I was born in the small town of Torres Novas Portugal, but lived just outside Lisbon. Parents eventually immigrated to Canada where I spent most of my youth. I graduated from an animation course at Sheridan College outside Toronto and moved to Los Angeles in search of work. There I took up hang gliding, a sport still in its infant stages and I’m afraid this flying addiction is still with me today. It was flying that first brought me down to Carinthia.

While in Los Angeles I worked for studios such as Disney, Warner Brothers and Hanna-Barbera. After two years working in animation in the far East I settled down near London and worked as a freelance animator on TV commercials and feature films for various studios. The most rewarding so far has been “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”. In 2006 I sold my house in the UK and Sara and I moved to Austria to see if we could adapt to life in the Alps, and adapt we did.

After a year searching for a suitable home, we found an abandoned hundred year old Rectory 930 meters up the sunny slopes of Gmeineck, in the small farming village of Altersberg. We renovated the old priest's house (Pfarrhaus) into a flat for the two of us and two self catering family holiday apartments to rent.
Since first hitch hiking my way through Europe in 1972, I have dreamed of living in the the Alps. Altersberg really is a dream come true. This renovation project has been quite an adventure and a fast learning curve. If you are interested, or thinking of doing the same please click below for a page with photos of the renovation work.



Al Gaivoto