Tuesday, 6 October 2020

September Holiday: Day 4 - Part I

Friday, the 18th of September, saw us undertake the most demanding hike of the entire holiday. We had read about this particular tour as a "Gratwanderung" - a word play that only works in German but can be translated as "balance act". I was at first unsure whether I really would be up to the challenge and felt a bit uncomfortable by the thought, but after we talked to the receptionist at our hotel and had a more detailed description of what to expect, I was determined to give it a try. And it turned out demanding, yes, but I did not regret it one minute.

We took so many photos and I want to show you most of them; therefore, I am splitting this post into two parts and hope you still want to look at part II after having seen part I :-)

Walking east from our hotel, the first stop was the Old Yew, a tree that has been estimated to be anything between 600 and 4,000 years old - in any case, it IS pretty old, no matter whether it really is the oldest tree known in Germany or not. It even has its own wikipedia entry.


From there on, the path took us steadily up, sometimes rather steeply but still comfortable to walk, until we reached the Obere Wilhelmine, another Alpe (hut). As far as we could tell, it was still lived in although not open for business, but we had only just begun our hike and were not in need of refreshments just yet.

The views from there were beautiful - and a little daunting, looking at the rocks where we would be walking next!









The comfortable path ended at the hut, and now it was a narrow rocky dirt path, with a set of steps, almost like a ladder, up one particularly steep slope. I used my photo stops just as much to catch my breath as to admire the view and take pictures!






Looking back the way we'd come

And then we were there, at the top of the Siplinger Kopf! Admittedly, the Riedberger Horn (where we'd been two days before) is a little higher at 1,787 m, but this one certainly felt higher in that it was more difficult to reach.



I have no picture of either of us on top of the mountain; there were other hikers about (some with dogs), and we did not want to wrestle for space with them. Instead, we chose a spot a bit removed from the small groups of people to rest, drink some water and eat the snack we'd brought. Most of all, we took in the fantastic views in all directions.

The most challenging bit was yet to come, as part II will show.

18 comments:

  1. had no idea that such beautiful scenery existed in your part of the world, and what a glorious day you had for your expedition.

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    1. Glorious is the right word, Pat! It really is beautiful, but can't be enjoyed firsthand without the physical effort, which is why we keep hiking up and down all those mountains.

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  2. Olá, bom dia. Eu fiz uma campanha para arrecadar fundos para voltar para minha Terra. Se você puder colaborar clique:
    https://www.kickante.com.br/campanhas/lupus-fibromialgia-nao-consigo-trabalhar
    Que Deus te dê em dobro.

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    1. I'm afraid my Portoguese is a bit rusty, Maria, but from what I gather, your comment does not really have anything to do with my blog.

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  3. From the photos, it is clear to see that you were grandly rewarded for you hard work. Incredible vistas. Looking forward to part II photos.

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    1. That's what it felt like, Mary - rewarding! It is also just nice to know I can still do something like that and am not completely shattered the next day.

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  4. Another beautiful day, challenging hike! I admire your willingness to tackle such hikes, but the rewards are great. So beautiful.

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    1. It feels good, a sense of achievement, and knowing that my body still largely does what I want it to do is rather nice.

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  5. Wow! just Wow what wonderful scenery. I am so happy to be going along with you. Lead on always to more beautiful places.

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    1. It is great having you come along, Jill! Yours and the other comments here make it so nice to share my hikes with you, and relive them by writing about them.

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  6. Oh those stairs! My legs would be burning and I would be huffing and puffing! Good for you that you could make it to the top! Looking forward to the rest of your trip!

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    1. There was plenty of huffing and puffing going on, Ellen! It was a really good day, and having that hike under our belts made sitting down for dinner even nicer.

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  7. You remind me of when we went to Austria around 1991 - all those steep mountain paths which I doubt I could do now (I'd get up but not down safely) with phenomenal views from the top and the enormous awe inspiring crosses.

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    1. Getting down can be more dangerous and is often just as exhausting as getting up, I find. But we know this before we set out on our hikes and so we are mentally and physically prepared... more or less.

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  8. It is amazing to think of the age of the Old Yew Tree! I love seeing things that have been around for such a long time. This hike sounds like a difficult one but the views are certainly worth it! Every picture is breath taking. I'm looking forward to the second part of this post!

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    1. Yes, it makes one think, doesn't it. In a leaflet about the Old Yew, the introduction read something like "Was the tree already there when Christ was born? Was it around when Roman troops crossed the Alps? We don't know for sure, but it must have already been a sizeable tree at the time when the Black Death swept across Europe." The stories old trees could tell us if they could talk!

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