Monday, 7 November 2011

Blank and Vast - a Perfect Match

Above: True vastness. A wide valley, italian mountain tops in the far back, the valley covered with blanket of fog, seen at the end of an autumn day

Below: The sight that makes me long for the vastness as pictured above: sunset at the Schönbrunn palace gardens
Hello hello!

I am back and I did not just take a blog-break but also almost took a photo-break. Most of the time I left my camera(s) at home.The following photos have been taken November 1, 2 and 3. Please enjoy them. Those of you, who spend their days living under a banket of fog early November and those who don't live in 4 seasons (not speaking of the hotel) like we do: Maybe you love the images as much as I do. What you won't get from looking at the photos is the cute dialect which is spoken there. A lot of people make jokes about the dialect, I find it heart warming.
This region in the south of Austria offers everything I long for after months at the office. I actually did not follow a single blog during the past two weeks, the few times I went online, I checked opening hours of restaurants or the weather forecast. Funny, how easy disconnecting can be!
The best forest is a "mixed" forest with all kinds of trees.

Austria is a tiny country, compared to the USA or Australia, but still you can find blank areas and vast areas.
Another perfect match: me and my thermos. 1850m above sealevel/ 5°C after a 3 hours hike.
We were lucky the paths where free of snow.

Mr Paula compared my turban-style head- gear with the style a certain type of warriors in the middle east fancies. I won't name them, because I don't want my blog to show up on certain lists.

The Dior scarf actually was the only gear I had with my to cover my forehead and ears at 5°C. I should learn a decent knot and everything would be okay.
Above the tree line, somewhere between Nepal and Afghanistan, sweaty shirts blowing in the breeze. Not picutred: small stone-pyramids.

The past two weeks proved: cashmere v-necks in navy and camel reduce any traveller's wardrobe to a minimum. I recommend Benetton's men's section-cashmere knits, basic staples that keeps you warm, for example while standing on top of your best friend-grandmother's grave.
Social life under the blanket of fog on All Saints.
All families stood ON the grave, ON the gravel (as seen to the left), while the priest walked by. The more members of the family gather ON the grave, the better. On behalf of friend B's family we stood ON her grandmothers grave. Haven't I been told "DON'T you step on the grave!" like forever?

Too bad, there was not a get-together after the devotions, with cake and coffee. I love to socialise in the country. The photo above was taken after two thirds had already left (I did not want to disturb the ceremony and waited).

During the past two weeks I've enjoyed Bergdorf Blondes, once even while soaking in the tub! Though the ladies travelled Europe too much for my liking. I prefer to read about exotic destinations, such as the Bergdorf Salon. Apropos salon: my roots are really showing by now. I know some women get their touch ups every 2 weeks. I hope my stylist won't panic when he sees my hair this wednesday.

In case you wonder: yes, I baked the first trays of Christmas cookies and Mr Paula fancied them. No chance for them to turn bad until Christmas.

Coming back it did not felt like a two-week-absence at all. Strange ...

Hey, this blog deprives me of my sleep. Anyhow, writing for you is a pleasure, it's nice to be back.

Good night/Good morning!


  1. your photos look amazing! Even though they are only from a few days. It's nice to see a chunk of winter. The snow line on the mountains here has arrived this week, brings a nice crispness to the air, along with lots of rain for us on the coast.

  2. Paula, I did read your post this morning already. Decided to hop back to elaborate on what you wrote on my blog.
    First the Slovene minority: I've met a few and they reminded me ex patriots in a way. People who are stuck not only in place but also in time. Like Thomas Wolfe wrote: You can't go home again. Not that I agree with some of Austria's internal political decisions that aim to diminish their rights as an indigenous minority. I'm only saying as long as the minority is consciously living separately the two cultures can't get to know and/or understand each other.
    The graves and All Saints' day is a touchy topic for me. People walking on graves! Horrible. I love to pay my respects to my ancestors but hate all the showing off and posing in Sunday's best. It makes me sick. When you do make it to Ljubljana, the offer of coffee still stands!

  3. We are in summer here so it is interesting to see everyone so rugged up and cosy x

  4. Hi Paula! Your photos are gorgeous. I wish we could have spent more time in Austria.

    I moved from New York to California in 1990 and I really, really miss winter. However, it was 42 F this morning, cold enough to put on my warm fuzzy slippers and to warm the coffee cups with hot water before pouring coffee so I'm happy today :). I might even need to wear a jacket all day today.

  5. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

  6. Jen, living in a city with mountains in sight distance would be my dream! At least I get there once, twice a year.

    coffeeaddict, I immediately shared your comment with Mr Paula – would you like to come to Austria and join the Carinthian parliament? :-*
    Our reaction to the order to "step onto the graves" was like yours. The posing was at large (dozens of candles and even more flowers on the graves) but on the other hand I sensed the ritual and how people need at least that day to get together, to close ranks within the family.

    Faux Fuchsia, I wonder if you ever drink hot wine in the Christmas season, or glogg.

    Susan, thank you! It does feel nice, covering the skin with nice textiles. I even love wearing a beanie, and gloves, of course!

    Lisa, thank you! This year's autumn spoils us no end! Even in Vienna there are leaves everywhere, in all shades of yellow and red and purple. A miraculous season, no rain, no snow, just the knocking sound of big leaves when they fall down. By now they are so dry, especially the maple leaves "knock". Old school entertainment!