So you are heading to Salzburg, the setting of the infamous movie The Sound of Music. The first night, you have booked a dinner concert at the famous St. Peter’s Stiftskeller. Dating back to 803 AD, it is one of the oldest restaurants in the world! You may spend the rest of the evening walking back across the river to your hotel. The next day, you see all of the Sound of Music film sites, Hellbrunn Palace and trick fountains, hike up to the castle, and pass by Mozart’s house. You feel like you have seen all of Salzburg but you still have a day or two more to spend in the area. (My Salzburg posts are coming-I promise!) Now what do you do?
Under an hour from Salzburg, two places to consider are Dachstein Krippenstein and the Salt Mines. Dachstein Krippenstein cable car carries passengers up Krippenstein to ski, but it is also fun to take the gondola up just for the view and a short hike. From the top, panoramic views of the Alps can be enjoyed from the “Five Fingers” point, a set of 5 view point platforms that jut off the edge of the mountain and “Welterbespirale,” a spiral view point tower. The spectacular Dachstein and Mammoth Ice Caves may also be reached from this point. This time, we spent a VERY sunny day on Krippenstein! It was beautiful and hot for early March! There was a lodge at the top with great beer and some other things too…My daughter loved our snowball fight and sliding down a little mound on her bum. The view is awe-inspiring-and you can enjoy it from any of a number of lounge chairs placed around the mountaintop!
Salzburg was named after the salt deposits that are in the area, and there are three main salt mines in this region-in Hallein, Hallstatt, and Altaussee. They all are slightly different and offer guided tours and fun for the whole family. Hallstatt was a very quiet town on the evening we drove through. We arrived just in time for sunset on the lake. No shops were open and parking was minimal. There was one restaurant open: a gasthaus filled with a tourist group. Although there are many photos of Hallstatt and it is listed as being one of the most beautiful places (or something), it left me wanting more-and not in a good way. The people seemed a little rude-or maybe just overwhelmed with tourists.
I hadn’t realized it is a town where most go for the nearby ski slopes near Dachstein Krippenstein! Now I know where to go if I decide to take up winter sports!
Here are a couple of helpful websites to help you plan your journey!
Dachstein Krippenstein: http://dachstein.salzkammergut.at/en/
Salt Mines: http://www.salzwelten.at/en/hallein/saltmine/