Wanderlust in Romania – Sibiu.


Continuing the partial tourist life with a quick stop in Romania, I am happy to show you one of the most beautiful medieval cities in Romania – Sibiu.

To start with, I would like to refer to a few aspects about Sibiu, before going to the historical reminiscences. In 2007, Sibiu was declared the European Capital of Culture. Its European spirit, its cultural location and good infrastructure played a crucial role in this nomination. As the European Capital of Culture in South-Eastern Europe, Sibiu was the location for artistic events, marathons, conferences, visual arts. This title brought even more visibility to the city and somehow contributed to its improvements in culture, economics and tourism.

As a former colony of the Saxons coming from the Rhine – from Moselle, more specifically – in the 12th century, Sibiu (known as Hermannstadt as well) manages to resist later on, as a fortress, against the Ottomans and was even the capital of Transylvania during the domination of the Habsburg principality. Speaking of its strategic meaning, also during the 1989 Revolution, Sibiu was representative for fighting to write its own history.

What brought me to Sibiu? It´s springtime, I´m on a short trip to Romania to celebrate the Orthodox Easter with my family and in between I´m also visiting some cities. Sibiu is located 80 km away from my hometown and I might affirm that it is a very clean and well maintained city in Romania, ready to embrace its tourists with peace and beauty. Its medieval charm pays off when you choose to spend a few hours or days in the heart of Transylvania and need something to take you out of the real environment.

It doesn´t matter whether you stop in front of the Gothic Cathedral or you choose to walk among the streets and admire the colorful houses, you will suddenly feel relaxed and more joyful. According to Forbes, in 2008 Sibiu was the 8th most idyllic place to live in Europe.

Some keywords that describe the city very well are: open squares, stone walls built for defense, towers and very old buildings and churches. Passing from the Lower Town to the Upper Town, there is a bunch of staircases. According to the history, in the city center (Upper Town) only the wealthier Saxons were living, whereas the Old Town was dominated by the peasants.

Speaking of the Upper Town, you can start with exploring The Big Square, which is officially the center of the city since the 15th century. Even nowadays the wide-open square serves as a place for concerts, festivals, events and touristic gatherings.

I´ve had the chance to cross over the Bridge of Lies, a very small and cozy bridge, from which you can admire the rest of the city or simply reflect on everything that surrounds you. According to the legend, when someone tells a lie on this bridge, it will hear and recognize it and consequently it will creack.

The second thing you can easily visit is the Gothic Lutheran Cathedral, located into Huet Square. This cathedral was built in the 14th century and has a steeple of over 200 feet high. During the Middle Ages, the steeples marked a sign of threatening for the visitors, informing them that they can be sentenced to death if they stepped out of the rules.

Take your time and get immersed into this ancient visual environment from Sibiu whenever you have time!

Wanderung around Fuschlsee.


One of the most common week-end activities for the Austrian culture is hiking, going out and climbing a mountain or just walking in the middle of the nature. With so many mountains and lakes around, I am not surprised… Well, even if you are an ‘Ausslander’ and you live in Austria for a defined period of time, you have to do it. On a sunny day, with good company, you can have a really nice time and recharge yourself with energy for what comes next.


Actually, it explains a lot why people living in Austria are fit and healthy in general. As there are so many options to spend the time outdoors, even the body gets used. If you combine these activities with a glass of Gruner Veltliner or Weisser Spritzer, a beer or an Apfelsaft, then you are ready to be officially ‘Austrianized’. Don’t follow my example, I enjoyed a Western Ice Coffee. 🙂


But before you receive this title officially, there is one option to somehow get used to the Austrian vibe – going for a long walk (Wanderung) around the lake Fuschl. The walk itself is 11 km long and circles the whole lake, while offering you every here and there a restaurant, a bench to sit on or a terrace to have a cold beer. Regardless on when you start walking, do consider 3 hours as a minimum time availability in order to complete the tour.


I recommend this place for those Saturdays when you would like to lay in the sun, with a pair of glasses and would consciously want to reflect on what is going on with you or has been recently. There are people of all ages, wishing to share the same good vibes and just sitting around them will chill your soul and bring peace into your mind.

One particularity of this lake is the beautiful colors it takes and the fact that it is surrounded by a castle. From a certain point you can admire the peak Schober (see picture below) and if you are into sailing, you can rent a boat and float on the lake for half an hour. There are many hotels and pensions around, so if the place convinces you to stay overnight, then you do have some options to choose from.


Bad Ischl.


Since Austria is famous for its tourism (and indeed, there are many resorts worth having a look at), I am happy to write about another place I had the chance to visit – Bad Ischl. On a week-end when you have a lot of free time – and you feel like going for a long trip – this can be a very good choice. Why do I say ‘a lot of free time’? Well, because it´s not so close to Salzburg and if you want to return in the same day, you´d better start driving early in the morning…


From Salzburg up there it takes one hour and a half by bus no. 150, but the journey itself is very beautiful – the road to it goes along Fuschl am See and Wolfgansee and passes within many Austrian villages. Altogether, nature, mountains and tradition – nothing Western – and simple enough to help you clear your mind. As mentioned in another post, the lakes Fuschl am See and Wolfgang See are really worth seeing and are just on the way to this touristic city. The bus drives every 30 minutes from Salzburg, so there is no panic in case you didn´t make it for the first trip.

Bad Ischl belongs to the Salzkammergutes Area, which counts in all the lakes surrounded by mountains, from East to West. Therefore, to have a complete overview on what this side of Austria has to offer, it makes sense to try all the lakes and not just one for conveniency reasons. Where there are lakes, there are boats and where there are lakes, there are cosy terraces to drink cappuccino on and where there are lakes and good weather, there are happy people and good vibes. Coming back, the Salzkammergut could be a comprehensive choice, as this famous touristic region offer a diverse yet connected picture of Fuschlsee, Wolfgangsee and Mondsee.

The city Bad Ischl itself is famous for the therms – as you step out at the last bus stop, the therms are just 50 meters away. I might say I did not try them yet, but I heard only good recommendations. One of the main benefits of the therms is their curatoric effect of course. On the other hand, historically, the city is famous for the engagement of the Kaiser Franz Joseph I with Elisabeth (Sisi).


Apart from the therms and the museums, you can also have a ride with the cable car on top of the mountain. Katrin Seilbahn is not too far away from the city center and the view is simply amazing. Going on top is totally worth it, as it is one of the most beautiful panoramic views you could ever get in Austria – sometimes it also helps putting things into perspective, due to the complexity of the view.

Easy trip on a sunny Sunday.


In a nutshell, Austria can be best defined by mountains and lakes. And schnitzel and many dialects. 🙂

Living in Salzburg comes with a couple of advantages. One of them is the very developed touristic offer. No surprise it is such an expensive city, but if your time allows you and you are flexible enough, there are three lakes to visit/reach by car/bus in a couple of hours:

  1. Fuschl am See

It takes less than 20 minutes to drive there, the lake is very nice and there is a very cosy coffee place I would warmly recommend – Coffee Schlick. During summer time you can also stay by the river and get tanned or just go by boat over the lake, as the waters are calm.

If you are a sporty person and like to do spend some time in the middle of the nature while burning some calories, then for sure at Fuschl am See you can give yourself such a treat.

You can walk along the lake and do a complete circle – the so-called Wanderung – there are peaks and lows indeed, but it is doable for everyone.

If you are curious to find out something new, then please be informed that the Redbull Headquarters are located there and if you want to immerse yourself in the brand´s world, you are free to walk around the office buildings – you can even get free WIFI.

  • Wolfgang See

I like this lake the most because of the artificial fountain and because of the perfect combination of lake and mountains. It is quite popular, there is a cable car driving on top of the mountain if you want to see a panoramic view and there are a couple of restaurants and shops that are worth visiting. The houses in the city center are nicely painted, according to the traditional culture of course and some of the messages remain in your head for some time… this is how you learn some more German.

The place itself has a good vibe, you can walk in the park behind the lake or go on a cruise – I did not have the chance to try the cruise yet, but I am confident that it will come soon…

  • Mondsee

Mondsee is not as sophisticated as the previous two lakes, in the sense that it doesn´t look too much like a resort to stay overnight and have some services included, but it´s nice for the view (again mountains and lakes), for its two-towers church and the promenade along the lake. As it is close to the other three lakes, it makes sense to walk the extra-mile. During summer time it is a nice place to consider for a hike as well, but I might tell you about it in a different post.

How often do you go away from your town?

Vienna for the week-end.


As an expat in Austria, I gave myself the time and the opportunity to see what lies behind the road between my appartment and my workplace. Of course, there were week-ends when I had to choose a destination in order to help the time pass by, but there were also week-ends when I just wanted to run away from my new hometown and simply escape for a few hours, just to see something else.

I might say I am grateful for having landed somehow in Salzburg, although there were times when I could hardly made myself understand why it had to be this town in the middle of the mountains and not a more cosmopolitan one.

So, after almost two years living as an expat in Austria, I am happy to talk to you about one of my favourite destinations – Viena! I’ve been there recently and I can warmly recommend it for a week-end getaway!

Must see objectives:

  • Belvedere (The Museum and the Garden Behind) – famous picture: Gustav Klimt, Der Kuss.
  • Schoenbrunn Palace and the whole Garden behind
  • Praterstern – the amusement Park
  • Stephansplatz with the Dom

I was recently there, so in April and the weather was just perfect for sightseeing.

Hotels recommended, well-centered and with high quality services: