Snapshots of Graz, Austria
Cosy nights, streets lined with twinkling lights, and the touch of crisp winter air on rosy cheeks, means only one thing, the end of the year is here.
The Christmas break serves as a great time to celebrate the festive season with friends and take some time out to unwind after the excesses of the big day itself. It’s a time to reminisce over the year that has been, and plan for the year that is to come.
2017 has been a big year for me and A Rosie Life, I launched the web store and blog in April, and both have flourished over the year, so much so, I can’t wait to get back to it after Christmas! I’ve met wonderful new designer makers and creatives; and shared awesome experiences along the way including exploring Dreamland and taking in the beautiful Cornish coast.
One of my favourite memories of 2017 was our weekend in Graz, Austria. We made the trip to visit a friend and fell in love with this picture postcard city in Southern Austria, which was so close to the border we skipped over the mountains for a night in the ‘mellow fruitfulness’ of the Slovenian wine region.
We started our trip in Vienna, a city renowned for it’s beauty, with buildings iced in sugary pastel hues and wide sweeping avenues decorated with ornate fountains and perfectly manicured parks.
Vienna also has a creative, artsy scene that reminded me very much of Berlin. Colourful graffiti, vintage markets, sleek and stylish home stores and boutique bars and restaurants.
From Vienna we caught the train 2 hours south to Graz, catching the odd glimpse of the passing country in the evening dusk, before being plunged into the darkness of mountain passes and tunnels just north of Graz.
The dawn broke the next day to expansive blue skies over a city, nestled up against verdant alpine mountain ranges, lush with pine trees and grassy meadows on it’s lower slopes.
We explored the town in the morning sunlight, taking in modernist architecture nestled against old Austrian sugar coated apartment blocks.
Amongst the beautiful buildings, farmers markets laden with local harvest produce, burgeon into life in a riot of home grown produce where pink and blousey dahlias sit beside chestnuts in their prickly jackets, and grapes fresh from the vine sit alongside beans in captivating hues of pink and purple.
Graz centres around a small castle which overlooks the city and is surrounded by parks gently sloping back down towards the river.
On Saturday we drove down to Slovenia to explore the wine region. We stayed at a small homestay in the heart of the region which, alongside vines, had pigs, chickens and a whole array of vegetables which meant everything we ate and drank there had been produced on site, it really was a little slice of the good life!
On a gorgeous autumnal afternoon we trekked through the winding valleys of the vineyards to find delicious Slovenian wine and the most stunning sunset over the hills and valleys of Slovenia and beyond into Hungary.
After a night in our gorgeous homely homestay, we headed back over the border for lunch in the Austrian wine region. Beautiful alpine style lodges and perfectly manicured vineyards created a beautiful patchwork across the landscape.
Our final Austrian adventure took us back through the stunning mountain passes and tunnels back up north to Vienna.
For a colour lover like me, Vienna, Graz and the wine regions were a feast for the eyes. Beautiful autumnal hues, edgy street art, gorgeous local produce and a pleasing mix of old and new architecture make this region a wonderful place for a long weekend.