Sundays in Austria
Mass at the old church on the hill. A large lunch with a brass band. Strolling in the plaza in native dress. Visiting with friends. A typical Sunday for the residents of Hallstatt.
We partook of as many of these customs as we could, minus the dirndls and lederhosen! But I went to church, we heard the band at lunch, and we took a lovely walk through sun and rain and wind to the banks of a roaring stream.
To passersby we said "Gruss Gott," literally "Greet God," which is how most Austrians greet each other — rather than "Guten Tag" or "Good Day." I find this endearingly old-fashioned, and hearing this all Sunday seemed to make the day even more of a celebration. Stores are closed on Sundays in Austria, so you're forced to take a day off from your normal chores. Life moves more slowly in Europe.