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Austria - A Wonderfully Historic Indulgence
When you mention Austria, many Americans automatically think of Arnold Schwarzenegger. After all, it's his home country. But even though Austria may have some sort of "spiritual" link with California thanks to one of their most famous modern-day sons, the reality is that Austria is nothing like the west coast of the USA. And thank goodness for that - why travel so far just to find something the same as you left behind?

Austria is very much a country of mountains and snow. If you're looking for sunny beaches, forget it - Austria is an inland country of Europe. It's also a wonderful way to get a feel for culture and traditions that have long since ceased to exist in many other parts of the world. And, of course, who can resist the wonderful tastes of schnitzel and apple strudel?

Although it's the historic and natural beauty of Austria that attracts visitors, the reality is that there are also many modern elements in the Austria of today. That's what makes it such an interesting mixture. The best place to start is undoubtedly Vienna, with its amazing legacy of the Habsburg dynasty. There are galleries and museums, gorgeous architecture and amazing palaces. It's also full of creative energy. If you only have a couple of days to spend in Austria, then you may find that spending it all in Vienna is the best option.

With a little more time, you can branch out and explore some other parts of Austria. Of course, all 'Sound of Music' fans will want to check out Salzburg. You can go on a tour of the numerous locations used in the movie. Salzburg is also famous as the birthplace of Mozart, so there's plenty here for fans of the more classical side of music.

A visit to the mountains of Austria is something you will never forget. Innsbruck is the center of a large skiing area throughout the Tirol region, and is guaranteed to warm the heart of any mountain and snow enthusiast. The best ski season is from Christmas to late February, with good snow available on either side of those months. If you want to see the glory of the mountains in the warmth of summer, then visit in May or June. It will certainly be a lot quieter then.

Visiting Austria for a day or two during a whistle stop tour of Europe really doesn't do it justice. Although I've mentioned a few highlights, there are so many more wonderful places to visit if you really want to get a true feeling for this stunning country. So give yourself plenty of time to explore, and you'll be well rewarded.
About the Author
Author of this article is Gordon Philips. If you want to read more about travelling to Austria, click over to Gordon's site at Travel Austria Info Zone.
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