We spent the last week in both Austria and Bavaria, dividing our time between the mountains of Mittersill and our old home of Munich for the remainder, in what was probably our favourite trip of 2017 (so far!)…
Leaving behind a grey Gatwick, and buffeted on our way by reasonably gentle Hurricane Brian (who names these things?!), it wasn’t long before we were above the snowy peaks of one of our favourite parts of the world…
I love a small airport when they are well run (as this one is!) – there’s no having to lug bags (and a heavy toddler) for miles at Innsbruck – it’s straight off the plane and through passport control almost as soon as you are off the tarmac (although I imagine things might be slightly different in ski season). Bags collected, we had time to deliberate (and exercise our rusty Deutsch) over something familiar and delicious in the bakery for lunch before picking up our car for the week…
A word of advice on this front, always double-check what you have pre-booked. Our car had an empty tank when we picked it up when we had paid for a full tank – cue a slightly surreal trip to the nearest petrol station a few miles up the road for the children, myself, and a member of car hire staff, whilst Mr R waited back at the airport (made all the more surreal by the Toddler repeating “My Daddy, My Daddy, My Daddy” to the poor man for the duration)…
You should also take into account that between October and typically the end of March, it is mandatory for every single vehicle (both in Austria and Germany) at least to have snow tyres. DO NOT PAY EXTRA FOR THIS when you book the car – it needs to have them anyway whether you rent it or not. Also, remember to let the company know if you plan to leave the country at any point. This might sound odd for those of us currently sitting on a relatively small island, but Germany is literally up the road as is Italy and beyond, and you should tell them for insurance purposes. (Talking of insurance – if you do this kind of trip regularly, it’s worth taking out special hire car insurance to cover any accidental damage and any surprise costs you might have to deal with from these companies. You will be surprised at what a few of them try to get away with…).
Anyway, fully loaded with petrol and the correct Daddy at the wheel, we finally set off from the airport Mittersill bound.
I am a great believer in things happening for a reason, which is how I think we came to find this place, not just because we were lost. It obviously just wanted us to see it, and I am so glad it did…
A few hairpin bends later, a period of no network coverage, and a slight sense of impending panic as the light began to fade, like a beacon in the darkness our hotel managed to get through to us and navigated us to them (whilst probably wondering what kind of idiots would be staying with them for the next few days!)…
The Wild Kogel Bramberg Resort sits in the middle of an area of astounding natural beauty, with plenty of interesting things surrounding it (should you choose to leave the resort!). Whilst packed in the height of summer, and booked solid typically in the Winter, October is a super relaxed time to visit. And, if you are lucky with the weather, one of the most beautiful times too (look how lucky Trish from Mum’s Gone to was – she was in Austria the week before us!) – perfect for hiking!
If you are here just to relax though, you will find plenty to help you unwind, from the beautiful pool and spa, to taking it easy in your apartment. Personally, I would have been happy to move in to our beautiful two bedroom apartment – we had plenty of room, two bathrooms, and a huge balcony to appreciate those mountain views from.
We weren’t all that lucky with the weather for the first couple of days – which, after a hectic term at school, I think the children (and I) were secretly quite pleased about. After a day or so of reading, eating, shopping and a visit to the National Park Welt Museum at Mittersill (more on that soon) plus a trek to pay homage to the rather gorgeous Hoch Krimmel Waterfalls (the biggest in Austria, and fifth largest in the world) in the snow (it was so nice to see both that and some glorious Alpine scenery – we don’t get much of that in Cambridge!) we were rested and ready for Tuesday, which was sunny and enticing – all ready for our 5 hour hike along the Smaragd Weg (or Emerald Way) – an old emerald mining route, and probably one of the most beautiful hikes we have ever done.
And to hear all about that then you will have to wait a day or so for me to sift through around 55,000 pictures as it really was that beautiful… Back soon.
Zena's Suitcase says
Yeah for getting lost. That really was a beautiful lake. It sounds like you had a really lovely trip and I’m already looking forward to reading more about it
Thanks so much Zena, definitely one of those sights that makes you stand and stare for quite a while! :D
These photos are lovely, even though it looks so cold. We were in Innsbruck in August and it was perfect, sunny weather. We went up in the alps and enjoyed the view. What a charming town, too.
Innsbruck itself is really pretty isn’t it? As is Kitzbuhel too. Thanks Sharon! :)
Lisa (Travel Loving Family) says
Great tip re: the snow tyres! What a cheap trick by the car hire companies. I so agree with you regarding a love for arriving at small (well ran) airports. It somehow adds to the adventure of a family holiday;)
Small airports are much more fun aren’t they? Usually because they are easier to leave quicker! :D Thank you Lisa!
Lisa (Travel Loving Family) says
Ha ha yes that is definitely a huge advantage. I love the quirkiness of smaller airports too and they are generally friendlier places
They usually are aren’t they? Thanks! (:
Jumble Tree says
Sounds like a wonderful start to your trip back! I’m sure your heart leapt a little when you saw the mountains again. Lovely photos, and good advice about the car – I’ve a few car hire horror stories that still haunt me!
Rather like the name Brian.. ;) xx
Thanks so much. Yes, it really did, it was quite emotional! :D Xx
Tania @ Larger Family Life says
Gorgeous photos and I think I’d be fighting leaving too! #MondayEscapes
It was very hard! Thanks Tania! :)
It looks very serene and beautiful there, with just the right amount of snow. I’m glad you had a good trip!
We really did. Thanks Marina! (:
Wow this looks awesome … I love that waterfall.. and haha I know the feeling when you don’t want to go home!… I only ever travelled to Austria in their summer. Good to know autumn is a good time …
Autumn is so beautiful! Thanks Karen! (:
Nell (Pigeon Pair and Me) says
SO beautiful. I want to move to the flat too! It must be great to have connections here, and a good excuse to return often. Thanks for the tip about the snow tyres – I’ll definitely look out for that.
That’s the great thing about expat life I think, being able to go back often once you leave! Thanks Nell! (: x
Ting at MTM says
I love the idea of the hair pin bends and then finding the light, and civilisation! It looks wonderful, even though the weather wasn’t so great at first. Look forward to see more of your gazillion photos :)
Thanks Ting! There are toooooo many! :D x
Ha! Ha!! My Daddy!! It all looks and sounds amazing!! Beautiful pictures xx
Quite embarrassing! :D Thank you spud xx
Trish @ Mum's Gone To says
Ah this is wonderful to read – the photos, the gorgeous apartment, the handy tips too. We did have fabulous weather for our Austrian trip so yes, I can vouch for the fact that October can be an excellent time for hiking. And living in the Fens, like you, I can understand the excitement when you encounter a gradient or two!
I am just not use to flat anymore! :D Thanks Trish xx
Christie | A Sausage Has Two says
Such a wonderful trip and gorgeous photos. Still envious! And I love that photo of the unhappy small person – looks incredibly familiar somehow?!
Thanks so much Christie! (: x