The Brenner pass wasn’t as terrifying as we thought! After driving around the Dolomites, we were slightly worried about putting the van under more pressure and taking him up any more really steep roads but we cruised from Italy into Austria without anything to stress about.
Upon arriving into Austria, we were greeted with gigantic lush green fields surrounding us with pretty little villages scatted sporadically across them and on into the horizon.
Our first destination in this beautiful Country was the city of Innsbruck. We timed it well and arrived on a Sunday, its the best day of the week to get to a city as you can generally find central parking without having to pay and there is a lot less traffic so a lot easier to navigate when you first arrive.
We only spent a couple of hours here, and in that time we quickly fell in love with the pretty, ornate colourful medieval City with all of its cobbled streets and inventive colourful architecture, the shops and restaurants dotting the streets all have their own uniquely designed stylised signs hanging above their establishments. We enjoyed wondering around the centre for a while taking in the pretty city scenery with the backdrop of mountains that surround Innsbruck.
We took a stroll along the tree lined park running next to the river with great views over the other side with more uniquely coloured buildings, before heading back to the van. it was a lovely peaceful Sunday afternoon in a stunningly cute relaxing city and an amazing start to our Austrian adventure.
We left Innsbruck to find somewhere outside of the city to stay the night and after an hours drive East we found a lovely little spot down a quiet road next to a river with a pretty cycle track and and a authentic water fountain. A really relaxing first nights sleep in Austria!
We continued east to Kitzbuhel and spent a couple of hours walking around this lovely, upmarket, colourful town. The main square and old town is pedestrianised with cobbled streets, picturesque churches and typical brightly coloured ‘chocolate box’ houses. On the outskirts there are huge houses and large buildings with amazing colourful balconies blooming with flowers, very typical of Austria and just magnificent. Kitzbuhel is well worth a stop if you’re in the area.
We had a lovely drive winding through forests up over the mountain towards our next destination, and we were rewarded with remarkable vistas on reaching the highest point with views both east and west. We were heading towards the lake Zell am see and decided to have a quick stop off on the way and check out the Sigmund Thun Klamm Gorge in Kaprun.
After arriving at the carpark to the gorge and having a wonder around we decided we would stay there for the night and visit the gorge first thing the following morning. The gorge walk was excellent, we got there as it opened to beat the crowds and had the whole place to ourselves. It isn’t a very big gorge walk but well worth the few euros entrance fee, a beautiful wooden board walk takes you inside the narrow gorge following along side the bright blue river with various steps and viewing platforms on the way, with small waterfalls and plunge pools and at one point you get a little wet as the waterfall is cascading right above you. At the end of the boardwalk as you emerge you are then greeted by an absolutely stunning bright emerald coloured alpine lake and surrounded by mountains. We had a quick walk around the lake and decided the boys would love it, so returned to the van to bring them along back to the lake. We spent the afternoon lakeside paddling in the icy cold lake and enjoying the surrounds. We were so glad we stumbled upon this area on our journey east through Austria.
Coordinates to Thun Klamm Gorge Carpark 47.259579 12.739368