Our plain reversed and the chassis touched the takeoff stripe – we are back to Vienna. But we won’t stay here at all for today – our target is Bad Hofgastein – ski and alpentherme paradise.
720 km of splendid Austrian roads ahead. Here we can see Alps already.
Beautiful! What can be greater then a mountains!
OK. What for should a non-ski persones visit a ski Mecca?
Here’s the answer: for sun, air and water.
The town Bad Hofgastein, that we were reaching for, is located in the Gastein valley and characterized by the Asutrians themselves with three words – ski, berge, thermen.
We are going to locate in Hotel Astoria for the upcoming week. Just a brief glance inside and we will take a walk through the town and breath the mountain air – you can not find such at mega cities.
Bad Hofgastein is tiny, and as elsewhere in Europe there is a church right in the centre.
It’s enough impressions for the first day, time to make ourselves at the room at Hotel Astoria, have a rest and dine. Most likely they will serve Wiener Schnitzel.
The darkness fell and all that we could see from the balcony was the Hotel Spa.
While the restaurant is closed, why don’t we bath in the local mineral water? The Spa in Astoria is rather small: a swimming pool, a whirlpool and three types of saunas. I guess that’s the right thing for the tired and cold skiers.
And now definitely to the restaurant! Wiener Schintzel is waiting for us!
The sun did not came up early in the morning, however the view to the mountains still gladdened.
Today we need to find and visit Alpentherme.
Several years ago the modern thermal complex Alpentherme was built in Bad Hofgastein, now it is the biggest in Gastein valley and you can easily spend the whole day in there. As far as we are not the skiers we visited it with pleasure, only if we were not left to Salzburg or Hohenwerfen.
Children’s playground, SPA-world, fitness-world, warm and cold pools with nature mineral water outdoor and indoor at Sauna World. The Sauna World is not allowed for children as it is a nude zone. It contains dozens of different saunas and several salt grottos.
However the most impressive feeling is when hot from a sauna you swim to the open air through the artificial river.
You bath in the warm mineral water +33С, the steam is curling above – after all it’s a winter and -10С, and Alps covered with snow are all around but you don’t feel any cold at all.
We take a short scamper to the pool with a cooler water, +24 in here – some contrast procedures and back to the sauna, afterwards we go to sleep at one of the numerous relax zones.
You lie and do not know whether to sleep or to enjoy the mountain views, the time is a water, flowing away drop by drop. Winter holidays in Austria is not only ski, sleigh and skates, everyone can find something after their own heart. We for example did not miss a chance to taste glint wine from the street stalls (to be truth it is the only one at Bad Hofgastein).
White Austrian wine is great too.
Still the majority of the tourists in winter Hofgastein – are the skiers, and we were not able to enjoy all that beauty available to these hotheads of all ages. The infrastructure is on the highest level as well. You may use different ski-lifts of three towns at once: Bad Hofgastein, Bad Gastein и Dorfgastein. Alps are marvelous everywhere, especially when the sun comes up.