Extreme European Adventure: Obertraun and the Dachstein Mountains (June 23, 2014)

Monday, June 23, 2014
Today was a day you only dream about. Beautiful weather, clear skies, and gorgeous expansive views.

We started off the day well with a yummy breakfast at the Obertrauner Hof. The variety was good and kept well stocked by Trevor and Debbie. We filled up before heading across the street to the local grocery store for provisions to make lunch.

After packing lunch, we walked the 30 minutes through the neighborhood to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Dachstein Salzkammergut. We got to the cable cars that take you to the Ice Caves and 5 Fingers overlook, and used a discount card provided by the Obertrauner Hof. We'd been given sound advice to go to the top and 5 Fingers first in case a weather system moved in. We wound up with perfect weather, but the advice was great for avoiding crowds. Almost everyone goes to the ice caves first.

We bought all inclusive tickets and headed up the two cable cars to the top.

I don't know how to suitably explain the beauty of the views we were afforded at the top of the Dachstein mountains. Everywhere you looked - gorgeous. (Seriously please...somebody loan me some synonyms.) Our cameras were ready for the snow covered mountains, green hills, water, and clean, fresh air, but it still took my breath away.

We went on the 30 minute fairly strenuous hike to the 5 Fingers overlook stopping at the rest area to grab a different view and watch a paraglider take off.
Kris takes photos from the rest area.  Comfy, eh?

When we got to 5 Fingers...MIND BLOWN!
Disclaimer...our photos do not do this area justice.  We tried though.

This overlook is named for its odd shape. They created five different platforms for you to go out on and grab different views.
5 Fingers Viewing Platform
Turns out that you could see 5 Fingers from our balcony at the Obertrauner Hof and while walking around town.

One of the platforms has a really powerful viewing magnifier attached. You can operate it for free, and I was able to see the train coming into the Obertraun station, the ferry boat we took to Hallstatt, and much of the route we'd taken the day before.

Kristy using the magnifier on the 5 Fingers Viewing Platform (and Kris's photo of the view from the magnifier).

Another viewing platform has a picture frame attached. It was a trick to squeeze behind the bars to get a photo on the correct side of the frame. Tests your fear of falling from high heights for sure.

I made sure to go onto each of the various platforms and took far too many photographs...none of what adequately captured what my eyes absorbed that magical day.

So worth the hike!

The walk back is easier, as most of it is back downhill. Of course, Kris took a break to play in the snow and Queetar made an appearance.

After returning to the cable car, Kris and I had the entire cable car to ourselves as we went back down a stop to go to the Ice Caves.

The Eishole Ice Cave is also quite a trek. The altitude was really getting to me by now, but I tried to be a trooper.

It was interesting to see the Eishole Cave since I'd never seen an ice cave before. The ice has grown over the years since discovery too. Need I mention it was chilly in there?

Our Eishole Cave tour was conducted in Germany and English, and ran late. We had to hightail it to the Mammut Cave for our next tour time. Kris ran ahead to stall the guide while I did my best not to lose my lunch. (I really have trouble with altitude.)
View from outside of the Eishole Ice Cave exit

The Mammut Cave is massive in size, but it didn't offer anything I hadn't seen before. Unless you just haven't seen many caves, I'd skip this one.
Regardless, our trip up the Dachstein Mountains was beyond expectations. So lucky to have gotten to see that view on such a clear and wondrous day! So understandable why it was made an UNESCO World Heritage site.

After going down to the bottom, Kris and I walked back to the Obertrauner Hof to rest a bit. I showered while Kris worked on photos. After enjoying the balcony and some foot rest, we decided to go to dinner at the Restaurant Reba attached to our lodging. They offer a special each day of soup, salad, main, and dessert for a very reasonable 15 Euros per person. Guests at the Obertrauner Hof get a free beverage of their choice with dinner.
Restaurant Reba and Obertrauner Hof

After inquiring what the evening meal would consist of, Kris and I both ordered the daily special. Fantastic choice!

Our soup was a yummy cabbage and potato soup with semmel roll.
Then we got a fresh spring salad with a yummy dressing.
The was the main course - a yummy chicken stew with hearty vegetables and a wonderful sauce. Fresh and earthy, I would happily eat this again.
Dessert was a light, delectable cheesecake with fresh wild strawberries, homemade whipped cream, and a wonderful fresh raspberry sauce.

Did I mention that I would gladly eat this entire meal again? It was FABULOUS! And they even gave us ice in our glasses!
Yummy chicken stew at Restaurant Reba
After dinner, we went wandering around Obertraun.
This horse had velcro shoes on???

We took a casual stroll through the neighborhood and even stopped to play at the park. They have some awesome playground equipment. We had to play on the zipline!

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