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Of Lakes and Mountains

Traipsing around the Tyrol.


Our favourite place in the Tyrol is Reutte - a market town, not far from the German border. We've visited there many, many times over the last three, or in my husband's case, four decades. This time our usual accommodation was full, so instead of staying in Reutte, we stayed in the nearby village of Heiterwang.

Getting to Heiterwang from Linz was a bit epic. First , we took a train from Linz to Salzburg; then a train from Salzburg to Munich. We should then have either caught a direct train heading for Reutte, or a train to Garmisch and then one to Reutte. However, there seemed to be no trains from Munich to Reutte although we had checked on-line that very morning and there had been plenty. Everything seemed to be cancelled. No-one seemed to know what was going on. Eventually we were told to get on a train, only to find we were in the wrong section as the train would split up into three sections on route. As these sections were separated by locked doors, we were advised to get off at the next station and change to the middle section - a pain when you are travelling with luggage, but there was no choice. We changed to the next section only to be told "This train does not go to Reutte, only Garmisch." In the end when we reached Garmisch an announcement was made about going to Reutte but the volume was so low we could not hear it. We asked a station official who did not know either, then a second one who directed us to a replacement bus. It turned out a line was down on route and we'd have to do part of the journey by bus, then get onto a new train. Aside from the luggage hassle, the lack of information was pitiful. We used to say Deutsches Bahn was so efficient, but my goodness it has gone downhill in recent times. Finally, we were on the right train and could start to enjoy a journey that has to be up there as one of the most beautiful in the world. When we reached Heiterwang, we walked through the quiet village enjoying the pristine mountain air. We checked into the Pension Posthansl and entered our immaculately clean room. The view from our balcony was food for the weary soul. It was getting late by this time, so we ate in the hotel. I had a wiener schnitzel; my husband had the cordon bleu. We then went for a short walk towards Heiterwang Lake before bed time.

Still smiling despite all the hassle, must be the beer

Our hotel

View from our balcony.

Schnitzel anyone?

Heiterwang on a summer's evening.

Heiterwang on a summer's evening.

Next morning after breakfast we wandered down to Heiterwang's stunningly beautiful lake - the Heiterwangersee. It was a sunny day and we went for a swim, even though we knew the water would be freezing - a highly invigorating experience if you are brave enough to get in.

On route to the lake

The beautiful Heiterwangersee





After our swim, we began our hike along the lake. Ultimately we were heading for Reutte but we planned to take our time and stop for swims at several places on route. We passed a herd of alpine cows with their great bells clanking through the silence - the sound of the Alps.

Alpine Cattle



After a while we came to our next swimming spot - the Plansee - a lake connected to the Heiterwangersee. There is a large grassy area near the lake's edge that is popular with sun-bathers. The boats that zig-zag across the lakes call in here, too. After our swim, we set off to walk again, but it suddenly started to rain. Weather changes very quickly in the Tyrol. We sought shelter in the nearby pub! Well you just have to, don't you? However, shortly after we had ordered our drinks the sun reappeared. We had thought to abandon our walk and catch the boat back home, but with the sun out we set off once again for Reutte. We passed a little wayside chapel on route and sat inside for a while in quiet contemplation and prayer.

The Plansee

The Plansee

Drink to escape the rain. What rain?

Wayside chapel.

Wayside chapel.

After the chapel, we crossed a busy road and headed to our next swimming spot in a river. The water changes from blue at the Heiterwang and Plansee to green past the Plansee and in the river. The swim here was delightful. An elderly Austrian lady came and joined us and we chatted together for a while.

Swimming in the river.

Then we headed off for the final stretch of our walk along the river, past a series of waterfalls and into Reutte. In recent years the waterfalls are always filled with people on outward bound type courses, leaping off cliffs and scrambling down waterfalls. This year was no exception.

The waterfalls

After a stroll through Reutte, we caught the train back to Heiterwang and had dinner in the Gasthof Post, quite close to our hotel.

Back in Heiterwang

Back in Heiterwang

Dinner in the Gasthof Post.

Next day, refreshed after a sound night's sleep, we took the train to Reutte and walked to the Urisee, a beautiful lake at the foot of the mountains. It was so peaceful and sunny that we ended up spending most of the day swimming there instead of our original plan of doing more hiking. After our swim, we took a stroll around Reutte, went for a drink in the Gasthaus Eidelweiss. This was the first pub I ever visited in Reutte more than thirty years previously, then headed back to Heiterwang for yet another delicious dinner.

Walking through Reutte to the Urisee

At the urisee Lake

At the urisee Lake

The old mill, Reutte

View over Reutte

Cafe Eidelwiess

The Lech River, Reutte

Posted by irenevt 18:38 Archived in Austria Tagged mountains lakes austria swimming

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