Friday thought #74 Forest tracks and tall trees

There’s something about being in a forest that I really love, I don’t know why, but they are mysterious, always quiet, regardless of the time of year, and almost certainly beautiful. For me a forest walking trail is hard to beat, especially one with gnarled tree roots criss-crossing your path, and flanked by perfectly straight trees, all desperate for their place in the sun…

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Spot the horse!
Spot the horse!

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Friday thought #54 The good weather just keeps on coming…!

How does the saying go? Make hay while the sun shines? Well at the moment I’m very happy to keep climbing while the sun shines, and shining is exactly what it’s doing in Innsbruck right now, day after day. Traditionally November in Europe should be a pretty dreary, fairly miserable month; arguably the worst month of the year. But this year seems to be an exception (well certainly in Innsbruck!) and I am absolutely loving it. With a perfect forecast for the weekend we made the bold decision to head up in to the Karwendel National Park, just outside of Innsbruck, take on a 2 day via feratta, and bivvy (yes, sleep outside!) up in the mountains – on 31st October! Bags packed we headed off in the sunshine, excited about yet another new place to explore, and it didn’t disappoint.

Waking up outside at 2000m, watching the sun creep over the mountains on 1st November was certainly a first, and felt pretty cool. The views were spectacular, the sunrise and sunset stunning, and over 2 full days we saw perhaps only 15 other people. There is nothing like being out in the mountains, especially when it’s wild and virtually empty. It’s a perfect escape from daily life, somewhere you can feel completely free and happy. Plus, a full day out leaves you tired, content and fully ready for a big feed in the evening; very satisfying!

The views down to Hall in Tirol below
The views down to Hall in Tirol below
The 'bridge' on day one. Just 30 minutes before this we watched someone being helicoptered off after being terrified on the bridge
The wire ‘bridge’ on day one. Just 30 minutes before this we watched someone being helicoptered off after losing her nerve on the bridge
One of the remarkable 'stuck blocks' that the route traverses
One of the remarkable ‘stuck blocks’ that the route traverses
Sunset from our privileged view point at 2000m
Sunset from our privileged view point at 2000m
Perfect
Perfect
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Looking back at the ‘klein’ peak en route to the ‘grosse’! It’s big, wild country out there, apparently the largest uninhabited area in the Alps.
My first sighting of wild animals since arriving in Austria!
My first sighting of wild animals since arriving in Austria!
It was a long old descent and our legs were certainly feeling it by the time we got to the bottom. But of course another beautiful sunset made it all worthwhile...
It was a long old descent and our legs were certainly feeling it by the time we got to the bottom. But of course another beautiful sunset made it all worthwhile…

Friday thought #48 Impressions of Innsbruck

Apologies for the brief hiatus, but the last 2 weeks have been pretty hectic; myself and my boyfriend completely shifting our lives from the French Alps to the Austrian ones, and all the admin and stress that goes hand in hand with it. From furniture arriving to getting the internet connected, and from starting new jobs and learning a new language to most importantly of all, exploring our new home, there hasn’t been a lot of down time.

There will be a lot more to come on Austria, and the reasons for the move, but for now my first impressions of Innsbruck have been rather good:

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The all important Germanic beer at lunchtime outside a mountain hut. As a general rule I don’t even like beer, but Weissbier is different…
Just one of hundreds of secret, deserted and beautiful forest paths the mountains of Innsbruck have to offer
Just one of hundreds of secret, deserted and beautiful forest paths the mountains of Innsbruck have to offer
A local Flea Market; fascinating! It's incredible to see the junk people are selling. But I did manage to get myself a superb town bike at a bargain rate!
A local Flea Market; fascinating! It’s incredible to see the junk people are selling. But I did manage to get myself a superb town bike at a bargain rate!