I enjoy the lovely cool weather and the beautiful mountains so much, we are not going to the Balkans yet, we are staying in Austria for a while!
We drive a really nice road to Heiligenblut. Today I try to do everything without haste. I pull over a few times for cars eager to pass and can drive at my own leisurely pace. The national park campsite in Heiligenblut is very relaxed, that makes me happy!
The weather is beautiful and we first walk to the charming church of Heiligenblut. Around 10 am I am at the gondola to go up. We are going to walk a valley descent to the village of about 5 hours. Just before we leave the gondola, we go up into the clouds and on top of the mountain there is a fresh wind. Fog and wind brr cold.
Oops I forgot my sticks… Well then I can practice my surefootedness today. The first part of the descent is a bit steeper but I manage it and that gives me a good feeling!
We often pass cows and they can sometimes be a bit aggressive towards the dog in the mountains, especially when they have calves. Leo knows by now that he should leave them alone.
I keep hearing a sound that looks like a bird of prey but it turns out to be from mountain marmots. Funny I keep looking up but I didn’t see them there 🙂 Leo hears and sees them too. Unfortunately, he doesn’t leave the mountain marmots alone yet. He runs up and down the mountain after the marmots. He loses sight of me and I even walk with him on a leash to let him walk quietly.
Halfway through we take a break at the first and only mountain hut I come across and then I enjoy the relaxed walk down. Tired and satisfied we arrive at the campsite, having descended about 1500 meters, well done! The campsite is now overcrowded and a little less relaxed, it is really busy in Austria.
Today I drive a beautiful route over the Grossglocknerpass, that is a king among the passes! Even if it rains now and then, what a great view on this route!
The panoramic view over more than 30 mountains of 3000 meters height is unfortunately not possible. I am at an altitude of 2571 meters and it starts to rain, there is fog and also a cold wind. I try to take pictures but the rain turns to hail. Phew, what a wintery weather, quickly get into the car!
The route is 48 kilometers long and contains approximately 35 bends. We meander at a very leisurely pace through this amazing landscape. Highly recommended if you’re in the area!
Camping at the farm
It is really busy in Austria and sometimes I have to search for a camping spot. In Maria Alm there is a place available at the farmer. The grass is high and I’m just parked next to the grass bales.
I walk for 3 hours in the area, the Krauterrundweg route with a wide view over the valley. Leo can walk freely without the leash and that is super nice. In the morning we wake up with this sunrise over the valley, it makes me happy!
After the amazing sunrise we go up with the gondola. There is a beautiful lake just after the gondola. I’m not the only one at the lake today and as soon as I can I take the exit to Maria Alm and we walk back to the campsite. On the way a bull goes after Leo and a moment later he is startled by the electric fence, poor Leo. I also slip and give Leo a push forward, that also scares him. What a bad day for him!
Mühlbach am Hochkönig
Before heading south, I stop at a random parking spot along the way for a walk and lunch. This stopover is a great place!
There is a lovely hiking trail with FANTASTIC views, almost no tourists and after more than half an hour of hiking a cozy mountain hut for lunch. What more could I wish for?
A movie of the area including the sound of the mountain marmots!
One should not leave Austria without visiting a gorge. I’m at the campsite in Flattach and I walk from the campsite to the entrance of the Raggaschlucht. WoW that is beautiful gorge!
We walk through the gorge over stairs and bridges and the water rushes below us. The gorge is sometimes narrow and in some places as much as 200 meters deep! There are many slippery stairs and that is not very easy for Leo, he is walking faster and faster. Every now and then I give him a push up to make it easier, but he still doesn’t like it. In half an hour we are at the top and I am soaked with sweat, so hey that was a great work-out!
In the afternoon we walk along the river towards the village of Obervellach and that is a quiet route. I look back on a wonderful mountain hiking trip through Austria and have actually only seen a small part of Austria. So see you soon! I will definitely come back in the summer.
The journey continues to Slovenia, please click on this link to follow my journey! https://www.marianaroundtheworld.com/en/europe/green-heart-of-europe-slovenia/
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