So the first signs of spring have appeared and the relative warmth and blue skies were a great excuse to get out into the open air and explore the alpine scenery.
We headed to the spa town of Bad Ischl, a town of about 13,000 people situated about 40km from Gmunden. The drive to Bad Ischl navigates the edge of Lake Traunsee and is a very scenic journey. The town itself has great historical significance having been the place where Kaiser Franz Joseph signed a declaration of war against Serbia on 28th July 1914 that led to the start of WW1.
Nowadays, as well as the spas, Bad Ischl is a popular hiking spot so we chose a trail and Lou set out to navigate us along our chosen hike. As in keeping with normal protocol we then missed the trail we had planned to walk and ended up at the cable car station instead. So a change of route occurred and we ended up walking the number 11 trail headed for Nussensee, an alpine lake.
The lake was still thawing after the winter and parts of it remained iced over which gave it a rather eerie feeling as if life was slowly returning as the ice receded. The winter scene was complete as we skimmed stones over the ice which was still thick enough to take it without giving in.
Heading down the mountain back towards the town we hooked up with the Ischl river which has a series of man-made dams which control the fast flowing waters. After the steady 15-km hike we ended the day in a restaurant in the town square for a typical Austrian Sunday dinner, of course with Lou around that means Wiener Schnitzel.