John McGeough was part of the first groups to go on our new Maria Alm tour in Austria’s Salzburgerland in June and loved the variety of Alpine walking available.
Our holiday in June was the first by Ramblers based in Maria Alm, which is surprising, since the village is an ideal base for walking. Right outside the Niederreiter Hotel is the cable car up to Natrun, and from there you can start walking. There are lots of walks fairly local to the village itself, short or long, and further afield there is plenty of opportunity to stretch your legs. The walks organised by Ramblers took us over a wide area, often using bus and cable car to get to our starting point.
My own highlights of the trip were a climb up Hundstein Peak, which started in sunshine, progressed to rain and snow, and then back to sun again. There was also a long D+ walk to Arthurhaus, in warm sunshine along various mountain trails, with brilliant views of the peaks, and glimpses of marmots, deer and horses along the way.
Other memories were the proprietor of an Alm (which can be a mountain hut as well as the surrounding pastureland), who as well as serving drinks gave us an impromptu yodelling session, and an unusually inquisitive cow which disrupted our lunch by trying to sample our food! On our free day a few of us took a trip to the gorge at Wiebach, which was amazing!
The group was very friendly, perhaps the best I've been on holiday with; the hotel entertainment and food was top notch, and I'd like to thank Julian and Ita, our guides, who were friendly, knowledgeable and flexible throughout. It all passed too quickly!