Day 3 - St Gilgen to Gmunden - A Wilde Ride In Salzkammergut - May 2022 - CycleBlaze

May 10, 2022

Day 3 - St Gilgen to Gmunden

“Life is one fool thing after another whereas love is two fool things after each other.” ― O.W.

Effortless cruising through fields of freshly mown hay with the spring sun gently warming everything it touches, mountain peaks rising into the clear blue sky resplendent with wildflowers  and alpine lakes like glass…. Isn't this the cycle touring dream?

Well for us today, this wasn’t a dream. We can’t think of a better way to get back the touring groove than to have a day like today. The opening paragraph (even with it’s stilted prose and corny metaphors …. I’m no O.W.!) pretty much describes our day. I only need to add in the wonderful lunch and dinner we had seated at elegant outdoor patios as we watched the world go by.

Thanks again to Team Anderson for laying down the ‘breadcrumb trail’ that we followed along and hoovered up. The first morning section from St Gilgen to Strobl along the Wolfgangsee was pure magic.  The next section to Bad Ischl through the line of small villages connected with pastures was equally idyllic. Total distance covered for these two sections was only 26 km’s … and we arrived in Bad Ischl right in time for lunch. This gives a good indication of our riding pace … leisurely with many many stops for pictures!

One of the many things we like about touring in southern Germany/Austria/Switzerland is the ‘tagsalate’ or day salad at most cafes. For us this is the perfect lunch when travelling. Usually a mixture of greens, lentils, beans and or other veggies. We found (well stumbled into as usual) a lovely outdoor cafe across from the main park in Bad Ischl and reacquainted ourselves with this lunchtime ritual.

The next section from Bad Ischl north to the Traunsee continued to follow the Austrian R2 route. A lot of this was adjacent to highways (on a separate bike path) so it lost a few points on the idyllic scale, but it was still wonderful cycling. Once we hit the southern end of the Traunsee the wow factor was back in spades. The R2 route hugs the western shore of the Traunsee all the way to Gmunden on the north end of the lake. This is some of the most beautiful riding you can imagine. My words won’t suffice … se we’ve got some pictures to follow.

We rolled into Gmunden, a much larger and more tourist driven town, mid-afternoon and checked right into our hotel - Seehotel Schwan. The accommodation director (the lovely Ms K) scored full points for this one. Situated right along the lakeshore in the Rathaus square, the location and overall ambience of the place were perfect for our post ride bevy. 

We finished the day with a very (very) good dinner at Dollmann’s, a small and very elegant (in a small ‘e’ way) restaurant a short stroll away. A perfect end to a perfect day.

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We’re off! Leaving St Gilgen with the Schafburgspitz in behind (note the cloudless summit!). One of the best ‘start of day’ photos IMHO
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Heading east along the Wolfgangsee towards Strobl. It does not get much better than this!
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The sun is shining, so what do you do?
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Looking at St Wolfgang and the Schafberg from across the lake
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Strobl, at the east end of Wolfgangsee. Very pretty town. There were several enticing konditorei but it was still before 10 am and we’d cycled less than 12 km’s … I’d have to wait!
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Just to keep things interesting, the Austrian R2 cycle route had a ~1 km single track gravel section (was this just to appease the GB crowd???) still very good cycling conditions
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Idyllic rural riding between Strobl and Bad Ischl
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…. And some more…
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Approaching Bad Ischl
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Tagsalate for lunch - one of our favourite things in Austria / Germany
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We were following the Traun river north from Bad Ischl when we stumbled upon this … river surfing. We stopped to watch the excitement for a while …. Wide range of ability on display … not to say that we’d even be able to stand up on one of the boards!
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This guy was really good!
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Approaching the southern end of the Traunsee
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At the southern end of the Traunsee. The highway and the separate R2 cycle route hug the western shore for the next ~15 km’s to Gmunden. Simply outstanding scenery and riding!
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Having fun on the water … the wind had picked up a little. Just enough to let you know it was there and to provide a little cooling in the mid day sun.
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About a third of the way along the lake we came to Traunkirchen … I wonder how they came up with that name? Very spectacular location for a church!
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Our own separate snow sheds! Motor vehicle traffic had their own tunnel (with lots of noise and no views!) Once again bikes rule!
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Photographic evidence of my existence
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The view from our hotel room - pretty sweet!
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K’s main of grilled Char at Dollmann’s
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My main of Turbot with a miso-wasabi risotto and pea shoots. Very spring like and very very good! Accompanied by an excellent Austrian GV … drink local!
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More spring flavours …. Rhubarb & strawberry with mascarpone and Mango & coconut panna cotta
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And the long walk back to our hotel as the sun was setting
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That’s a wrap on a near perfect day!
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Today's ride: 61 km (38 miles)
Total: 107 km (66 miles)

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Scott AndersonI’m so glad this ride worked out for you and the weather cooperated. As you said, it’s all great; but the miles along the lower Traunsee are mind-blowing.
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1 month ago
Lyle McLeodTo Scott AndersonComplete agreement with that! One of the few places when you ride into it and all you can muster is Wow!
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1 month ago