An Alpine Adventure

Having finished our fantastic week of biking along the Danube River in Germany, we bid farewell to our friends and faithful biking companions, Vicki & Drew, and headed out with Audrey & Paul for our next adventure: hiking from hut to hut in the Stubai region of the Austrian Alps.  The drive was beautiful, going from Frankfurt through Bavaria and past Munich to the Stubai region of Austria, just south of Innsbruck.  We caught a gondola up into the mountains and started trekking…

…heading towards the Starkenburger Hutte, the first of a series of beautiful old Alpine huts high up (in “Heidi” country, for those of us old enough to remember those movies!), typically run by couples or families that spend the season welcoming hikers of all ages, and from all over Europe (with the occasional American!).

We spent the next several days enjoying the spectacular scenery, some glorious hiking, plenty of fresh mountain air, and – of course – periodic stops for lunch in some well-placed alms (mountainside farmhouses).

The hiking (~2000 – 2300 meters) was challenging but doable, and brought us through several different landscapes, moving from paths along sheep-dotted mountainsides…

… to boulder-strewn paths and high-mountain ponds…

… to even some high-mountain snow fields (that were just crying for snow angels!).

And always, we were grateful for the warm huts (Franz-Senn & Neue Regensburger being the next two), good food, and comfortable bunks at the end of each day.

While our last day brought some rain and fog that made the planned last stretch a little less appealing (something about crossing a glacier in the fog, and without ice axes)…

…our trusty guides, Audrey & Paul, quickly adapted and guided us down to a nearby town, caught a trusty Austrian bus, and headed to a lovely resort in the town of Lermoos – a welcome retreat after biking and hiking, complete with a 5-course dinner, spa, and a beautiful view of the Zugspitze (the tallest mountain in Germany!).

After an amazing two weeks of biking and hiking in the incredible countryside and villages of Germany and Austria, we were grateful again for the gift of experiencing this beautiful part of the world, and even more importantly, enjoying time together and our wonderful 40-year friendship – thank you again Aud & Paul!!  XOXOIMG_5811

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