Toby Garner is a Brit from London and here are a few things that he noticed during his time in Tirol whilst living and working here for the summer. Including a few things to lookout for as well as some of his favourite traits of this untapped paradise.
1. No Austrian, No problem!
Due to the booming tourist industry in Tirol more or less everyone speaks English. So don’t panic if you’re planning a trip to Austria and your languages aren’t up to snuff, just ask if they speak English and 99% of the time they will!
2. Phonetic Pronunciation
As the Austrian dialect is phonetic try not to laugh as ‘schafts’ and ‘fahrts’ are thrown about very casually, with the townsfolk blissfully unaware of how funny they’re sounding in English!
3. Extreme Weather
The weather is absolutely amazing over here, the week can go from a blistering 30 degrees plus with picturesque blue skies to thunderous lighting storms where the fog is so thick you can’t see the next house over! So bring your sun cream and your raincoat!
4. Marvellous Mountain Huts
After a hard climb or walk up one of the many scenic mountains Tirol has to offer, you’ll be glad to know that a traditional mountain hut full of friendly staff will be at the top to greet you with a refreshing beverage or snack of your choice!
5. Sausage Fest
I hope you like sausage because they’re everywhere, something I discovered that I now personally can’t live without are their cheesy sausages as they are without a doubt the best thing to happen since sliced bread!
6. Tirolean Customs
The Tiroleans are a kind folk and so here’s a few pointers to keep them sweet because you don’t want to offend them unnecessarily; if someone buys a round then that person has to be the first to drink, whilst saying ‘cheers’ or ‘Gesundheit’ you must look the other person directly in the eye and also if you or someone else is eating then a friendly ‘Mahlzeit’ is common courtesy!
7. Local Get Up
I was confronted the other day by a man wearing all green with a badger tuft in his hat (strangely resembling a shaving brush) and wondered if Robin Hood was making an appearance but I was quickly informed that he was just a local huntsman. So be on the lookout for traditional outfits on your travels, as the Tiroleans are rightfully proud of their national dress.
8. The Dangers of Roundabouts
Roundabouts are a relatively new concept in Austria so have your wits about you if you enter the inside lane because you may just get someone cruising around the outside of you as you try to turn off.
9. The Swarco Raiders Tirol!
Most people are unaware that one of the, if not THE best American football team in Europe are Tirolean. The Swarco Raiders Tirol home stadium is in Innsbruck and they compete amongst Europe’s Elite sides year in, year out and boast an impressive record within Austria as well. Definitely pay them a visit if you’re in town, the atmosphere is out of this world!
10. Dr Flash
Once fully insured, as I was during my time in Tirol, you’re issued an E-Card entitling you to free medical care and it’s unbelievably professional and quick. So rather than sitting around in a waiting room for hours to be seen as you would in the NHS, you’re sent to an examination room and seen almost instantly. Hats off to the Austrians for nailing healthcare!