We arrived in Austria last Wednesday, April 20, to the Attnang-Puchheim train station and have been showered with good old-fashioned Austrian hospitality ever since.
We had the privilege of staying in Schörfling am Attersee with Gudrun and Erwin Baier (my aunt and uncle) and Oscar Horky (another of my uncles). We have enjoyed many traditional austrian meals as well as engaging in interesting outings: visits to my cousin Bernhardt and his family on the farm (along with the customary hard farm work), visits to my aunt, uncle, and cousin Hertha, Hansjörg, and Hannes Haidinger at their butcher shop, walks around historical areas such as the Keltenbaumweg trails, and a swim at the water park.
We have been immersed in the German language for much of the time we have stayed here, with Oskar and Erwin speaking mostly German to us (sometimes with us understanding it as well!) We have picked up more small words and phrases, and when we're lucky we can follow along with parts of an all-German conversation. We will still most likely need further formal training in the language, but hearing it often does help to reinforce what small parts we can understand.
It has been very comfortable staying with family here, and it seems like we're leaving again just as we have arrived. After we have settled, there will be other opportunities to come back and visit though, so we can look forward to staying longer next time.