What with saving to try and buy a house for most of our married life so far, holidays have taken a bit of a back seat. We went to Madeira in 2008 for our honeymoon and then to Crete in 2011. I chose both of these places and so when we started to discuss going away this year, Simon felt it was his turn to choose where. After I dismissed such suggestions as Siberia and Norway he settled on Austria. I really wasn’t sure at first as I thought it would be hard to plan, what with it not being your typical tourist destination. I looked online at package deals through Thomson and other providers but they were really expensive. However my online research paid off as I got to see how stunningly beautiful Austria is and absolutely decided it was somewhere we should go.
Fortunately I stumbled upon the Zell am See Kaprun tourist office website. There was so much information about all the local attractions and activities as well as the option to ask for an “offer”. This is where you give them details of the dates you want to travel and they give you a list of all the hotels and B&B’s which are available. All their hotels offer the Summer Card which was what swung it for us. It gets you in to lots of places for free or at discounted rates. We only paid for one activity in the whole week we were there – 8 Euros for mini golf!
Anyway, enough rambling and more pictures.
On our first full day we took the Schmittenhöhe City Xpress cable car up to 1302m and planned to walk up to the summit (2000m) from there. About a 10 min walk from the cable car station where we got off was a very pretty reservoir with stunning views over Lake Zell and the Kitzsetinhorn.
After spending time admiring the views (and playing with the jet spray) we started our climb to the top. And what a climb it was. We knew it would take around 2 hours and having done lots of longer walks at home we thought it was well within our capability. Within about 5 minuets of setting off we both realised we had massively underestimated just how steep it was. We were on the verge of giving up a couple of times but like the persevering (or silly?) Deans we are, we carried on. Up. Up. Up. And more up. It was pretty relentless but we both decided that in hindsight the views were worth it.
When we got back home to Devon we decided that it was actually pretty flat and swore never to complain about walking up its hills again.
We made it to the summit (above) in 1 hour and 55 mins and were pretty proud of ourselves. There was a cable car down which stopped right outside our B&B. All the cable cars were free with the Summer Card.
It was a warm day and slightly overcast so we were both a bit surprised by how much we had caught the sun. We decided to go to the outdoor lido to cool off before dinner. Simon was much braver than me and actually had a swim in the lake.
That night we found a great restaurant serving very tasty pizzas and were tucked up in bed, absolutely shattered, by 9pm!
The next day was a little bit rainy in the morning and we decided to take things a bit easier after the hard walk the day before. We used our Summer Card to take a free boat trip around the lake.
We spent the rest of the day pottering round the shops and eating more pizza! On that riveting note I’ll end part 1! A snowy peak, a thundering gorge and some stunning mountain reservoirs to follow in part 2.