First Hike of the year – “Tuftlalm”

It has been a while since you last have heard something from me. I am sorry about that – change sometimes happens when you least expect it. However, with the long weekend coming up, I wanted to share with you a nice hike we did two weeks ago to start off the hiking season.

We drove down to Lermoos, a small village right behind the German-Austrian border and very close to the Zugspitze. Because it was only the beginning of April we opted for the tour to the “Tuftlalm”.

The tour takes between two to three hours up and around one and a half down. Start your walk at the station and cross the rails via the tunnel on left side (facing the rails) down at the road. From there you walk up the hill to the open-air bath and pass it on its left. There is a small path leading up the hill. From there you will soon find the first yellow sign leading to the “Tuftlalm”. You can either follow the walking path through the forest or the driving-way up the mountain.

We started with the path through the forest and later changed to the broader and less steep driving-way. On the way up the forest opens from time to time and you can enjoy some great views.

mountain view lermoosTuftlalm - LermoosAfter around two and a half hours we reached the “Tuftalm” and enjoyed our packed lunch on the terasse in front of it. During the main season starting from May the owners of the hill farm will also serve drinks and food.

mountain view lermoosLeaving the alp to the left you can walk to a viewing plattform at the edge of the mountain. Be sure to have a head for heights. The plattform is built with metal grids which are perfectly stable, I know, but I still always feel a bit dizzie ;).

From there you have again different options to go down to the village. We took the path next to the plattform leading straight downwards. However, you can always also take the driving way down again.

I have to say, I really enjoyed this first hike of the year and I am looking forward to many more to come. Do let me know if you go to Lermoos and tell me how you liked it.

 

DIY – Building your own vintage shelf

Since last summer I have been working on a new shelf for our living room. I love the look of old wooden wine boxes and always wanted to create some sort of furniture out of them. This summer I got some boxes from my grandma and her brother so I finally could start.

wooden wine boxes First of all I had to remove the battens my grandpa once used to close the box. He was a very handy person and always used the stuff he already had. So closing up those wine boxes and isulating them with styrofoam seemed to him a good way to use the boxes as a storage for apples.

After I restored the original form, I sanded the boxes until they were smooth and had no sharp edges anymore. In a next step I used a special glaze to kill any possible woodworms.

glazing the boxesAs the glaze had dried, I painted the boxes with a transparent colour to keep the natural vintage look. On top of that the colour made the boxes even more resistant to any damage.

Although I finished everything back in autumn we never came around to actually put the single boxes together to a new shelf. Last weekend we finally found some time and screwed the boxes together.

wine box shelfI was so excited to see how my project came together in the end. I have to admit I was pretty proud of myself after the shelf stood there in all its glory ;).

wine box shelfSince then I haven’t had one evening not being immensely happy with our new shelf. I love the different looks of the single wine boxes. Every single one could tell a different story and brings some real history into our home.

One Weekend in Wroclaw

To be honest, Wroclaw was never on top of my travel bucket list, but a close friend of mine decided to go there studying. So me and a friend decided to drive up to Wroclaw over the long weekend at the beginning of November. After our short trip, I truly recomment visiting this charming town.

Wroclaw city center main squareThe city isn’t that big and you can reach most of the main sights by foot. The area around the main square and town hall is just lovely. I really like those old or in this case old looking houses. It’s simply prettier than modern architecture, if you ask me.

town hall wroclawAround the town hall, you’ll find a lot of nice restaurants and cafés. Also the flower market is right around the corner. It is open twenty-four hours to give especially men a chance to buy an excuse gift after a long night out.

On our first day we mainly explored the city and ended up visiting the Pan Tadeusz Museum. The museum is near the town hall and tells the story of the popular polish writer Adam Mickiewicz and his main work, the poem Pan Tadeusz.

Pan Tadeusz Museum Pan Tadeusz MuseumThe exhibition was very interactive, presenting the information in various different ways. It was great fun exploring the history of the polish poem and its significance for the polish culture.

Strolling through the city, you can spot little dwarfs at corners or in the middle of squares or streets.

dwarfs wroclawThe dwarfs are spread out over the old town and are a symbol for the political protest during the 80s. At that time a group called “Orange Alternative” staged passive protest using gnomes as a sign against the communist establishment.

me and a dwarf– This fellow was big enough to shake hands in front of the theater 🙂 –

But not only a great number of gnomes is waiting to be discovered, Wroclaw also offers some beautiful street art.

street art wroclawMake sure to walk around a lot and you will see some great art, I promise.

One of the must visits is the “Cathedral Island” with the great cathedral. You can even climb up one of the towers to get a better view of the city. Unfortunately we were to early and could only visit the cathedral itself. However, the archtitecture and decoration is of course worth the visit even without enjoying the view from above.

The museum within the historic university building is another great place to go. The university is one of the oldest in Poland. Make sure to visit the cathedral and the baroque hall “Aula Leopoldina” as well as the exhibition of the university’s early days. Today there are over 40,000 students studying at the university what gives Wroclaw a very international and young atmosphere.

oratorium marianum– I loved the paintings in the Oratorium Marianum at the university –

Another place to go is the Jewish cementary. I know, some of you might find it creepy to go to a cementary for sightseeing, but it truly is a historic place. It is meant to be the only place in Wroclaw, where the German history is still visible. In other parts of the town all reminders of German culture were destroyed after the war.

The cementary also is a place of great calmness and some beautiful art. In my opinion, cementaries always tell their own important story of cultures or cities.

jewish cementary WroclawNear the cementary is the Sky Tower, the highest building in Wroclaw. If you are more lucky than we were the elevator to the top floor works and you can have a great view of the town.

If you do go to Wroclaw, plan more than just a day. The city offers a lot which we didn’t achieve to visit. For a short overview here are some further tips for a great weekend in Wroclaw:

What else to see?
  • Hydropolis – an interactive museum about water a bit out of the center
  • National Museum – unfortunately this is closed on Mondays but is meant to be very good
  • Jewish quarter – you can visit the synagogue or have some great food in the cafés and restaurants around
  • water fountains – near the cenntential hall, there is a water fountain which is illuminated by night and from may to october there are hourly shows with music acompanying the water and light effects
Where to stay?

We stayed at The Green Hostel, a small hostel near the center. It was very clean and cheap.

If you do go, let me know what you visited and how you liked the city 😉

Travelling Peru – Grande Finale at Machu Picchu

Towards the end of our trip, I didn’t know what else could impress my me more than all the great stuff, we had already seen. Well, it turned out that Machu Picchu truly deserves to be one of the seven wonders of the world.

We started early in the morning in Urubamba and took the train to Aguas Calientes. Our guide waited for us and we lined up for the bus up to the site. If you are staying in Aguas Calientes try to get as early as possible up to Machu Picchu. The sunrise is meant to be breathtaking.

Machu PicchuMachu PicchuArriving at Machu Picchu was indescribable. I needed some time to process, where I was standing. There are of course a lot of tourists but the site is huge, so it doesn’t get too crowded.

Make sure you walk around a lot and maybe get a guide. I mean, there are several different interpretations what this city was used for, but still with a guide you make sure to see every important part of the ruin.

Our guide took us for example to the Incan bridge near the site which I recommend doing as well. After a short walk of 20 minutes through the jungel, we arrived at an old bridge the Incas had built into the stone.

incan bridge Machu PicchuIncan bridgeI am not sure if I ever would walk over such a bridge. It again just showed the incredible building talent of the Inca. Today the bridge is closed for visitors. But you get close enough to get an idea of how scary it must have been walking accross it.

Afterwards we returned to the main sight and kept exploring.

Machu PicchuMachu PicchuMake sure you plan enough time for exploring. The good thing is, that you can leave and enter the sight three times a day. So you can get out for lunch and head in back again.

After lunch we decided to follow the advice of our guide and walked up to the gate of the sun. It’s roughly a one and a half hours walk. On the way up, do look back and enjoy the views of the ruins.

sun gate at machu picchuPeople hiking the Inca trail arrive at the sun gate, Machu Picchu lying in front of them like this. After visiting the sight like a “normal” tourist, I am definitely planning on hiking the Inca trail as well someday. I just couldn’t and still can’t get enough of those pictures ;).

We stayed in Agua Calientes for one more night and did a lovely hike the next morning. Following the railway, we walked one and a half hours to see a lovely garden with a waterfall.

railwaydschungelThe countryside was so different from the rough atmosphere in the Andes. All the shades of green and tropical plants were nearly too much for our eyes to take all in.

water fallFinally, we arrived at the water fall and enjoyed the view for a while before heading back to Aguas Calientes. On the way, we spotted a humming bird :), one of my favourite birds.

humming birdWe took the train back to the Sacred Valley and back to Cusco. There, we stayed for one more night until we had to fly back to good old Germany.

I really hope you liked my report of our trip to Peru. I am definitely planning on going sometime again because I just haven’t seen all I wanted to. The country is just so amazing and I recommend everyone to give it a try and invest in some great experiences.

Do let me know if you go 😉 and share your experiences.