26 March 2012

Filzmoos, Austria - Days 9-13

With a little regret for we very much loved Vienna we depart for Filzmoos.  A taxi ride delivers us to the Westbahnhof (West Railway Station) where we depart on a fast train to Salzburg.  Without realising it we arrived with just enough time to catch an earlier train.

With only 3 minutes before the train left we rushed onto the first class carriage and found that we had to traipse through 4 carriages pulling 2 suitcases, a hand luggage and a child through aisles that were barely wider than our suitcases in order to find some seats together.  It didn't help that we constantly had to ask other travellers to put their elbows in, watch out for their knees, get out of the aisles so we could get through and what felt like a lot of judgemental stares (paranoia set in for sure).  Needless to say we were quite frazzled, sweating profusely with our winter coats on in 23 degrees internal temperature and a 3 years old busting our thinly-veiled patience.

Finding two seats together was impossible so forget finding 3 seats together.  Finally a young man gave up his seat and we were finally able to settle down with two seats together which meant that we had to keep swapping holding Trini on our laps.  Thankfully after a few stops, the train was slowly emptying and we were eventually able to spread out and enjoy the remainder of our journey.

The first hour just vanished mostly because we were still unfrazzling and calming ourselves down.  By the second hour we started enjoying the scenery and the ride, even though I swore we would travel first class from Salzburg to Graz.  Four hours on a train? We are doing it in style.  Anyway, the rest of our trip went without much consequence.

A picturesque, snow covered village in a valley, Filzmoos is approximately 45 minutes east of Salzburg. With no public transport to take us to Filzmoos we were limited to catching a cab at a cost of A$190.  I guess we could complain about it but since we had no alternative, we just absorbed the cost and had a great taxi ride to the village.

We chose to stay at a traditional Austrian guesthouse, which whilst a little removed from the village centre, actually turned out to be a blessing.  Mrs Gappmaier, the hostess was a lovely Austrian with limited English but engaging nonetheless and very welcoming. We were accommodated on the 3rd floor in a 2 bedroom apartment with gorgeous views.  The up and down the stairs 3 floors certainly kept us fit, along with the regular walks through the snow to and from the village.

Breakfast was a combination of fresh bread rolls, cold cuts, cheese, jams, yoghurt, perfectly boiled eggs and loads and loads of strong coffee.

Throughout our stay it snowed every day.  We spent our time exploring, buying new ski gear for future skiing trips and John started the basics in teaching Trini how to ski.  She was a mixture of excitement and trepidation, frustration and desire.  We finished off on one of the longer beginner runs, which really equates to an Aussie intermediate ski run, three times the length.

Tandem skiing with John, Trini just wanted faster and faster.  Not so easy on daddy who many a times had to carry her full weight.  What should have taken about 20 minutes downhill, took us nearly an hour.  Needless to say we were done for and the lifts closed.  By 9pm the lights were out and we slept for 11 hours straight.

We woke up on our last day to a spectacular morning.  Deep blue skies, bright white snow cover and sunshine galore.  Here we had an opportunity to photograph hot air balloons ascending the skies and the peaks of Bischofsmutze Mountain (loosely translated as Bishop's Mitre which is referring to the shape of the peak).

On our return to Salzburg we enjoyed breathtaking views of snow covered mountain peaks, what looked like death defying ski slopes, Fortress Hohenwerfen and electric buses.

Filzmoos may be a small out of the way location but it is definitely a worthwhile experience either in the winter for family skiing or the summer for hiking or mountain climbing.

Panoramic views.

Liver dumpling soup deep with flavour.

The daily walk to the village centre for lunch or dinner.

Tandem skiing with daddy.

Feeling like I'm on top of the world.

Trini's first sleigh ride

Bishop's Mitre Mountain.