Skiing around Salzberg

In a vaguely sporty moment we decided to get a bus from Salzberg to a nearby ski resort. This proved more difficult than first expected, but we ended up trying two resorts, by public transport and a private bus.

Attempt 1: Werfenweng

Train from Salzberg to Werfen. Very good. Bus from Wefen to Werfenweng. Not so good. The timetable online was obviously out of date so we missed the bus and ended up taking a rather expensive taxi instead. The tourist office was helpful and gave us a new timetable for the bus.

Once we arrived at Werfenweng however I fell in love with the place. Cute ski chalets, a quiet ski resort, and lovely big baby-slopes (photo below). I had never skiied before and was surprisingly not like Bambi, but managed to actually ski. In amateur fashion of course, but what matters is I was on my feet not my bottom. I absolutely loved the baby-slopes, but when it was time to move on to a steeper slope, I found this way too steep. Nothing in-between.

Werfenweng baby slope!Attempt 2: Werfenweng

Buoyed by the previous day’s experience at Werfenweng, we decided a repeat performance should be attempted, but using our newly gained public-transport expertise. Armed with a new bus timetable we took the same early train from Salzberg. Bizarrely we were told to call the bus company an hour before to let them know we were coming. Cue awkward phone call on the train in German (the boyfriend handled this, naturally). The outcome? No buses today. Outrageous!! We took the taxi again. Luckily I had another enjoyable day on the baby-slopes, so it was all worth it.Werfenweng - Skis and Mountains

Attempt 3: Flachau

We saw a leaflet for a bus running from Salzberg to various ski resorts, including Flachau. As we had written-off the public bus system and exhausted Werfenweng’s one baby slope, we decided to try it. This was a very bizarre experience. Our understanding was that we pay the fare, are transported from Salzberg to Flachau, whereupon we get off the bus. Pretty standard for a bus journey really. However there was a man on the bus who decided to get much more involved. He was the bus “tour guide”.

He asked us for money for our lift-passes. His suggestion was that we should give him 50 Euros per person and he would give us “a certain amount of change” on the journey back. I’m not sure why it was not possible to tell us exactly how much change we should expect back, as the lift pass prices were available to anyone who cared to look (which we had, and we knew they were 36 Euros).  We politely said we would buy them ourselves when we arrive, but he was insistent. We said we had no cash, so he said that was fine – we could get off the bus now to visit a cash-point, or we could just give him our credit card!! Ummm, no thanks, we generally like to keep hold of our bank cards and not give them to strangers. I think he was just overly keen to help, rather then trying to rob us, but he really was quite insistent! Luckily we’re quite stubborn.

Flachau was a much bigger and busier resort which I found a little intimidating as a beginner. We chose a nice long blue run, but unfortunately the run was a logging track so it was fairly narrow with a drop on one side, plus skiiers kept rushing past us. The blue run also crossed or intertwined red runs from time to time, which was stressful for a complete beginner! Nevertheless, it was a beautiful day and the scenery was stunning.

Overall, although getting to the ski resorts wasn’t always easy, the journey took around an hour (if it went smoothly; 2 hours if it did not!), which wasn’t too bad. Clearly if skiing is the main point of your trip it makes sense to stay in a ski resort, but we wanted a city break in Salzberg with a little skiing on the side, and this was perfect!

Next blog: Prague, Czech Republic.

Previous blog: Salzberg, Austria

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