The Glistening Ice Crystals of the Saalach
Wrap up warm & off to winter hiking
In that special place where you can watch white water athletes kayaking or families enjoying a fun rafting tour in the summer, absolute silence reigns in the winter months. That is why, time and again, I am drawn to a winter hike along the river bank of the Saalach during the cold season.
In the last few days it has been really cold again in the Salzburger Saalachtal. Even the daytime temperature is well below freezing: perfect for curling up in the warm living room with a cup of tea, biscuits and a good book. However, before I can put this plan in action, I start to feel a little guilty that I haven’t been outside in the fresh air at all today.
I quickly decide to go out for a winter hike to the Saalach; I pull on my warm coat and lace up my thick winter boots. Wrapping up warmly is absolute essential when you are out and about in these temperatures along the Saalach. I close the heavy house door behind me and immediately feel the fresh breeze in my face. I breathe in deeply – the clear air is simply wonderful. I only need to walk a couple of hundred metres to reach the Saalach. On the way I admire the white dusted meadows, forests and the imposing mountain peaks which are wrapped in their winter coats.
The Saalach lies directly in front of me, covered by a thin sheet of ice: mystical, magical and incredibly romantic! The large stones which I love to sit on in summer to cool my legs and watch the water sports enthusiasts are now covered with a blanket of snow and topped with thousands of ice crystals. It is unbelievable that nature is such a great artist.
Almost silently, I plod along through the tranquil paradise; blow out little clouds of the crystal clear, cold winter air with every breath and sense how clear and free my mind is. Gradually I start to feel the cold and I yearn for the warm wood-burning stove, my book and hot tea. I set off home and decide to go for another long walk along the Saalach tomorrow. After all, there are prepared winter hiking trails in all of the four villages along the Saalach.