As autumn turns into winter the colours around the lake and in the surrounding mountains are stunning. At the southern-most point of Lake Traunsee around 30km from Gmunden is the small market town of Ebensee (population: 8,000) which is the home of a couple of good museums – apparently, they were closed, as in keeping with the Austrian way of closing places at a time when there are likely to be people wanting to go in. Open during reduced office hours Monday to Friday and then closed all weekend!!
Ebensee is the site of a former Nazi concentration camp which is why the memorial museum is supposed to be worth a visit, but alas. None the less the ride was stunning skirting the lake and cutting through mountain tunnels with enormous cycle paths to enjoy and great view points along route.
Snow is starting to settle on the highest mountains but up until the end of October it remains fairly mild and the mountain trails around Gmunden remain open and the cable cars and alpine restaurants busy.
On Sunday we decided to walk up to Laudachsee and then to the peak above it in order to get a birds-eye view. The climb is initially a bit of a scramble up an old riverbed, strewn with rocks and giant tree roots. It gradually gets steeper until you are using ladders and chains to make the ascent. It was pretty similar to the kind of hiking in Slovensky Raj in Slovakia.
As you can see we made the top of the first climb. From here you can continue up to the absolute peak of this particular range but we decided to head back down as we were out of water and it was already late afternoon. So this mountain remains to be fully conquered but next time, there’s always next time.