porcia as I wandered through, but the museum turned out to be closed, despite Google Maps saying that it would be open.


Luckily, I discovered that there was a window by the museum entrance which allowed me to look through into one of the rooms - an old schoolroom, early 20th century from the look of it, with original wooden desks and walls covered in educational maps and posters, including one of different types of early aeroplane. I was glad that I had managed to see a bit of the museum after all.


Today (Friday)

At school, the end-of-week project presentations turned out to be a bit of an anti-climax because over half the class was missing due to testing positive for Covid. There is a spike of Covid cases at the moment in this region of Austria and it is certainly spreading round the school. On Wednesday one or two students were missing, then more were yesterday, including one really lovely girl who came down ill mid-lesson, was taken out and didn't reappear this morning. We had originally planned to combine classes for the final presentations, but in light of the Covid situation made the decision yesterday not to, as we thought it would most definitely be unwise. Fingers crossed that everyone will end up being OK.

This afternoon I had thought to go to the lake then come back and go for a walk/hike to a castle ruin further along the valley from Spittal, but I missed the bus and the next one wouldn't be for another hour, so regretfully decided just to give the lake a miss as if I went there I'd have to really rush round to do the walk too before it got dark.

On the walk, I accidentally took a wrong turn somewhere but didn't realise for quite a while, so I ended up somewhere different to where I'd intended! I went on a zig-zagging walk up a forested hill slope, where I slipped on the icy path and banged my elbow and knee. Not badly, luckily, but it was still a bit painful. By the time I realised where I was, the sun was getting low and it was too late to get to the ruin and back before dark, so a short while afterwards I started heading back. Nevertheless, aside from getting a bit lost, and the fall, I enjoyed the walk a lot - there was a blue sky, crisp and ultra-clean air and and fabulous scenery.


My only other regret came when I got back down to the road leading back to Spittal and discovered that a cup of iced coffee I'd brought from a supermarket had exploded inside my handbag, soaking it. It must have happened when I slipped over. Luckily, there wasn't much inside it to get wet. Back in the hotel room I managed to clean my bag out, wash the inner lining and put the whole thing next to a radiator to dry out.

Posted by 3Traveller 19:43 Archived in Austria Tagged landscapes mountains buildings snow austria museum explorations english_teaching austrian_cuisine spittal_an_der_drau

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Thanks for the interesting account! What was your favourite flavour of schnapps? Great photos by the way!

by TravelLover3

The cherry one I think!

by 3Traveller

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