Posts Tagged With: winter

Paragliding the Alps

Video öffnet sich nicht? Geh auf http://clip.dj und füge den Link des Videos in die freie Leiste ein.

Dann das Video runter laden. Voila.

 

26/01/12

Australia Day!
This morning the valley is covered in thick fog but the top of the mountains are clear and blue. The forecast for tomorrow, Logan’s birthday, is cloudy with snow so someone might get his birthday present a day early. Well technically Logan will glide into his birthday since Australia is 8 hours ahead. Explanation following!

So we start off our day at St. Johann skiing/snowboarding and Logan has got no idea of my little birthday surprise. After 3 hours racing on blue, red and even black ski tracks, I tell Logan, we should go down to get the camera. At the car I tell him, I got bad news. We can’t go snowboarding anymore. And the second bad news: Tomorrow is bad weather. Logi looks at me all shocked and shakes his head: “No no no no! We are going back boarding now!!” “No we are not, because you will be paragliding in one hour!” “No!?!”  I smile and say “Yes” Logan: “No?!? Really??” “Yes!!” Now someone is happy and excited but first we need to make sure to fill our tummies with some food. At 2pm we are meeting Hervé from the Mountain High Adventure Centre at the Max Pub. There are country flags at the end of the ski track and we spot the Australian flag and behind it a house with a roof full of snow. An interesting image!
The conditions are perfect, the sun is out and there is no wind. Hervé gives Logan a big bag while he carries one himself and they make their way to the St. Johann gondola.
I’m waiting for them down the bottom and after about half an hour I see them gliding down the mountain. When they come closer I can hear Logan cheering while they are doing aero acrobatics and just a few minutes later two happy faces are landing in the deep puffy snow.

We are going back to the car and make our way back to the Mountain High Chalet to look at the footage and rest before going down for dinner.

 

 

 

 

 

27/01/12

Since Logan has already received his birthday present yesterday and our ski passes have run out, we start the day slowly with some work on our footage before we head out to Kirchberg and Kitzbühel around noon.
We have a browse through the towns and meet my great cousin at a pub in Kitzbühel. We actually have never met before and two years ago I didn’t even know she would exist, so it was really nice to meet her!

Kitzbühel is an interesting town. The high society is here and as we found out, Arnold Schwarzenegger was here only two days ago. We see women with expensive fur coats, Botox in their skin, fake lips and other body parts; most of them being over 50 and trying to look like 20. Then there is the rich youth scene and the gold-necklace men scene. Not worth going into detail but it is quite funny to watch.
After 4 hours of après skiing, we went back to our chalet, having missed out on our nice three-course meal and Logan clearly still in drinking mood. You only turn 33 once, don’t ya?! After another hour I went to bed and didn’t find Logan next to me until 4am.  God knows whom he was talking to or what he was talking about, we will never find out. Meister Jäger made sure he lost all his memories.

New year, new start!

 

28/01/12

Unfortunately it’s time to check out of our much loved Mountain High chalet and we would like to officially thank our hosts Hervé and Stephanie, the barmaid and the chef for looking after us so well and answering any questions we had. Also thanks to Hervé as the pilot of “Mountain High airlines” for giving Logan a once in a lifetime experience of paragliding over the Alpes.

Logan and I would have liked to extend our stay in Kirchdorf or anywhere else around the area but since holidays are about to start, every guesthouse seems to be booked out.
We are happy and grateful for this awesome week of powder fun and make our way back home to Magdeburg just to find out that the rest of Germany is also covered in snow. Yeeeeewww!!!

 

www.mountain-high.at

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Malerweg Day 3

Malerweg
Day 3

by Logan Foote

Today was another hard days walking. I left camp heading down hill only to walk straight back up the other side where a small village “Waitzdorf” was located.

That’s how this journey is: up-down, up-down and then up again. If I didn’t have my bag I think could run it in just a few days but with all my gear it’s a different story.

My mission today was to try and find supplies. NO LUCK. None of these little villages/settlements have any stores to get supplies. The closest I found was a florist. I was excited spotting a shop sign and eagerly approached in the pouring rain only to be disappointed as I peered through the window to see just flowers.

I have passed a few local restaurants featuring pictures of outdoor gatherings, music, food and wine. Unfortunately this is only in summer time. Nothing’s open this time of the year, because which idiot would be out here trekking in winter? Oh, that’s right, ME!!!

That’s why I’m here. Summer is too far away. I love it when things are hard, the weather is wet, cold and windy and I’m struggling up and down these forest trails.

Leaving my disappointment behind I grab my last chocolate bar from my bag and head back into the forest once again.

Along the way I stop for a bit of filming before passing through Altendorf with, that’s right, NO store. I eventually come across the only tram operating in the national park “The Kirnitzschtalbahn” which runs through the best-known valley of the Elbe mountain range. In the valley was a large camping area with several amenities and more signs of food. Yet again no food to be had, however what I did utilize was their bathroom. I quietly snuck into a clean, even heated toilet. My last toilet was not so posh: a late night squat in a cold forest.

Once I had committed the perfect crime, I took what I thought was a short cut, which didn’t seem to be very short. The sign was in German and it must have said “the steepest, longest way possible”. I reached the plateau and continued along the cliffs until I had to choose a spot to camp. I didn’t want to camp this high up but had no choice as it was close to sunset.

I’m sitting here perched on the edge of the cliff with awesome views down to the valley, river and snowy mountaintops in the distance. I’m getting low on food now so I’m eating my last slices of dark bread with salami. I normally can eat and do eat a lot but the last few days I have only been eating because I have to. I’m just lucky I brought some food with me and that there are fresh water streams around. I can’t seem to drink enough.

Its dark now, time to retreat to the tent.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Malerweg Day 2

 

Day 2

by Logan Foote

With my multiple layers, -16 degree sleeping bag and a water proof tent I managed to get a good night sleep. I packed up all my gear and was back on the track around 8.30. This seems late but the days are short here during winter and it’s not wise to be walking around in the dark.

I made my way to the Bastei bridge, the most iconic site in the region. Built between sheer rocky cliffs 194m above the river Elbe with amazing views across Bohemian Switzerland and the German/Czech border. The sandstone bridge links the cliffs together and allows access to the Neurathen Castle, once the largest rock castle in Saxon Switzerland.

While walking around this impressive site I imagined what life would have been like back in those medieval times. A rather large catapult with huge rocks as its ammunition stood at the top, which suggests life would have been tough. Tough enough to build your castle/fort on top of the cliffs for protection.

I finally came across a fresh water stream so I could fill my water bottles. I was so thirsty and relieved. I trekked back up out of the forest, through a small town and along some open fields before heading back down again through some ancient looking cliffs with a stairway built through them. This allowed for a quicker descent but to only realize that the track leads back up along another steep trail.

At this stage my legs are burning and the heavy bag I believe is the culprit. ‘Harden up’ I tell myself and onwards I march.

The trail leads me to a little village perched up on top of a rocky plateau called Hohnstein. Very impressive from a distance and even more so close up, however I haven’t seen the “M” sign for a while.

The Malerweg is a very well signed trail but at times I have to guess which way to go. So far I have guessed correctly but this is not one of them. After making my way up into this town and about 1 hr walking back and forth searching for the sign I realize I have to walk back down to the last sign and try another route.

The map I have is laid out well, even waterproof but it doesn’t go into great detail with exact track directions. After taking a chance on another track and an hour of walking I came across the beloved “M” sign. I was very relieved.

So I have set up camp again, this time in the forest between two cliffs hidden away from the track. Time to eat and rest.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

20-22/12/11 Potsdam and Berlin

Berlin, the capital of Germany also seems to be the capital of history. Logan has been looking forward to seeing Berlin for a long time and is quite excited to finally retrace Hitler’s foot steps and the former Berlin wall that separated all of Germany.

On our way to Berlin we stopped in Potsdam at a castle called “Sanssouci” meaning “without worry”. The castle was built in 1745-47 by Friedrich the great and later extended by Friedrich Wilhelm IV. It is surrounded by a large park with many more castles and rococo-style buildings.

Winter is making it a challenge to enjoy the beauty of the castle. Cold temperatures, showers and wind ensure our visit will only be a short one and even daylight says good bye at 4pm.

In Berlin we are checking into our hotel and decide to explore the capital’s popular nightlife. With a Berlin Welcome Card (16,90€) we can use public transport without any extra costs and get concession prices at tourist attractions like museums or the sightseeing buses. Thinking that Berlin Mitte (centre) should have some bars, we get off the subway there and find ourselves in the middle of a long shopping street, all shops closed obviously. Just a few metres away we discover a Christmas Market beautifully lit up in warm lights and stalls with food and drinks everywhere. It is a lot more crowded here than in Magdeburg or Braunschweig, even though we had to pay 1€ entry fee. I assume this helps to keep the homeless out which there are a lot of in Berlin and they ask for money everywhere.

Luckily I looked up a few bars before leaving the hotel and found one that I optically liked quite a lot. I convinced Logan to check out “Kitty Cheng” so we walk along cold Berlin streets for 20 minutes until we arrive at the bar. Inside I’m a bit surprised that we are the only people in here but soon realise it’s only 8:55pm and the bar doesn’t actually open until 9pm. The very friendly staff are serving us promptly. I’m having Champagne and Logan Rum and Coke. Not knowing the prices, we order the bill after two drinks each out of precaution, only to find out that Logan’s drink was 8€ per glass. A bit steep considering that alcohol is quite cheap in Germany. My champagne was 4€ a glass but Logan changed over to beer. The bar slowly filled up, a DJ started to play some really good music and we sat there until the early morning hours, enjoying the stylish atmosphere of a Berlin scene bar.


Quarter to 10am we frantically jump out of bed, Logan barefoot, to the hotel restaurant: Don’t miss out on breakfast !!!
Lucky Logan checked his phone in the morning, finding out by accident that it was 10 already.

The buffet was great and reinvigorated we made our way to Berlin’s most popular shopping street: The Kurfürstendamm. Shopping: Logan’s favourite part, but it’s Christmas in three days, so no way around some shopping today! It only takes about 30 minutes and we got what we wanted and even Logan said: “Wow, that wasn’t too bad.”

Thick rainclouds are hanging above us and we don’t really feel like sightseeing today. The DDR museum is a great and entertaining way to end our day. On more information about the DDR /

GDR and the separation of Germany until 1989 click here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Germany

On Day 3 we went on a City Bus Sightseeing Tour and got off at Potsdamer Platz where part of the wall is still displayed and DDR visa / stamps for your real passport can be collected. While this may be funny, I hope that everyone keeps in mind the terrible history of people having died at the border. I wonder if people would get the swastika stamped into their passport too? Is this really a difference?
We also drive past Checkpoint Charlie, the TV tower, the Reichstag and the statue of victory.
Categories: Travel Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.