• Hallstatt village
    Austria,  Europe

    Hallstatt – The picture perfect village of Austria

    Hallstatt’s reputation as a UNESCO world heritage site and as a contender to the prettiest village in Europe. It’s trademark pastel and wood houses built on the steep hillsides, overlooking the crystal clear lake are now a famous tourist destination. But Hallstatt first gained fame in prehistoric times for it’s salt. Salt, a natural preservative for meat, was quite valuable then and Hallstatt’s mines brought it considerable trade and fortune. Even as late as the 20th century, it’s salt mines continued to be active. How to get to Hallstatt Hallstatt is perfect for a day trip from Salzburg. It is about 2 – 2.5 hours depending on the mode of…

  • Peaceful Gosausee
    Austria,  Best of the Travel Bag Tales,  Europe,  Travel Bag

    Exploring Gosau and Gosausee in Austria’s Salzkammergut

    Gosausee is one among numerous lakes dotting the Salzkammergut landscape in Austria and arguably, one of the prettiest. Fed by melt water from the Dachstein glacier, these are actually 3 lakes, the most famous of which is the Front Gosausee. On a clear sunny day, if the waters of the lake are placid and calm, it reflects the Dachstein glacier on the massif above. This is a photo op that has been captured for posterity a lot of times, but tourists can seldom imagine the colors reflected in the Gosausee. And coming from somebody who has been to extremely pretty Himalayan lakes as well, this shade of green, surrounded by alpine…

  • Schafberg mountain railway at the summit
    Austria,  Europe,  Travel Bag

    What to expect on a ride up the Schafberg Mountain Railway

    The Scahfbergbahn or the Schafberg mountain railway first caught my attention in one of Michael Palin’s travel documentaries and ever since, I’ve harbored an ardent desire to get on that chugging train up the scenic railway built on the Schafberg mountain. This wish finally came true in September 2017, when I visited the famous Salzkammergut region in Austria. The Schafberg mountain railway first came about in the 1890s, as a result of the desire to replace the use of mules and palanquins to transport nobles and citizenry up the Schafberg that rises from the shore of the Wolfgangsee lake. Evolving over the century to follow, the Bahn used coal powered…

  • The village of St Gilgen
    Austria,  Europe,  Travel Bag

    St Gilgen – Things to do and sights to see

    The Salzkammergut is our itinerary. Initially, I had planned a self-drive in the Salzkammergut. But owing to India’s archaic IDP regulations, that plan had to be shelved. My next best option was to stay either at St Gilgen or St Wolfgang or Bad Ischl. Bad Ischl easily tops the connectivity charts in the Salzkammergut. It enjoys rail and road connectivity to most of the attractions in the lake district. However, it reminds me of Salzburg due to it’s traffic and while it’s streets don’t really bustle all that much, the villages of St Gilgen and St Wolfgang offer a more peaceful, charming getaway to the lake district. Moreover, who in…