When I think of Austria, I think of mountains covered in bright white snow, a warm winter sun, glühwein, rosy cheeks and a painfull snowboard bum… Everybody knows Austria is the place to be for amazing wintersport areas, but how is life here in the summer months? I am ready to channel my inner Heidi, warm up my vocal cords for some delightful yodeling and ready to find the prettiest Milka cow. I am going to the Kitzbühel Alps in Tirol….
Our home for the next 4 days is the luxurious Windau Lodge, just outside of Westendorf, with golf balls flying through the air all around you. The beautiful apartments have multiple bedrooms, luxury bathrooms including Rituals products and a kitchen equipped with supplies to create your own version of the delicious Kaiserschmarrn. The apartment overlooks the wide golf course. Tomorrow I will make, in fear of my own life and the life of others, my very first swing….
After a tasty breakfast in our apartment it is time for my first golf lesson! Steve, our pro instructor, teaches me some basic skills and hits every ball so hard, that I lose sight of it within a second…
After some failing attemps to hit a ball with Steve right beside me, kind of embarrassing, I finally manage to hit my first ball. Somehow I hit it just right and the ball is now somewhere in Germany. This feels so good! A professional camera system shows us our posture and compares it to that of a pro. Loooove to see myself on a screen this big, looking like a complete nerd haha. Not a great confidence booster though… Steve shows us some small adjustments and within minutes the whole group is hitting balls to the horizon! “Now you go back to Holland and become a pro!”. Sure Steve, great idea… But on a more serious note: I am hooked.
Later that afternoon we have a bucket list experience on our scedule. We are going to fly in a hot air balloon. Whaaa!! Although I am not afraid of hights, my palms start to get sweaty when I see our basket. It is so small! What if this area has a giant plague of moths, that nobody knows about and our balloon has over 2000 tiny holes in it??
But before we know it, we fly high above Brixental. It is a magical experience. My ‘basket friend’ starts to cry, that’s how beautiful it is. For 1,5 hour we are surrounded by other hot air balloons, birds and mountains. THIS IS A MUST DO WHEN YOU ARE HERE! An experience I will never forget.
Day 3: the last full day in Austria. Time to bike & hike! I can’t wait to be outside all day! This is the first time I have ever tried an E-bike. What an amazing invention! I need one back home in Amsterdam! The bike gives you a boost when you need help. I have never biked up a mountain like this. We see beautiful waterfalls, Milka cows and authentic houses decorated with flowers. We visit a stunning lake called Filzalm See and all we hear are cow bells, waterfalls and the fresh mountain air releases us of all the stress we brought with us from back home.
The cosy Filzalm Jausenstation is the perfect stop for a well deserved Austrian lunch in the sun. What a view! After lunch it is time to go back to the Windau Lodge. I race down the mountain like a Space X rocket with birds of prey circling above me and parasailers overlooking the stunning valley with them. I made my point: the Kitzbühel Alps have enough to offer in the summer months.
For those who love to hike, there’s a great initiative in the Kitzbühel Alps: KAT-Walk. You pick a route, a level of comfort and you walk from one stunning view to the next, while your luggage is transported to your next stay for the night for you. No worries about anything. You can book a KAT-Walk from €299 incl. 4 nights, half-board, transport of luggage and a map. Click HERE for more information!
In my next post about Austria I will write about my culinary discoveries and the unique Koch Art concept in the region…