Our prologue’s last day has begun. This evening, we will be arriving at the winery we’ve been going to for the last 15 years. We will be meeting with our kids who have texted us that they were on their way. For them it will be a 850km road trip from Switzerland.

For us the day starts with friendly temperatures and sunshine.

Our parking spot for the night was perfectly adapted to the size of our TWIKE – since the building was built a very long time ago, this was the size that was required those days – not quite up to the job for today’s cars!

Perfect garage size
Perfect garage size

From there we drive towards the so-called Weinebene – which itself, oddly is not flat and requires us to climb quite heavily.

With beautiful weather this is really fun, albeit a little cold.

Cannot be too far anymore...
Cannot be too far anymore…
Driving to the Weinebene
Driving to the Weinebene
And further up it goes
And further up it goes
Slovenian hills in the background
Slovenian hills in the background

All the way up, we are back in winter wonderland…and finally make it to Styria.

Finally, we made it to Styria
Finally, we made it to Styria

Timewise, we’re still able to go and visit Graz, Styria’s capital. With every metre of elevation we descend, temperatures rise and within just two hours, we, finally, for the first time during our trip, can remove the canopy and drive the way TWIKE’s are meant to be driven…as a super-silent convertible!

Never gets old
Never gets old

Having arrived in Graz, we park our TWIKE in the city centre and decide to visit the famous and omnipresent Uhrturm on the Schlossberg.

Views from here are impressive including a full view of the town from above.

Graz
Graz
Graz from above
Graz from above

After having walked around town for a while, we feel it’s time to start our vacation for real and in style: By drinking Sturm and having a pumpkin soup with a generous dollop of pumpkin seed oil, Styria’s addictive green gold!

Enjoying our first Sturm in Graz
Enjoying our first Sturm in Graz
Kürbissuppe with Kürbiskernöl - a must!
Kürbissuppe with Kürbiskernöl – a must!

Satisfied, we return to TW560 and drive the last 50km to the Buschenschank we agreed to meet with our kids.

Driving towards the very south of Styria, super-close to the Slovenian border, we are reminded that we actually had planned to drive through Slovenia this year. Such a pitty that current pandemic restrictions didn’t allow for it: I maintain that this country is one of Europe’s most undervalued travel destinations and would love to get more opportunities to drive across it.

Slovenia - super close...and yet so far!
Slovenia – super close…and yet so far!

Eventually, we leave the Mur valley an drive on very small single-lane roads and tracks up to the hilltop where we will be meeting our kids in a short while. The views from here are also stunning. And the temperatures are finally where they should be: we’re finally wearing only t-shirts when sitting in the sun!

Weinebene - the white hills in the background
Weinebene – the white hills in the background

Within just 30 minutes, we’re re-united as a family and start our yearly stay with some (for us: more) glasses of Sturm. Yum!

We have arrived - Sturm is waiting
We have arrived – more Sturm is waiting for us!
Our view from here
Our view from here

Just before sunset we arrive at the winery we stay every year and meet with the first few members of my Austrian family that have arrived also early. We eat hearty Austrian food and pair it with the very drinkable Styrian wine…and continue drinking and chatting until late.

There are always more question come next morning :)
There are always more question come next morning 🙂

With this TDST2020’s prologue is over and 4 days of meeting our extended family, eating lots of food and drinking even more wine can commence!

Day 5 - TDST2020
Day 5 – TDST2020

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