Sunday, September 25, 2005
Short vacation in the Alps
On Thursday Jana and myself went of for a short vacation to the Alps. We stayed on a lovely farm in Unterjoch, Allgäu (the picture on the left is taken from the farm viewing the village) and enjoyed some sunny autumn days (Friday was beginning of autumn).
For the first time this year we got sunburned (since we didn't use sun lotion and the hats were not wide enough to protect us) and had really sore muscles (after our Friday mountain tour).
On Thursday we arrived at our small appartment in Unterjoch and did only a short walk around.
Friday, after a healthy breakfirst, we climbed the mountain Zinken. Zinken is the mountain directly opposite to the farm we stayed at and has only a moderate height (1613 m - with 1080m as start point). After the first half hour we reached the farm Zehrerhof and then the mountain showed its real side:
The path was really steep and it took us quite some time, effort and breaks to reach the ridge through first some forest and then up a steep meadow. Following the ridge we reached the bottom of the peak and then had to master 50 m of a steep fixed rope route. The view from the top was fine even though it was a bit hazy - and then the worst part come: Going down again using the ropes... In the afternoon I bought some walking sticks - they wouldn't have helped on the rope part but would have helped much for the major part of the tour.
The next day we had sore muscles but were still thrilled about the Zinken tour. We made a short tour by car and were stopped in a small road by the police - together with all the other traffic. The reason of the road block was that the farmers were ceremoniously driving the cattle down the mountain ("Almabtrieb"). The approximately one hundred cows wore some extra large bells and a few of them sported a crown, a mirror and flowers.
We then made a 15km hiking tour around the Zinken - with some ups and downs but no long steep parts. We came along a farm where the bells where just cleaned up and hanging for drying, crossed the German-Austrian border for several times and enjoyed the meadows, farms, rivers and the landscape -and in then end enjoyed a well-deserved lunch at a "Jausenstation".
In the evening we decided to enjoy our dinner watching the sunset - as only couple sitting outside at that restaurant since it was getting cold in the end. Now it's Sunday and we're back home again...