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The first time ever we visited Zell am See was in 1988, when we travelled from Seefeld (114 miles away) to Grossclockner, the highest mountain in Austria. Failing to reach the Viewing Area, across the peak, due to heavy traffic and our waiting at a restaurant at the foot of the last leg of the road to the viewing area, we gave up and headed back and, on our way back, ended up in Zell am See for an overnight stay.

In or around of Zell am See, we decided to stay for an overnight, to break our journey, and thus checked in a hotel (I could never remember its name). After we had checked in, we left the hotel to go around town, where, as I remember found crowds of people walking up and down a street with one big hotel at the end. The hotel remained in my memory for ever, only to pop up on our next visit, nine years later.

In 2007 when we took a conducted tour from Bad Hofgastein, visiting Grand Hotel Zell am See, as part of our conducted trip, last stop on our way back to Bad Hofgastein that I immediately pointed out to my wife that we had been to that place before during our previous visit back in 1988. She never remembered it at all but I was determined to convince her and told her the following story.

Diamond Ring & the Zell am See

The story is about a diamond ring which fell off my wife’s niece’s finger in the crowded street, during our stroll in pebbled Old Town Zell am See, back in 1994. We were seven in all, the secret of the loss of the diamond ring was kept from my wife and her elder sister so that they don’t panic. Very calmly, we all headed back to our hotel and, with an excuse, three of us, me, my wife’s nephew and his wife (who lost the ring) headed back to the Old Town’s crowded street which was relatively less crowded. To our luck, it didn’t take a long to spot the ring, shining between the two stones in a moonlit night, just a miracle.

In order to confirm this story to convince myself and my wife, I checked with the owner of the ring, by email, only to find confirmation of my version of my memory of Zell am See going back to 1988. Wow. The following collage of pictures is from our 2007 visit to Zell am See.




The town of Zell has a long history, going back to Roman times, and the See too, how it was formed. However, the most visited place in Zell am See is the Esplanade where visitors from all over the world meet. In order to see and enjoy the beauty of Austria’s beautiful See (lake) at Zell am See, its highest mountain peak of Grossclockner, green pastures on the slopes of surrounding mountains, the Grand Hotel Zell am See with its grandeur reflecting in the water of the See, and the Esplanade’s boardwalk crowded with tourists walking up and down while others crowding the Boat Ticket Office to take a trip on the lake (45 minutes trip costing only Euro 11.00 per person) is enough to capture the spirit of this memorable place.

1 – by taxi or bus or via conducted tour from any town you are staying