Holidays filled with snow
I had never imagined a winter holiday without skiing. Not until the day a good friend of mine persuaded me to go on a winter holiday with her to the Salzkammergut. She showed lots of pictures of beautiful cross country ski trails, natural toboggan runs, and snow shoe hiking trails on the Dachstein. Then, of course, there was the local cuisine. I was a little hesitant at first, but curiosity got the better of me, and I said I would go.
On the way …
… to the Salzkammergut I learned a few facts about the region at the base of the Dachstein. The region has been a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site since 1997. Local customs, traditions, handicrafts and culture are part of everyday life here. A stroll through Hallstatt is always a very romantic occasion, especially in winter. I had no idea how stunningly beautiful the winter landscape could be, apart from on the slopes of the Dachstein West ski Region.
We received a genuinely warm welcome from the owner himself when we arrived at the hotel. In his charming Salzkammergut dialect, and dressed in traditional national costume, the owner served us a delicious hot apple punch and commented upon the fact that we did not have any skis with us and said, “There’s no chance of you getting bored, though. I promise you!”
He was eager to tell us where the most beautiful winter walking trails are, and told us that a well-marked cross country ski trail passes by the hotel. He also mentioned that the Panorama Nova Higher Level Cross country Ski Trail is just a few minutes’ drive away. Once a week, his daughter takes guests tobogganing by torch light. We had booked evening meals at the hotel, but if we wished to, we could choose instead one night to join a group for a horse-drawn sledge ride, with stops along the way to sample delicious home-cooked food prepared by local farmers.
He more than kept his promise – our personal Salzkammergut guide. We never once got bored, and we did not miss our skis at all throughout our wonderful holiday in the snow.