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This is the first post in a new series called Europe iPhoneography… on my recent three-week tramp around Europe, my new iPod Touch was never far from my side. This is the result of my best iPhoneography photographs from the first of four countries.
Europe iPhoneography: Austria
Salzburg Castle, or to give its due and proper name Hohensalzburg Castle, is a castle in the Austrian city of Salzburg. Salzburg is better known as Sound of Music country, yet the castle is the domineering presence in the city. Sitting atop Festungsberg Mountain, the castle was built at the behest of the Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg. Measuring 820 ft in length and 490 ft wide, the castle is one of the largest medieval castles in Europe.
Salzburg has seen a lot of Prince-Archbishops in its time, and I mean a lot. Yet Wolf Dietrich Von Raitenau was the first who left a lasting impression on the city during its Baroque prime. Yet as things often were in the days of yore and perhaps still are today, wanton jealousy took over. Wolf Dietrich had an enemy, a nemesis if you will. Markus Sittkus forced old Wolf from office and even arrested him for good measure. Wolf was imprisoned in the Hohensalzburg Fortress.
Waxing lyrical about the charms of Innsbruck is easy, snow-capped mountains and cobbled streets. As clichéd as it sounds, Innsbruck has these in abundance. Small-town charisma in a big city, Innsbruck lies at the heart of the Tyrol Mountain range, closed in on either side of the valley by tall, dominant mountains. In this photograph, the buildings are tight, blocking out the sunlight at street level.
Tucked away in the backstreets of Innsbruck’s tourist district was my home for the night. Lunch was a baguette, salami and cheese. The venue was a small balcony with two chairs and a table. The view was an assortment of rooftops, terraces, a church tower and the beautiful mountains of Innsbruck.
Standing just metres from an alpine pub and restaurants are a series of avalanche walls. Designed to protect the lower slopes from the thundering beasts as they roar their way down the mountain, the avalanche walls do their job. Sturdy and strong, as they surely must be, this photograph shows, to the left, an avalanche shoot, with some significant avalanche debris still visible.
With a name like Bad Aussee you would be in your right mind to expect a town with a bad-ass attitude. Yet the reality is completely different, Bad Aussee is a chill, down-to-earth traditional Austrian mountain town. Located at the coming together of the three sources of the Traun River, Bad Aussee lives and dies with the water. With a small population hovering around 5,000, Bad Aussee is a model Austrian Alpine town, awarded as such in 2010 when it was named Alpine Town of the Year. This photograph was taken on a late afternoon stroll from Bad Aussee to nearby Grundlsee.
Grundlsee is a small Alpine village located on the shore the huge Grundlsee Lake. The roads are narrow and the houses look like something out of a vintage movie. This photograph was taken on the banks of the lake, where a new and modern building looked out across the lake towards an old chateau on the opposite bank.
Obertraun and Hallsratt
Obertraun Austria is a village located in the alpine region of Salzkammergut, located on the shores of the famous Hallstatter See. The mountains rise up high above the town and the lake. This is prime avalanche country during the winter; the hills bear the scars of the power of snow. However on the day we visited this beautiful part of Austria, the air was calm and spring was in the air. The boathouse sits peacefully in the calm waters just off Hallstatter See, the reflection staring back at us; the mountains in the background bask in sunshine.
Hallstatt Austria is a small alpine village in the Salzkammergut region. The village sits above the Hallstatter See and is best known for its production of salt. In fact Hallstatt is believed to home to the world’s first ever salt mine. The village is now a popular tourist attraction, especially with Asian and particularly Chinese tourists. So much so the village has been recreated in the Southern Chinese province of Guangdong. Whether it can attain the beauty of the original UNESCO World Heritage Site remains to be seen.
This final photograph was taken on the ferry which transports people across Hallstratter See, from the town on one side of the lake to the train station on the other. The sun is partially covered by cloud and the mountains yet manages to sneak a few rays through.