Welcome to Austria!
I was so lucky to be able to visit this December. In a slightly different format to normal we are back on the old diary style. Four days- here’s what I did, saw, ate, loved etc etc.Day 1)
Up and away for the last time this year in what was a rather surprise/ last minute affair. To be honest with flights for £72 return to Salzburg I couldn’t really turn down the opportunity. Flying from London Luton is a bit of an experience. Security is a bit half assed and the terminal is no bigger than a school sports hall. After a flat white, and the casual purchase of national geographic it was time to board. Travelling with just hand luggage on an easy jet flight is rather manic. Seeing as everyone refuses to pay any extra for hold luggage, trying to actually put your bag above your head is rather a challenge. Naturally a flight is also more interesting when the pilot informs you that its 1hr and 30 mins to Innsbruck.
After arriving at SALZBURG I had a little while to wait before Anna arrived. However with beautiful weather and a roof terrace to watch planes land from I had no complaints. Soon we were on the road and had arrived at Zell am See. We had a little walk around the town, cruising through two Christmas Markets and visited Lake Zell before heading to an early dinner at Steiner Genuss- offering a delightful menu. A few of us opted for a delicious beef and cheese dumpling soup to start and mains varied from, fried chicken, risotto and of course schnitzel.Day 2)
Up and early on day two for a beautiful walk around Lake Zell- The way the morning mist lifts off the lake is really truly stunning. Quick head back to the chalet before driving up with the skiiers to the chairlifts. As I chose on this occasion not to ski- ( hence the hand luggage) I decided to drive up with them so I could just walk back down, take in the scenery and of course – take some photos. After about an hours walk I thought I’d warm up with a Gluwein at one of the markets before heading back to relax in the sun if the chalet and munching on a glorious waffle. This was all before embarking on what was probably the most walking I’ve done in the last 12 months of my life around Lake Zell. An hour and a half later, not even being half way around the 12km lake I regrettably decided to return the same way that I had come. – Still. No regrets, the photos look stunning.Day 3)
Oh the pain. Seriously you can tell how unfit I am when I walk for a couple hours and can barely move the next day. ( kind of reminds me of when I had to pay for a donkey to drag me u a volcano in Guatemala). Aside from the agony of moving I was happy to be lucky enough to today venture up in a Gondola to the ‘base’ of the slopes. First of all, out there in the near distance I noticed a bench overlooking ‘the world’ After trudging through some rather deep snow and trying to avoid falling down the mountain I made it to this somewhat distant outpost. Somehow time past me by and I managed to spend near to an hour taking photos and throwing snow at myself- yes quite literally. I headed back to the bar. You know what? I quite like this ‘skiing but not actually skiiing’- aka having a drink in the snow whilst the sun beams down on my face. One beer down and it was time for lunch. Lunch was fantastic- Goulash followed by apple strudel. ( Can’t complain- I’m living the dream) After lunch I headed back down to the bar- this time drink-less to read ( yes, it has been known) and take in golden hour. Golden hour has become such a thing in my life this year.Day 4)
Still in pain. But today was spa day. After arriving Anna and I soon decided that this place was far too sophisticated for the pair of us together. Walking into the nudest section didn’t help too much either to be honest!! In the UK we certainly don’t do nudity. To be honest I have never seen so many naked people in one room before and I don’t wish to experience it again. Thank you. Thankfully we found were we should be and enjoyed a day of sauna, steam room, outdoor hot pools and a rather large plate of hot chips.
Austria, although I only explored a small portion of the her, is an amazingly beautiful country and if not already on your 2016 bucket list I would certainly recommend adding it straight away.
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