Because there ain’t no better English word for it
There are some German words in the English language that are being used untranslated: Gemütlichkeit, Hefeweizen, Sauerkraut and Hüttenurlaub – or at least it should be one of those words. While it’s probably hard to find an equivalent English word for Doppelgänger one might find one for Hüttenurlaub: Alp (Inn) vacation…. But this is where the Gemütlichkeit comes into play: Staying in one of those chalets in the Alps is gemütlich and not just some kind of vacation. In the summer time folks from the cities close to the Alps hike up the mountains and stay in those chalets for a couple nights; mountaineers use them as base camps for tours to the peaks, families take their kids to have some back-to-the-roots time and others just do day hikes to a Hütte and enjoy the delicious, local Bavarian/Austrian/South Tyrol cuisine: spinach/bacon dumplings with Sauerkraut, Kaiserschmarrn or simply an ice cold Hefeweizen.
Around this time of the year most chalets are closed already (the cattle is down when the first snow arrives) and only a few ones are opened for another few weeks or even all year round.
On Wednesday I drove to the Alps to spend a few nights in a chalet in Austria; the hike up was much shorter then expected (but I tend to walk or should I say run pretty fast), and the view over the valley with its villages amazing. Weather here has been incredible with temperatures in the high 60’s, but it’s November and the sun sets early which leaves you with a lot of time for reading – there isn’t much else to do when you’re on a hut by yourself. So after a few nice hikes the next day (up to 2500m) and too much food (dumplings for lunch, second lunch and dinner) I decided to hike back down and spend a few nights in a nice hotel with a spa to treat my sore legs.
Yesterday the Alpinmesse (alpine convention) in Innsbruck started and so I spent the entire day looking at the newest gear and watching some boulder competitions. At night, the Freeride Film Festival had its opening and the shown films (including the highlight Onekotan – The Lost Island) were absolutely incredible – all “low-budget” productions by central European producers, but worth watching if you’re into freeriding or simply love skiing.
Now I’m back “home” (note the quotation marks as I felt more “home” down in the Alps than I do here) and after a nice run to stretch my legs (well, mostly all those super sporty people at the convention inspired me to do even more endurance sport) after the five hour drive I decided to share some of the pictures with you right away.