Austria was beautiful. I barely knew anything about Austria other than the fact that the Sound of Music was filmed there, so my expectations we not very high. However, I was blown away by its beauty and outdoor activities. We spent our first day is Salzburg, Austria and ended up taking an hour train ride to Berchtesgaden, which is a small town located in the German Bavarian Alps. Our plan was to go up to the Eagles Nest (Hitler’s vacation home) but because of the snow there is no access to it. We saw it from a far though and it looked like it would have an incredible view. We were however able to go into the World War 2 museum and go into Hitlers bunker, which was really neat to explore. I’ve never been in a bunker and had no idea how large and intricate they are.
After the museum, we went on a hike around Kings Lake. This was my favorite part of free travel and quite possibly one of the top 5 most beautiful places I have ever been. They had some trails but I decided to follow the coast line to get to the waterfall. With each step, the view got more beautiful and the hike became more adventurous. When we got to the waterfall, I climbed up it a bit and realized you could climb up the whole thing! I got about half way up before I realized no one had followed me and I didn’t want to lose the group so I headed back. It was so much fun and you could jump across the waterfall at parts and see the best views. This is the first place on my bucket list to come back to. I wish I could describe in words or pictures the beauty of this lake and it’s mountains, but nothing I say could do it justice.
Our last day in Salzburg we took a Sound of Music tour with Panorama tours. We had SO much fun!! (Well, the girls did at least.) We saw the gazebo, the family villa, the lake, Maria’s church, and so many other scenes from the movie. While traveling to different sights we sang along to the soundtrack and looked out on the beautiful Austrian countryside. (And learned random facts about the movie and the real Von Trapp family.) We also ate apple strudel outside Maria’s church because she mentions it in one of her songs and Austria is known for it. I cannot wait to watch the movie when I get home and look for all the spots I have been to.
After the tour we went on another hike to see a view of Austria and the huge castle fortress in the city. The hike was another beautiful one including leaves covering the ground and a cool breeze swirling around us. If we had more time we wanted to go to the castle fortress but alas, we ran out of time. We did get a wonderful view of the outside though and I would have much rather been hiking. 😉
Needless to say, I am a HUGE fan of Austria and so far of all the countries I’ve been in Europe, Austria has been my favorite. It has a remarkable beauty that deserves to be explored and admired.