The day after the snowshoeing debacle, we met up with our mountain guide Alex once again to go to Bad Gastein, a ski resort about an hour-and-a-half by train outside of Salzburg. The main purpose was to go skiing, but I had decided beforehand that I didn’t want have my first lesson be on this trip. While the other students went to rent their gear and head up to the slopes, I went with a friend, Michael, to wander around the town for an hour before meeting up with the program coordinator, Lukas, and a group of administrators from a school in Florida interested in making a connection with Salzburg College.
As Bad Gastein is primarily a resort town, there wasn’t much to see besides hotels and lots and lots of skiers. Luckily, we found a nice family-run cafe (Cafe Christl) where we were able to get some food and drinks to warm us up. After this relaxing break from the cold, we met up with the adults to take the cable car up the mountain.
Once we reached the top of the mountain, we headed to the viewing point on the far end, dodging skiers trying to race down the mountain. We were able to see all the different mountains in the surrounding area along with their names by looking into a viewing scope.
As we finished up at the viewing area, another friend of mine, Haley, who had actually attempted to ski, decided she had fallen down the bunny slopes enough times and so met up with us at the top.
After lunch, we headed towards the other side of the mountain where there was supposed to be ice sculptures. This proved to be rather disappointing.
Also on this side was a suspension bridge that looked over the other side of Bad Gastein. We had fun walking across, looking at the view below as the bridge gently swayed back and forth.
After this, Haley, Michael, and I headed back down the mountain to spend the rest of our time in Cafe Christl warming back up.
Though I didn’t go skiing, I still had a fun day exploring the mountain and learning more about Austrian cafe culture. That being said, Bad Gastein is really only worth the trip if you like winter sports as the town itself is just a resort.