Category Archives: Hiking

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.

 

Travelling Peru – From Arequipa to the Colca Canyon

From Lima we took the plane to Arequipa which is normally a one hour trip. Well… in our case it took us five hours because the flight was delayed for four very long hours. I did get to know the airport in Lima very well.

So unfortunately we arrived very late in Arequipa and missed our city tour which was planned for the afternoon. Our mood wasn’t that good as you can imagine arriving so  late in a city we didn’t know. However our hotel and later our dinner compensated a bit of our disappointement. We stayed at La Hosteria which was a very nice hotel, with which I fell in love at first sight.

Having stored away our luggage we headed into town for dinner. Do go  to Zig Zag at least once. It might not be the cheapest option but is a real treat. The city really impressed me and I am definitely going back there exploring more than just the inner town by night.

From Arequipa we headed off the next morning to the Colca Valley. We took a small bus tour with a lovely guide who made the six hours drive pass very quickly. On top of his explanations the breathtaking landscape made this day to one of my favourites.viqunas on the high plateau of the andes

viqunas on the andean plateauhigh plateau of the andesWe spotted viqunas, wild lamas, and alpacas grazing on the andean plateau. Later on this trip we passed the highest point of our journey at 4830m above sea level. I have to admit, that I was a bit worried before our journey about how well I would handle the altidute. Listening to our guides, drinking loads of water, breathing deeply and just relaxing, I felt  well all the time. The first four days on high levels I had constant headaches though which then suddenly disappeared.

Another thing which fights altitude sickness, is drinking a lot of coca tea or even better a tea made out of three different andean herbes.

andean teahighest pointWhen we passed the highest point we went down into the Colca Valley where we had a great Peruvian lunch.

chivay - Colca valleyNext to Chivay a town at the beginning of the valley, we had lunch in a very touristic hotel. However, this meal was really nice because our guide taught us to make our own peruvian starter out of very solid potatoe mash and some tuna, vegetables and mayonnaise.

Apparently the local women made this dish during the war to keep up the strenght of their men.

food-colcaAfter lunch we drove further into the valley and ended our trip at some natural, hot springs. Here we finally could relax and just enjoy being on a completely new continent and in an amazing country.

Colca Valley

Blaustrümpflerweg – hike around Heslach

Although I lived in Stuttgart during my bachelor degree and am now living here for more than half a year, I still find myself in places I have never been before. One of these places was the historic cableway, which still runs between the Südheimer Platz and the Waldfriedhof.

Last sunday we set of at the Marienpaltz to follow the Blaustrümpflerweg around Heslach which includes a ride with the cableway and with the rack railway at the end. The tour is 7.5 km long and except of a steep start, easy going. The sign-posting is also very good but to be sure you can find the whole tour here.

sign-blaustrümpflerwegStarting our day with breakfast at galao, a really nice café at Marienplatz, we headed off for the hike at around midday. We followed the way up to the Karlshöhe where you can have your first break in the small beer garden. If you already fancy a beer or something to eat, this is a good place with a great view. Continuing up, the views of the city get even better.

wineyard-blaustrümpflerwegview stuttgart-blaustrümpflerwegAfter a steep part at the beginning of the tour the way leads even through quiet neighbourhoods. Going down I nearly forgot that we are walking near a big city. The forest felt like somewhere in the alps or in the countryside where I am originally from. It was really calm and the city felt miles away.

view2-stuttgart-blaustrümpflerwegFinally we arrived at the Südheimer Platz where we took the historic cablecar up to Degerloch. You don’t need an extra ticket for it. The normal SSB tickets are also valid. The wagons have a unique historic atmosphere with wooden seats and old signs telling passengers to sit down or grab a hold for saftey reasons.

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Arriving at Waldfriedhof we first got lost but quickly found back on the right way. From the Waldfriedhof the tour continues through forests to the rack railway in Degerloch. The rack railway also is an unique experience moving down very slowly and steep back to Marienplatz.

We finished our tour with some ice cream from Gelateria Kaiserbau which is deifinetely worth the long queue in front of the shop. The tour isn’t that hard to do and you have plenty of spots to stop for a break and to enjoy the views of Stuttgart.

Hiking through an enchanted forest

HörrschbachRecently we did a great hike starting in Murrhardt a small city half an hour drive away from Stuttgart. The hike is 10km long and leads to two waterfalls and along a river wounding its way through the valley. The forest was glowing in all shades of green and the water was glittering and floating calmly past us. Hiking, especially along a water stream, is the best way for me to calm down and relax.

first waterfalls - Murrhardt

The hike starts in the center of Murrhardt leading you straight out of the town into the forest (Download the route and a description here). After twenty minutes we arrived at the first waterfall at the beginning of the valley. Up to this point, the way is pretty easy to walk on, but from there the ground gets more muddy following the stream to the end of the valley.

Since I have been a little kid I most enjoyed hikes like this where we walked over roots of trees, stones and were you had to cross the river ocassionally – either on a bridge or just by using the bigger stones sticking out of the water.

Crossing the river After an hour of marvelling at all the different shades of green and having fun on and around the water, we finally arrived at the second waterfall.

second waterfall Murrhardt

The water was dripping down the moss-covered stones which wasn’t what I expected but was still very lovely to watch. However, when we reached the top of the waterfall, we realised that this wasn’t the waterfall in its full power. Because the fiver is dammed up and hikers can control the waterfall with a small flap. After opening this flap the waterfall gets more powerful.

second waterfall - Hörrschbachtal – Doesn’t this look beautiful? –

At the top of the waterfall you can have a nice break and eat your paked lunch or you keep going until you hit the waterfall restaurant at the top-end of the valley. We had our paked lunch with us and continued the walk through the forest back to Murrhardt.

It took us roughly three hours to finish the hike. Not because of the distance but more due to the uneven ground and the fun we had balancing on stones and trees along the way. Stopping from time to time to take photos ;).

Murrhardt

Make sure, you walk around in Murrhardt as well because the town is also really lovely and what better than having some ice-cream as a reward for finishing the hike?