Category Archives: Hiking

Wilder Kaiser – four days of great views, delicious food and fun trails

I know it has been quiet here for quite some time. I changed jobs at the beginning of the year and was pretty busy getting myself organised in a new city. But I really want to get back to sharing more of my small and bigger adventures here on this blog of mine. So to start things of again I like to share with you my first four days hike in the alps in the area of the so called “Wilder Kaiser”.

I always wanted to do a hiking trip from one mountain cabin to another. I just imagined it to be very magical to be able to see the sun rise and set high up in the mountains.

Sunset from the VorderfeldenkaiserhuetteAnd I was right. It is such a relaxing experience to be able to stay at a hut for the night and not having to get down to the valley before sunset. But let’s get down to the details of our tour.

Two friends, my brother and I more or less followed the tour put together by the DAV, the German hiking club. We did shorten the hike on our third day because the suggested cabin was fully booked. We therefore had to take another one which in the end was the best night we spent on our trip. However let’s start from the beginning.

Day 1- Kufstein to Vorderkaiserfeldenhütte
(1.415m up / 515m down – 3,5-4 h)

The tour starts at Kufstein in Austria. From Munich you can easily take a train which takes roughly one hour. In Kufstein you then have to take a bus to Ebbs and get off at “Schulzentrum” (school center). From there you follow the Kaiserbergstraße following the directions to Aschinger Alm until you reach a sign saying “Vorderkaiserfeldenhütte” – I know this is a very German name for a cabin ;). It’s the destination on the first day.

Following the serpentines up into the forest we quickly gained altitude. The path gets quite steep sometimes and very narrow as well. We reached the cabin in roughly four hours taking our time and making some breaks on the way up.

The Vorderkaiserfeldenhütte was a really nice cabin to stay in. We shared a five bed room with a nice guy who we met at the next hut as well. The terrace in front of the cabin is perfect for sunbathing. We stayed there till it was time for dinner and the sun started to set. Dinner was good but food wise the breakfast really blow my mind. The buffet was more than I ever expected to be served on a mountain hut.

KufsteinVorderfeldenkaiserhütte

Day 2 – Vorderkaiserfeldenhütte to Stripsenjochhaus
(1.400m up / 1.200m down – 7,5-8 h)

So having had a filling breakfast we set off on our second stage of the trip. You can choose between two different routes. One is a bit more challenging and goes straight up from the cabin covering three different peaks nearby before you end up on the same trail as the other option. We actually wanted to go for the less steep and shorter option but were forced to also make at least one of the peaks due to lumber work on our trail.

In the end the detour was worth the round about 1.000 metres more of altitude. The view at the top of the so called “Pyramidenspitze” was pretty great and the trail was, although a bit challenging, fun to walk. Instead of our planned five hours hike we ended up with roughly seven hours of walking before we reached our destination for the day: the Stripsenjochhaus.

Pyramidenspitzeday 2 at Wilder KaiserStripsenjochhaus

The last hour or so was quiet hard though. 20 minutes before you reach the cabin you have to go up around 100 metres of altitude which after a long day of hiking can be draining. However spotting the cabin at the ridge between to peaks wipes the hardship quickly away.

Overall the cabin was very clean and we enjoyed our four bed room. However compared to the other huts we stayed in, the food was only average I would say.

Day 3 – Stripsenjochhaus to Kaindlhütte
(547m up / 876m down – 6-7 h)

On the third day my legs started to get a bit tired. Starting the tour of the day, it didn’t help that we first had to get down to the valley. I always find the descent harder than the ascent. Make sure you stop at the Anton-Karg-Haus for a coffee or maybe even late breakfast when you reach the bottom of the valley. It might even be nice to skip breakfast at the Stripsenjochhaus and eat it after the descent at the Anton-Karg-Haus. I think the food might be much better ;).

But make sure that you don’t stuff yourself because from there the ascent via the so called “Bettlersteig” (beggar’s climb) starts. I think for this part you shouldn’t be a complete beginner and have some experience of hiking in the alps. The trail gets quite narrow some times and there are very short bits where a bit of scrambling might be necessary.

Bettlersteig - Wilder KaiserBut don’t worry, you don’t need proper climbing gear. As an experienced hiker you will have no problem at all. On the third day it was amazing how far we had come. Because on our way up we often saw the Stripsenjochhaus and even our first hut on the other side of the valley. It’s a great feeling to see how far your own feet can take you.

Wilder Kaiser After around six hours of relaxed hiking we reached our last hut: the Kaindlhütte. I only can recommend to change the original DAV tour towards this destination. The cabin isn’t big which makes it feel very cosy and creates a comfortable atmosphere. On top of that, we had the best food on our trip at this hut. So delicious 🙂

And if that’s not enough to convinve you, have a look at the pictures.

KaindlhütteKaindlhüttesunset at KaindlhütteDay 4 – Kaindlhütte to Kufstein
(263m up / 935m down – 3h)

On our last day we took the direct way down to Kufstein because we wanted to be back in Munich at around 4pm. We took around three and a half hours to get to the bus station where there is a bus every 30 minutes or so going to Kufstein.

However if you still have some energy left you can do another though hike over the so called “Scheffauer” and the Hintersteiner lake. If you don’t feel like you can handle another peak, you can still make a detour to the lake which is meant to be really nice for swimming as well.

Overall I was surprised how exhausted I was in the evenings and how in the moring after a few steps I felt energised again. The four days were very relaxing and a great oportunity for digital detox. We didn’t have any signal so we spent our evenings playing cards and having early nights. If you like hiking and the alps, I can only recommend doing this tour or a tour like this. You will love it.

Tipps and Overview:

 

 

 

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.