Villa Madonna and Castle Ruins

Nothing will get you out of bed faster than knowing that there is a gluten-free breakfast waiting for you. Especially one where the photos online look absolutely wonderful and filled with baked goods. And I love baked goods. The Villa Madonna does not disappoint.

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Clockwise from the top, a Berliner donut with a chocolate cream filling, a corn muffin, apple strudel, local bacon and a fried egg with a super orange yolk.
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The exclusively gluten-free buffet, already somewhat picked over at 8:30 am.

As you can tell from the spread, there is a lot to eat no matter what you feel like, Linzer Torte, bread, buns, cheese, ham, eggs, what have you. Just come early. I am not a morning person, and so we tended to arrive at half past eight. This is too late, at least when we were there. All of the croissants were gone! I only managed to get one during the three mornings I was there and it was delicious. I should have got up earlier.

As the morning promised no clear views, we decided to head out to the ruins that we spotted from our balcony. The lady at the Villa Madonna was super helpful, gave us some tips and a map and we headed off. It is an easy trail from the base stop of the gondola, you just follow the signs and head off into the woods. It is well marked and has all these little stops along the way for children to do things like spotting statues, solving puzzles, so it’s great for small children too.

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First you pass by the Hotel Salegg, which is very spooky looking when it’s foggy out.

Even in the fog, there is absolutely amazing views from both set of ruins. It is such a delight. The entire walk takes only about an hour. From the Hotel Salegg, you first get to the Salegg Ruins.

There really isn’t much left of it, I’m afraid. But it does offer a nice place to rest and a nice view of the valley. Another twenty minute walk or so will take you to Castle Hauenstein, another set of ruins that is in a bit better shape but still definitely ruins. Originally built probably in the 1300s, it was owned in the early 1400s by Oswald von Wolkenstein who had a bit of a fight about it. Wikipedia has more [in German].

Next up, What’s a Camel Doing Here? and our second Dinner at the Villa Madonna.

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