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The ease of being - in the Alps

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Hubertus - Johanna Maier
Hotel Weinpress
Hotel Pension Rottenau
Johanna Maier - first address
Pilz Stub'n at the Pilzhof - very gemütlich
Fiaker Wirt - urig
Restaurant Hotel Bischofsmütze

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the ease of being     it's the alps, it's wonderful, it's first class, it's Filzmoos

Josefina & Wolfgang Bleier
Austria, December 2016

Summer 2016 was something very special. We had a great time together with our lovely relatives from Texas, who visited us in Austria. Busy days of sightseeing, relaxing barbecue evenings on our terrace, going to the mountains, to real mountains in the Austrian Alps nearby Filzmoos at the Dachstein massiv, a flying visit to Hallein and Salzburg – the program was diverse and we had a lot of fun. Later on in September we returned to Filzmoos together with our little granddaughter to hike in the mountains, look out for marmots, enjoy the laid-back culture of this lovely province and do something or other.

Holiday while at work

In some way our summer holiday was quite long. Susan, Noe, Gabriela and Angelina came over from Texas to visit us in Vienna. Seventeen nice days with our relatives who poured holiday feeling on us day by day, which made us also feel a little bit like being on vacation, though we were at home. It felt like holiday occasionally disturbed by some office work, or something like that. A few months before their trip, Angelina, the youngest, wrote an inspiring essay about Austria, praising Vienna and the mountains covered in snow. She must have been so much looking forward to experience mountains and snow. Well, since we had one week vacation while they stayed with us, we arranged for a flying visit to the alps, more exactly to Filzmoos in the province of Salzburg.

Time was of essence. Right on our way to Filzmoos we stopped at the Dachsteinbahn, a ropeway that reaches 3000 meter at the Dachstein massive in one go without struts. The ride was indeed an exciting experience. The only small problem with us was, that all of us have been in summer dress and shorts, but up at the Dachstein it was freezing cold with temperatures close to zero degree. The woman who operated the cable care commented on us mildly with humour, she understood that one can't bring winter dress when traveling from the south of Texas to the chilly Dachstein. Finally, up there Angelina found lots of ice and snow on the Dachstein glacier! Even though we've been freezing we have enjoyed the attractions on the Dachstein very much: a skywalk, the "Hanging Bridge" moving in the brisk wind, the frightening "Stair to Nothingness", a narrow, far overhanging stair anchored at a single fixing point with a small glass platform at its end high above the rocks (just see my beautiful selfie in the photo gallery), and the beautiful "Dachstein Eispalast" inside the glacier with permanent, crystal-like sculptures and motives made from freezing cold ice. Going down with the cable car we stroke up the birthday song for Gabriela, as it was her b-day right on that Tuesday, August 2nd. In the end everyone inside the cable car has happily joined in singing our serenade for Gabriela - nice, so nice!

Later that evening we had an opulent dinner at the cozy Pilz Stub'n in Filzmoos to celebrate Gabriela's birthday. While singing her birthday song over and over again, it turned out that Angelina was by far the best in singing among all of us. Very nice, like a little bell! The next day we left Filzmoos to see some of the prominent places of Salzkammergut, cruising in the Tennengebirge and the Lammertal to Hallstätter See, Bad Goisern, Bad Ischl, Wolfgangsee, Fuschl am See and finally to Salzburg. Once in Salzburg, one can hardly miss the city's most famous house, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's birthplace at Getreidegasse No.9. Perhaps it was Gabriela's highlight in Salzburg, since she is very much into classical music.

On this short trip we fell in love with Filzmoos, its neat setting surrounded by gorgeous mountains like the picturesque Bischofsmütze and, last but not least, the very friendly people of Filzmoos. Back to Vienna we decided to spend our vacation in this lovely village together with our little granddaughter later in September, to go hiking and enjoy the fresh breezes of mountain air. The surroundings of Filzmoos is ideal not only for experienced hikers, there are also kid-friendly trails which travel to wonderful places and rather short trails to entertain even the youngest. Whether it is the Moosalm lodge at 1350 meter that has the very best views on the magnificent Dachstein massive, where children get the "Moosalmbär" as an award for their achievement if they show a folder filled with stamps from fifteen checkpoints, or the secluded Bachlalm to look out for the marmots, or for the little ones a cute trail named " UNICEF Herzerlweg", the Oberhofalm or the Unterhofalm for those who prefer more action and folklore music, or the romantic Almsee at the foot of the impressive Bischofsmütze and many others - it's all beautiful trails to take you to gorgeous landscapes with proud vegetation.

Almabtrieb in Ramsau

Especially in Autumn Filzmoos offers a lot to its visitors. Traditional festivities like the "Almabtrieb" when the cows get decorated with flowers for their return from the alp, weekly brass music performed by the Filzmooser "Trachtenmusikkapelle" at the village's main square and cozy restaurants make sure that no one will suffer from boredom after a day in the mountains. Those who long for haute cuisine will find it right in the center of Filzmoos at Johanna Maier's "Hubertus". The Hubertus is among the very best restaurants in Austria and a guarantee for top-class Austrian world cuisine, highly distinguished by Michelin stars, chef's hats by Gault Milleau and the Relais & Chateaux Trophee Grand Chefs. After a romantic Christmas season in December, every year by mid of January Filzmoos hosts the balloon festival, which culminates in "The night of balloons". The picturesque Bischofsmütze is the canvas for countless hot-air balloons "glowing" in the night sky, while some Glühwein will warm you in the icy cold. I have a feeling that sooner or later we will want to see balloons, many big balloons.

"Pfiat di" Filzmoos,
and see you again, sometime in January!

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