What an amazing weekend. (Ich schummle auf diesem Blogeintrag weil er sehr lang ist, so ich schreibe nur auf englisch.) On Thursday morning, I took the train from Feldbach to Salzburg to meet my friend Mark for an extended weekend trip to Salzburg, then Bad Ischl and Hallstatt in the Salzkammergut.
In Salzburg, we covered everything in the Altstadt (old city center) - it turns out we’re excellent at walking in circles - including the Mozart-Wohnhaus (Mozart residence), Mozarts Geburtshaus (Mozart’s birth house), Mozartskugeln von Fürst Confiserie (delicious chocolate balls from Fürst Confectioner’s), the Salzburger Dom (Salzburg Cathedral), and Stift Nonnberg (Nonnberg Convent), where Maria lived in The Sound of Music. We also explored the Festung Hohensalzburg (Salzburg Fortress), which gave us an awesome, panoramic view of the city, as well as the mountains in the other direction. Then we toured Schloß Hellbrunn with its trick fountains; the Archbishop designed the gardens behind the palace with hidden water fountains and streams to surprise his guests. His best trick is the stone dining table, where water shoots out from the seat of all the guests’ chairs (but not his, of course).
Despite the beauty of Salzburg, my favorite part of the weekend was on Saturday in Bad Ischl, where we took the Katrin Seilbahn (cable car) up into the Salzkammergut Berge (Salzkammergut Mountains). We hiked along a trail up to Feuerkogel and Rosenkogel (two “peaks” along the path), racing against an incoming, quite ominous-looking Gewitter (storm). A totally cool rocking, lounge chair was conveniently placed near the top of Rosenkogel with an incredible view of the trees and valley below, with the snow-capped mountains in the distance. Sitting there watching the clouds roll in and hearing the wind roar through the trees was simply perfect. Sublime.
We spent the last day of our adventures, Sunday, in nearby Hallstatt, a small town on the Hallstätter See (Hallstatt Lake). The train station for Hallstatt is actually across the lake, so you have to take a quick boat ride to reach the town. From town, we took a bus to the Obertraun Dachstein Seilbahn (another set of cable cars) up into the Dachstein Mountains to Mount Krippenstein. We were quite a bit higher than in the Salzkammergut Mountains, so we could actually touch snow. In June. The view from 5fingers, a set of 5 viewing platforms that stick out from the side of the mountain, was absolutely amazing. We were also able to tour an ice cave, which was pretty cool (and quite cold!). After wandering mountains those past 2 days, I’ve decided hiking is definitely my new favorite thing.
More pictures to come in a separate post soon - stay tuned!