The surprising beauty of an Austrian Autumn

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. Stanley Horowitz

Lake Königssee in the Berchtesgadener Alps.

Lake Königssee in the Berchtesgadener Alps.

(Warning: this post contains extremely sickening happiness and optimism. It really is disgusting.)

Riding my bike to my weekly language class this morning (I love cycling here; so much safer and faster than in England), I look up from my cycle lane and am struck by the overwhelming beauty of the Kapuzinerberg; a palette of red, orange, yellow, green, purple, more beautiful than it could ever be painted. This 640m-high mound planted right in the middle of the action typifies the perfect balance between nature and city that Salzburg offers.

In that second, I realised how much of a fuss I’ve been making about it not being Summer and about the impending rapid descent into the cold depths of Winter. In amongst all my whining, I hadn’t looked up and appreciated the Autumn. I try to take a photo, but the iPhone does it no justice.

Autumn mornings have a chill; not enough to have you layering on the Winter gear, but enough to wake you up from a hangover after a heavy night. Once the sun’s out, it’s pretty warm; even, dare I say it, hot. For cycling, to language class or otherwise, or going for a jog, this is near-on perfect. Neither sunburn, nor lack of bloody supply to the extremities. Later on, it’s not so cold that you’d rather wrap yourself up in blankets than brave the outdoors; cycling to a night out is very much still an option!

Thinking about it some more, I realise that the reason I’ve been so swept off my feet by Autumn is that I came here with certain expectations, negative ones, because I missed the Summer and I don’t like the cold all that much and because all the postcards show either the sun or the snow. Autumn has taken me by surprise and won me over completely, and I am so sickeningly in love with this city.

And now, because it has to be done, are a few negative points to neutralise all this mad happiness;

– We haven’t had much rain recently, but oh my gosh does it rain, and dear god do I hate it. Why do Brits always joke about England being so rainy? You guys don’t know the first of it.
– A local told me the other day that if you get caught cycling under the influence, you face the same fine that the driver of a car would. A really f-off huge fine. The kind of fine that would force me to pack my bags, go home and get a 9-5.
– Slugs!

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My iPhone not doing the Kapuzinerberg justice.

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