Austria is probably the greenest place I’ve ever been, in every sense of the word. Particularly Steiermark (or Styria), called ‘the Green Heart of Austria’. Green is really a way of life here. Solar energy panels are widely used, their recycling compliance puts other countries to shame, the air is pure, the tap water is better than Evian, they’re obsessed with food provenance (and firmly believe that everything in Austria is superior to elsewhere), and of course all around you, you are surrounded by every shade of green imaginable. I even see it reflected in the clothing here. Children are often dressed in that cheerful sharp green that you see in the fields above, while adults wear darker, more elegant tones of pine, olive, and moss. Case in point– my mossy green Austrian jacket from Gössl that I bought in Kitzbuhel a few years ago. Last week, I wore it in Krakau, our family’s once or twice a year holiday destination (See my winter post here, and last summer’s post here. Never mind me or my clothes, just look at the jaw-dropping SCENERY in those posts if you’ve not seen them). Since I’ve shown you the countryside before, I thought you might like to see some town… ‘town’ being charming Tamsweg, the nearest village (on the border between Steiermark and Salzburg) that has all the necessary grocery stores, cafes, and shops. Our family’s house is in the middle of the forest twenty minutes away. This area is undiscovered compared to the rest of Austria, but its pristine remoteness is what gives it charm.
Below, I’m in front of Hochleitner, everyone’s favourite local bakery and the place that makes the best rye bread I’ve ever had (mostly because it doesn’t taste anything like rye bread!). People faint over the pastries here, but most of them are quite fruity, and I happen to not like cooked fruit (nope, not even apple pie), so not much is tempting for me. When in Austria, give me Sacher Torte or nothing at all!
Tamsweg town hall
Anyway, back to the green jacket. It is made of thick soft brushed cotton, trimmed in brown cord. As you know, I’m all about More Is More, but sometimes even I enjoy wearing a quietly elegant outfit in colours straight out of a forest (like a real Austrian!). I wore the jacket with a hat that I found in the house, an ancient pair of Prada heels (leftover from my banking days), and the good old American uniform of jeans-and-a-white-tank underneath all of this Austrian-ness. I also managed to sneak in a tiny bit of bling with this topaz coloured Swarovski crystal ring. Swarovski IS Austrian, so it would be rude not to!
When you go hiking through the woods here, you can always find your way along the paths because they are marked by what looks like the Austrian flag. If you have children, they will really enjoy helping by trying to spot the NEXT one first! And see what I mean about being surrounded by green?
I have no idea what these flowers are that I spotted on a hike, but they look like little puffs of silky ‘fur’. They echo the clouds beautifully, don’t they?
I really love this corner of the world, as you can tell. I could almost live in Austria except it is a tough place for a vegetarian (they eat lots of pork here), I’d have to learn German, and I’d struggle in a place that wears practical shoes and performance wear so frequently. Other than that, I adore it. Visiting a couple of times a year certainly makes life in a big city more bearable. I fully recharge my batteries and always plan our next visit as we drive to the airport to return home.