Someone suggested that we include an itinerary with the pictures and text. But we did not have an "itinerary", we just knew that we wanted to spend the majority of our time in the Jennersdorf/Grieselstein area, which we did. We shopped at the markets, dined in the Gasthauses, attended Church, shopped at the local "Home Depot" (although that was not what it was called), walked in the center of Jennersdorf, and took walks near the Bruckler home in Grieselstein.
We also took many drives through the countryside, and also to Vienna and Graz. We thought the drivers in the U.S. drive fast, but Austrian drivers seem to drive a bit faster than we're used to, especially on the main highway from Graz to Vienna. We thought we would "join the crowd" on a village road, but unfortunately we got a speeding ticket! The policeman was very polite, and probably, slightly amused, by two American female tourists trying to understand his German. We were a little surprised that he collected the fine right there and then. By the way, two other drivers got pulled over right in back of us.....
We were quite impressed with the cleanliness of the towns and roadsides. I don't think we saw even one piece of litter all the time we were there. Another thing that impressed us was the beauty of the cemeteries. Everything looked so neat, and they were just full of flowering plants.
We found the food a bit different than we were used to, but delicious all the same. Especially the desserts and ice cream. We skipped lunch entirely and just had dessert or ice cream. We enjoyed eating at the outdoor cafes, and people-watching. Although sometimes we weren't really sure what we'd be ordering off the menus, the waiters/waitresses were more than happy to try to help. At one outdoor cafe, after finding that the waitress did not speak English, we pointed to various things on the menu, and she tried to describe to us what they were--somehow that didn't help. She then put up her index finger as if to say "wait a minute", went into the building, and then came back out with four or five different pieces of meat (wrapped in plastic), pointed to each piece and then pointed to an item on the menu! How much more accommodating could you be? The day we arrived was a Sunday and we didn't know if any eating places would be open, so we stopped at a McDonald's. They had no trouble understanding "Happy Meal"! Oh, they don't have "Drive-thrus", theirs are called "McDrives", which, for some reason, really tickled us.
Although we have many pictures, they don't do the country justice. People looking at them would think, they're "just pictures", but when we look at them, we see the experiences we had, the people we met, and the beautiful country that is Austria.
One day as we were driving, Sherry and I got to talking about how Mom would loved to have seen the country her family came from, and the area where relatives probably still live. But unfortunately Mom died in 1998, two years before we discovered Grieselstein--Grampa Mandl's birthplace.