Austrian Alps – A Photo Documentary

img_4649

These photos capture three days in Bad Gastein, Austria. This is one of those beautiful Austrian valleys in the Alps that changes with the weather. Our first day here we had warm weather and met some of the greenest lushest grass we have seen on this entire trip. The next day it poured rain so we hunkered down to some BIG TIME slothing! When we woke this morning, the sun was trying to break through the mist and the mountain tops were covered in snow. As the day progressed, the green against the white was striking.

This valley has a a crystal clear stream passing through called the Gastein Ache – I love the name since “Bad” refers to the thermal spas found in the area. Apparently, this place was the stuff back in the day when royal figures like Empress Sisi and Otto von Bismarck came for spa treatments after Marie Curie discovered that radon therapy was going to be great for the body! Strangely, the fancy hotels built to house royalty now stand abandoned against the mountains, but tourism still thrives. This time of year is very quiet, but I can see that winter sports and summer hikers bring tourism to the area.

Later – we found out that this place was also a hotspot for the Nazis. Why the hotels are abandoned is because a Jewish man bought them, but never did anything with them. They have basically been empty since the 50s, but the man recently died, and the town is trying to make arrangements so the beautiful buildings may perhaps be preserved.

Needless to say, this place is spectacular. We are staying at the base of the valley along the creek. A walk to town means walking across the river, up its three cascades, up even further, then back down. Once we reached the top today, there was a bit of rain and when we looked back over the valley – a rainbow! We even found GOLD at the end of the rainbow – beer and cheese!

img_4541

img_4518
img_4215
img_4217  img_4220 img_4221 img_4224 img_4225 img_4534img_4536 img_4537img_4539 img_4540

The three pictures below of Max – there was a dam of sorts built across the stream. A very steep half -pipe of cement was built as a water break of sorts, but Max was intrigued to traverse it. He took off his belt in case he needed a rope back up the incline. His tennis shoes, strength and momentum got him safely back to the top.

img_4544 img_4545 img_4546

This was the drop on the other side of the cement dam that Max went out onto, so his travels were not without mama’s heart a’ pounding!img_4547

The picture below looks back on the metal structure that holds the cement dam.img_4548 img_4549 img_4550 img_4551 img_4552 img_4553 img_4554 img_4555 img_4556

“Hey, Washburne! Give me a smile!”img_4559

Alpine glacier water is so beautiful!img_4560 img_4561

The images below show the largest of the waterfalls of the stream that flows through Bad Gastein village. Many of the old, most glamorous hotels have views of the falls. We thought we’d do a little photo shoot for North Face (Max’s jacket!). img_4564 img_4566 img_4576 img_4577 img_4578 img_4582

We found our next rehab project! The house below sits right on the falls and below it is an old mill. Both in need of repair. In a few more steps into the village we would soon find that much of the town is boarded up.img_4584 img_4585

These caves lead to the thermal and radon spas.img_4586   img_4589

The view straight up from the village to the west.img_4534

img_4603 img_4590 Below, the three buildings are all beautiful old hotels with broken windows and main floors boarded.img_4602

A little bit of rain…

img_4214

Brought us a rainbow…and we found…img_4593 img_4594

Gold! The cheesemonger with Alpine Diary Cheeses.
img_4607

Of course, the world knows there is incredible cheese here in Europe. I have been seriously curious about how these cows make such incredible butter, so I have been reading up. I learned about haymilk and haymilk cheese. Cows raised for haymilk are alpine grazed on the high meadows in the summer, and in the winter, the dairy herds are brought to lower fields where their diet continues to consist of pasture forage until it is too cold and they are given fermented hay from their pastures! This is the true meaning of “Grass Fed” cows. In the United States, unfortunately, most of our dairy cows and beef cattle are subsidized with grain diets. The diet is reflected in the taste of the product. img_4612

All over town and up the hillside are sweet herds of Alpine dairy cows with bells around their necks banging out the rhythm for a great salsa party!

img_4528

And more gold at the end of the rainbow!

img_4625    And another photo shoot of the cutie kid!img_4618 img_4619 img_4621img_4623

img_4622 After enjoying some time in the village, we headed back down the mountain following a mountain trail that lead us back to our campsite.img_4626 img_4628 img_4629 img_4631 img_4632
img_4637 img_4638 img_4642 img_4646

The Alps and Bad Gastein inspired photography fun the last couple of days! Thank you Austria! img_4647

img_4655

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “Austrian Alps – A Photo Documentary

  1. What a beautiful collection of photos! Your photos of cheese remind me of my favorite snack in Switzerland: raclettebrot, which is basically melted raclette cheese on a baguette, with optional pickles and onions on top. I don’t know if you’ll run into it in Austria, but if you do, I recommend trying it.

    Like

    1. Once we made it down the hill today we are the cheese on thinly sliced brown bread toasted with cheese, pickles and German mustard…might be fusion food in these parts! I’ve heard the Swiss Raclette is wonderful! Haven’t had it yet.

      Like

  2. Sensational. I’m trying to figure out how to send this large packet of photos to Andy who thinks that the Rockies have no equivalent on this planet.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Some lovely photos, worthy of a finishing tune-up and a frame I’d say. Fabulous. Wonderful to see. Have a lovely day. Pops >

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s