Now bear with me here, you need a little back story as to why I made this Austrian Lakes Landscape Photography Trip…
When I’m not taking photos, my other day job is mobile car SMART Repairs (www.iscratchedthecar.com). While painting some scuffed alloy wheels for one of my customers, the boss walked out with a cup of coffee for me. “How do you fancy doing me a big favour and picking up a Mercedes van from Bulgaria? Well, there’s 2 to come back actually!” I almost choked on my coffee, laughing because I thought he was winding me up… but he wasn’t!! It turned into a great 4 day, 1652 mile road trip with my photographer friend Tomas. Together we drove our little convoy through some amazing stunning countryside. We couldn’t spend a lot of time to stop for photos…. I made my mind up then, I had to come back.
Spin the clock on a few months… Mrs S and I were picking up a hire car at Vienna Airport at the start of our Austria Lakes Landscape Photography Trip. I had pinged her a few iPhone photos from the ‘van road trip’ as we drove along. I had decided to go back when it had snowed & shoot some images for my stock photography portfolio. There was no way she was going to miss out this time! Other than a hotel booked in Hallstatt in 2 days time, we had no real plan. We decided go where my Nikon took us and to ‘Booking.com’ it as we went along… let the adventure begin!!
The first destination was the village of Traunkirchen on the banks of lake Traunsee. Our hotel was just across the road with a great view over the lake. It was our first chance to savour a proper sight of snow capped mountains. We had a lovely evening meal at the Symposion Hotel Post, where friendly staff told us of a cable car that would be a great photo spot.
Next morning we were on our way around the edge of the lake the cable car station at Feuerkogel Seilbahn Ebensee Soon we were squeezed in with skiers ready for the trip up the mountain for some real snow photos. At 1600m, the view from the top didn’t disappoint, it was stunning in the clear alpine air.
Once back down in the car park we searched out our next hotel for that night. Rather than follow the SatNav straight to the hotel, I thought I’d go left first, just see where the road went. So glad we did because 6km later the road came to an end at a frozen lake, Langbathsee.
The accommodation for our 2nd night was the Hotel & Landgasthof Ragginger in Nußdorf am Attersee. A lovely family run hotel with friendly staff. This is closed season for tourism in the Salzkammergut (Austrian Lake District) so the hotel’s deserted lakeside swimming area made a great photo. I can imagine it with all the colours of Spring and Summer with lots holiday makers enjoying the lake.
We were on the road again, destination Hallstatt. Progress was slow, round every corner was another beautiful scene and we just had to keep stopping!!
Eventually we arrived in Hallstatt and checked into the Seehotel Grüner Baum right on the water edge. Walking out on to our hotel balcony was nothing short of breathe taking. I suspect there are better views in the world to enjoy a G and T… but at that moment I couldn’t think of any!
As the sun set below the mountains, these amazing colours captured during ‘blue hour’ were such a crystal clear deep azure.
Blue Hour quickly turned to darkness, I set my alarm for the morning. I just hoped there would be a clear sky for our last morning in Hallstatt before we headed off towards Salzburg. I beat the alarm, woke way ahead of sunrise at 06:23, carefully tiptoeing out onto the balcony so as not to wake Mrs S. Can I state now, -2 in your PJs is bloody freezing!!! But boy was it worth it
Hallstatt, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is beautiful in Winter, one for every landscape photographer’s tick list. I’m sure I’ll go again one day, maybe in the Spring or Summer to see the difference in colours. Now it was time to head towards Salzburg, our route would take us through the village of Gosau. This was one of our overnight halts on the van trip (how we found Hallstatt) it certainly didn’t look like this…
I hope you enjoyed reading about our Austrian Lakes Landscape Photography Trip. If you get the chance to visit this beautiful area in Winter, you must … I know we will be back for sure!