Zell am See, Austria: Après Ski instead of Ski Pass

Après-ski (French: after skiing) refers to any form of entertainment, nightlife, or social event
that occurs specifically at ski resorts.

 Feeding of swans. Zell am See, Austria.

Feeding of swans. Zell am See, Austria.

I must admit that my wife and I are mediocre skiers, and in our winter travels, we always spend more time on après ski activities than with ski passes in the mountains. If, like us, you don’’t feel very comfortable fastened to a pair of thin strips of slippery plastic at an altitude of 2500 meters in mountains, it does not mean that ski resorts are not for you. You wouldn’’t believe how many people come to the Austrian Alps not for skiing, but for the comfortable and enthralling après ski.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hermann Göring’s Castle, Mauterndorf

 
Mauterndorf Castle. Lungau, Salzburg, Austria.

Every old castle would like to have its own ghost. You are boring without a ghost or dramatic history. The castle of Mauterndorf in Austria was not lucky. It never resisted a cruel siege and never had an imprisoned princess or mysterious lady. There was no murder or suicide inside its walls, and its owners were not famous people, except for one—Hermann Göring, Reichsmarschall of Nazi Germany. “OK. Why not?” the castle thought. “Let him be my ghost. By the way, I am almost 800 years old, and in such a ripe old age, it’s a shame not to have a ghost. What will tourists think about me?”

As usual, we decided to visit Mauterndorf Castle in the low season, in winter, to explore it without witnesses, and were right to do that. We enjoyed its Medieval atmosphere in solitude. Mauterndorf is a museum. It is inhabited by wax figures of Medieval traders, musicians, bishops, and knights. They come alive at night and share their daily impressions of the visitors to their castle.

Read the rest of this entry »

A Day in the Gray City of Mozart, Salzburg

 
Having enjoyed all the advantages of the Bad Hofgastein ski resort, we decided to enrich our trip to Austria with a portion of history. The nearest and the most desired candidate for visiting was Salzburg—the city that gave Mozart to our world.

The old town of Salzburg, Austria.

In Austria, roads are perfect even in winter. On the way to the most musical city of Austria, we noticed a massive castle on the mountaintop. Hmm, looks like today’s plan received a new item—we ought to visit this castle on our way back!

Burg Hohenwerfen, Austira.

Burg Hohenwerfen

Read the rest of this entry »