Tell me this, my dear readers: Do you know the feeling of “being on top”? Standing in the freshest mountain air, greeting the midday sun, feeling the snow crunch under your feet and ski? Happiness. Pure and simple.
Just now, I have had such intense feelings. That’s in SalzburgerLand, the mountain province south of the city of Salzburg near the area around Zell am See-Kaprun lake district. This picturesque little spot saw me paragliding during summer, joining the famous tourism tech conference “Castle Camp Kaprun” and now, once more, has fuelled my love for winter travel. Winter & snow, however …
… reach well into spring here in the SalzburgerLand. Especially when it comes to glacier skiing at Kitzsteinhorn mountain: Sunny days alternate with perfect snow conditions for winter sport fans.
I have found myself a new love. Been watching him all day during my first ski day at the Schmittenhöhe in Zell am See. Always eyeing his perfect shape, his majestic grandeur, his impeccable look. I’m talking, of course, about the mighty mountain massive around Kitzsteinhorn, at the entrance to the Hohe Tauern national park with some of the highest peaks in the Austrian Alps. Areitalm hut, at 1.400 metres above sea-level, also offers you spectacular views besides tasty, local hut fare. Further down in the valley, TauernSPA Kaprun boasts equally good mountain views.
With all this happiness in my mind and in my heart, I live every minute on my snowboard to the full. Enjoy watching the lake down in the valley, while taking in the sun for some nice new freckles on my nose. Those are the days: Perfect mountain air, sunshine without end and a healthy appetite after sport: This is what I call my kind of ski fun during spring. Check this out.
However, majestic views are not all the SalzburgerLand has to offer. Feeling, touching, being moved is what it’s all about: And why not over a cocktail at the TauernSPA pool bar?
“Come on, let’s have another hugo”, Eva smiles, visibly entertained. We’ve had our first round of cocktails in the 25°C warm spa waters of the TauernSPA and are in for more: Right in the middle of the wide valley, between the Zeller lake and the soaring mountain tops of the Kitzsteinhorn, you will find the recently built, modern TauernSPA Kaprun and hotel. And even though the saunas look promising, it’s definitely the pool bar we opt for this time, providing some of the most spectacular views of the Kitzsteinhorn mountains right from the beautiful spa waters. More and more, I can feel the happiness inside of me growing. What a perfect day!
Last but not least: Kitzsteinhorn itself. Tremendous. In no time, the modern mountain cable cars bring us up to 2.000 – 3.000 metres above sea level, where glacier skiing offers perfect conditions and views over some of the highest mountains of Austria.
Have I ever been here? “I come from a skiing family. Since I was three years old, I have undertaken countless trips to various ski resorts in Austria”, I often hear myself saying. However, Kitzsteinhorn, the mighty mountains around and some of the modern lift facilities are new to me, too: “The pillars you can see here supporting the T-bar lift? Well, they have been built right on the glacier ice and have to be adjusted all the time due to the movement of the ice”, our ski instructor Helmut Schneider and his colleagues of the mountain cable cars Kaprun tell us over lunch at the Gipfelrestaurant some 3.000 metres above sea level. “Thanks to the modern cable car facilities, we have furthermore been able to offer visitors a peek inside the mountain and through to a viewing platform of a kind. It is a very unique, fascinating subterranean mountain museum about the national park Hohe Tauern as well as the ‘holy trinity’ you can see around us: Alpine skiing for everyone, use of water for electricity plants as well as nature protection through the adjacent national park Hohe Tauern. Let’s take a closer look, shall we”, Ing. Norbert Karlsböck, head of the mountain cable cars Kaprun tells us with a friendly smile. And yes, it’s definitely worth “sacrificing” one hour of your skiing time to check out the interior of the mountain and its unique viewing platform: A look upon the highest mountains of Austria is not to be missed from this day at the Kitzsteinhorn.
Next time up, I’ll tell you even more about Zell am See, including restaurant tips, a visit to the recently opened casino Zell am See as well as our meeting with two fashion designers of a kind. Stay tuned!
More awe-inspiring mountain pics from our trip:
Disclaimer: We have been invited by SalzburgerLand Tourism on this trip to Zell am See – Kaprun. All opinions are my own.