English

April 2012

Well into Summer Time and with so much glorious weather behind us, we’re all feeling really buoyed up about spring – and if you’ve been in the town centre recently, you’ve no doubt been impressed by the gorgeous floral displays. This is my third spring here, and up to now I’ve felt it’s a shortlived season, arriving late because of lingering snow and giving in to summer in late May. People’s gardens are a little further on this year though, owing to the wonderful mild temperatures and copious sunshine. There’s an exciting buzz in the air as people sit about enjoying the sun, and those of us training for running events make the most of being outside.

Nearly five thousand flowers and a considerable number of shrubs and small trees make up the city council’s Easter showpiece outside the town hall. The spring scene is delightful, with its train rides for little ones and the usual bunnies, chicks and ducks as symbols of fertility. All this will last until the beginning of May and is not only there for us to enjoy but is also a draw for foreign tourists. You may also have already seen Villach’s Easter market which comprises twenty stalls trading until Saturday April 7th. Easter Sunday of course signifies the end of lent, and in Austria roast lamb is traditionally served on this day. Smoked pork („Selchfleisch“) is a popular seasonal delicacy, as is „Reindling“, a yeast cake filled with sugar, raisins and cinammon, usually made in a ring form. In the garden children search for coloured hard boiled Easter eggs which they are told the Easter bunny has hidden. A custom called „Eierpecken“ is still honoured in Carinthia, which involves two players, each with an egg, bashing the opponent’s egg in order to dent it and win it. A variation on this is throwing a coin at an egg – if successful, the thrower keeps his or her money, but otherwise loses it to the egg-owner. If you are lucky enough to witness any of this stuff please let us know!

One reason for staying at home and enjoying our town’s Easter events is the thorny subject of petrol prices. As oil prices rise motorists everywhere are feeling the pinch, and lots are going to a petrol station in St. Johanner Straße in the suburb of Völkendorf, according to the city council magazine. Last year there was apparently a twenty per cent increase in customers at this „council“ station, which is said to offer a reduction of up to ten percent. Alternatively, with such glorious weather you might consider a day out by train or bike, perhaps to Velden or Pörtschach on the Wörther See. Taking bikes on the train by the way is really normal here – just ask at the ticket office to make sure it’s okay.

April 15th is the date when summer tyres may legally replace winter ones, and consequently there are adverts everywhere to get four tyres changed for the price of three. On a related subject, there was a lot of publicity at the beginning of the year when a new law was brought in concernng „rescue lanes“ for emergency vehicles on Austria’s dual carriageways and motorways. The law requires vehicles to pull over to create a special lane for emergency vehicles so that they can arrive at their destinations up to four minutes quicker. If you are in the outside lane move over to the left, and vehicles in the other lanes should move to the right (thereby using the hard shoulder). This is illustrated in an excellent video on the ÖAMTC website:

http://www.oeamtc.at/?id=2500%2C1372745%2C%2C

Easter is the time when tourist attractions start to open their doors, so boat trips on the river Drau start on Easter Monday with a limited service, to be extended in mid May.

www.schifffahrt.at/drau

The animal park in Rosegg to the east of Villach is already open, and its castle and maze will open on May 1st.

http://www.rosegg.at/

The river trips, animal park and many other attractions offer reduced prices for customers with a „Kärnten card“. To find out more on this website, click on Life and Work, Life in Carinthia then Leisure Time.

Looking forward to next month, Tuesday 1st May is a bank holiday and also the classical music festival „Carintischer Sommer“ has put its programme for 12th July to 22nd August on its website.

http://www.carinthischersommer.at/index.php?cccpage=programm_juli

Everything’s gearing up for summer. Enjoy.

April 2012

Well into Summer Time and with so much glorious weather behind us, we’re all feeling really buoyed up about spring – and if you’ve been in the town centre recently, you’ve no doubt been impressed by the gorgeous floral displays. This is my third spring here, and up to now I’ve felt it’s a shortlived season, arriving late because of lingering snow and giving in to summer in late May. People’s gardens are a little further on this year though, owing to the wonderful mild temperatures and copious sunshine. There’s an exciting buzz in the air as people sit about enjoying the sun, and those of us training for running events make the most of being outside.

Nearly five thousand flowers and a considerable number of shrubs and small trees make up the city council’s Easter showpiece outside the town hall. The spring scene is delightful, with its train rides for little ones and the usual bunnies, chicks and ducks as symbols of fertility. All this will last until the beginning of May and is not only there for us to enjoy but is also a draw for foreign tourists. You may also have already seen Villach’s Easter market which comprises twenty stalls trading until Saturday April 7th. Easter Sunday of course signifies the end of lent, and in Austria roast lamb is traditionally served on this day. Smoked pork („Selchfleisch“) is a popular seasonal delicacy, as is „Reindling“, a yeast cake filled with sugar, raisins and cinammon, usually made in a ring form. In the garden children search for coloured hard boiled Easter eggs which they are told the Easter bunny has hidden. A custom called „Eierpecken“ is still honoured in Carinthia, which involves two players, each with an egg, bashing the opponent’s egg in order to dent it and win it. A variation on this is throwing a coin at an egg – if successful, the thrower keeps his or her money, but otherwise loses it to the egg-owner. If you are lucky enough to witness any of this stuff please let us know!

One reason for staying at home and enjoying our town’s Easter events is the thorny subject of petrol prices. As oil prices rise motorists everywhere are feeling the pinch, and lots are going to a petrol station in St. Johanner Straße in the suburb of Völkendorf, according to the city council magazine. Last year there was apparently a twenty per cent increase in customers at this „council“ station, which is said to offer a reduction of up to ten percent. Alternatively, with such glorious weather you might consider a day out by train or bike, perhaps to Velden or Pörtschach on the Wörther See. Taking bikes on the train by the way is really normal here – just ask at the ticket office to make sure it’s okay.

April 15th is the date when summer tyres may legally replace winter ones, and consequently there are adverts everywhere to get four tyres changed for the price of three. On a related subject, there was a lot of publicity at the beginning of the year when a new law was brought in concernng „rescue lanes“ for emergency vehicles on Austria’s dual carriageways and motorways. The law requires vehicles to pull over to create a special lane for emergency vehicles so that they can arrive at their destinations up to four minutes quicker. If you are in the outside lane move over to the left, and vehicles in the other lanes should move to the right (thereby using the hard shoulder). This is illustrated in an excellent video on the ÖAMTC website:

http://www.oeamtc.at/?id=2500%2C1372745%2C%2C

Easter is the time when tourist attractions start to open their doors, so boat trips on the river Drau start on Easter Monday with a limited service, to be extended in mid May.

www.schifffahrt.at/drau

The animal park in Rosegg to the east of Villach is already open, and its castle and maze will open on May 1st.

http://www.rosegg.at/

The river trips, animal park and many other attractions offer reduced prices for customers with a „Kärnten card“. To find out more on this website, click on Life and Work, Life in Carinthia then Leisure Time.

Looking forward to next month, Tuesday 1st May is a bank holiday and also the classical music festival „Carintischer Sommer“ has put its programme for 12th July to 22nd August on its website.

http://www.carinthischersommer.at/index.php?cccpage=programm_juli

Everything’s gearing up for summer. Enjoy.