Who Doesn’t Love a Parade?!

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Parades austria

Who Doesn’t Love a Parade?!

I took the shuttle to St. Jakob’s am Thurn this morning. I love visiting different churches and hadn’t had a chance to see the village yet. I was delighted to discover they were celebrating something–I don’t know what–but who doesn’t love a celebration?  I noticed the unique wrought iron crosses in the churchyard cemetery. Another hotel guest explained that these crosses are typical of grave markers in Austrian villages–rather than stone.  He said the churches are the center of activity in the villages and family members have ample opportunities to remember their ancestors–the graves were all brimming with flowers. Sadly, cemeteries in Vienna, for example, where he lives, are on the outskirts of the city. Birth and death are part of life, he said, and should be oft remembered. What a beautiful sentiment.

The parade commenced!  The rousing band was followed by city officials, men in uniform, and what looked like Boy Scouts. After assembling in the church, I was surprised that the once enthusiastic band  played such moving music to accompany the service. At one point everyone laughed. I asked my friend what was said. The Father had thanked the Porsche family for not only making good cars but also good schools!  Evidently the community has a school for disabled children that is possible because of the Porsche family’s financial contributions.

I returned to the hotel for my spa treatment: salt scrub, seaweed wrap, whirlpool, and massage. The seaweed wrap was smelly, but once I was wrapped in plastic and the massage table magically transformed into a water bed I didn’t notice!  I was anxious for the whirlpool bath but alas, it was also seaweed enhanced. Is there sound medical research confirming that seaweed detoxifies the body?!?  If not, I would prefer a lavender whirlpool. But the services were sublime.

I was ready for an Alpine walk. It was memorable. Around every corner was a scenic vista that inspired me. An abundance of chalets and woods and fat, happy cows.

Tomorrow, another adventure! A friend fortuitously mentioned Hallstatt is her favorite place on earth, so I’m going there!

Rhonda Sarantis

Rhonda Sarantis

"She's crazy and loud but she loves you!" That's what they tell my infant granddaughter to prepare her for my visit, so I thought it would be a great way to prepare you. And while I may not always be crazy or loud, one thing is always true: I LOVE people. That's at the heart of my passion for travel. I love getting to know people from different cultures who speak different languages, eat different food, have different ideas and opinions. I'm endlessly curious and make a point of reading about the countries I visit. Instead of saying "that's not how WE do it," I enjoy identifying strengths in diverse cultures, and learning about their way of life. I LOVE road trips! I have great memories of monthlong vacations growing up. Dad always had a van--before they were popular--and invited anybody who wanted to join us. My road trips within the United States will be featured in "The Lower Case Travelogs." Be sure to buckle your seat belt. I execute illegal u-turns if a bakery or estate sale is spotted!

Innsbruck Austria

Last Day in Innsbruck

Kurhotel Vellererhof Austria

Kurhotel Vellererhof

Buildings Innsbruck Austria

Colors of Innsbruck


Salzburg Fortress Austria

A Mighty Fortress


  • annie

    Thanks for sharing, Rhonda. I’m loving traveling with you!

    September 21, 2015 at 5:01 pm
  • kcsmith88

    Rhonda I seriously love reading your blog. I can just imagine being there with you and oh how I would love to be a fly on the walk watching you interact with the locals. So much fun and I am so jealous.

    September 21, 2015 at 8:23 pm