The moment I saw Julie Andrews singing and running through the hills in Austria in the film The Sound of Music when I was younger, I knew where the film had been shot was a very special place and as I got older and learned where it was, I knew in my heart that I had to visit Austria one day. My dream came to life one summer ago after our last stop in Germany.
It was a two-hour drive from Munich and the moment we set our eyes on Austria, everyone was in awe. As we drove through mountains of snow and hills that were covered in green pastures, Austria had topped my list of favorite countries. Take note that our trip to Austria preluded our trip to Switzerland.Arriving into the little town of Hopfargten, our home in Austria, it really felt like we were in paradise. Greeneries all around, barely any people, beautifully and uniquely built houses that you won’t find in any other country, and snow-covered mountains that surrounded the whole town.
I couldn’t wait to get a whiff of the fresh air as soon as everyone got off the coach. And to no surprise as we stepped onto Austrian land, everyone knew that the atmosphere in Austria was one of a kind.As if everything wasn’t beautiful enough, we stayed in this Austrian Gasthof and had the whole place to ourselves! Unfortunately, I was already suffering from colds, fever, and cough, and having to carry my 20kg+ luggage up to our room on the third floor was no help. Luckily, some of our guy tour-mates helped us out. Even if that would’ve easily ruined my day, the thought of being in such a peaceful and beautiful place made me feel like nothing could get in my way.I spent a few hours resting considering how sick I’d gotten, napping in our room that had such a scenic view. Who could blame me for wanting to stay indoors?After finally being able to recharge for a bit, Fran, Robert, David and I decided to walk around the town. Earlier when we got off the coach, we saw a church from afar, about 50 meters from the Gasthof and knew that we had to see it up close.Upon entering, it was different and smaller compared to all the other churches that we had visited early on, but to this day, this is still one of the most beautiful churches I have ever seen. This was a place wherein I didn’t mind walking even if I was sick to my stomach, because seeing more of Hopfgarten made me feel even better. I felt that this was a vacation from my vacation. I don’t know how else to describe this little town aside from it being one of the most picturesque and most peaceful places ever, so let the photos show you instead.
After walking all around the town, the others decided to go back to the Gasthof to rest up before dinner. I believe I hadn’t gotten enough of this incredible place that I decided to walk around on my own. I was just so awed by it all. Throughout my walk, I kept telling myself how incredible God truly is to have created a place this beautiful and perfect.
Later that night, we all sat down for dinner at the Gasthof and had delicious Austrian cuisine, though my favorite was the Apfelstrudel, which is still by far the best I’ve had in my life.
Topping it all off, the next day, we drove to the nearby river and went White-Water Rafting in the freezing water. I was numb from the cold, but it was well-worth it, as depicted in the photo below. Having fulfilled my dream to visit Austria, I can say that this really is the country where you’ll feel that the hills are indeed alive. Austria is definitely a country I dream of visiting once more.