Austria In the Fall of 2015

Chris, Caroline, and Siegi 1

Chris and Siegi Irrasch and Caroline

Siegi and Chris Irrasch are very dear friends who live in Austria. I have known them since I was a teenager and consider them my family even though the link is distant. Caroline and I went to visit them in the Fall of 2015. Chris’s health has not been great so we wanted to make the trip while my health (and age) still allowed. These are two of my favorite people in the whole world and I’m grateful they’re a part of our lives!

Zweinitz

Zweinitz, Austria

Siegi and Chris now live in Zweinitz, Austria, a classically beautiful town in the mountains of southern Austria about 50 miles north of Klagenfurt (if you’re driving). This is a simple journal of our trip to visit these special family members. 

We left Nashville on Friday, October 2 and flew to Munich through Chicago and Berlin and landed in Munich early Saturday morning. Siegi met us at the airport. 

Siegi and Caroline 1

Siegi and Caroline

The drive from Munich to Zweinitz is a solid 3 plus hours. We stopped along the way to rest and enjoy some dessert under a beautiful German sky. The weather was very pleasant for our entire trip. Germany and Austria are further north than Tennessee so I was expecting cooler weather than we generally encountered. You can see from the photo on the left that we were comfortably dressed. This particular place is right on the autobahn and offers all kinds of great foods and desserts. It was a beautiful day and our trip was off to a great start!

Zweinitz House 3

Siegi and Chris’s Home

Siegi and Chris live in a gorgeous, European mountain home that looks like something from a movie. We arrived early in the afternoon and settled in after hugging Chris and the dogs. We spent the rest of the day visiting and telling stories into the evening. I hadn’t seen them in years and Caroline had never met them, so this was a really sweet time for us. Over the next few days we enjoyed their gracious hospitality, feasted at their table, and shared memories of my family from times when my parents were alive. 

Zweinitz Church 4

Catholic Church in Zweinitz

On Sunday I took a stroll around the village to see some of the local buildings. There aren’t many businesses in Zweinitz, but there is a Catholic church and a fire house. I have no idea how old the church is, but it’s a beautiful old building. Behind the church is a smaller chapel that I could enter. The alter is typical of the other churches I’ve been able to visit before. The older I get and the crazier the world becomes, the more I appreciate all those who claim the name of Jesus even when their faith is quite different from my own. I certainly have an appreciation for the history associated with this very old church.

Tower 1

Woerthersee Lake

Siegi took us to Klagenfurt on Monday. This beautiful city rests at the eastern end of a large, narrow lake (Woerthersee). See the image on the right.

Tower 2

The Pyramidenkogel

On a mountain top just south of the lake is the Pyramidenkogel, the tallest wooden observation tower in the world. Besides being an incredible work of engineering and architecture, this tower provides some wonderful views of the lake and region. Click on the picture to get a larger image. 

Rudy

Rudy Mack’s Guest House

After enjoying the tower, we stopped at the home of Rudy Mack. Rudy is a close friend of Siegi’s and runs a bed and breakfast in Klagenfurt (see image on the right). I have stayed here before. Rudy wasn’t there this particular day and we were sorry to miss him. He’s a very gracious and hospitable man. 

Chris, Caroline, and Siegi 2

Chris, Caroline, and Siegi

On Tuesday morning Siegi drove us to the bus station in Munich where we boarded a bus and headed for Zurich. I’ll share more about the remainder of our trip in a different post as I have time. 

Chris, Rick, and Siegi 1

Chris, Rick, and Siegi

I have spoken the Chris a couple of times since our visit and she is doing better and sounds stronger. We are grateful her health is improving and look forward to seeing them again. We love you, Chris and Siegi, and thank you for your wonderful hospitality!