Do you remember that one of the things on my Summer Holidays Bucket List was to visit a place in Austria I’ve never been to before? Well, I chose to visit Bad Gastein for a day. I’ve passed through it often, when I spent the holidays in Carinthia as a child – the train goes right through the heart of the Austrian alps. I’ve always loved this route through the mountains, but I never actually stopped and took a closer look at this little alpine village.
The first impression: There are hotels everywhere. Do people actually really live here? Do they even find work during the summer, when many of the hotels are closed? I guess winter tourism is the biggest source of income in this area. They try to get more people to spend their summers here as well, but everything seems to be focused on the colder season. It was pretty quiet, with just a couple of tourists (and maybe two-three locals), but in winter, it must be hell. Or at least not how I imagine a peaceful skiing holiday. But anyway, it was nice to breathe some mountain air and see the famous waterfall that goes right through the village. Pretty stunning! There is a path next to the river, you can follow it all the way through the valley – I returned after walking for an hour, but I could have continued forever: The sound of the water is so calming and the air is filled with mist and moisture – too bad you can’t breathe in advance!
Even though I had a good time, I probably won’t stop again. There is not a lot to see and once is enough. But I will continue to enjoy driving through the valley, marveling at the beauty of the mountains! :)