Bad Gastein

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Bad Gastein, a historic spa resort built into the steep slopes of the Hohe Tauern mountain range, was our destination on day two of our mini vacation. After a hearty breakfast and a two hour hike through the Goldegg woods, we hopped into the car, headed east and then south into the Gasteinertal. Cruising between snow dusted peeks, a breathtaking view of the valley and surrounding mountain vistas unfolded. As the road became narrower, the curves more dangerous, and the green roof of the iconic Grand Hotel gleamed in the sunlight, Alfred filled us in on the old history of this spa and ski resort crowning the head of the valley.
For decades Bad Gastein enjoyed a worldwide reputation due to the thermal spring waters known since the 13th century. Over the years Paracelsus, the father of medicine, discovered the water’s secrets and Marie Curie was instrumental in discovering the water’s radon content which resulted in the radon therapy. In the 19th century the healing waters beneath the rocky townscape transformed this former gold mining town and trade post into a fashionable resort, housing head of states, royalty from near and far, composers, artists, writers and international celebrities. With that in mind, we strolled around Bad (meaning “spa”) Gastein and admired this grandiose enclave of 5,800 inhabitants before our freezing feet (it had snowed a few days prior to our visit and heaps of snow were still on the ground) carried us into the next café.

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One response »

  1. We are delighting in our vicarious travels with you! Your descriptions are such that we feel like we are right there with you. Wonderful photos too.

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