According to my hosts, Villach is the land of wood and forests. So, all of the towns around have almost soley wood-burning heaters. I had never seen a heater like the one in my friends home. It was a box about 5 feet high by 2 feet by 4 feet across. You through in the wood through a little hatch in the bottom and after a few hours the thing emitted enough heat to cover a large sized room! It was one of those cool little differences that you only find out about through travel...
I'm not sure exactly what this festival is celebrating, but it sure brings a lot of people with it. It occurs in early August and features folk music and beer. Many people are dressed in traditional clothes and are happily drinking away. There are tents near the city hall and St. Jakob's church that sell beer, food, and traditional crafts and clothes. I wish I was there for the actual day, but things were lively even a week before the real celebration was supposed to happen.
Christian churches - be they Protestant, Orthodox, or Catholic - are a vital part of Europeýs cultural, artistic, architectural, and religious heritage, and as such you are likely (and I really recommend doing this:)) ) to visit many of them. However, most of them are even today not only major tourist attractions, but also religious sites where people come to pray. This is something to be respected, and here are several pieces of advice I would like to give that might help avoid ill-feeling:
- Dress modestly, covering shoulders and most part of the legs (women in Orthodox churches might be requested to put on something to cover the head);
- Do not speak loudly - all the descriptions are better either read in silence or given outside;
- Try not to walk too much during the service;
- Avoid using flash in your camera near people you see praying;
- Respect notes that forbid entrance to some parts of the church that are designated as ýfor prayer onlyý.
Following these simple guidelines helped me when I visited, I guess, more than 1000 churches up to date:)))
The people here are friendly. Local government is very strict in keeping things clean, so no throwing applerests out of your carwindow or else you will get a fine!