Austria

Austria is another exceptionally beautiful country, but also an exceptionally expensive country. Austria's Hapsburg roots guarantee the visitor a wonderful aesthetic experience as it relates to architecture and landscaping. It's mountains will also please the eyes quite a bit. I traveled to Austria in 1999 as part of a greater tour of Central Europe. Of course, I would like to go back in the future to see the areas I was not able to see in 1999. A return visit to Vienna on a cooler day would be nice too.

Once the center of power for the large Austro-Hungarian Empire, Austria was reduced to a small republic after its defeat in World War I. Following annexation by Nazi Germany in 1938 and subsequent occupation by the victorious Allies in 1945, Austria's status remained unclear for a decade. A State Treaty signed in 1955 ended the occupation, recognized Austria's independence, and forbade unification with Germany. A constitutional law that same year declared the country's "perpetual neutrality" as a condition for Soviet military withdrawal. Following the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991 and Austria's entry into the European Union in 1995, some Austrian's have called into question this neutrality. A prosperous, democratic country, Austria entered the European Monetary Union in 1999.





The Hapsburg Castle, Vienna 1999


The Hapsburg Gardens


The Hapsburg Gardens