“Beautiful Little Gloggnitz, Population 5983”
Hallo! Here we are in Gloggnitz, Austria, a mountain town located at the end of the Alps, where we stayed in a teepee at the home of our hosts! We only ended up sleeping in the teepee (which had a rip in it) for 3 nights because the weather did not cooperate and we were forced to move inside. Birgit & Martin, our hosts, live in an absolutely beautiful area, and there are about 6000 inhabitants who live here in Gloggnitz.
“Home Away From Home”
The teepee is quite large, and our first encounter with it was in the dark of the night. Alas, we get to use our headlamps! We tried to acclimate and keep our cool, but I am honestly afraid of the dark, and there were some unexpected roommates… it was a full house of arachnids and very very very large slugs!
“Leaving Our Comfort Zone!”
We did what any 25 year old would do to feel safe and comfortable in the dark woods, and opened up Andrea’s computer, put on a Disney movie, and tried to settle into sleep. Slim pickings since wireless internet didn’t reach the teep!
“Night 2 – Martin Challenged Us To Get The Fire Going With Under 4 Matches.. We Succeeded On Match 4!”
Birgit and Martin and their two children are lovely people. Spending the week with them and learning about their way of life was amazing. They use everything that they can from their garden, and from their land, and everything that they do not use is composted. They make apple sauce, apple juice, a variety of delicious meals, and cann everything that is left over. What was most inspiring about my week in Austria was that although Gloggnitz is described as an “economically pulsing mountain town”, Birgit and Martin are able to maintain a simple, sustainable way of life. This is proof that you can create a life that you want, regardless of the exact location of your home!
“Our View While Apple Picking In The Yard”
“Collecting Apples To Store For Winter!”
Our main task for the week was stacking a large delivery of firewood in preparation for the winter. Stacking wood was so fun! Neither Andrea or I have stacked wood before, and there was something methodical and calming about stacking, and it was fun to do some physical work outdoors. We threw on some gloves and some tunes, enjoyed the view, and completed our task! Another highlight of my week was having the chance to visit Cosmin’s 4th grade classroom. We sang some songs, played some games, and read some books, all in English!
Our last day was Cosmin’s 10th birthday party! We helped make his birthday cake the night before the party, and during the day we helped clean up and with the various activities. It was any child’s dream birthday party (and probably any adult’s!). Over 10 kids were running around in the woods, playing in the tree house, learning to light a fire in the teepee by rubbing two sticks together, eating lots of cake, and going on a treasure hunt through the forest! The party ended in the teepee, where hot dogs were cooked over the fire, and Birgit prepared dough that we put on sticks and cooked over the fire! It was so fun to experience an outdoor birthday party, and you could see how much the kids enjoyed a free atmosphere different from something more traditional like a bowling alley. I hope that my kids grow up surrounded by nature, the way that Cosmin and Ronja are.
“Making A Fire From Rubbing Sticks Together!”
“Martin, A Wilderness Expert, Starting The Fire For The Kids!”
“Castle Cake That We Helped Make – It Was So Yummy!”
“I Want This Tree House!”
Overall we had an amazing week in Gloggnitz. It was so refreshing to enjoy the outdoors and be immersed in nature. Birgit and Martin are also great cooks, and we enjoyed every single meal (and strudel!) that we tried. I will follow up with some of my favorite recipes that I learned during work away #2. Auf Wiedersehen!
“Exploring Gloggnitz: A Very Sunny Moment”
“Birgit & Martin Met The Dalai Lama 10 Years Ago – A Scroll In Their Home”