11.06.2013 - 11.06.2013 15 °C
Abby is having more trouble fighting off her cold than the rest of us, so she elected to have a do-everything-but-anything day and bowed out of whatever the rest of us were doing (except for the watching of a West Wing episode in the evening, of course). The three of us hiked through the Leutasch Spirit Gorge, a rugged and beautiful ravine with a sea-green river at the bottom. The weather was a little gloomy, but I didn’t mind as it was probably the only thing preventing swarms of tourists from filling the gorge like they had in Germany. We strode along a walkway secured to the edge of the cliffs, and could see the sheer drop through the crisscrossing metalwork we stood upon. A bridge crosses the gorge, and we stared over the edge into the depths which lay 47 metres below.
The emphasis put on the magic of the place was strong, and every so often we’d come across a sign or device to help us understand and interact with the fairies and goblins and the Old Spirit himself. They were a little kitschy, but cute as well. The Austrians also have the same fondness for trailside restaurants as the Germans do, so we came across two or three of these as we hiked the circuit that looped out of the ravine. The sun made a brief appearance as we neared the end of the trail, so Dad felt he needed to take all of the pictures again in the new and improved lighting.
We came back to find Abby in roughly the same state we left her in. After lunch, we took a walk around the small town of Weidach. It seems to me to be almost solely comprised of hotels and restaurants. Everything is beautifully quaint and kept up. Flowerboxes and murals decorate many of the buildings. Towering, snow-capped mountains surround the village. We barely saw anyone out and about as we walked. The high season appears to start in July, and most of the people visiting now are probably out enjoying the great Austrian outdoors.
One of the perks of where we’re staying is that there is a recreation centre just a couple kilometres away. We enjoyed the heated pools here much more than the frigid one at our place in Turkey. As it was late, we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves.
Of all the countries we’ve visited so far, Austria seems the most like Canada, specifically British Columbia, at least in the outdoor sense. After seven months on the road, the mountains and forests reminiscent of home have a comforting feel to them.