I’ve just completed day 4 in Austria–a day spent fly fishing in the Alps. This post isn’t about the fly fishing, it’s about observations I made during my time behind the wheel. In no particular order…
1. Be tidy. Driving the Austrian countryside, I’m not sure I saw 1 misplaced piece of fire wood or 1 piece of trash. I’m not sure what makes people messy and what makes people tidy, but I appreciate the cleanliness and attention to detail of this place.
2. Cafe’s are for sharing. In the states, a coffee shop is filled with people glued to their electronics (me included). This isn’t the case in Austria. I’ve only seen 1 laptop/cell phone/tablet at a cafe and it was an American. Instead, Austrians use this opportunity to catch up with friends and socialize (in person).
3. Drink socially. I’ve seen more people drinking in Austria than any place I’ve ever been. Although, I’ve yet to see anyone drunk. I’m sure it exists, I just haven’t seen it. Similar to coffee/espresso, BIER also provides an opportunity to be social, but not belligerent.
4. Be active. Austria is noticeably thinner than the US of A. My immediate conclusion was portion size. Although this may be true, the portions we’re receiving are not small. However, the Austrians do live a very subtle and active life style. You don’t see the extensive exercise/weight loss gimmicks or number of gyms, but you do see a high portion of continuously active people. Walking and biking are preferred to the car and treading water is part of going to the beach. In my mind, this subtle and active lifestyle must add up. The equation remains the same: burn more calories than you consume.
5. Find your happy place. Whether it’s the Cafe, garden, gasthaus, motorcycle, or bicycle or wooded trail, I’ve noticed Austrians have happy places. It’s easy to tell when and why they’re at this happy place. My happy place is streamside, which is why I skipped the “Castle Tour" in hopes to find a hungry Austrian trout. And I did. I also found a remarkable countryside and culture. I haven’t decided which makes me happier.