After my two short holidays in Salzburg’s Pongau, I think I have understood the main trick of predicting the local weather: use the internet to find out the “official” forecast and then assume the diametrically opposite. This morning, which was supposed to mark my departure from Flachau was forecasted as “starts with a bit of sun, but clouds quickly fill the sky, and rains and thunderstorms are to be expected from 10am onwards.” The reality was the hottest and the sunniest morning of all the previous days, with the occasional clouds doing nothing except making photographs more interesting.
Thus, it was a really good decision to leave the luggage at the hotel’s reception and go for the final hike to the Marbachalm at the end of the valley. What I had not known before was that the Marbachalm was home to the winner of 2012’s contest among all Salzburg’s huts. Which may or may not have something to do with the skier Hermann Maier, who was born nearby and was rumored to like the hut.
There is quite a lot to like about it, actually, including its great location, homemade bread (well, homemade by a farmer from a village close by), friendly service and the Almjause. The butter and the cheese for it come from the cows grazing nearby, while the meats are delivered from a farm in a remote valley of Tyrol. With no disrespect for the cows, the Speck and the Verhackertes were the stars of the show, closely followed by the ham and the Schweinsbraten. The final ingredient, a Bergsteiger-like lightly salted salami did not impress but still remained a welcome addition.
For anyone staying in the Flachau area for a week (and now I know from my experience that anything shorter than a week is too short), visiting the Marbachalm is a must. There is another hut further up the valley, which looked simpler and was closed when I passed by it, but the winner hut of 2012 is still worth visiting six years later.