When I moved back to Austria a little over 2 years ago I actually moved back to my actual home town of Vöcklabruck. It’s a small town in Upper Austria with a population of maybe about 12,000 and while it might not seem like anything spectacular, it IS the self-proclaimed ‘Gateway to the Salzkammergut’. And in case you’re wondering, the Salzkammergut area is pretty much the Lake District of Austria. So I mean, there’s that!
Besides it proximity to Austria’s beautiful lakes and mountains there is one other cool little spot at the top of my list of places that I feel like I have to take people to when they come visit. The ruins of Alt Wartenburg.
From what I’ve been able to piece together from German Wikipedia and stuff my cousins told me when they first took me to Alt Wartenburg, the ruins used to comprise of a medieval citadel and castle that burn down in 1678, was rebuilt in 1690, and then fell to ruin after the Second World War. A new mansion, ‘Schloss Neu Wartenburg‘ was built in 1732, after which the ruins of Schloss Alt Wartenburg merely became a sort of tourist attraction and, until a few years ago, a popular place for open air concerts. Sadly the ruins have since been declared too unsafe to hold concerts around so I will never get to experience it.
Full disclosure: While I’ve actually been lucky enough to have several of my fave people from Fiji come visit me in my 2 years here, we’ve never actually made it up to the ruins together due to them being very brief alcohol-fueled trips, or a combination of bad weather & laziness.
However with my little sister visiting for 3 months I was determined to get her out of the house and up to the ruins. So one beautiful, snow-less winter day in December we ventured out for a walk just before golden hour and I finally got to show her the ruins. The walk was a little longer than she expected but we both had fun monkeying around, taking photos and just being silly. She agreed it was worth it and I was glad I finally got to play tour guide in our hometown. All in all, a perfect little mini adventure for a Sunday afternoon.