Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Mountain Trip to the Dumlerhutte and Kremstaler Landmatura

After spending a few days in Vienna, I left on 29.09.2005 for a trip with the Buddy Network. The Buddy Network is a group of WU students who organize trips and outings for the international students at the university. We left at 8.30 that morning, and took a four-hour bus ride from Vienna into Upper Austria (see map below).

We arrived at the Nationalpark Panoramaturm Wurbauerkogel at about 12.30. We were supposed to hike up to the Panoramaturm and then either take a chairlift or toboggan back to the bottom of the mountain, but it was raining so we just took the bus to the top, and then back down the mountain again. The Panoramaturm is one of several national park centers that are part of the Nationalpark Oo. Kalkalpen (see map of park below – look for red dot to find Panoramaturm). The view from the top of the Panoramaturm was wonderful! We were so high up, and the mountains were all around us. It was overcast and misty, so the pictures I took were very pretty with the clouds right next to the mountains. After the Panoramaturm, we took the bus back down the mountain, and continued on towards the Dumlerhutte. Let me preface the next part of this post by saying that nobody on the trip had any idea what was going to happen…

So, the bus parks in front of a store in this little town, and the trip organizers tell everybody that it’s time to get off the bus, and to grab our backpacks. At this point, they inform us that we have about a three-hour hike ahead of us to get up to the Dumlerhutte. Those of you who know me know that I am not a ‘hiking’ person. This announcement was a bit surprising to me (and most of the other people), especially since the trip organizers had not mentioned this fact before. We all started walking along a trail, and I was thinking to myself, “I can handle this…it’s not too bad.” We walked for about half an hour on the trail until we got to a mountain lift. The lift was used to take up some supplies that the organizers had brought along for the party at the Dumlerhutte (CD player, schnapps, beer, etc). Once everything was loaded in the lift, the REAL hiking began. We hiked 1495 m (~4900 ft, for those of you who need a conversion) up a mountain to get to the Dumlerhutte. Besides the fact that we were hiking up a mountain (and by hiking, I mean climbing up rocks jutting out of the earth), we were doing it in the rain, so everything was slippery and muddy. But, in the end, I made it all the way up the mountain (mainly because the only way I could go was up). It was quite an accomplishment, because I never thought I would be able to do something like that. Once we arrived at the Dumlerhutte, we had an Austrian buffet dinner. During the dinner, the trip organizers admitted that they didn’t know how difficult the trip up the mountain would be. I can honestly say that if I had known how difficult it was going to be, I probably wouldn’t have gone on the trip. In hindsight, I can admit that I did enjoy myself, so I guess I can say that I am glad that I didn’t know, or I would have missed out on a great opportunity.

After a good night’s sleep, I woke up to another surprise on Friday morning…SNOW!!! Apparently, this was the first snow of the season in Austria, and we were lucky enough to be on the mountain when it happened. Of course, this did make it more difficult to climb back down the mountain (it was pretty scary), but once I got to the bottom I was OK.

Once we got down the mountain, we piled onto the bus and went to Schlierbach to earn our “Farmer’s Diploma.” This was a lot of fun, and we all looked so silly in our aprons and straw hats! In order to earn our diploma, we had to complete seven different stations: knowledge of Austrian agriculture; taste-testing most (cider), schnapps, and bread; knowledge of different plants on Austrian farms; cutting grass with a sense (scythe); baking Bauernkrapfen (Austrian donuts); milking a cow; cutting wood with a jigsaw; ‘driving’ an old wheelbarrow; and drawing agricultural pictures (the Sense sharpening station was not open that day). Below, you can see my General Certificate of Agriculture and my interesting agricultural drawings. As you can see, I completed with my certificate with ‘great success.’

Before leaving Schlierbach, we had another Austrian buffet with meats, cheeses, and bread. I am enjoying all of the Austrian food that I have been eating, but I really miss my mom’s home-cooked meals. Oh well, only three more months and then I can enjoy it again. After dinner and the presentation of our certificates, we piled onto the bus (again) for the three-hour trip back to Vienna. I was very tired and happy to be home again.

To see more pictures of my adventures on the mountain and at the Kremstaler Landmatura, click on "Andria's Travel Photos" (on the right hand side), and look for the album titled 'Mountain Trip to Dumlerhutte.'

Next up in my adventures…a recap of the trip to Budapest. Unfortunately, my next entry and more pictures from the mountain trip and Budapest will have to wait until next week when I get back from Switzerland.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for keeping us updated and for the postcard. It looks like you're having a wonderful time and I'm really jealous. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we've put hurricane season behind us, hopefully it will be a few months before we get any snow and ice. We'll try to wait until you return to the states. Take care and know we're thinking about you!


Wednesday, October 12, 2005 10:55:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home