Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Austria- Christmas Holiday 2

Before returning to Italy we decided to stop a few days in Austria, as soon as we reached the border into Austria the skies cleared as if on cue and before us we could see the Alps where we were heading. We decided to go to the Gastein Valley near Salzburg as it wasn't too far from our route back to Italy and luckily had a substantial covering of snow considering the rest of Europe was still waiting. We hadn't booked any accomodation though did leave an email with the information centre for any vacancies to be texted to us. Luckily we found one of two self contained apartments (Hausebengut) in an Austrian families house on the mountainside at Bad Hofgastein.
Hausebengut

View up the valley from our terrace

Domenico, Liana, DJ & I
It was just perfect and had everything we needed and at 45euro a night for four of us it was a real bargain. The Wallner family were extremely hospitable greeting us with a glass of Schnapps and then bringing us some homemade christmas cookies.
The next day we headed to the ski resort for a day of skiing and snowboarding. The conditions were perfect, DJ took off with his snow board and we didn't see him for the rest of the day, whilst Liana, Domenico and I tried to stay together. It didn't take long to get the hang of it again, though Domenico had a bad fall at one stage and lost his confidence so spent the rest of the time cautiously snow ploughing down the pistes.
After yet more sausages (yes we are all sausaged out now!) and a couple of mugs of hot mulled wine we were on our way again, our skiing suddenly improved with some alcohol in our systems! and we had a fabulous time meandering through the forest on a 7km run. I was exhausted by the end and my legs were like jelly, though it was a great feeling.
The following day we spent around the town of Bad Hofgastein and Bad Gastein which are part of a thermal area full of health spas and underground caves reknowed for there therapeutic qualities.
We really loved this area in Austria and will certainly return one day for a longer stay.
Bad Hofgastein

Though a bit of advise to any one travelling with their car, make sure you buy the road tax sticker for the autostrada and expressway 7 euro. After travelling through the rest of Europe ( apart from Czech Republic) we didn't realise it was necessary and got a whopping 120 euro on the spot fine when crossing the border back into Italy. No amount of pleading helped and they said they would take our car if it wasn't paid!

5 comments:

  1. It sounds like you had a great time!
    I'd love to have a settimana bianca in Austria.

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  2. that first photo doesn't look real! Looks like a model house!

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  3. Hi Shirley! What a fantastic trip. I'm feeling slightly jealous.. We hope you and Dom have a very happy new year!

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  4. Hi there! Thanks for stopping by! I'm thoroughly jealous of your time in Austria - we haven't experienced a drop of snow yet this year.

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  5. OOoo it did sound lovely. I am so jealous, I'm going to redirect S to your blog! :D

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