Today was a trip up almost as far as yesterday, though this time the climb was done by bus instead of suspended gondola.1 We wound up in Sportgastein, the far end of the Gastein valley, in an area that’s set up for a mix of skiing and farming with no actual permanent residents. It’s an interesting shared space – any of the farmers of the valley can bring their livestock there to graze.
Of course, being a mountain valley in Austria, it’s pretty like you wouldn’t believe. Seriously, the first picture I’m going to show you is titled “Hobbiton” because it kinda makes me feel like I’m in a movie scene.
What, not convinced? How about this one, which is basically the view you get as you come into the park:
Yeah, it all looks that good.
Now, you remember that I mentioned the grazing up above? Yeah, there were a lot of cows around, so there were one or two parts of the park that were rather… fragrant.
But on the bright side, we got to see what Anna and I decided to call The Cow, because it’s the perfect example of a cow.
About two miles into the park, you hit a good turning-around point: a bridge goes across a brook, opening into a boulder-strewn clearing on the other side. The boulders are good seats for the people like me who just want to sit and rest our feet, while the brook offers a nice place to walk around if you take off your shoes and don’t mind the borderline-arctic chill. And, of course, the waterfall right above the clearing is nice and photogenic:
In fact, the whole area is rather photogenic, so once I’d let my feet rest for a couple minutes I got back up and took some pictures of everyone.
On the way back to the bus stop at the entrance to the park, we stopped for lunch at an Alm, a mountain farm. There’s something really weird at sitting down to lunch outside a building that’s a couple hundred years older than your home country, but Europe is just kinda like that. And hey, it’s a pretty building, so who am I to complain?
Oh, and one last picture, indulging my obsession with infrastructure:
- At this point I’m going to stop making jokes about my own cross-promotion that I’m doing, because you can only make the same joke so many times before it gets old, and I crossed that line, like, two posts ago. ↩