Austria, with a sidetrip to Germany

A and I have just returned from a short getaway to Austria to catch the last of winter´s snow atop the Austria Alps and the views are nothing short of breathtaking. We took the flight to Innsbruck and flew back from Salzburg. (1 hr flight, 130 euros return on budget carrier from Netherlands)

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on the way up the Nordkette, the closest ski area to Innsbruck city.
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there is also a free ski bus to bring visitors to many other ski areas within 2 hrs of Innsbruck.
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it was a really misty morning…

With day trips to the famed nature reserve of Berchstegaden/Lake Konigssee in Germany as well as to the Salzburg Lake District (Wolfgangsee), this vacation was one filled with snow-capped mountains and aquamarine waters. Being here at this time of the year (winter-spring) also made it particularly enjoyable as we could spend the day out in the open without feeling too cold for comfort but still witness the white-washed caps of mountainous ranges.

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on board public bus 840 to Berchtesgaden. Only 45 minutes away, I highly recommend this as a day trip from Salzburg.
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This is what you see the moment you alight.
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traditional german architecture in the small town of Berchtesgaden. This is also where you can buy the ferry ticket to Lake Konigssee. Touristy as it may be, do not skip this!

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The boat ride on the Königssee will bring you to the domed St. Bartholomä Chapel. Get off this stop to explore the surrounds.
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A – testing the crystal clear waters

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me admiring the views of the fjord.
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Attempting a Dandayamana Dhanurasana

And on to Salzburg’s lake district, made famous by The Sound of Music. Truly Maria, the hills are alive! There is a cable car that brings visitors up the Zwolferhorn for a panoramic view of Lake Wolfgangsee. A and I however opted for the steep trek up (saves $$$ and aids in the digestion of the ice cream and hot chocolate we had during lunch). Unfortunately, our unprecedented trekking plans were thwarted 2/3 way through as we gained altitude, started encountering frost on the ground and saw several skiers coming down the slopes in full gear. Nevertheless, just witnessing the change in terrain made the trek extremely enjoyable.

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I had to skirt pass the compacted snow in my adidas sneakers.
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A view of Lake Wolfgangsee from above.

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I reckon summer would be a busy period along the Salzburg lake district and probably would steer off this place since I hate crowds. Though the end of winter/start of spring is still a tad too cold to jump into the waters, it is much quieter and just being here among the peaceful surrounds suits me just fine. If you have limited time in Austria/this region, I highly recommend Innsbruck for the accessibility of its powder white ski resorts (free ski buses during season) and Berchtesgaden, Germany for the majestic views.

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