Thursday was the first day of our journey where we did not start the day with sunshine. It was a little windy, it was drizzling and a little foggy. We took the cable car from Tschagguns up to Golm mountain. Luckily the drizzle stopped and we could start the so-called “Alpkultour” hike, a hiking trail that explains the flora and fauna of the alps and where artists present different art projects.
The hike was not very demanding, which made it a pleasant walk towards Drei Türme, a group of peaks that are known in the region. The views on the way were incredible. We passed alpine pastures, herd of cows and fragrant forests. Finally, we arrived Drei Türme where we ate our lunch. We passed the cottage nearby (Lindauer Hütte) and started the descent to the valley “Gauertal”, where we wanted to spend the night. The hike was very nice and rich in variety with mountain streamlets, willows and forests. We spent the night in “Gauertalhaus”, a really welcoming and cozy guest house. It is a bio-certified mountain hut. We continued with our tradition and had a lovely cold beer and lemonade to drink to our finished hike. The dinner was incredible tasty! The used ingredients were from the region and the farm that belong to the hut. The portions were huge – unfortunately we could not finish all of it. After dinner we chatted with the other guests and with the workers. Three of them were WWOOFERs, one from Australia, one from Italy and the third from Germany. WWOOFERs work on organic farms as volunteers, in exchange for accommodation and to learn about an organic life style. A very interesting concept. We spent the night in a snugly room with the sound of lapping of the nearby stream. After an extensive breakfast we left the “Gauertalhaus” and hiked back to Tschaggungs.
From there we went to the next cable car up to Hochjoch mountain. We tried our luck to take a blue path (alpine path) instead of the red ones (“normal” mountain path). And then we arrived at our first summit cross. That was a great experience standing on the summit of Kreuzjoch. The view was really breathtaking. We even could see the mountains from our other hikes earlier that week. We continued our hike and passed by several lakes. The “Schwarzsee” (black lake), “Herzsee” (heart lake) which is shaped like a heart and “Kälbersee”. The weather was surprisingly sunny and warm. Unfortunately, Moritz fell badly on the way down and we had to walk very slowly and with a limb. But we made it back to the car. In Schruns we checked in for the last night. The hotel was really great and a perfect finish for our time in Austria. We went to the sauna and relaxed in the wellness area.
On our last day in Austria we were so lucky to see a ceremonial driving down of cattle from the mountain pastures into the valley. The whole village seemed to be on its feet to see the richly decorated cattle. Music was playing, people in garbs were drinking beer and ate sausage. That was a real cultural experience to finish our journey with!