Hiking in Bärenschützklamm, Austria

Hello readers,

this hike is from October this year, but soon I will be posting about a recent trip also! Couldn’t find the time to properly post in the past weeks.

So, in the second week of October me and my godmother went on a trip to a gorge that’s nearby my hometown. It’s very beautiful there, even more in spring where I went there twice in my life already. But the autumn colours were also great to see!

“Bärenschützklamm” basically means “Bears (Bären) protecting (Schütz[en]) gorge (Klamm)”. Wikipedia says that it has nothing to do with bears (I don’t even think we have many!), but comes from the slawic word “pršica”… which sounds a bit like “Bärenschütz”. I’ve said it out loud now a few times to hear the similarity and well, with some (ok, a lot of) imagination it works. Luckily I’m writing at home and not in a coffee shop!

It’s easy to get there by car, there is a big parking space, and I’ve never had trouble finding a spot. There is also a train going to “Mixnitz/Bärenschützklamm” by ÖBB train (from for example Vienna, Graz or Salzburg with Graz being the closest). From the train station it’s a bit of a walk to the gorge, but it goes through a nice town and by meadows. I went by car last time, so I can’t remember how long it really takes, but I would guess like 30 minutes to the parking spot. Then you hike some time through the forest, by a nice stream and then uphill. We started at about 10 am, the sun only came out later.

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At the entrance you have to pay, I can’t remember how much, but it wasn’t a lot (under 5 euros). Unfortunately I can’t find online information about the fee (something I should stop relying on, obviously). Edit: According to Wikipedia it was 3, 50 Euros in 2017 for adults.

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The hike from the parking spot to the hut at the end of the gorge should be about 90 minutes to 2 hours, depending on your breaks. It goes up most of the time, with ladders and bridges. It’s 164 bridges and 2500 steps on ladders (Source).

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There weren’t many people, but it was also cold and foggy. The steps were a bit slippery at times, but it wasn’t too bad.

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Unfortunately I lost my lense cap to the gorge! I wasn’t happy about that! But luckily I still own more of them. Just feeling a bit bad about my “littering”.

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After all of those steps (so many!) you have to walk a bit further through the woods to get to a hut, that offers food and drinks. From there you can even hike a bit more if you like. We stopped at the hut and then hiked back down. In summer it’s very nice to sit outside, but we only sat there shortly, it got very cold when the sun was hidden! In summer you can even have a picnic on the meadow, if you don’t want to get anything from the hut. They also have a vegetarian dish (lentils), which is uncommon for those huts, but very cool!

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Bergfex.at says it’s about 3:30 hrs to hike the whole thing. After the hut, we walked back down (you could also hike the gorge back down, but I think no one does that, since it would be annoying to get past the other hikers!), it mostly goes downhill from there, but still very nicely through the forest.

Compared to the last gorge I went to, it was such a nice hike! There weren’t tons of people (just a few) and you could really enjoy the views!

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On the way back the sun came out and we saw colourful autumn trees, which I’m fond of. I can see an elephant on the picture, but I might be the only one! An elephant without ears.

I found another picture on my computer from a hike to the same gorge in spring (taken by a friend), so you’ll have a comparison. Much greener and less fog! 🙂

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Hope you enjoyed my little post about this great hike!

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Vintgar Gorge, Slovenia

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This is actually the re-entrance at the end of the gorge, but the picture fits the beginning also nicely!

In September my boyfriend and I visited the area of Bled in Slovenia. We stayed in a nice pension and on the second day we went for a hike in Vintgar Gorge. We went there by car and parked on the upper parking spot (the one furthest away from the gorge). There  were already tons of people, but nothing compared to when we left the gorge.

I suppose it’s very famous and after the visit I checked Instagram and found plenty of posts (I try not to sound bitter, but I’m not the biggest fan of Instagram and its fakeness). We had decided to go there because of a recommendation in the local tourist office, if I remember correctly. That, or we had found out online about it before the trip.

We visited on a Tuesday in September and it was sort of cold. I hadn’t expect that many people and it made it hard to walk sometimes, you had to wait to let people pass or wait for them to finish their picture taking (or they had to wait for me to finish, I apologize).

If one doesn’t mind the masses, then this is fine, but for me it was a kind of stressful experience. And it wasn’t even during high season!

The gorge itself was beautiful and I tried not to get too many people on my pictures.

Some basic facts about the place!

  1. Length: 1.6 km (we went back and forth, plus the walk from the parking spot, which was just maybe 10 minutes)
  2.  Discovered in 1891
  3. Has Slovenia’s largest water fall!
  4. The name sounds like it’s from a fantasy novel (Ok, that’s not a fact, but my opionion)

Source: Bled.si

I think the entrance fee was about 5 Euros, I can’t find the exact amount online (some say 4 Euros, some say 5).

I didn’t want to turn this into a rant about mass tourism, but I am seriously considering to go to more remote places in the future. Also, I feel bad when ranting, because, of course everyone on this planet deserves to see the beautiful places that I want to see! I can’t expect to go to a gorgeous (ha, see what I did!) place and then be alone. BUT there are many, many beautiful places on this planet, where there aren’t masses, there is more or less untouched nature.

I will show you now the great views of Vintgar Gorge!

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Waterfall Sum at the end, had to wait some time until the big rock was empty (people taking pictures there)

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I feel as fake as the people on the Instagram now, taking pictures that make it look like it’s untouched nature and not many tourists! But don’t be fooled, there was a lot of selfie taking going on (Nothing against selfie taking, if it’s a few of them, it doesn’t need to be hundreds, though).

I found a couple that had a similar experience at the gorge: Jet Setting Fools and to be honest, this looks WAY worse than it did when we went there!

Soon I will write about my trip to another gorge, where there was maybe like 20-30 altogether, so it was very nice!

 

Have a nice day!

Hiking in Gesäuse, Austria

Hello readers,

in the middle of August this year we went to Gesäuse in Styria, Austria. We stayed at the camping place in Gstatterboden (Forstgarten), which was very nice. (The only thing I didn’t like was the showers that went hot and cold while showerig) There was a fire place at night and it was a great place to start a hike. Which we did already the day we got there. We chose to hike to Ennstalerhütte at 1543m with a hike of 13,1 km and an elevation of 897m (source). It took us about 6 hours with smaller breaks and a long one at the hut.

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The river being a bit brown! Also the start of our hike (the campsite is on the right). There were people with kajaks and you can do whitewater rafting.

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Soon after the start the path looked like this. It went often through the forest, which was very nice because it was so hot in August!

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Some water spots were on the way, with cold and refreshing water.

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It was still a long way to go and although I normally don’t complain when hiking, on this one I did a bit. I was very tired that day, and so happy when we finally arrived at the hut!

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At the hut we had some cake and I drank a radler (boyfriend had coffee). The view up there was amazing! So rewarding after the hike.

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After some relaxing (and looking at funny cats that lived at the hut), we went back down and still enjoyed amazing views while walking. We had packed some lunch and ate it on the way. Altogether we only met about 15 people while hiking (not including the ones sitting at the hut). I always enjoy not meeting many people while hiking!

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I highly recommend hiking in this area, and it’s been my second trip there. But I’m sure not my last!

 

 

 

Hiking in Strunjan Nature Park, Slovenia

Hello readers,

in the beginning of May this year my boyfriend and I went to Slovenia, to Portoroz to be exact. In the tourist information we found a map that included some nice hikes around the area and that’s how we found out about Strunjan Nature Park.

We went there by car and had to pay for parking (I think it was a Euro per hour, so not very expensive). We had some trouble finding the right path for hiking, there were signs, but between the signs (they were numbered), there was no further information (or at least we didn’t see any). We helped ourselves with our phone navigation in the end.

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Lake at the beginning of the hike

At the lake (which was close to the parking spot) we went along on the left. There was also the possibility to walk around the lake, which we didn’t do.

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We started at this point and then basically did the whole thing backwards, going close to number 14.

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Up the hill the views started to become really, really nice! Also the weather was perfect.

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After walking on top of the hill we arrived back at the sea, with beautiful views. From then on, our main concern was how to get down to do some swimming, because we could spot people from up there.

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Useful information about the nature in the area was on signs like this one on the path.

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Finally we found the way down and happily went there. The path was steep, but it wasn’t hard to get down.

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We spent some time at the beach (there weren’t many people, but I’ve read that there are many more in the summer time).

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If we weren’t in a bit of a hurry because of the parking, we would have stayed there much longer, but it was still very, very nice and peaceful.

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All in all it was a great hike, one that I’d definitely do again, if given the chance! It took us about 2 hours, but walking time was only about an hour.

 

A walk around Offensee, Salzkammergut (Austria)

Hello readers,

this is the second lake trip we did around Salzkammergut in March 2018. This one was more open than Langbathsee (maybe that’s where it got his name from? “offen” means “open” in German) and there were way more people. It wasn’t as warm as it looks on the pictures, but still very, very enjoyable!

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At this point it looked a lot like there was a spot for swimming in summer, with a (then closed) kiosk and a lawn for sunbathing. We sat there for a while and enjoyed the nice weather.

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This is me at the spot where we sat the longest. It was such a beautiful day!

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After the walk around the lake we went past a small hut, where a lot of people were sitting (and drinking! Btw, it was still in the morning/lunch time) and bought some coffee to take away. Then we walked back to the parking spot. Many people and cars had come by the second time we got there. But who could blame them? It was the perfect day to go there!

Here is some information that I found online about the walk (it’s in German but includes a video and a map): outtour.at

Hiking the Langbathseen (Langbath Lakes), Salzkammergut (Austria)

Hello readers,

I finally found time to write about my boyfriend’s and my last hikes. This one was two months ago, in March. It was still snowing at times then, such a long winter!

The Langbathseen are located close to Ebensee in Salzkammergut in Upper Austria. We went there by car from our place in Ebensee. The hike took us about 2 hours including a lunch break and taking lots of pictures!

 

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This was were we started and we took the round tour (both of the lakes, the third one on the list).

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This was one of the first views when doing the hike. It’s the first Landbath Lake and it just looked amazing with the mountain!

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We went in the morning, at about 10 a.m. and there were some people, but not many. A group with huskeys was also hiking, but unfortunately we didn’t take any pictures of them.

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The hike was pretty easy and the path had almost no elevation.

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This was the second Langbath Lake and we had some lunch there and enjoyed the sun.

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We enjoyed this walk a lot. I really like the combination of mountains and lakes, one of the nicest views to have in my opinion!

Here is some information on the hike on the webpage of Salzkammergut: Langbathseen

Snowshoeing in Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park (Finland)

At the beginning of this year, we went for a winter hike in Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park in Finnish Lapland. We went there by car from the Rovaniemi area. Although we started a bit late in the day we still caught some nice hours, seeing the sun go down and even some northern lights!

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With the car on the way!

Surprisingly, we didn’t see any reindeer next to the road (except for one in captivity in Levi). It’s good that none went on the road, but I would have liked to see them from afar since everyone is talking about how they are everywhere in Lapland!

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At the visitor centre, we hired one pair of snowshoes (we had already brought another one) for 15 Euros (for the whole day). It was a nice place, you can also buy tea or souvenirs there and find out more about the national park.

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At first, we walked on the ‘regular’ snow, which was much harder than walking on the path, like we did later. Uphill was especially tough sometimes!

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There was a place with many huts that we came to at some point. It seemed very nice, also to stay in them in summer! I don’t think people stay there in winter, it’s way too cold!

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Then we came to Orava Ave (‘Squirrel Ave’) where those funny sculptures are placed. Unfortunately, it was too cold to get my fingers out to handle the camera properly, so I was just hoping for the best!

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Back to the (then closed) hotel and the visitor centre!

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On our way back we went to a viewpoint to take some photos of the aurora. We had read about how to take those pictures with long exposure settings and it really looked beautiful! But my toes were almost freezing off! (I’m glad they didn’t)

It was a great day and I think this National Park is a very beautiful and enjoyable place to visit any time of the year! I’m happy that I got to see it in a wonderful winter!

Hiking In (Lower) Austria

So I went on a hike this September (about two weeks ago) in Lower Austria, to be more exact at Schoberalm. I took a train to Wiener Neustadt, where I got picked up and then off we went, after parking the car close to Haltberg.

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Start of the hike, through nice forests

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I like my country, but I find it easier to see the beauty in other countries, on my travels. It’s probably because I am used to seeing the views in Austria, all my life. Of course, I can’t see mountains every day, even if sometimes people believe that Austrians live in the mountains. I do live in a city!

When trying to see the beauty of my own country it helps to look through my camera lens. I’ve been watching the British TV show “The Hoarder Next Door” once or twice lately (just for relaxation after busy days, and yes, I’m a bit ashamed when admitting it) and in one episode the psychologist tells a hoarder to take pictures of the mess, to realise it fully. It’s a bit like that with me and Austrian views.

So, we went to Schoberalm, parked the car and hiked up. It was an easy hike most of the time, just when going up it was a bit hard. It took us 5 hours, but we had a (great!) lunch break at Öhlerschutzhaus with mushroom sauce and dumplings.

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Great for refilling water bottles!

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Funny looking tree in the middle of the meadow

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Short break before hiking up there

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From Schoberalm you can nicely see Schneeberg (“snow mountain”- not covered in snow in September!) and very far. It was a clear and warm (but not hot) day and I enjoyed it very much!

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When hiking down from Öhlerschutzhaus we took a road, and I think there would have been nicer ways to walk down again (there were a few options to pick from). Still, there were some nice views, like this one:

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All in all, it’s a great hike to relax a bit and get away from the city. It’s not very challenging and has amazing views. I recommend hiking in the area highly!

 

Links

This is not the exact hike we did, but about the area (only partly in English): Bergfex

This link is in English and also about the area: Summitpost