This year my trip to India was cancelled but I changed plans and went on a long distance hike in Austria…. That trip to India would be my big adventure this year. I was going to do the Rickshaw Challenge again! So driving with two others in one of those Indian cabs! We were going to cover 2000km from Mumbai to Chennai in 2 weeks, can you imagine?
I must say that I really loved the long distance hike in Austria! Did you know I had never been to Austria? And since I’ve walked the Camino, I keep feeling kind of homesick for pilgrim life. So when I was forced to stay in Europe my choice was quickly made to make another pilgrimage. For health reasons I didn’t choose the Camino Portugues but a hut tour on the Alpe Adria Trail.
Long Distance Hike in Austria
I haven’t regretted my choice for a second and enjoyed the most beautiful views of Alpe Adria Trail in Austria for 8 days in a row.
This day I started stage 14 and that was my third day on the Alpe Adria Trail. Stage 14 took me from Döbriach to Langalmtal and would lead me 17 km through the Alps. Walking these 17 km I would do about 7 hours was in the booklet. This day had a medium difficulty level.
Alpe Adria Trail – Stage 14
After stage 13 I walked into Döbriach with a lot of pain in my right knee. That was my second day and I was a bit afraid that an old strained muscle would have to lead to a change of plans for the upcoming hiking days. That night before, I had done everything I could to give that muscle some rest. When I got out of bed that morning and slowly walked to the morning buffet, I was so relieved to notice that my effort of the previous day paid off. I didn’t feel any pain but kept walking calm and put as little strain on the muscle as possible.
I left Döbriach around 8.30 am and slowly walked out of the village at the bridge, keeping to the left and along the edge of the forest, between meadows, in the direction of Radentheim. After half an hour of walking I sat on a large stone for a short while, taking a sip of water. I often do that while walking but for today I chose to take short breaks of 5 to 10 minutes. Anything to spare that muscle in my knee.
Because I was doing other things and the Alpe Adria Trail is indicated on several paths in the direction of Radentheim, at one point I misread the sign. I didn’t look far ahead and it turned out that I walked back to the starting point in a big bend.
Alpe Adria Trail – Stage 14 – Long Distance Hike in Austria
At the next intersection I saw the German couple from Munich. They were also in the hotel in Döbriach and were looking for the right route on the map. Fortunately, I was not the only one who found it confusing that the path was signposted over different paths. But it was clear that I walked back… They had left half an hour after me and very surprised to see me there!
Then I walked with them until lunch, seemed safer and good for me. In general I walk faster than others and this would protect me from myself as well. And I also enjoyed the company 🙂
We walked through Radentheim and from there on the path went up. And then we went straight up a lot. We walked at our own pace and soon I was leading again. I still didn’t feel that muscle and going up is always good for me. Still, I made sure I stayed close to them. We walked slowly and kept our eyes onb the sugns so that we followed the route. The man had a GPS and I kept an eye on the app so we could follow the route and also the detours that were there because of floods last week.
Hiking on the Alpe Adria Trail – Austria
Again we got the most beautiful views over the Alps and the weather was great! For some people it might be on the warm side but it never bothers me. I felt like a fish in the water!
Just after noon we arrived at Aichholzerhütte and there we could order a delicious lunch. I took off my shoes and was enjoying the view and the sun! When I looked in the booklet it appeared that we had already completed at least 3 quarters of the route. I immediately decided to take the time for a long break.
Lunch with a view
I sat there and loved it, I ordered an extra drink and some good food!!
I had planned to take it slow today, but with the couple we had only sat briefly once the remaining morning. So I had just walked for 3 hours in a row…but I didn’t get any pain so that was fantastic!
About 1.5 hours later I continued on the Alpe Adria Trail in the direction of Langalmtal. Of course, the couple had left before and so again I walked alone on the Long Distance Hike in Austria. I felt completely happy and loved my time alone in the Alps.
The route was then fairly easy to follow, enough signs and plenty of clues everywhere. Every now and then I open the Alpe Adria Trail app to see if I suddenly missed a clue. When you walk like that, enjoying the view and your mind going in all directions, you don’t always see everything.
Alpe Adria Trail – Long Distance Hike in Austria
The longer you walk on the route the better you train your brain to recognize the signs. You learn better how the people who set out the route think they should place the signs. But also your eyes unconsciously look for the Alpe Adria Trail logo and recognize it. Even though sometimes you’re in your mind and don’t think you’re paying attention, your brain gives off an impulse when they see the logo in the corner of your eye and bring you back. Great to feel that and to be able to rely on it a little more.
Again I walk through immense alpine meadows and see the cows walking here and there and in the distance you can hear the bells of even more cows. People are nowhere to be found here and I always like that!
Being alone but at the same time feeling connected to everything around you. Precisely at moments like that I feel the principle I am really convinced of:
One is All and All is One!!
At 3 pm I arrived that day in Langalmtal at Erlacher Haus. I was really looking forward to a nice hot shower and wanted to check in quickly. On the terrace I welcomed the German couple who I had walked with till lunch. I got the key to the room with the most beautiful view! I sat on my bed and couldn’t get myself to walk straight to the shower. This is the most beautiful view ever!
Erlacher Haus – Langalmtal
When I later went downstairs to look for the showers it turned out to be really handy and good at Erlacher Haus as well. In a hallway there were a couple of toilets and a couple of bathrooms. Nice space to wash your clothes and put your stuff on the sink and if you want you can take a bath there.
Most huts/houses/hotels in the mountains are run by families. You sit in their living room for a moment and you feel like a part of their family even though I sit watching from a corner. I read my book and from the corner of my eyes I saw how the children were playing outside and the adults were drinking their Austrian beers 🙂
I ended another wonderful day where I had enjoyed the Austrian Alps to the fullest!
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Want to read more about this long distance hike in Austria? Check the official site of this great hike that they called: Hiking in the Garden of Eden noemen!!