Hochosterwitz Castle and Sankt Veit an der Glan
Sankt Veit an der Glan Travel Blog› entry 9 of 10 › view all entries
The day after the Ironman competition, I drug Doug out to see a castle north of Klagenfurt. It was near the town of Sankt Veit an der Glan (St. Veit) and was about 10 kilometers north of Klagenfurt. The Hochosterwitz Castle is one of many in this part of Austria -- there are over 10 nearby. This is the best known and most visited and has a commanding view of the area. It is no wonder why it was placed where it was -- it sits on a high hill with great views across the surrounding area. It dates back to 860 AD, and was updated many times over the centuries. It was last fortified in the 1500's to withstanding invading Turks. To reach the castle, you have to walk up a ramp built in the late 1500's with 14 gates along the route to the castle.
The walk up really was quite steep and Doug confided with me that it probably would not have been his first choice of activities the day after an Ironman with his sore legs and blisters, but he as a good sport about it (albeit a slow climber!).
We went back into the town of St. Veit and walked around it a bit and trying to find a place for lunch. The town has a huge column at the main square called the Trinity Column built in 1715 to commemorate the end of the plague in this part of Austria.
St. Veit has one of the first "art" hotels in this part of Austria -- the Rogner Dorint Hotel. It is a wild looking place in bold red, white and blue colors. The rooms all are supposed to be filled with original art, and each bedroom has a different color scheme. Unfortunately, the restaurant there was closed that day and we were not able to check it out. We ended up eating at a sidewalk cafe near the square that was quite good. I had weinerschnitzel and pommes frittes (French Fries). It was quite good.
We drove back to Klagenfurt after lunch, stopped to look at the Smart Car dealership, and then headed to the airport. We caught an Austrian Air flight back to Frankfurt, arriving around 8pm. Doug flew on to Dusseldorf to continue working and I spent the night in Frankfurt before heading back to the States.