Bad Gastein, Austria
Trip Start Apr 01, 2008
10Trip End Jul 24, 2008
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Where I stayed
Tomorrow we leave this incredible outdoor paradise and head home via Salzburg, London, Newark, and then finally about 8pm EST on Wednesday night we arrive back in Tampa for a six week visit and to re-pack for the second half of the 2008 adventure ...whew!
Taking the train here from Munich was an experience in itself. Us being from "flat Florida" were amazed as the Austrian Alps opened up right in front of our windows. It was absolutely gorgeous! Fields of yellow wildflowers so bright they make your head ache and snow-capped mountain peaks that appear close enough to reach out and touch. And so many shades of green! The evergreens were putting out new growth tips and the grass was covering the lower hills. Amazing!
In Austria, BAD=Bath, as in thermal baths. And we needed those healing thermal waters (so warm!) after all of the hiking and trekking we did while here. Yesterday, the ski area of Sportgastein was opened and we hiked down from the 3000 meter slope down to the town. So many wildflowers and waterfalls that it was impossible to take them all in. From the balcony in our hostel, we had an incredible view of the ski lift and the panorama of the surrounding mountains -- not too bad for 22 euro a night (total!).
Because we were here for 19 days, we bought a BBQ grill first thing when we arrived here in Austria and have feasted on grilled vegetables, MEAT, and anything else we could imagine. Of course, we also had to sample some of the Austrian/German specialties of weinerschnitzel, sausages, sauerkraut, and goulash, too. Yum!
Oh, yes, we did a little writing, too as this was supposed to be our self-imposed "writers retreat". Cheryl has an article out on Voluntourism to one of the US Scuba Diving magazines and Lisa has one to be published by Transitions Abroad magazine and two for Matador Travel.
It will be sad to leave this amazing place...it has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. I heard it described as a combination of the "magic of the water and the power of the mountains". I have to agree 100%, this is a must-see and hope to be back again!
Take care and hope to see family and friends while we're back home!
Cheryl and Lisa