It is now time for me to make a comparison between my impressions of the Katschberg in summer with those I was able to collect in winter. Nevertheless, everyone must now decide for themselves which season is the best
A good half year has passed since I last arrived at the Falkensteiner Resort Katschberg and the views have changed a lot due to the seasons, especially in terms of colour! In contrast to my first blog post – “From snow chains ohje to snow chains olé!“, now only the clouds moving towards Italy are white.
It was exciting to observe that between the white season and the hot season there is no real spring to prepare me for the summer. The winter just said goodbye very, very slowly and then, hey presto, the summer was here! I must also mention, however, that the summer is really very pleasant from a temperature point of view.
Yes, the sun is very strong, but the altitude, air and temperature mean your face is not covered in sweat when you take a step outside the door. Before my time at Katschberg, there were summer months when the freezer was my best friend! For a round at the “Katschi”, it is best to wear airy leg wear, a shirt and a light gilet. A slightly warmer gilet may be needed at lofty heights.
If you don’t hear the mountain calling early in the morning, or in my case the office, you swing behind the wheel and explore the surrounding area. There is a lot to experience, for example, on the Salzburg side of the Katschberg mountain, starting with the historic Mauterndorf Castle, which served as a toll-collecting complex, or the pilgrimage church in the market town of Tamsweg in Lungau.
The Carinthian side also has some breathtaking natural spectacles and dreamlike places to offer. Beautiful waterfalls, especially along the Maltatal valley, rush tirelessly down the mountain and then splash along their courses until the water masses flow into the respective streams and rivers. A hot, or in this case a dizzying tip is the Airwalk at the Kölnbrein reservoir with its breathtaking and sublime view. The dam, which is around 200 metres high, can withstand the force of an incredible 200 million cubic metres of water. You have to feel this power for yourself!
From time to time, every explorer of the Katschberg & surroundings has to take a little breather and relax in a familiar environment because of all the breathtaking experiences.
A visit to your homeland is the perfect way to do this. In order to visit loved ones who stayed at home in Lower Austria, however, a few kilometres of motorway have to be covered first. This also includes passing a toll station that collects the toll for the Tauern and Katschberg tunnels. Since I have my own car toll card, I can sneak my way past the car drivers who are rummaging for change and drive conveniently under the green video toll board. The very first time I passed the video toll was really a very special highlight for me. I entered that date in capital letters on my calendar and since then I feel like a real Katschberg girl!
After an action-packed lap around the valley or a relaxed stay with my family, I noticed more and more, especially in the alleged spring, that some cars and window panes had a yellowish veil of microscopically small particles, quite the opposite to my windows at the Katschberg, where a few traces of dried raindrops are the maximum. Whereas my family and friends complained regularly about how they had to constantly clean the windows and car to remove the yellow pollen, which also tickles some people’s noses.
At the Katschi, you can look through window panes effortlessly, without any prior cleaning. Thus points on the pro-Katschberg list increase all by themselves.
Confirmed Katschberg girls know one or other of the hiking routes and also the managed hut at the Katschberg like the back of their hand. In my special case, this is the crisp loop, starting from the Falkensteiner Hotel Cristallo, over the Katschberghöhe, over to the Falkensteiner Club Funimation Katschberg. From there the path continues to the Katschhausen playground and over the ski bridge back to the Hotel Cristallo.
My tip: For hiking beginners the “Herzerlweg” is the best place to take a breather. You can see small and bigger attractions here. On the one hand, you know you are still on the right track and, on the other hand, you arrive at the top only half as breathless.
I don’t only meet families and individual hikers when I am out hiking, I also run into animals. Sometimes it’s the little birds in the treetops that are happily humming and sometimes it’s the friendly and curious cows that cross the path. With regard to my encounters with cows, the behaviour of the first cow towards me was worth remembering. It mirrored my movements. In other words, it walked towards me when I walked towards it and as soon as I stopped, it also stopped. That went on until I respectfully gave the cow priority. Much like some motorists insist on their priority.
After an extensive hike, a visit to one of the numerous huts is recommended to reward yourself with some tasty refreshment. Here you will be welcomed with a hearty “Griaß di” when you enter, looking for a cosy place. As soon as you look at the menu, your tummy will start to rumble and your mouth will start to water. I like to get a good idea of the local tavern and cuisine culture with my standard menu. And I usually base my conclusion as to whether I will stop at this restaurant again and whether I would also like to try out other delicacies on the taste of my usual cheese spaetzle, according to the motto: “What the farmer doesn’t know…”. Once the Kas’nocken have been found to taste delicious, I have great plans. When and whether I will ever complete the “Katschberg Menus” project, I cannot say yet.
This sunset is certainly the perfect end to a day full of discoveries on the Katschberg and every day I celebrate that, in December 2017, I decided on this luxurious change of scenery. The only question is whether the family ski and hiking region will ever get rid of me again.
My summer conclusion: The Katschberg has some surprises and memorable moments in store and the list of leisure activities you can try out is getting longer rather than shorter. Consciously or subconsciously, almost every day you discover more small and large peculiarities of a local environment at an altitude of 1,600 metres with a tourism background.
In this sense #WelcomeHome to the Falkensteiner Resort Katschberg!