Austria: Where the Hills are Alive

Ok, so maybe it has been too long since my last Austria post… but I wanted to finish up with the last leg of my trip where we stole away to the mountains. This is the Waigrain Region of Mountains in the town of St. Johann im Pongau. It’s better known as a ski resort town but I got to thinking that it would be a shame to be in such a beautiful country, known for it’s lovely mountains, and never actually see any. So we went to see them.

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There is no better time to take ridiculously silly pictures than when you are on a long train ride. So on our way to the mountains we took these… only my bestie can really appreciate how weird I really am and still love me for it. I hope they make you laugh as well.

c/o VLRS

The view. Isn’t it beautiful?!?!  We stayed at the lovely Edelweiss Hotel,  a delicious 4-star (all natural and green) resort. They were incredibly helpful, they picked us up from the train station (free of charge), fed us incredibly well, and were there whenever we needed something. I can’t wait to go back there!!

c/o VLRS

… the spa.

… and a video!

We did actually do some hiking! We were really fortunate because the resort actually had a trail that we could start hiking on — so we didn’t have to take a bus or anything like that to get to the trail head. So that was really nice. The leg out was mostly uphill so it made coming back extra easy. I got this hair brained idea that we should get off the train, take a trail and start hiking immediately and then stay in a farm hut along the trail… and in my head it was going to be beautiful and picturesque and not difficult at all… well let me tell you, I am so happy that we didn’t do it. Staying at a resort was definitely the way to go!!!

Anyone else notice the deer stand?

Gangsta Paradise? It snowed 6 inches the night before we arrived. The day we were hiking, temperatures were in the low 70’s. Needless to say, everything was melting — but we had a good time in the snow while it was there.

I can’t wait to go back. It was so wonderful. Here, I am jumping for joy. I love the mountains. I love the fresh air. I love “getting away from it all”. AND, I love my bestie for agreeing to go anywhere in the world with me… even if that means we have to go hiking…

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Today I am thankful for: it being Friday and getting to see my Dad tonight!! Woohoo!!

Spread the good word.

Caesar’s Head State Park: Raven Cliff Fall’s

Before I got sick last weekend, my roomie and I went a hike with good friends and new friends. We went to Raven Cliff Falls. The weather was beautiful! Beware of the crazy switchbacks on the road on the way up. It was crazy. Tons of Bikers and cyclist were out. Below, was our little journey in search of the Falls and a Suspension Bridge. On the map above, we followed the Red, Blue, and Pink trail heads. We think… it was a little over 6 miles. A good 4 hour hike and not too much uphill 🙂

It was so nice just to stretch our legs and be outside. We had really been sitting inside our Studio for too long… we needed to get away from all the sick people.

The suspension bridge! It really wobbled. I loved it! I kinda want to build one now… any takers?

My girls and hiking buddies!!!! I love these people.

The Fall’s from the Lookout Tower. I had no idea that this is what the suspension bridge was looming over. I may have approached with a bit more caution. You can actually see the top of the suspension bridge if you look really hard — It’s in the middle towards the very top of this image.

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Today I am thankful for: being home and seeing that my monster baby puppy is really on the mend. His stitches come out Monday!

Montreat, NC

Montreat, NC

I was told that when you go to Montreat you have to take a very stereotypical picture from inside of the car looking at the entrance…. so here ya go! Montreat is this really cool community just outside of Asheville. Montreat is best known for the Montreat Conference Center and Montreat College as well as its association with the presbyterian church. Well, we weren’t there for any of that — we were there for the hiking! We decided that we would hike Graybeard. See map below.

Graybeard Trail in Blue

If you decide to do this trail bring lots of water and know that you are going to be hiking for 7.5 miles… uphill — both ways 🙂 Hiking Poles are probably a good idea as well. It’s really an amazing trail. Parts of Montreat are said to be classified as Rainforest. I believe it; when you first enter the trail you can feel the cool humidity and it smells damp in a refreshing way — odd, I know. Along the trail, you follow a creek almost the whole way up to the top and you could see rock sculptures and places to sit and picnic. The water tasted AMAZING. Here are some pics from the trip.

Along the Trail

My Favorite.