BAD HOFGASTEIN, AUSTRIA

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DSC02014BAD HOFGASTEIN, AUSTRIA
It is easy to get to Bad Hofgastein from Munchen airport or Munchen main railway station, Munich HBF. This little mountain ski resort was founded by doctor Pyrker in the 19th century, and granted the resort status by Kaiser Franz in 1828. There are monuments to both historical figures in the centre of town. Its main attractions are the many pistes, tracks and ski lifts, as well as Alpentherme with spas, pools, saunas et cetera. There are many hotels, guesthouses, villas and rooms to rent; most hotels have a spa, a sauna, a swimming pool or all of the above. Numerous cafes and restaurants, charming bakeries and a supermarket provide all kinds of food and meals. The Congress Centre caters to various conferences and seminars. Palace hotel is a great place to stay at, especially when the high season is over: the prices are quite affordable, the food is excellent, and the wellness centre with the indoor swimming pool is worthy of daily visits. The views are awesome, as the town is nestled in the little valley and surrounded by the Alps. Many signs point to Fussen Promenaden, walking paths winding along a river or all around the place. In spring, all the parks are lush with greenery, there are flowers everywhere, and a lot of fountains and ponds. The people are very friendly. On my first day, when I went into a souvenir store and struggled with some German phrases, the owner taught me to say Gruess Gott (literally Greet God) when coming in, and Auf Wiedersehen (Good bye) when going out. Next morning, everybody greeted me and I greeted everybody. One can also stop by and chatter with the locals if they are not too busy. Practically everybody speaks English,as the main business in town is tourism. They will give you all the directions and the information you may need, explain how to find a bus or a walking track. It is a charming fairy-tale place. Personally, I loved their Erdbeeren Torte, the strawberry tart, which was baked afresh daily in a nearby bakery, which opened every morning at 6:30 AM. The air is amazing, and the water is very clean. One has to be cautious about the sun, which can give you quite a tan and even a sunburn in the space of a few days. Though we came there to attend a conference, it felt like a welcome interlude, a time out of time and a space out of space.
©gtretag2013

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