Austria

The first time I’ve been traveling abroad, it was in Austria, when I was a little girl. Yes, it was a long time ago …

Zell Am See’s lake

Zell Am See – Skiing Resort

I went there 3 winters in a row, just to let you know how much I enjoyed it. I can’t say I was a skiing expert, but my parents put me on ski when I was 2 years old, and when I discovered Austria, I already knew several skiing resorts in the Alps and Pyrenees. I immediately liked Zell Am See, which is located in the North-west part of Austria, near Salzburg, Munich is the closest airport.

The Skiing resort is settled on the Kitzsteinhorn glacier, offering a large range of slopes. It’s there I discover for the first a kind of lifts I never saw in France: pickaxes. Unlike single ski lift, it’s a 2 persons ski lift. It’s funny if your partner doesn’t make you fall of course, which means you need to choose your partner carefully. Imagine, as a kid, how fun it was to make your partner fall. I was there on a winter camp, with many other kids of my age. And I have to admit most of the time I was the only girl in my group, because the best skier were boys.


Kitzsteinhorn glacier

I always love mountains in winter, because it’s just blue and white. Or sometimes just white when it’s not sunny. You hit the slopes all day, like if you were at the top of the world, at least you’re at the top of the mountains. You hardly see the valley, hidden under a sea of cloud. There are just the white slopes and the bright sun in a perfect blue sky above you. You feel the speed, it’s stirring.

I remember accessing the slopes using a funicular, starting in Karpun down in the valley. For me, it was a strange kind of train. Every train I knew where horizontal with seats. That one was slanting, following the mountain slope. The main part of the journey was inside the mountain, so we were just standing in that dark tunnel, and in my memories, we were waiting for ages, and I never really like it. Sadly, in 2000, I learned there’s been an accident in that funicular, a fire occurred and more than a hundred people died inside the tunnel, and it was never re-opened.

Salzburg

It’s Mozart birthplace, and when I was there it was also the centenary of the Empress Sissi’s death. So, I let you guess that in every tourist shops, everything was related to these two historical characters. Despite that, Salzburg remains a pretty city, typical from Eastern Europe, in Bavarian style, with bell towers with green bulbs. In my memories, there is a castle on top of a hill, with a river at its feet. Everything is very clean and well maintained, like everywhere in Austria I think. I remember its lovely gardens in baroque style and all these places where you can drink coffee and eat chocolates. I might have bought some to bring back home to my family. But what remains in my memories about food, was the cheese and ham I had for breakfast. For a french little girl like me, it was something really strange, as in my mind you only eat sweet food for breakfast.

April 1997, 1998 & 1999 – Kids camp – 1 week