So where's the snow?

Muddling through life from Austria to Wales; God, life and a small black dog

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A walk in Dare Valley country park.

One of our first high walks, with lots of sheep and windmills. Ok, I know that’s not the right name! But for all the environmental concerns, animals were grazing all around them. Birds were all around us. All we could hear was the whoosh of the sails.


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Before the joy of the EU, Dave and I would both have retired in 2020. But Dave had to wait till last year and I’ve another four to go, UNFAIR! Our move to Wales has changed things. Dave now gets his UK pension, and we both get small ones from Austria, plus my income from the books. Providing we are prudent, we can live on this and I can effectively retire- although I still have to pay my National Insurance stamp.

This has brought many changes, firstly, we don’t have to get up early and so, stay up later. No worrying about being up for work, or being flaked out by 9.30. All the things I want to do, such as the books, there’s not such a rush to do them around work; I have three planned for this year. This isn’t so good, I need some sort of timing to make me get on with things, if no deadline, won’t bother. I want to begin painting with water colours and that is on the list. I just need to find Dave a hobby so I can disappear into my writing cave and not be expected to do house things. But I’m so looking forward to container gardening this summer. We do now have a car, but this time, we’re finding it far harder to adapt, despite having bough another Fiat Panda! When we get confident this summer, we’re talking about taking off in it with dog and tent to explore Wales.

Hang the housework, we can do it another day. Walk the dog, well if we take off for another of Dave’s mammoth hikes, it doesn’t matter if we get late. We do have a new church, so that is the highlight of the week. But we still press on with the jobs for the house, there are still things we want to adjust and decorate.

We’re on a long holiday, and I love it!

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A Walk to Landawirsee

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Middle September

I’ve been nagging Dave all summer, as our weekends have been eaten away by the holiday lets and work and just stuff, just one at least,a walk in the hills before the season ends and the huts are shut. So we finally did. The day before had been beautiful, so now it clouded over, but it made for some dramatic piccies. We haven’t been there for a couple of years, and found there had been a lot of rain damage with new deep gullies cutting into the hillsides. Where the paths had been reinstated, it was with loose shale and it made the going really difficult underfoot.


I was soooo annoyed with myself too. Having thought I was getting fit, doing loads of walks with Swingle, I’d neglected the uphill walking, result, a very slow ascent and acing muscles the next day! We stopped at the hut at the top and had the best Kaiserschmarrn of the year, Swingle helped out, she said she needed the calories! Then a brass band struck up, poor thing was terrified and dived under the table! Fortunately they had beer breaks and she got used to the idea.  So we ambled home, but a certain puppy fell asleep waiting for her food-aaahh!

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Turracher Höhe revisited


I know I’ve said before I think this the most ugly resort in Austria, so I thought  that it was time to give it another go and maybe forgive it!  We did set off in hot weather, but I’m determined to get acclimatised this year and there was the most pleasant breeze.  There were some stunning views as we went on the three sea round way.


But all the paths crossed under the ski lifts or over the ski runs., There were some tempting hills in the distance, but they were too far for a day’s hike.


There were so many people around – ok so it was a bank holiday weekend, but the paths were so worn that it was a bit like walking in the New forest where the paths are cut into the earth by the footfall.  There was daft art sculptures on the path -but this was real!


But it was an ok walk, so I was ready to forgive, you get what you pay for. If you want plenty of huts, easy paths and aren’t worried about passing so many groups that you are ,’Grüss Gott’ed out, then fine. Now the path around the lake actually runs though the frontage of several hotels, the first one we went through was full, so we went and sat in the second, The girl who cleared seemed a bit bemused, then suddenly a head waitress came over and informed us they had shut at two and were closed. A restuarant  closed on a back holiday afternoon?  Null punkt Turacher Höhe yet again!


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Walking Season!

P1260852Last week the snow was at last melting away and them hills were calling!  We decided to do a local walk as there are some lovely alms in the neighbourhood we’ve never visited. Our goal was Gstoßhohe near Karneralm. We set off from Burg Finstegrün and it was a well used way with markings and crossings over the schale and slag from the old mine workings in the hills. We even found a ‘deathogram’ not a very exciting one as he just seems to have died at work!

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Our of the woods, we hit one of the interminable mountain roads which zig zag backwards and forwards. The occasional views were rewarding!


Then we arrived at the Klementikapelle.


How extraordinary!  You can’t go in it, but look upwards at pictures of the Holy Ghost, Jesus, Adam and Eve and odd symbols. It’s quite unique – or being less polite , moreAustrian nuttiness!  Why here or why not?


It’s the middle of the Alm and no special reasons for it, although there was a stream running through it into a basin so you can bless yourself. Dave blessed me with some really cold water which was refreshing as the day was getting hotter than expected.


Then it all went downhill and not just literally!

We lunched there and took off into the woods along yet another shady path.  Then the stripey paint disappeared and we found more deer footprints than anything else. Then we ground to a halt as it was was totally blocked with freshly fallen trees. We turned back and found another path, and I was just on the point of OK, I’ll go back the way we came, Dave found the sign pointing downhill to Ramingstein.

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Note the inverted paint!

Wonderful! We traipsed through woods only to find tree felling going on and we had to scramble over heaps of logs, which isn’t my favourite past time as I’ve heard all these tales of the logs slipping en mass down the hill.


That tackled we then had to wade through a swamp, then into more woods with many trees hanging over the paths. I was past photo-ing by then! But it was quite lovely with Bird Cherry blossom and most of all Larch perfume drifting on the paths. It’s like lemon but with a bit of vanilla, its nearly as good as beech woods in the spring. Then we found someone had built a house practically over the way and we  had to negotiate a farm with a woofing dog – I’ve never liked farm dogs since I ran into one in Switzerland and misjudged how long it’s chain was -ouch!    Finally we were on the path back to the castle and home- of which we caught an unexpected glimpse!  A five hour walk, but frustrating as we never got to Gstoder. In the Gemiende they said the paths will be cleared soon, I guess we were just the first of the year!


Still, maybe  a walk to repeat maybe in autumn!

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A walk around Tamsweg

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A  whole new walk around Tamsweg that takes a whole day, I was sceptical! It uses older footpaths and joins them up.  However, Dave and I walked a stretch and it’s actually very interesting, as it takes you on foot to places you wouldn’t usually visit.  Part of the Witch trail covers it and the kids part has  pigs and sheep and horses and a Lungau Farm playhouse.  We saw loads of mushrooms, it being July but the Eier Schwammerl ahd been picked by the local mafia!  I got some lovely shots of farms too – working life goes on.  Do enjoy the slide show!