Austria Culture Traditions/History/People

Austrian Countryside: Wine Cellars & Book Fridges

As we talked about in one of our past blogs, going for walks is one of many of Austria’s favourite pastimes. On weekends, families or friends often meet up to go for a stroll. We also followed this tradition when we visited Julia’s family in the Austrian countryside the last time. Depending on how you feel about the countryside, you may be thinking, a bit sarcastically, wow trees, fields, grass, how exciting. But if you head just one village over from where you usually walk, you may already find a lot of new things. So, let’s dig into which treasures you can sometimes find in the Austrian countryside.

Free-range Chicken

There are several types of farm animals, you may come across in the Austrian countryside. However, it’s always the chickens who roam around on paths next to their enclosure. It seems they reject the concept of fences since it’s pretty easy for them to squeeze underneath or create a hole in them.

 

Seismographs

The obvious reason to have seismographs would be to predict earthquakes. Well, not in this case. Austria is too far away from fault lines to get a significant earthquake. What Austria, and especially certain regions in Lower Austria, do have, however, is oil and natural gas reserves. The seismographs are used by oil companies to get a better understanding of the area’s geological profile.

Huts

There are different types of huts you may find around the Austrian countryside. Oftentimes they were meant to provide shelter if it rains, while you’re working in the fields or for when you need to go to the toilet. Yup, some of the small huts, especially ones with a heart carved into the door, are outhouses.

 

Wine Cellars

If you find yourself walking around the country side, especially in Lower Austria, you may come across entire streets line with wine cellars left and right. These streets, which are usually found at the edge of a village, are so iconic some of them are listed for preservation. They used to, and often still do, play an important role in village social life, since they’re a meeting point for a glass of wine with friends or village celebrations. That’s why seeing an abandoned cellar street, like in the video, seemed even more eerie to Julia.

 

Recycling

The importance of recycling is not only a stereotype of Germany but also Austria and it’s true. We do take recycling our trash very seriously. Based on that mind-set, finding new ways to recycling things you have no use for anymore is a popular hobby. Oftentimes, the result is artwork like sculptures. In the case of our video, an old fridge found an unusual but very clever new purpose.

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