The East gets going
"When Eastern Austria is mentioned, people usually only think about Vienna. Even though the capital is an independent county with its own administration, it radiates over the neighboring areas of Lower Austria and Burgenland – even to the boarders of Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Burgenland, the youngest county of Austria, did not join Austria until the referendum in 1921, except for Ödenburg, today known as Sopron. The name does not come from all the castles but from Ödenburg, Wieselburg, Pressburg, and Eisenburg. The landscape of Burgenland is different from what tourists have in mind when they think of Austria. If not for the Rosalien- and Leita mountain ranges which frame the edges of the steppe of the Pannonian Basin with rolling ridges, one could think, Burgenland was in the Netherlands.
The large expanse of water of the Neusiedler Lake underlines this impression. Despite several scenic features, Lower Austria is not an area people usually fall in love with at first sight. Other counties might have striking mountains and beautiful swimming lakes but Lower Austria is a country for connoisseurs, for people who are looking for the exceptional. Certainly, some things are slower here than in the western counties but especially in the country people still seem to live their lives in tune with time and circadian rhythm – this is not the case in the areas that are more popular with tourists.