Around Salzburg

We found a campground on the shores of Wolfgangsee. With high temperatures forecast again, I wanted to make sure I could have a swim. 

St Wolfgang on the opposite side of the lake was picture postcard pretty and a great place for an aperitif beside the lake.

Salzburg was about 30 minutes drive away so we made sure we left early to beat the crowds – peak holiday season now. Our first stop was the imposing Festung Hohensalzburg, a 900 year old cliff top fortress with great views of the old city centre below. 

The old city centre or Altstadt was a delight with loads of beautiful buildings and narrow lanes but the tourist crowds built up quickly and by lunchtime the place was seething with people. 

View up to the fortress

Famous cafe made a good stop for a morning coffee and cake

Salzburg is definitely geared up for the tourists – everywhere you look are shops like these selling local traditional dress. And you see quite a few people wearing it too, not just people serving in restaurants! 

In the afternoon we took a gondola up to a local peak with great views over Wolfgangsee.

The next day was a really early start so that we could be at Eisriesenwelt, the world’s largest ice cave near Werfen, over an hour’s drive away,when the ticket office opened so that we could avoid the queues. It was a fascinating tour involving 700 stairs up and the same down using carbide lamps for light. No photography was permitted but many of us tried to sneak a few photos when the guide wasn’t looking (hard to get a good photo in the dark)-

View looking down from near the entrance to the cave

We then drove to the start of the Glossglockner road, reputedly one of Europe’s most scenic mountain drives with lots of tight hairpin bends climbing up to a high pass with incredible views of glaciers and down into deep valleys. After lunch we went on to Kaiser-Franz-Josef-Hope – from there we hiked up along side a glacier with others feeding into it. Amazing scenery – especially with yet another thunderstorm looming over the mountains. Lots of marmots along the way to entertain us with their antics but difficult to get close enough for a good photo.

Wild flowers everywhere

We had a big drive back to the van – about 230 km – through thunderstorms and torrential rain but we were really glad we had made the effort to do the Glossglockner drive. Definitely recommended if you are visiting this part of Austria. 

Next blog – around Innsbruck

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