Back to our adventures from our summer vacation …
We had spent 4 lovely days in Heiligenblut. We had ridden on cable cars, seen Austria’s tallest mountain, visited a shrinking glacier, had several snowball fights, driven through the high Alps and generally fallen in love with the beautiful town. We were sad to be leaving, but excited to go to one of our favorite vacation spots in Austria — a tranquil mountainside farm, just outside of Salzburg. Besides, to get there, we’d have to drive on the High Alpine Road one more time.
We finished packing, said goodbye to an overcast Heiligenblut, and headed up the mountain once more. But, what started as a cloudy morning in the valley became an intensely foggy one up in the higher elevations. Like, “I really hope there’s a road out there somewhere” foggy. So, we weren’t treated to any of the spectacular views we’d enjoyed earlier in the week, but we did discover our favorite playground ever (well, my favorite, at least) when we were almost down the other side.
It had swings, climbing ropes and other normal stuff, but it also had stuff to dig and “pan for gold” (something that the area is known for) and, in one corner of the playground, a little spring-fed mountain stream trickled in. The playground had all of these great basins, drains, chutes and canals to contain, redirect and channel the water. The boys and I spent a few hours sending the water through a house, under a bridge and through a water wheel. It was a ton of fun, and the whole setup encouraged the boys to plan and strategize, and then to be patient as the water filled up the basins enough to follow whatever route they had chosen. I absolutely loved it. (And, like everything in that area, the view was amazing.)
After finally getting under way again, and stopping for lunch at the only food truck I’ve ever seen in Austria (Der Burger Baron), we made our way though the mountains towards Salzburg. The mountains, though still large and imposing, looked different from those we’d grown accustomed to in our few days along the High Alpine Road — as B said, “If there’s no snow, it’s not a mountain.” (Even though it was early July! Our perspective had definitely been altered.)
We finally made our way to Sankt Koloman, our destination. We had made it back to one of our favorite spots in all of Austria, and we were truly happy to be there again. (I even got to see a fireworks display down in the valley that night, like a slightly delayed July 4th celebration!)