Today I found myself spinning and singing, the hills are alive with the sound of music, then my kids yelled at me to shut up because I was embarrassing them. At least I wasn’t wearing a dress. I tend to get caught up with the moment and The mountains around Salzburg, specifically Ramsau Austria are truly ‘song-worthy.’
It is a hikers dream. You walk down a trail two miles, you find a mountain house, and you have a beer. You walk another mile and you have a bratwurst. What farms and houses serve food? ALL of THEM! Well nearly all, they are marked on the map.
Now I have recently discussed in my blog yesterday one of my all time favorite places in the world and Ramsau is another one of those. This place is about an hour or so south of the home of the mythical Von Trapp family of the epic musical but about half that far as the crow flies. The valley is guarded by the impressive castle Hohenwerfen, which has even made it to one of my novels. That is a nice stop to get your hiking legs going. Ramsau is a ski capital and is home of the World Cup in 2013. The Argentine team is staying at the guest house we are staying at. The Norwegian team stayed here last time and although not champions like the Norwegians, the Argentines should be fun or so they say. February 7-17, 2013 we will not be here as there are no rooms so whether the Argentines are fun or not we will not know till later.
Back to these hűttes. Some are actually farms. The bathroom is between the cow stalls and the kitchen at the one pictured. Maybe manure and lunch turns some off? Not here and it only adds to the charm. Eating lunch with cows, chickens, cats, and even a goat or rabbit or two is the way it just is and the food is good, the beer cold, and at Sonnenalm (the hűtte pictured), they even have accordion music with a man in Lederhosen. Wow, and with busty women serving me mugs of Schladminger, the local brew…I can’t say any more…. Well maybe add that the place is four thousand feet above the valley below with a view that would make Julie Andrews sing and all this and it is three miles from the nearest road. They don’t take American Express but the view…incredible! (or was that priceless?)
You don’t really even have to be in shape as you could just take the lifts up to the first one on top. Walk in and order food. This is more of a low key spot not some back country adventure. We “camped” at a guest house which served us food for breakfast and dinner. It came complete with a pool and spa, so we were not roughing it.
There is just something about Maria……”dad, you are embarrassing us again! WE ARE GOING TO TELL MOM!”
We plan our days out using the map and guidance from our host. We’d go uphill if possible by ski lift, route by as many places that serve food as possible (they have a good map of where these are). My daughter likes cats so we have to visit all the farms or alms we can so she can look for kittens. So far no Austrian has shooed her out of where she shouldn’t be. Maybe cat holding goes with the large bar tab I run up at these places. So far we have seen all colors of cats save orange ones. Tomorrow, however, is another day and we will look to we find the orange kitty. She was mad today as we were at a more alpine hűtte, which was not a farm and hence it had no cats.
Rain or shine these places get hikers. Eat and drink outside in the sun, inside in the rain. It is al part of the fun and for the intrepid….you can come in winter and ski to these places as they are also open then.
There is something cool about hiking to the tune of cow bells from the distant valley. The green meadows, the edelweiss, the sweet mountain air….it almost makes you feel like signing.
Doe a deer a female deer, ray a drop of golden sun……..”Dad!” Now I got to go look for a kitten right now since she is threatening to tell mom I’m singing again, oh well….family holidays. Kittens, Mountians, and Beer…Austrian hills at their finest. “These are a few of my favorite things…” Yes I’m singing yet again…………
Stay singing my friends!