offers urban sophistication and rustic simplicity, excellent
restaurants and music festivals, towering mountains and green
valleys, and spectacular winter snow.
The Alps curve across the country, sparing only sections in the
southern and eastern regions. Lush valleys flank the river
courses, the most famous of which is the Danube, Europe's
longest river. Austria's other rivers—the Inn, the Ill, and
the Drau—and its many lakes are beautiful.
A paradise for students who enjoy the outdoors, Austria is
synonymous with skiing, both downhill and cross-country. Winter
delights also include ice-skating, curling, tobogganing, and
rides in horse-drawn sleighs. In summer, residents and Two Worlds United
students alike stroll, hike, or ride on horseback or on mountain bikes.
Challenging mountaineering treks are offered near all major
peaks, and almost every town or hamlet provides guided hikes and
alpine tours. Golf and tennis are also popular, as are trout
fishing and water sports—such as swimming, sailing, and wind
surfing—in the lake districts.
Away from the capital of Vienna and other major towns, daily
life has preserved old-world rhythms and customs. Natural
geologic barriers have divided the country into distinct regions
where local people have evolved in relative isolation and
fostered their own cultural traditions. These unique flavors are
still in evidence today.