von Roman Königshofer – Fotograph & Filmemacher – @rawmeyn – www.romankoenigshofer.com/
We left for Tyrol in July. Our destination was St. Anton am Arlberg, so we had quite a long drive from Styria. After a 6-hour drive, we finally arrived at Hotel Schwarzer Adler which was to be our base for the next few days. We were planning quite a few adventures in the alpine world of Tyrol. And we were looking forward to each of them although the weather forecast was not that good…
We were slightly more relaxed, however, when we stepped into the hotel. The pleasant, relaxing aroma and the friendly welcome by the hotel staff made us feel comfortable right from the beginning. We just knew that the weather would be of minor importance because our stay would be great anyway. Klemens Tschol, the hotel’s junior director, welcomed us with a friendly smile and took us to our rooms which, just like the rest of the hotel, are very stylish and comfortable. There are pictures on the hotel walls from past times when people were skiing down the slopes on simple wooden boards. Those pictures show the simple way of skiing fun back then and the enthusiastic people enjoying it. Every time we were going downstairs or upstairs we had to stop and look at the pictures.
We shortly discussed the situation with Klemens and we realised that we would have to abandon our plans. Instead of our climbing and hiking equipment, we would have been better off with our skis since there was fresh snow on Valluga mountain; in July! Well, the weather in the mountains can be unpredictable and there’s nothing you can do about it. So, we were not able to go on our planned tours but Klemens presented an alternative programme in less than no time. Being curious about what the next few days would bring and very hungry at the same time, we went for dinner. After having been spoiled with a magnificent 5-course dinner (with a rich selection for vegetarians as well), we decided to have a drink at the bar and then collapsed into our cosy beds.
We started the next day with yoga which is offered at the hotel two times a week. Yoga gently activates your body and prepares it for the day and our anticipation of an abundant breakfast increased with every breath we took. ;D We consider breakfast the most important meal. So, whenever we have enough time, we prefer having breakfast for hours. Since it was raining cats and dogs, we were not in a hurry and could thus enjoy the abundant, delicious breakfast buffet to the fullest.
In the early afternoon, we finally said good-bye to cosiness and went climbing. It’s only a five minutes’ walk from the hotel to the indoor climbing centre “Arlrock” (http://www.arlrock.at) which has plenty to offer: rope climbing, bouldering, tennis, squash and bowling. You can’t get bored there. So, we burned off energy and were happy that, in the end, we were active despite the rain.
Afterwards, we went to discover the hotel’s spa area where we could relax completely. The opportunities are numerous. We decided to swim a bit in the outdoor pool and then went to the sauna for 15 minutes before we drifted off in the relaxation room. Those who want more can let off steam in the sauna world. There is an old wood sauna, an organic sauna, a steam bath and an infrared cabin as well as an indoor pool and a separate vital area where you can get massages and beauty treatments.
When we looked outside the window in the morning of the second day, we saw that nothing had changed: It was still raining cats and dogs. We were not deterred, however, and were still planning to go up the mountains that day. The rates for the hotel include the “summer card” which allows for many activities even if it’s raining. Alime (the hotel’s hiking tour guide) was highly motivated to show us the surroundings. We took the Vallugabahn cable car to an altitude of 2,809 metres, directly into the centre of winter. It was incredible! 40 cm of fresh snow at midsummer. We could hardly believe it!
A unique experience, definitely!
Afterwards, we continued to Lake Verwall by bus since it was still raining in the valley. The bus rides are also included in the summer card. We went through the beautiful Verwall Valley for about half an hour before we stopped directly in front of the reservoir. The idyllic valley invites to stay, if it’s sunny, at least. ;)
Back in the hotel, we stormed the cake buffet and took our daily portion of caffeine. Then we made plans for the next day, telling ourselves that, no matter what the weather would be like, we were going to the test the hotel’s e-bikes!
A word and a blow. It was raining again, however, not as heavily as the days before. We put on rain gear and rode our e-bikes to the Darmstädter mountain hut in Moos Valley. We had absolutely made the right decision. The landscape was magnificent! Riding an e-bike not only makes you finish the tour in about one and a half hours but also is so much fun! The way into the idyllic valley is rich in variety and you will never cease to be amazed at the latest when you are in front of the turquoise-coloured Lake Kartell.
Our e-bike advice: The battery won’t last forever and if you play around with the “sports” mode on even paths, the battery might be empty in the end. As a result, the last few turns up to the hut were a bit more exhausting for Roman.
Following a warming tea in the hut (we were riding up there in snow, after all), we went back down through Moos Valley. We were wet and dirty from head to toe but returned to the hotel with big smiles on our faces. Our timing was perfect as there would be dinner soon, a highlight every day!
Four wonderful days were gone in the blink of an eye. We took full advantage of the rain and as soon as we were gone, the rain was gone, too… ;)
We know for certain that we will come back and then, we will bring the sun along!