I was in Austria and hiking the mountains under the cover of my trusty raincoat. You guessed right, it was raining during the first days of my press trip with Austria Tourism. I had managed to survive a cow gang grouping up on me and now there was no more (not so bad) trouble (except for the fact that a cow was perfectly propped next to a road sign showing the way – I had repeatedly wrongly estimated the path distance and was in sore need of a proper guidance – which leads me to reaffirm my cow bond of wishful thinking). A good shock to the system such as a cow encounter and drenching walk was needed and supplied in full quantity at the Schattenlaganthütte in the form of carb heavy onion-sprinkled cheese spaetzle (Kässpätzle), potato salad and kaiserschmarrn (sugared pancake bits with raisins, eaten with apple sauce).
It would have been within the realm of the possible for me to roll my way around happily after this meal. Have I mentioned how happy Austrian food makes me? Don’t come here if you are on a diet, though. It would be a waste to have started because you definitely should give into temptation. At least I didn’t have to walk very far because our group was chauffeured around the valley. I highly recommend your own four wheels as well. Unless you are a full-blown hiking worshipper, you might want to get some shortcuts (which are not very short because these mountains are biiig).
We hopped into the next ropeway and beheld quite a sight! No, not the stunning lake we had anticipated thanks to the glossy brochures – it was rendered near invisible in the fog – but the fact that in July we were to step into snow. I was in raptures! If you didn’t know, I am a sucker for snow and from jetting across different time and climate zones, I have become basically immune to any feeling for time and place. Snow in July on usually sunny mountain glades? I see no problem with that.
We did some lake location guessing (it was a dam, so the edges were at least clearly marked and it couldn’t just ‘run away’) and then headed for the warming pool with a mountain view before getting ready for the Shakespeare in the Mountains performance. At the same time, the mountain city of Bludenz was celebrating its Woodstock festival with local rock bands. Perfect for dancing off all the carbs gained during the previous food festival. (If you don’t visit the region of Vorarlberg during a festival, you are missing out.)
We were already running a bit late and were the last people to step into yet another ropeway. But the sight our sleepy eyes beheld was phenomenal. Blue mountains shrouded in burning clouds lit by a fiercely orange orb at the sharp edges of a nearby protruding valley. You know when I resort to my feebly prose skills, then it must be excessively lovely.
After staring for a felt eternity, we raced through the now dark woods and towards the stage. There, we thankfully received a couple of blankets and ordered a hot beverage and fell back into our seats. It can get cold on the mountains even if the excellent and often hilarious performances will warm your heart. No need for fancy dresses. (I still pity and wonder about the woman who chose to come in a short skirt and high heels).
If you felt like that was a pretty neat adventure – I certainly did – then just know this was only the first day in my 3 day trip. Have a peek at the other two days in my youtube video. Because I think it’s sometimes better to just see it for yourself than being told about it. Especially if you’re feeling lazy and don’t want to read so much.
Now you: Have you ever been to the Austrian Alps?
I would like to thank Austria Marketing for inviting me on this press trip. As always, my opinion is my own.