Nussensee is a small Alpine lake in upper Austria. Beautiful, dreamy, almost mystical. With its modest 10 acres, it is one of the smallest lakes to visit this region. It’s almost impossible to find it on the map unless you know exactly where to look for it. How did I find it? By accident and pure luck, as usual.
One of the most beautiful parts of Austria is located in the west of the country. Known as Salzkammergut, this area is amazingly beautiful and true paradise for nature lovers. As I mentioned in one of the introductory posts about Austria, this area is home to a countless gorgeous Alpine lakes. With a range of sizes from a few hundred meters to giant ones with an area of several kilometers, a suitable lake for any taste can be found there.
The name Salzkammergut translates to “salt lands”. Ever since the Bronze Age, salt was quarried in the region. Actually, the world’s oldest salt quarry is in the area. You may visit its 400 meters deep tunnels and get back to distant times while exploring them.
That day I was overwhelmed. I needed something to relax me and calm me down. It was another day of my cycling trip around this part of Austria and at every turn, I was delighted. That day I visited some astounding, huge lakes in the area and visited a couple of cities and villages. I have to admit I overdo it. That day was another proof that having too much beauty in one day is possible. I needed a break.
As I studied the map in search of some sort of secluded place to spend a few quiet hours, a small blue spot a few miles up the mountain caught my attention. Without hesitation (as if I ever hesitated) I headed there. Within a few hundred meters, I plunged into a fragrant hundred-year-old forest, and after a few kilometers, I reached one of the most beautiful lakes I have ever seen.
Yes, there are larger lakes, there are bluer ones, and there are those who reflect snow-capped peaks and dazzling glaciers. But this small, forest-encircled lake with only a few boathouses reminded me of some long-visited lakes deeply carved into childhood memories. After a day in the hustle, a couple of hours spent in the peace of Nussensee Lake surrounded by the chirping of birds and the sounds of melting snow were just what I needed.
Peace. If the lake was mine, it would be his name.
The name of the lake, as with almost all lakes in the German language, was created by combining the noun with the suffix “see”. See literally means lake. The noun adorning this lake is Nussen, which translates as nuts. Thus, this lake is actually called Nuts Lake. Dunno why I didn’t see a single nut in that pine forest.