Markus' Travel and International Living Blog

Markus is an enthusiastic traveler, who lives in Houston, TX (USA) most of the time, but also spends some time in Saalfelden, near Salzburg (Austria). He is fascinated by travel and also by his experiences gathered by living in two different countries and continents.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Heimatabend in Maria Alm

Back home in my home-country of Austria, there is a lot of fun stuff to do. Since I moved to the US years ago, I do not get to spend nearly as much time in Austria as I would like, but whenever we do get to go to Austria, we just do what the locals do, and lots of it. Most of the time anyway. But every now and then, we do a real touristy thing, just for fun. Last night was just like that. We went to a "Heimatabend".

Heimatabend translates to "local evening". If you ever go to a Heimatabend, you will see a lot of very traditional Austrian things, such as guys in Lederhosen, music, dancing, schuhplatteln (kind of a dance, actually), and so forth. While these things are very traditional, they are also taken to the extreme at a Heimatabend, but it certainly caters to what tourists expect Austria to be like. In a way, it turns out to be great fun for everyone. Tourists tend to really enjoy the show, and locals often get a laugh for other reasons.

The one we went to last night was in Maria Alm, a small town in the Salzurgean Alps not too far from our Austrian home (the town is somewhat hip, actually, with several of the world's rich and famous having houses nearby...). While the quality of the music and dances was sub-par from an Austrian's point of view, the overall setting and experience was very good. It took place out in the open on the main square, which is very nice for this type of event. And to be honest, it really doesn't matter how authentic and how good the music really is, because that is not what a Heimatabend is all about.

So if you ever end up in Austria, I recommend you visit a Heimatabend. You will be entertained. You will hear some unusual music, and see some interesting dances. Think of it as an "alpine Luau". Oh, and if you ever end up in Maria Alm looking for a place to eat, visit Max' Almer Bauernkasten. The food is excellent and authentic, and the setting of the restaurant is rather nice. Plus, you will have no problem whatsoever getting by even if you do not speak German (which is generally true for the area).


Posted @ 6:28 PM by Egger, Markus ( -
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