Tag Archives: Austria

THE BEAUTIFUL DANUBE – though it’s not really blue

I can't remember the name of this village...just one of so many.

I can’t remember the name of this village…just one of so many. Could look it up, of course, but it’s on the other side of the river. Just admire it instead.

I’m cycling along the Danube this week, doing Utracks’ Blue Danube Cycle adventure.

It’s almost the end of the season, so the Danube has turned a dullish greeny-grey; other things around it are still colourful.

Here’s a selection of my best shots so far… Continue reading


Filed under Cycle touring, Cycling

CYCLING LAKE CONSTANCE DAY 4 – Willkommen in Osterreich!

Water, greenery, snow, alps and sun.

Water, greenery, snow, alps, sun and a car-free cycle path.

One of the pathetic little attractions of this circum-lake-ution for those who keep count of countries they’ve cycled in (yes, I’m afraid I really do) is the chance to cross lots of borders. We’ve managed three so far, will do another two tomorrow, and we’ll rack up ten by the time we’ve slipped into Liechtenstein and back, as we’re planning to do on Friday.

No passport is required, so no extra stamps are handed out, I’m afraid. Continue reading


Filed under Cycle touring, Cycling

INNSBRUCK – hanging out the welcome signs for us

Even McDonalds make their yellow arches fit the local style.

Our epic Alpine expedition finished in Innsbruck. I suspect that, like us, most visitors expect Innsbruck to be no more than a place to stay between more extreme adventures.

Innsbruck has a long history with the Hapsburgs, a university, an Alpine Zoo and a lot of suits of armour in Ambras Castle. There are shops selling Tyrolean steins and lederhosen to tourists, rides in hose-drawn carriages and a couple of interesting museums.

But we just wanted a place to relax. Innsbruck’s old town has been preserved with businesses working hard to attract and charm us. The signs are good. Continue reading


Filed under Art, Hiking

PERTISAU, ACHENSEE – pretty as the pictures

Pointy church, pointy mountains.

We thought we were finished with hiking when we arrived in Pertisau, but there was one more adventure left. The 10km walk along the Achensee to catch the ferry at Achenkirch sounded like a very tame event after the dangers we had passed, but there were some surprises.

Continue reading


Filed under Hiking

KARWENDEL, AUSTRIA Stage 2 – We won’t die wandering

A little mountain mist adds magic and mystery.

We have few regrets about the decision to abandon our hike over the high Karwendel cols. It was simply too hard and too dangerous for most of us, and the weather was looking threatening.

We can choose another route, though the fear when we leave the peaks and cols is that we’ll spend a few dull days walking through the valleys, sharing tame, flat roads with the cars.

This is Austria, however. There are far more interesting hiking trails than tame roads. The route from the village of Scharnitz to the tourist town Pertisau is not life-threatening but still spectacular and challenging – an excellent five day trek, in other words. Continue reading


Filed under Hiking

HIKING KARWENDEL, AUSTRIA – know thy limitations

One slip here and you’ll be several hundred metres lower in a very short time. Not worth the risk, was the assessment.

Hiking is a hobby and supposed to be good for your health, not something you should risk your life for.  So I’m grateful to have walking companions with cool heads.

The six of us are sitting on a comfortable patch of grass, somewhere over 2000 metres, in the Karwendel region above Innsbruck. We have a week’s route planned out and accommodation booked in mountain huts (thanks for organising all that, Kees). But we’re still shaking slightly from the twenty metre track section we’ve just crossed. Continue reading


Filed under Austria, Hiking

OUT OF OFFICE REPLY – Hiking in Alps. Back soon.

This is as far as I got last time I went hiking in Austria. This week we’ll be going further, into those mountains behind me. They look cold.

I’ll be taking a week off blogging, while I join my Dutch hiking friends on an expedition into the Austrian Alps, above and beyond Innsbruck.

It sounds exciting, it looks beautiful and I can’t see any wifi points out there.

The weather forecast is for rain every day. A good story starts with something going wrong, I tell my writing students, though the stories I like usually have happy endings.

Back soon, probably with a tale or two to tell.


Filed under Austria, Hiking