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With the children all fighting fit for the first time in a while, we headed out for a drive to an old stomping ground of mine from my year abroad, the border town of Laa an der Thaya, only 1.5 km from the Czech border.

Most people know Laa for the Therme, although I remember it best for weekends drinking with another English Assistant in 1997/98 and for Hubertusbräu, the local beer. We ended up having lunch in Wulzeshofen at Bsteh as Laa’s restaurants were all shut. The Tafelspitz, Frittatensuppe and Cordon Bleu went down well, and it was also a chance to try one of the Wirtshaiskultur places on our Lower Austria Card.

The route up through the Weinviertel had taken us through places like Unterstinkenbrunn (Lower Stinking Fountain) and across rolling fields and woods, with the mild weather bringing out lots of birds of prey, hares and pheasants.

On the way back we looped through Hollabrunn, where I had had attended my induction course before becoming a language assistant in Styria.