HABRING2 and Austria:

Richard and Maria Habring are celebrating their 2nd year of the launch of Habring2. They have sold out all their 2004 and 2005 releases, they are almost sold out on their 2006 Felsa release and have been asked by several clients to accept early orders for their 2007 Chronograph. I was able to meet with Richard and Maria for two days in late June to do some sight seeing and visit their Atelier.

Their shop is located in Völkermarkt, Austria, which is about 25 Km outside Klagenfurt. The closest airport is in Klagenfurt, which is the capital of Carinthia (Kärnten) in Southern Austria. It is a 3 hour drive to Venice or a two hour drive to Vienna. I arrived early afternoon from Frankfurt via Austrian Airlines on a Bombardier Dash 300, a nice twin turboprop from the former Tyrolean Airways.

This was my first trip to Austria so I would like to share my brief experience in this Country. In Klagenfurt I arrived at a nice small, recently updated airport. I took a snap shot on the tarmac when I landed.

Klagenfurt is a wonderful town to visit. Even though it is an Austrian territory, it has a distinct undertone in the architecture and local food from Northern Italy. In the center of Klagenfurt is the Lindwurm Fountain.

The story surrounding the fountain deals with the founding of Klagenfurt. The area where Klagenfurt is located today was once the realm of the Lindwurm (a dragon like creature known for its ability to hunt and stay hidden from man) that was killing cattle and terrorizing the locals. The ruler of the land, Duke Karast, set out to kill the Lindwurm by offering riches to anyone that would outwit the Lindwurm. A tower with riches was erected on the fringe area of where the Lindwurm lived. The victor would get the tower, riches and land terrorized by the creature. A group of indentured laborers tied a bull to a barbed chain and lured out the Lindwurm, hooking it in the barbed chain like a fish, and then clubbed it to death. Hence the statue of the Lindwurm with the laborer carrying the barbed club. The local residents have other stories, but that was the one I could publish.

Right behind the statue is a small area set aside for to watch the World Cup. Fun place to grab a drink, watch a game and cheer on your team.

I stayed at the Palais Hotel Landhaushof. A historical monument dating back to the 16th century that is newly restored and remodeled. The architect for the remodel, Missoni, Team A Graz, did a remarkable job adapting the hotel within the space of this building. It has a well stocked wine cellar, cigar lounge, excellent food and service.

This was the side I entered. Note the area on the left (facing the photo) is the Old City with its central "Alter Platz" (Old Square).

Very whimsical and comfortable décor.

I didn’t realize this walk was located outside the back entrance from my hotel. When I arrived, I was dropped off at the front entrance (see prior picture). I decided to take a walk and left the same way I arrived. Wondered around for an hour and went back to the hotel. While in my room I read about this Old Square walk outside the hotel. I went downstairs and looked outside the back entrance and saw this beautiful walkway:

The Stadt Theatre has a unique landscape clock located on the side of the building.

I thought I would include this picture. Not something I normally see in the back of truck.

Later in the day we drove down to Lake Wörthersee, which is one of the warmest European Alpine lakes. The lake is about 20 km long and 1 to 2 km wide, stretching from Klagenfurt to Velden. Visibility into the lake was clear 20 to 30 feet.

I would like to note that the strap manufacturer, Hirsch, is located in Klagenfurt. They have some very creative concepts with their new straps and a new marketing approach. I hope to have the opportunity to travel back to Klagenfurt and visit their operation in the near future.