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Report 2033: Alpine Journey 2012

By SL Jones from Illinois USA, Fall 2012

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Page 3 of 10: The Salzkammergut, Austria

photo by L J

Gasthof Hotel Furberg

We thought an Alpine lake sounded ideal, so I'd consulted with "Kaydee" about the Salzkammergut, that region of lakes just east of Salzburg. A few hours from Munich, a nice place to settle in for awhile with a reservation. I had visions of swimming in the clear lake and exploring the area. We chose St. Gilgen on the Wolfgangsee, and chose a gasthaus/hotel outside of town, on the shore of the lake. Gasthof Hotel Furberg was connected to town by a 30 minute walk along the lake, or an eight minute ferry ride from the dock at the hotel. We loved this place, our favorite of the trip, and five nights was not excessive. The setting was gorgeous, and the place was beautifully run. It was awarded our prize for best overall food on the trip. (See my hotel review for more.)

We drove there from the Audi factory, our first day in our new car, reveling in the sunny weather. That first day in Austria, we forgot to buy our Austrian highway pass, a "vignette" but were lucky enough to avoid a large fine! We jumped in the lake as soon as we'd checked in. Why the hurry? We'd seen the weather report - next came steady cold rain for three days. The forecast wasn't wrong. The weather was indeed simply dismal, and quite limiting. Thankfully, there was the fabulous locavore food and convenient drink options. We explored a little, with coats and umbrellas.

We skipped Salzburg itself because we'd been there twice before. Neighboring St. Wolfgang was a bit stodgy and full of tour bus visitors. A very pretty place, but not for us. We never did take the mountain railway from there, as the weather just didn't make it appealing. The Fuchlsee was just beautiful, and we went there in a bit of sunshine. I twirled around in a high meadow, Sound of Music style, as required. We took the St. Gilgen cable lift up for a big view. We both wished that we were the hikers we once were! Halstatte was well worth the hype it receives from travel guides and Rick Steves. In addition to the amazing setting, the town itself is beautiful and unique. We parked there easily and appreciated that it was pedestrian.

All in all, this was a great place to stay, and I'd have loved an opportunity to stay there in warm sunny weather. There is swimming, boating, and magnificent scenery, without even leaving the gasthof grounds. We didn't get to do all the things we'd imagined, even in five days - unrelenting cold rain can dampen such plans quickly.

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