Hiking in Bad gastein, Austria
Updated: Dec 6, 2020
It's been years since i thought of starting a blog about my hiking's, and i finally clicked on the "create a blog" button :) and i will start with this one, a hike in Bad gastein in the beautiful Austrians Alps.
Me and my brother Aviv, were going on a business trip to Vienna for a Mechanical Engineering course related to our family business and decided to hike the Alps once finished, So we picked up Bad gastein area, a dreamy place with it's famous landscape.
We rented a cabin in kurcamping-gastein Campsite, where we had 2 bedrooms, a small living room and tiny kitchen, just what we needed. We got from the reception few maps of the area, and looked at google maps for better understanding of our possibilities. The weather was quite cold at the end of August, when we woke up it was around 0 degrees C which went up during the day, and the nights were clear, cold and full with stars.
Although we have travelled for many years in the world, we weren't the typical hiking folks with the cool hiking gear. I am a photographer as my main profession and love nature.
On our 1st day we drove to Kitzsteinhorn which is 3020m Mt with it's popular Ski Glaciers area. Most of the tourists stay within the shops area while we took one of the lifts up, we couldn't get up the top because the temperatures was well under freezing, we went up as far as we could and decided to hike down.
in the snowy part i felt under clothed, but as we started our decent it got better. The view from the ridge to the horizons was beautiful and reminded me how powerful mountains are, and i made a new decision to continue walking the mountains as much as i can.
There were few path's junctions along the way and since we didn't have maps with us we decided that as long as we will continue walking down we will be all right, at the most part we will find ourselves elsewhere from our parking place (which happened) and will have to continue walking. On our way we passed isolated farm houses that just make you rethink if you live in the right place or should move somewhere like this. They had healthy cows and beautiful horses, pretty much free in the endless meadows.
The hike down took us 6-7 hours in our own easy pase and me stopping a lot to take photo's, it was getting dark when we were walking to the car.
The next day we drove to Graukogel and took the chair-lifts up the mountain. The weather was great and sunny with stunning view.
On the way we passed a circular path (Zirbenweg path) with some beautifully carved wooden art-crafts, like a gate, bench, table, stone bed, and a bridge, surrounded by 300 years old pine trees. It’s a 45 min walk. We continued hiking to Palfner See (See=lake), a beautiful spot. if you are brave enough you should take a dip in the freezing pure glacier water.
After spending some time there (you could spend endless time everywhere there, also hike to winter huts) we started hiking down back to the forest. We soon discovered endless kinds of mushrooms growing all over, from tiny to big ones, I tried to look up the internet for their kind but it wasn't an easy task. After some time we spotted a woman picking berries and mushrooms and I started speaking to her, asking her which kind are edibles . I managed to understand that she was a Bulgarian living in the village and doesn't speak english. I actually love this part in travelling because these situations get the best human communication out of you. And with a lot of good vibes and body language we managed to pick handful of mushrooms and berries, we spent few good hours with her, she showed us how good berries grow next to dangerous berries, and they look alike. But if you open them up, the bed ones have a kind of a fluffy white cotton look like material in them, where the good ones are juicy.
Back in Bad Gastein we heard a loud sound of water, turns out the river flows in the middle of town, huge walls of houses build on the slopes going all the way down from the street to the back where a waterfall is pouring about 3000 cubic liter per second. We also found there an old rusty concrete room, with some used candles inside, with natural hot water in it !!! we were so happy as the regular spa places in town where too expensive for us, without thinking we took off our cloth's and went in, what a fantastic way to end the day. It was so dark by then that i don't have any pictures from it.
The 3rd day was foggy and rainy and we drove to Zell am See, an iconic touristic lake and Fusch, a beautiful tiny village in a narrow valley where we hiked in it's forest for few hours until it got dark.
On our 4th day, which was rainy as well, we drove to Stubnerkogel Suspension Bridge which is well worth getting to with great lookout over the mountains all around, it was quite sad knowing that tomorrow we have to leave without another good hike, but these are the mountains, the weather there is unpredictable and changes within hours, this is also why there so so beautiful.
Me and Aviv :)