Put on the costume and the character is created.
An illusion of strength buttoned up in a uniform of black.
Watch as the scripted lie burns away the ink,
and sincerity sings for an audience who cannot hear its intention.
The performer is a master of their craft but the scene will unravel the thread until all that is left its honesty.
The truth speaks and we have ears to listen.
Are the flowers worth the struggle?
I think so.
In 2016 I moved to Austria to start working for Red Bull Media house. I didn’t know much about the country other than The Sound Of Music was filmed there and that they spoke German. But I quickly fell in love with its landscape and luckily after the original plan was to only stay for 6 months, I was offered another contract and stayed for an additional year. I had an unforgettable time working with the craziest most amazing people and enjoying summer days by the lakes and winter days sledding down mountains.
To show some appreciation of Austria I am going to take you on a tour of the places I visited during my time there. I am going to start with one of the first places I visited outside of Salzburg: Fuschl am See.
How did I get here?
It easy enough to travel around Austria if you have a car but there are public transport options too if you don’t drive. If you are feeling a little more adventurous you can bike there but be aware that it isn’t a flat route. I traveled from Salzburg on the 150 bus (because I would die if I biked) from Salzburg HBF (main station) to the small town beside Fuschl Lake. The trip takes about 35- 45 minutes depending on traffic. If you suffer from a stomach that likes to regurgitate your lunch if you so much consider traveling in a moving vehicle (like I do) the journey is a bit winding but not too uncomfortable. But if your stomach is your friend (not like mine) you can enjoy the countryside views on your way to Fuschl am See. The first time I saw this small Austrian town I felt as though I was looking through an Instagram filter. You know that feeling that it can’t possibly be naturally that picturesque. Such deep blues and greens just waiting to be admired up close. The bus turns down a hill towards the town and stops beside many Austrian restaurants and even a pizza place which is pretty good by the way. You can rent e-boats (which goes well with pizza and radlar), canoes and stand up paddle boards from the hotels in the area. There is even a golf course if none of the above is for you.
In case we have any Red Bull Fans reading this, below is a picture of Red Bull’s headquarters. A lot of people mistake it for a spa which is not surprising. Just look at it!
The lake itself is not that big but it can take about two and a half hours to walk the whole way around. It is defiantly worth it. Top tip: If you do decide to walk around the lake, make sure you wear good walking shoes. The path isn’t paved and can get muddy if it has been raining. There may also be snow still on the ground if you visit during the end of winter or beginning of spring so it’s a good idea to wear waterproof shoes or shoes with good grip or you may fall on your backside and end up with a wet arse. Nobody wants that! The dock below is on the far side of the lake. It’s a great place to take a break on your walk and have a picnic.
Just watch out for the swans!
Bring it on Schober
(1,328 m) Elevation: 1,328 m
Happily, Austria marks all their hiking routes well. They are yellow signs usually at key junctions that show you different routes and sometimes restaurants that are on the way. The Austrian flag is marked sporadically on trees along the way to keep you on the right path which is good because If they weren’t there I would probably have gotten lost. Years later I would become one of those headlines “Wild girls found in Austrian mountains just off the main path”. and instead of surviving as part of a wolf pack, I would be with deer and mountain goats. There are usually one or two easier hiking paths for you to choose from for those who want something a little less elevated. I opted for the harder route which resulted in me feeling the burn and suffering out loud. The hike usually takes about two hours but it can take longer if you stop and take photos of every leaf, tree or different view angle. Definitely not me she says as she snaps a selfie while the light perfectly hits her face at just the right angle. For anyone who has a fear of heights, it does steepen and become narrower at the top. The first time I climbed it I was clawing my way up and trying to keep my cool. ‘My cool’ is me giving myself and audible pep talk. “You can do this, it’s not that high. Oh god, it’s so f**king high!. No, no its grand, just keep going. Pretend you’re not 1,000 meters high and practically touching the clouds”. Eventually, you make it to the top and the struggle and fear become totally worth it. Not only do you feel like you have accomplished something but you also get the most amazing view. I have been lucky enough to set eyes on that view multiple times now and I tell you it is just as beautiful as the first time I stood gazed
What is really nice about this hike is that a lot of it is through a wooded area. Cars cannot go up this mountain so there are no road trails and there isn’t a cable car, so you have to work for your panoramic view.
Near the top is a small wooden hut. If you stay on the mountain it’s a good place to keep warm. It is also a nice place to stop and take a break, that is if some else hasn’t got there first! I once did a sunrise hike and we decided to go into the hut to warm up and eat something before climbing back down. We got a bit of a surprise when we opened the door and found a bear hibernating for winter… Jokes ! it wasn’t a bear. It was just a couple of hikers wrapped up snug as a bug in their sleeping bags. They welcomed us into the hut a lot more politely then I think a bear would have.
A cross stands a the very top. A feature you will find on most mountains. When you see the cross you know you have made it.
I took my friend Michelle and Lucy up Schober with me when they visited. I don’t think they expected it to be quiet so difficult but they did it and I am so proud of them.
I put a short video together of my visits to Fuschl am See. So, if you want to see more of the lake area, check it out!