Sometimes things just happen don’t they? You can plan and organise every little detail and get to visit amazing places and have incredible experiences. But sometimes you don’t plan anything at all and an absolutely incredible moment just sneaks up on you and before you know it …………………… well we had one of those here and we’ll never forget it. More about that in a moment though.
It was with heavy heart that we left Munich and our little apartment in Zorneding. Early Saturday morning saw us dragging noisy cases to the station and reminiscing on the four weeks that we’d lived in this fabulous part of Bavaria. Munich is still our favourite city and we will always love the parks and the beer gardens of this welcoming sociable place. I can’t stress enough how great a city Munich is though and would absolutely recommend it to anyone to visit at any time of the year. It truly is unique.
But time to move on and we faced a serious journey from Munich to Graz on the train. Five and a half hours! I’ll say it again just to emphasise, five and a half hours! A long trip but as it wound through the Alps and the Salzkammergut mountains it turned out to be spectacular. Through the beautiful city of Salzburg and then through countless Austrian towns that all looked worth stopping at and exploring. We really enjoyed the whole trip winding in and out of unbelievable picturesque valley after valley.
I’m not sure if everyone is aware but we are not staying in hotels or bed and breakfasts on our little trip at all, we decided to use a company called Airbnb where private families rent out rooms or parts of their own houses. We wanted to meet people as we went and to live amongst them in different parts of the world. That is how we got to get off the train in Graz and be met by the lovely Eva and her husband Ottmar, our new hosts. It’s always exciting and slightly nerve-wracking meeting new people that you’ll be living with of course, but within minutes we were greeted like old friends and on our way to their house in a village called Vochera an der Laßnitz. A 30 minute drive south of Graz brought us into the tiny village of Vochera and der Laßnitz and to Eva and Ottmars house. Well. It seemed ok ………………………
Alright, maybe it wasn’t ok at all. It was incredible! Eva showed us around the house, gardens, and outbuildings and we were just dumbstruck. The house was built in 1875 and has been in Eva’s family for generations. They have split it in half so that the family now live in one half and guests have the other, separate entrances and complete privacy if required.
Just walking around the main living space downstairs and the huge bedroom upstairs took our breathe away and we just couldn’t stop grinning and wondering how we got to live somewhere like this! Incredible. Plus they’ve lent us a couple of bikes so we’ll be able to get out and about. Also, the garden is packed full of fruit and vegetables that we’re welcome to take. Apples, pears, blueberries, tomatoes, and a whole host of stuff that I have no idea about (Jo seems to know what it all is of course).
So, pretty good start then.
Eva and Ottmar had a trip booked on Sunday so have gone away for a few days but left us in the capable hands of their two lovely daughters Magdalena and Marie. I’m sure they weren’t too pleased to be lumbered with the two old English homeless travellers but they have been unbelievably friendly and hospitable. We shared lunch a couple of times and they even took us out in the car to show us the local area and do some shopping. That leads me onto to the special moment I mentioned earlier.
We’re in the car with Magdelana and Marie and Marie apologises as she explains that she needs to take a detour to her boyfriends house to pick up a dress. Not a problem for us of course so she drives up a little twisty turny road to the top of the hill and then takes a smaller track even higher. We pull up in front of a lovely Austrian chalet set in acres of vineyards with views of the mountains and are told we are all going in. To the strains of Mozart we are introduced to Krista, the boyfriends Mother, and told that we are staying for coffee.
So out to the terrace, outstanding mountain views across the Slovenian border, and coffee and biscuits. After a brief chat, some English and some German, Krista brings out the Prosecco and and six glasses. Apparently it’s her wedding anniversary so she calls her husband Franz and he joins us. Soon a couple of beers turn up and some more wine.
This was the moment. We didn’t plan anything. We had no idea where we were going. We hadn’t even met the people involved. But for a glorious hour or so we sat with Krista and Franz in their fabulous home, with Magdelana and Marie, drinking and chatting and laughing in one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been. It was almost magical and we will never forget it.
Hopefully we will be seeing them again during our stay.
That’s me on the ‘day bed’, which is great for afternoon naps and general loafing around. We feel so at home here already and it’s only a couple of days in.
We’re planning on a bit of cycling this week and have agreed to go to a local football match on Saturday to watch the girls play and are looking forward to that. As soon as Eva and Othmar return from Salzburg I think our social calendar will kick into overdrive so we really can’t wait. That’s what it’s like in Vochera an der Laßnitz. Oh, and we’re off to Bled next week for some reason or another.