Austria

Austria is predominantly a mountainous country which makes the country ideal for hikers and nature lovers. Hikers can choose from 50.000 kilometres of hiking tracks and even in winter 14.000 kilometres are kept clear of snow for you to go hiking. Nature lovers might come across mountain goats, marmots or a one-horned antelope if their lucky.

In winter the snowy mountains form the perfect place to go skiing or cross country skiing for those taking it more easy. Over 3200 chairlifts and cable cars reaching different hills. Nearly half of Austria is covered with woodland and besides official cross country tracks new tracks are often explored.

The main language spoken is German but in larger cities English will get you by. Some international companies have establish themselves and require multilingual staff.

Austria’s most known artist will be Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Festivities and classical concerts take place in Salzburg on the last week of January and first week of February to celebrate his birthday. Austria’s best known food is the Wiener Schnitzel.

In World War II Austria was occupied by its neighbouring country Germany and was bombed heavily until the German defeat in 1945. After the Germans withdrew their forces from Austria the Allies divided the country in four different parts each part occupied by the French, British, Americans or the Russians. Under command of the allies Austria was soon rebuilt as it was before war started. It took the Allies until 1955 before withdrawing and giving Austria back its neutrality. A surge in immigration from people from Eastern Europe led to the formation of the right-wing Freedom Party in 1980. Presently concerns are rising with the Freedom Party taking part in the government and, Jörg Haider, the party leader, being a Nazi sympathist.