One of the most impressive things about Kaprun’s high-altitude water reservoirs is how long it actually takes to get there. Starting from the village of Kaprun, one takes a regular bus to the last stop. There, after buying a ticket, one umps into another bus, which takes one through a series of tunnels to a kind of a cable car station. “Kind of” because instead of a regular cable car, there is a platform that moves up the hill taking something like 180 passengers with it. At the upper stop of the platform there is yet another bus, taking one through another series of tunnels and many twists and turns to the final destination. The journey feels like taking ages, and if, like me, you needed another bus and an hour-long train ride to reach Kaprun in the first place, it does take bloody ages.
Of course, the other most impressive thing about Kaprun’s high-altitude water reservoirs is how beautiful they are and what an engineering genius it must have required to construct them. Go there to convince yourself. What I am more interested at the moment is the hut located close to the lower reservoir, some 45-minute walk downhill from the last bus’s final stop. It is supposed to provide the “authentic” alternative to the tourist-only restaurant and the kiosks by the top reservoir, and judging by the number of Austrians visiting it, it does its job quite well.
Of course, the restaurant is still very touristic, and one hears English there at least as often as German. Yet the “Almjause” the Alm serves is better than one would expect at such a location. It does not look like much at first, the board roughly split into three sections, occupied by cheese, Speck and bread. It is only when one starts eating that one discovers a little Verhackertes spread and two types of salami well-hidden underneath the Speck. The Speck itself is also served as two types: one with the fat in its middle and one with the fat on one side. As for the cheese, three thick slices were provided and I tried hard to find a difference in taste among them. If there was one, it was so minor that for all purposes I can call it the same cheese. But it had taste, and that’s already something.
One small problem was that I ended up sitting at a sunny side of a table, which was quite pleasant for me but deadly for the butter, cheese and salami, which started melting in no time. A worse problem was the files, which – thanks to the nearby “small animal park” were in huge quantity and extremely annoying. On a more positive side, during my lunch I was literally surrounded by chickens that begged for my bread and complained loudly when they did not get it. I fed cats and dogs with my Brettljausen in the past, but chickens are a completely new experience.
Besides, the marmots were whistling somewhere nearby, which is by itself almost a reason to visit the restaurant.