Two buses from Salzburg took us to Gosau, Austria. Gosau is a valley nestled in the southern Salzkammergut region of Austria, approximately two hours from Salzburg. We initially picked this location for it’s proximity to Hallstatt. Travellers tip – Hallstatt accommodation is extremely expensive so best to stay in surrounding towns such as Gosau, St. Gilgen or Bad Ischl. However, upon our arrival to Gosau we were entranced. Gosau is a small village containing only 900 houses. Most people who live here work the ski fields in winter or as farmers on the many pastures in the valley. The surrounding mountains make you feel like you’re on the set of the Sound of Music! Luscious green fields, cute cabin lodges and wandering cows will forever be our memory of Gosau!
Whilst in Gosau, we took a day to hike around the mountain regions above Gosausee (Lake Gosau); the Dachstein Mountain Region. No, we did not hike up the mountain, but instead took the Gosaukamm Cable Car to the top and walked from there! The views were simply amazing!
Gosau has few restaurants, with only 900 houses in the area. However, the food was homely and delicious, while costing less than restaurants in the neighbouring town, Hallstatt. We tried two restaurants, the Gasthof Brandwirt and the Kirchenwirt and we would recommend either one for anyone venturing to this part of Austria!
Hallstatt has been on our travel bucket list for some time now, and it definitely did not disappoint! The quaint lake side houses nestled into the mountain side, set against the blue lake was picture perfect! Everywhere we looked was a postcard-worthy image. It’s no wonder why hordes of tourists pour into this small town every day! The Chinese have even replicated this town in China! Next on our bucket list is to come back to Hallstatt in winter – can you imagine how cute this town would be with snow?
As you can see, we aimed to see the town from all angles, including a boat ride on the Hallstattersee Lake! There was a cute swan shaped paddle boat (Anne’s pick), but instead, we took a motorised boat (Daniel’s pick). Less picture-worthy, but as Daniel says, “more practical” (Daniel knowing that Anne would only paddle for 10 minutes).
A ten minute bus ride from Hallstatt took us to the bottom of the Dachstein Krippenstein Cable Car. From here there are a number of touristic options, including the ice caves, a mammut cave and a number of lookout view points. We chose the 5 Fingers lookout option. This is a viewing platform on Mount Krippenstein which has five platforms that reach out like a hand over the edge of the mountain. From here you can see Hallstatt and the Hallstattersee Lake! So beautiful! Despite being a hot day in the middle of summer, there was still snow on the mountain. We can only imagine what the mountain would look like in winter!
From Gosau, we travelled back to Salzburg and then on to Innsbruck by train. Here were chose to stay in a camping village called Natterersee. We stayed in a cute wooden log cabin, small like a shoe box, hot like an oven, but oh so cute! The camp site had free bus shuttles into town and picturesque views of the surrounding mountains – the best of both worlds combined!
Spending a day in Innsbruck we opted to explore the town on our own, concentrating on the old town. Innsbruck is home to the Swarovski crystal flagship store. With free Wifi inside, both Daniel and Anne were happy. Of course, we also hit the major touristic sites, including the Golden Roof, Hofburg Palace, the Innsbruker Hofgarten ( Innsbruck gardens), the Triumphpforte and Dom St Jacob Cathedral.
Tourist tip:- there are men who sit in the main square of Innsbruck preying on people by leaving metal tins on the ground in the main walkways. These tins are filled with coins and make a loud noise when knocked over by unsuspecting tourists looking at the Golden Roof. At this point, the men will demand money and pester the unsuspecting tourists. Be warned!
Next stop, we cross the border to… Slovenia!
Until next time,
AP & DT