Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

June 2013: Salzkammergut

The attractive area of lakes and mountains lying to the east of Salzburg is known as the Salzkammergut ('Salt Chamber Estates', the first two words referring to the arm of imperial government that once controlled the region's salt mines). For at least a century now, the main focus of the modern economy has been tourism.  The landscape is unknowingly familiar to millions of people worldwide, thanks to the 1965 movie The Sound of Music, the opening scenes of which were filmed here. To within a few weeks, this trip coincided with the 40th anniversary of my own first visit. As will be apparent from the photos, the weather on this occasion was a real mixed bag, ranging from warm sunshine to single-digit temperatures and seemingly unrelenting rainfall.

St Gilgen & Wolfgangsee

Sankt Gilgen lies at the western end of the Wolfgangsee. Although W A Mozart never visited, his mother was born in the village and his sister also lived there following her marriage.


The Schafberg (literally 'Sheep Mountain') lies to the north of the Wolfgangsee. From a tourist's perspective, the main attraction is that it can be effortlessly climbed using a metre-gauge cog railway. The seasonal service is still mostly steam-operated.

St Wolfgang

The small town of Sankt Wolfgang watches over the narrow midpoint of the eponymous lake. The town is home to the original White Horse Inn, which inspired the 1930s musical.

Bad Ischl

As the name suggests, this was once a fashionable spa resort. There are musical connections with Anton Bruckner and Franz Lehár, but rather more famously, Bad Ischl was the chosen summer residence of Kaiser Franz-Josef I. While resident in the town in 1914, and following the assassination in Sarajevo of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the emperor signed papers declaring war on Serbia and precipitating World War I.

Hohenwerfen Castle

This ancient stronghold some 33 miles south of Salzburg has a long history dating from the 11th century, yet its modern fame probably dates from 1968 when along with Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood and Mary Ure, it starred in the well-loved movie Where Eagles Dare. The castle really does stand just outside the small town of Werfen, but in real life this is in Austria rather than Germany. Fans of the movie will find much to reminisce about, but will search in vain for any sign of cable cars: those unforgettable scenes were filmed elsewhere.

Fuschl am See

Heading eastwards from Salzburg, this picturesque lakeside village of 1400 people forms the entry point to the region. Remarkably, it is also home to the global headquarters of energy drink company Red Bull.

Linked reports from same trip:


Base: Sheraton Jagdhof, Hof bei Salzburg