Hiking the Alps in Jochsberg

Faithful readers, I must take it all back. I know I was railing about Kitzbuhel being a tourist trap yesterday, but as I suspected, a day here doing something really fun has changed my tune. We met up with Englebert at the tourist office and we followed him to a city bus. After a few stops, we ended in Jochsberg, the next down from Kitzbuhel, and met a pair of Brits and three Germans and were off. It didn’t take long for us to climb up and up until all we could see were the lush green areas between the trees on the mountains. Englebert, a professional guide, doesn’t do anything except hike. Every day, five days a week, he takes people like us up into these green Alpine trails and shows us what is up there.

On the way up the mountain, we ran into a herd of cattle being taken down the same thin little trails that we were ascending. The others carried walking sticks, those ski pole like devices without the baskets that aid the way up and especially the way down. Theirs had little shock absorbers. Cool! We made our way up and up and past hay sheds and old implements until after a few hours we got to a hut. In the back were cow stalls and a milking machine, and in the front a little living area and kitchen. The proprietor showed us a basic menu that included beer with lemonade, wein, and a lovely drink of elderberry and water. These mountain folks live here all through the summer as their cows dine on grass and finally come down when the snow flies. We hiked further to view a tremendous waterfall, and then returned to the hut for soup and little torn up crepes with jelly.

The views were invigorating, as was the long hike, and I came to realize that a tourist town only means that the tourists are in town. Out on the mountain trails, there were only devoted hikers like us, and I realized I like it here.