Approaching Burg Hochosterwitz : Launsdorf, AT
Friend Daniella was able to take a day off and went with us to Burg Hochosterwitz -- a medieval fortress in the rolling hills and countryside of Kärnten. First mention of the castle was made in 860 CE/AD. The castle remains the property of the Khevenhüller family and descendents of this family continue to live in part of the castle. (Members of the Khevenhüller family are part of a long, deep line of European royalty and are in the line of succession to the British throne, but are so far down the list, they'll never wear the Crown Jewels.) The rest of the castle is open to the public for viewing and for events. The grounds include a museum and tours, as well as walking paths, some chapels, and really spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. (As an aside, I had forgotten how breathtakingly beautiful Austria is. It is, in my opinion, even prettier than Switzerland. If you don't believe me, the next time you come to Europe, make Austria part of your itinerary.) More photos here.
Views of the surrounding Austrian countryside from Hochosterwitz : Launsdorf, AT
Charlie leads the way at Hochosterwitz : Launsdorf, AT
Photo copyright: Janet M Kincaid, 5/2012