I: Austria – Pack your stuff and go! A one-week breaking free

Part I: Austria. Saturday afternoon. A boring one, cloudy as often it is in Hamburg. Then some messages: “come on, join us”, “it is never too late”. Still thinking (very short time, work, money, being responsible etc.), but I am already mentally packing. A little bit of internal struggle, and in a couple of hours I have my backpack packed, a Blabla car reserved and I am heading to my friends to join them for a week of travelling. Adventure, and some craziness, are calling.

We head to Austria, and we reach Villach, in the very south, in the evening. The first day we stretch our legs with small walks to the castle (it is closed), ice-cold waterfalls and  a jump into the clear water of the Faaker See.

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The next morning we are ready for the Mittagskogel, 2,145 m high. The western flank of the Mittagskogel is steep, especially the last part to the very top. We love the harder path with some exposed and with pegs and cables protected details. Maybe a little scary if you do not love heights (as Richard could tell)! However, the hike up is worth all the efforts. Landscape is just breath taking. There is something special in hiking. It makes you feel alive when you are tired, free as you could keep on walking forever.

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Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity” (John Muir)

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Our personal touch is to have lunch on the top of the mountain cooking a soup, thanks to the little stove built by Floh. One of the best soup ever! For the way down, we take the path on the other side, passing by theBertahütte hut. The view is not impressive, and it gets darker and darker. A storm is coming; we can see the black clouds running towards us. In ten minutes it`s raining, and the thunderstorm starts. Quite scary, when a lightning hits not very far from you.

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Better to wait at the hut for the rain to calm down a bit. Tired and wet we walk back, but smiles are on our faces. Dinner tastes like the walk, the hills, the sky, the pain and the pleasure.

Morning, time to leave. A few hours in the car and we cross the border between Austria and Slovenia, heading to Ljubljana.

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