On Wednesday we drove to a second lakefront Austrian gem, Zell am See, with two large “grand hotels” at one end. Some might call this place “paradise.”
Shortly after our arrival in the quiet (due to off season) village, passengers in a car stopped us for directions. The woman was dressed in traditional Middle East clothing. Soon we noticed that on almost every corner, there were women in burqas, most young couples, many with children.
Upon closer look, we noticed that there was Arabic signage everywhere. In fact, one hairdresser seemed to have only Arabic signs and prices.
We checked it out and learned that 10 years ago, the local tourist board started promoting this town in the Middle East.
And, the reason for the interest is that the Quran describes paradise as a lake surrounded by snow-capped mountains. And, that was the view we had yesterday, even with boats still in the water and palm trees on one of the hotel decks.