So where's the snow?

Muddling through in Austria; God, life and a small black dog


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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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Then we arrived at the Klementikapelle.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!


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A Day in the Mountains; Shoenfeld

We recently had a wonderful walk up in the mountains around Shönfeld.  We wanted to get high enough to see if you could walk over the highest ridge into the neighbouringvalleyof Karner Alm.  

Which we did.  On the way, the flowers and views were incredible, we found an abandoned farmhouse which we were re-designing, until we found a huge crack down the wall, subsidence!  

We knew there was thunder predicted so didn’t linger for long, and we’d been in the Josef Mehrl Hutt when the storm hit with hailstones and lightning.  In half an hour it was gone and we went home.

 

Our only frustration is Austrian Maps.  They are useless after the Ordnance Survey of England.  They don’t mark power lines, or when logging paths have been put in. Quite often, such as we found along the ridges there must be a path of sorts as we found old paint marks on rocks.  There are crosses on all the summits in the area, so there must be ways there, but no markings on map or ground.  We found what could have been old Alm huts but they were round –ideas on the map?  Not a hope. When it is a proper way, the stripey paint is excellent, but the ways signs giving distances  must have been paced alternately by a sprinter then an OAP with a wooden leg, they rarely tally up. Maybe I need to get a Smart phone and get a sat nav thingey…………


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Dog Sitting

I was both nervous and happy about having a dog in the house again after such a long time.  It wasn’t the best day as I had to work for two hours but I spoke to all the neighbours and apologised in advance if she barked.

So Shira arrived (pronounced Sheeeeera).  I think I’ve said she was found wandering at Shoenfeld by her new owner, and as there’s been no owner found seeking her, the idea is she was abandoned.  No Chip, but she had been ‘done’, about 5 years old due to her teeth.  If dogs could think, I expected her to be worried about being abandoned again to me! She was a bit cautious, but we went for a walk, she doesn’t pull -what a joy!  She’s not allowed off the lead due to her history for the moment, but she has one of those leg wrapping up extendable ones.  She met all the neighbours, flopping on her back and being cute. A dog with no side compared with my manic Ratty who disliked everyone on principle.

Shira was quiet while I was out, laid about when I was indoors .  I began to realise how we need to fence our garden if we have our own dog, its  was a real nuisance in this hot weather not to have the front door open.  We went to see Edith but she wasnt too good with the other dog as she was in the defensive mode on the lead.  I took her for another walk when we got back, she did her stuff and 20 yards down the lane collapsed on her back for a roll, not interested.

She just slept for the rest of the day, only coming into our sitting room for treats, maybe in her past life she wasn’t allowed into the main house.  I’m sure Shira isn’t her real name but she’s learning it.  Being a retriever she brough Eau der Hund into the house, but it was nice to have her presence.  She’s with us next Saturday and we hope to go up into the Bergs for a walk. I think there definately is a case for a more chilled sort of dog for me, but not a retriever – she’s already stiff in her hips and I prefer a short coat………..what breed I wonder?