Monday, August 11, 2008

Eat, Pray and Hike

Okay, I just had to have one cheesy rip off line as a blog subject before I went home.

Austrians are very religious. I was really surprised to find out how religious they really were.

Mutters was so cute and quaint that I could just hug it.

We did quite a bit of walking above Mutters. As we walked, we found alters, crosses and even little prayer houses.

We joked that hikers must pray that they don't get lost or fall down the mountain. I should have knocked on wood with that.

The Austrian Alps rivaled the rockies but they did not hold a torch to the Swiss Alps. Regardless, we got lucky with one clear day.

After ascending 400 meters, we saw a house in the distance. I had read in my Lonely Planet book that Austria is well connected with Mountain Huts. These huts give hikers a roof over their heads and a warm meal as they walk across long distances. You cannot drive to these huts, you can only hike in. So we traversed across a range and found out we could have a nice lunch of schnitzel and wurst in the middle of nowhere.

We planned out our route back over lunch and we started off with full stomachs.

We met a few friends along the way. (This is one of my favorite pictures, by the way)

About 10 minutes after I snapped this picture, one of our new friends tried to eat the map.

We should have stopped and prayed at the alter nearby, because just then, we took a wrong turn and we found ourselves descending down a steep path for 2 hours. We reached the bottom in shambles and realized we were way off course and we had about two hours to reach the gondola before it closed for the evening. We hot footed a mountain bike path as fast as we could to avoid a long walk down the mountain. We made it with 10 minutes to spare.

After that tough afternoon, we decided we were done with hiking for our trip and we decided to head to Alsace, France for our final 4 days to enjoy France's claim to fame: food and wine.

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