An Austrian Adventure - June 2018
At Gatwick airport, we were scattered around
As to the Austrian Alps, we were all bound.
We all had our seats -
We were in for a treat
And what a treat it was.
On Friday 22 June, we started off gently south east of Salzburg in St Agatha (Agathawirt) surrounded by hulking, bulking mountains as we strolled around and found cafes to eat apple strudel and the like. The next day we had a walk in the sunshine along the lakeside and caught a ferry to Hallstatt, a beautiful historic town. On another day there was a walk to a lovely lookout. Our fast walkers strode out undeterred and the slower walkers, equally enthused, took it on in their own stride.
On the fourth day we were driven further into the mountains to a very graceful hotel. We were by the Dachstein mountain range which resembled a fortress with impregnable, shard-like turrets which we enjoyed viewing like a painting when sitting with drinks on the terrace. There was an open air swimming pool which was refreshing for some after a long hike. On one hike we took a cable car up high and then walked back down.
A few days later and again upwards and onwards to Ramsau on the South side of the Dachsteins.
The breakfast menu said ‘Wetter’,
and wetter and wetter it was,
but undaunted and strong,
the East Surrey Walkers, walked on
and we had some wonderful rejuvenating walks. When the rain abated and the cloud cleared the south wall of the Dachstein mountain revealed its wide steely steep side. It was from this area that we went up high on a gondola to the top of the glacier. Some visited the ice-palace and crossed a daunting suspension bridge, and some walked along the top in the snow.
Throughout we had fun and a choice of walks, sometimes three (fast, slow and flower!). We found mountain huts for warming cheese dumpling soup and more strudel, and walked through flower filled mountain meadows. We had lots of comfort, camaraderie and good food.
Yet the trip still hadn’t ended. We were taken to Saltzburg (so named because of the salt (called white gold) which had made the region prosperous. We had a fun and informative (Hidden Treasures) guided tour finding out about the town’s famous son, Mozart and another famous son, Doppler. We also enjoyed sightseeing by ourselves in lovely sunshine before getting together at the end for our final dinner at a nearby restaurant which was convivial and funfilled (we even tried a quick singsong of the Sound of Music, what we could remember of it!).
With thanks to Judy for a seamless trip and to Alice for all her work too and to the intrepid walk leaders.
By Angie Horrigan Photos by Doug Horrigan