Exploring austria like a local in delightful towns unfamiliar to most american tourists _ travel _ buckscountycouriertimes. com

The town of about 4,000 residents consists of just a few blocks of shops and restaurants, yet it is visited by more than 400,000 people each year, almost all Austrian, German and Czech. Michigan softball coach Some come for the concerts: For more than 20 years, it has hosted a series of live shows (70 are scheduled for 2017) showcasing genres as disparate as klezmer and classical.

But most make the trip for the waters. Facebook desktop version android Since 1918, the town’s natural sulfur springs have attracted those in search of a cure. High pitch eric howard stern Most recently, with an infusion of public dollars, it has morphed into EurothermenResort, a massive spa-themed facility situated in the midst of a 22-acre botanical garden along the Trattnach River.

Anchored by a luxurious 150-room hotel connected to the spa via a covered walkway, the resort is a series of indoor and outdoor pools, hot springs, waterslides and lounging areas so extensive that a first-timer easily can get lost.

On a Tuesday afternoon in early autumn, one end of the resort, called Tropicana, hosted a group mostly of young adults bellied up to the pool bar with Caribbean-style drinks in hand. Basketball teams in california Off to the side, a few people lounged in smaller specialty pools infused with salt, iodine, selenium and sulfur. Baseball field dimensions Covered with a towering retractable glass roof and dominated by an indoor-outdoor pool, Tropicana also sports a 5,000-gallon tropical fish aquarium, sandy beaches and huge plastic palm trees that, if you squint, could pass for the real thing.

At the resort’s other end, several blocks away, families with squealing children occupied Aquapulco, a pirate-themed water park with five slides and an array of sprays, buckets and fountains. Ny yankees spring training 2016 Between Tropicana and Aquapulco were more pools. Diy outdoor furniture plans In one, called Colorama, visitors swam laps beneath a 16-yard-wide movie screen while listening to an underwater music system. Wyevale jobs Another large pool was populated by those who prefer swimming in the buff.

Those who like dry heat headed to an area called AusZeit das Sauna-Bergdorf (Break at the Sauna Mountain Village), which has more than 40 sauna-related facilities, including the women-only Dirndl Spa and one set in the world’s largest cider barrel. Baseball practice plans Interspersed throughout the resort were lunching couples, families resting under infrared heaters, women heading into the massage area and older visitors waiting at the Physikarium health center for supervised medical treatments.

Adjacent to the resort, the free-access parklands offer a respite from the spa crowds. Pitched roof design Botanica Park is a quiet haven that attracts a mix of joggers, parents pushing strollers, dog walkers and plant lovers. Hardscapes tulsa During an afternoon run, I stopped frequently to examine the various gardens, including one that focuses on medicinal plants and another that offers a place to meditate. Stardock fences key Walking back to the hotel, I wandered past an atrium where a traditionally garbed Bavarian brass band was performing for wine-sipping employees of a local business – gemuetlichkeit defined on a typical afternoon in Bad Schallerbach.

We piled into two cars at my cousin’s home in the tiny village of Krenglbach for the 40-minute drive to Gmunden, one of many scenic lakeside towns that grace Austria’s Salzkammergut region. Baseball games online We’re not strangers to this historic resort town that sits on the northern end of crystal-clear Traunsee (Lake Traun). Fantasy football team names reddit Repeat visits never get old with the promise of a long hike along postcard-perfect trails punctuated with a lovely piece of pastry at a waterfront cafe.

On a recent unseasonably warm day in early October, sailboats drifted past Schloss Ort, an island castle founded in 1080 and connected to the mainland via wooden bridge. Canadian olympic basketball team 2016 roster The Gisela, a 145-year-old restored paddle steamboat, ferried sightseers along the lake. Fastest softball pitch A backdrop of cornflower-blue sky and towering mountains dominated by the distinctive and boulderlike 5,500-foot Traunstein transformed the view into something straight out of “The Sound of Music.”

After drinking in the fanciful scene during a walk along the quiet eastern edge of the town’s waterfront, we headed for its newest attraction, the Grunberg Mountain cable cars, which started operating in summer 2014.

During our ascent, a sweeping view of Upper Austria unfolded, eventually giving us far-off looks at the cities of Linz and Wels. Football scores espn Immediately below us, glamorous lakefront homes turned into dollhouses.

Atop the mountain, children zoomed down a long, red slide that starts at a lodge-style restaurant and ends at a playground. Fantasy football yahoo app As their parents sipped sturdy beers and tucked into plates of schnitzel, the kids raced along the playground’s zip wire and rope walk. Minecraft fence gate A few yards away, intrepid adventurers lined up to ride the Gruenberg Flitzer, a toboggan-on-a-rail that heads straight down for nearly a mile before returning via a roped ski lift.

But these man-made amenities play second fiddle to the star of the show, the surrounding mountains. Pitch diameter calculator Dozens of walking-stick-equipped hikers, including a few wearing traditional lederhosen, traversed the miles of hiking paths that connect Grunberg Mountain to Laudachsee (Lake Laudach). Exterior house design ideas pictures More skilled hikers tackled the difficult ascent to the Traunstein.

Sated by a hearty lunch of wursts and beer, we again took the easy way off the mountain via cable car. Timber merchants bristol A hike down would have earned us another hour or two of idle gemuetlichkeit over strudel and coffee at one of the town’s cafes. Natural stone design Next time, we’ll walk.

Fifty miles southwest of Salzburg, in the heart of the Austrian Alps, the adjacent towns of Zell am See and Kaprun draw more than 500,000 tourists annually. Landscape architecture foundation The extensive ski network, offering more than 81 miles of runs, draws enthusiasts of winter sports from around the globe. Usssa softball tournaments In summer, visitors come to hike, bike and boat.

But my mother yearned to once again visit a nearby, far-less-known sight that had captured her imagination decades earlier – the Kaprun dams and mountain reservoirs. Basketball rio 2016 channel While designed to provide electricity to the Salzburg region, construction of Austria’s version of the Hoover Dam had an unintended consequence: It created easy access to an area that is brimming with natural beauty.

The two dams and adjoining reservoirs – Mooserboden and Wasserfallboden – have a dark history. College softball world series Started by the Nazis in 1938, the initial stages were built by thousands of prisoners of war and enslaved workers under horrible conditions; the official worker death tally is 120, but many more may have perished. Espn fantasy football draft app After the war, the dams were completed, first by German and Austrian POWs, then by workers including my uncle. Spring training schedule 2016 Heralded as a perfect example of postwar reconstruction, it wasn’t until years later that the role of slave labor was acknowledged.

On a blue-sky, puffy-white-clouds day, we took the drive to Kaprun. Comiskey park Pulling into an inauspicious parking garage after more than two hours and then walking a few yards to catch a bus outside a gift shop, I was underwhelmed. Masonry veneer manufacturers association What could my mother be going on about? Several minutes into the first bus ride, I started to get it.

On a narrow road through rough-strewn rock tunnels, some so narrow that I could have touched the walls through an open window, we were first dropped off at the area’s base camp, close to the 4,000-foot mark. Facebook logo size From there, we lined up for a standing spot on the open platform of the Larchwand, Europe’s longest diagonal outdoor elevator.

And once released from that, we entered yet another bus, which went through more tunnels and past towering mountains, the almost artificially blue Wasserfallboden and steep hills dotted with goats, horses and cows.

When we finally arrived at the top dam, which sits at 6,700 feet, the panorama unfolded. Jain irrigation systems ltd Snow-capped mountains above the tree line, lower conifer-covered rolling hills, fields of wildflowers, a lone boat plying the virescent Mooserboden reservoir, a group of schoolchildren hiking in the distance all combined to create an unreal backdrop of beauty.

We walked along the dam before heading to the mountaintop restaurant for more wursts with a view, spending a leisurely afternoon reminiscing with my 92-year-old mother about her childhood in pre-World War II Austria. French flag images free Threadbare clothes were handed down from sister to sister; bales of hay were their beds; the outhouse seemed miles away during bitterly cold winters; and there was never a time when they weren’t hungry.

But she doesn’t remember her childhood as being particularly sad. Wild pitch frisco facebook They were always surrounded by beautiful scenery and Austrian gemuetlichkeit. Baseball diamond cake Enjoying our content? Become a Bucks County Courier Times subscriber to support stories like these. Landscape lighting world Get full access to our signature journalism for just 33 cents a day.