With the past weekend in Vienna forecast offering the usual July heat without compelling reason to suffer through it, we impulsively made reservations on Friday evening for the following night out in the Salzkammergut. Then followed the plan: a walkabout a glacial Alpine lake (there are 76 to select from!), after which we would head to the resort to enjoy the pool before dinner. The following morning, another small hike before heading home.

On Saturday our GPS deftly directed us to nowhere in particular; driving another kilometer along the road, however, led us to our intended destination, Vorderer Langbathseen.  Fueled by the desire to burn off our Schnitzel and Kasspatzen* lunch, off we began on the mostly flat 8km roundtrip walk.

*Kasspatzen translates, literally, to, “Cheese Sparrows” in English. I wonder how many English-speakers have dared to try this dish?

The lake is undeniably spectacular, and is a favorite with divers for its visibility, with depths reaching to 33m.  We preferred to remain at the surface.

Our mermaid and her hiking buddy.

Though the skies started to threaten, my Eagle Scout husband assured me the rain was not close. He was wrong. We all had a soggy walk back to the car, with Eau du Wet Canine perfuming the wagon for the hour’s drive to the resort.

Bad Aussee, the Geographical Center of Austria. Perhaps that explains the banners.

The view from what was supposed to be our suite. Though we had reserved a lake view with balcony suite for three persons at a dog-friendly resort, we found ourselves in a small studio wherein the sitting area furniture had to be removed to accommodate an extra bed. In our impulsiveness, had I reserved the wrong room? Not at all. The resort management completely botched our reservation, placing us in one of the no-dogs-allowed suites, despite the notification. Having to scramble to find a dog-friendly suite for us, the only remaining options were either the studio or a full refund. Everyone compromised, since we were only staying one night, and the furniture was removed to allow space for the bed. At least we had the “lake view with balcony.”

Thinking ahead, my requested reservations at the “Best” restaurant in the village, noted for its lakeside dining, saved the evening. Quite literally we had a beachside table, our lake trout grilled to perfection nearby while our mermaid played.

It was during our evening walk when the comedy show began.  First, the darling daughter photobombs our snap.

Then CTF gets in on the action.

Just when the setting seemed ideal, CTF tugged at the lead at the exact moment a little boy scootered past, his mother shouting, “Nein, Nein!”  Hilarity ensued all around, and the “perfect” photo was taken.

Guten Abend, Grundlsee.

From the balcony, the sun burning off the morning fog on Sunday paired well with our coffee. Breakfast in the main building soon after, and then to the trail we alit.

Trachten is always in fashion.

On this day we were able to complete our chosen trail, from Grundlsee to Toplitzsee and back, with a detour by the waterfall.

Truly a Hohe Wand.

I really expected to see Fräulein Maria running past, arms twirling in song.

Cairns on even the most well-marked trails in Austria.

Toplitzsee, our lunch stop.

Though we were nowhere in particular this weekend, it soon was time to return home, past scenery even the Austrian Tourism Office might envy…

…and toward the familiar hills of the Vienna Woods. Home, as we call it.