the perfect trip.


Hi guys, it's me again! :) Lately, I've been feeling this enormous urge of sharing my daily experiences with you, before I'm leaving for London next week. So no posts from my side in the upcoming week! :( But that's why I am going to give you a very big insight into the lovely trip me and my parents made today. 

Since I have developed a massive interest in seeing some sort of castle or ruin this summer (as I've engaged in reading a lot of literature about the Middle Ages for university), my parents were now kind enough to grant me that wish and so we decided to visit one of Austria's most well known medieval fortresses. It's called "Riegersburg Castle" and is situated on a dormant volcano above the town of Riegersburg in the Austrian state of Styria. The castle contains a museum with changing exhibitions, the one we saw today was about the history of the castle, witches and torture methods back in the dark ages. It was highly fascinating to see all the different kind of rooms where the owners of the castle actually lived in, where convictions of witches were taking place -and even the dungeons were accessible for the public!  

Here you can see the reproduction of a courtroom in which we are in the scene of a trial. The woman behind the chains is a witch who has been tortured during the past days, therefore she confesses everything and now she comes in to hear the judgment. In this particular room, however, there has never been such a trial.

Up there you can see the picture of one of the probably most cruel instruments of torture- "the Iron Maiden". However, the curators of this exhibiton believe that it has never actually been used! In this room we were told the different kinds of executions of "deliquents", for example by sword, cord, breaking on a wheel, ripping the body apart or burning to death.
In the following rooms we could see the armaments and weapons of the emperors of that time.. And as you can see -

I was quite surprised to notice that the exhibition was arranged in a very modern way, with lots of video installations, light effects and so on.. 

We then proceeded to the State Apartments, where everything seemed big and impressive..

Haha! This is me posing as an emperor with this awesome wooden sword. I just couldn't resist to try it out. 
One of the things I personally loved most about our trip to this fortress was the view from high up there on the vineyards and fields. 

And then it was- BYE BYE castle and HELLO Zotter chocolate manufacturer!  :)
I guess that all you guys who don't live in Austria have never heard of the name "Zotter" before, right? The inventor of this brand, Josef Zotter, has been involved in fair trade a long time before he finally opened his own Chocolate Factory in 2006. Zotter produces individual chocolate for individual people and offers a diversified assortment of products. While there are some extremely daring chocolate bars,- such as bacon bits in chocolate or pumpkin seeds with marzipan and apples or carrots with ginger surrounded by chocolate, there's also a huge variety of "plain" chocolate bars for everyone. 

The best part of the main store of Zotter is that you are able to taste the wonderful chocolate by simply holding your spoon under one of the chocolate fountains! YUUUUMM!!

However, my dad forced my mum and me to keep ourselves together and not nosh on those fountains for too long, since we were planning to get some lunch right after our visit at the Chocolate Factory. Cruel, isn't it?

However, when we arrived at the restaurant (that had a view on the castle we had just visited) we immediately realized that it was worth pulling ourselves together before. 

 We've had some very tasty and lovely meals that didn't just impress us but also this little fella right here ..

Cheeky as he was, he simply jumped on my mother's chair and popped his head up to get a glimpse of the delicious meal my mum was about to consume. Slightly irritated yet highly impressed by his sassy behavior, she rewarded him with a piece of her chicken. 

Just when he seemed to get more and more comfortable and welcome at this table our waiter came over, lectured him about how to behave in public and took him back to his other friends inside the house. 
For dessert my father ordered a Zotter chocolate soufflé, which didn't just LOOK delicious. :)

Even though we'd already done a lot that day, our journey still wasn't quite over! My father had this great idea of visiting a display garden not far from our home which was pretty much the icing on the cake that day!

I honestly have to say that this was one of the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen in my entire life! I guess, my parents didn't quite believe my overexaggerated positive reaction when I first saw it, but I'm telling you, it's true. I don't really know why, I just somehow felt kind of at home at that garden and was totally awestruck by the variety of flowers and plants there. 

Besides offering and selling most of the flowers and plants that you could see in this garden, there were also some really cool artpieces up for sale!- Like this colourfully painted stem you can see up there.. I think that it looks fantastic. I love those abstract lines and the powerful blue color!.. Just amazing.. 

I soon decided that this spot up there was my favourite one. I honestly didn't want to get up from there at all :)

However, 10 minutes later I discovered those really cool beanbag chairs and knew I had to rethink my preferences right then and there. 

When we came home today, we were exhausted but happy. :) We've seen, tasted and enjoyed so many different things today.. It really was a fantastic trip! And just when I thought the day couldn't get any better, my mom found this awfully cute letter in the mail from my penfriend and former classmate Bianca, who's studying abroad in Japan. I guess, I'm going to send her back a postcard from London when I'm there. :)
Have a nice weekend you guys! :)

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