Hiking in Tirol, day 1: Sloth vs. Harakiri-Hill

I have been thinking about starting a blog for a long time, but putting plans swiftly into action has never been my strongest suit. However, now I feel like I’m going to burst if I don’t start writing immediately. All the procrastination is driving me crazy. So, here it is, the unfinished and unpolished blog of an unfinished and unpolished person!

I write and take pictures in order to get myself to go on small adventures, to inch away from my comfort zone. I am not a spontaneous person, nor am I an experienced hiker or a hardcore solo traveller. That is why it only seems fitting to kickstart this blog by writing about my spontaneous solo trip to the Austrian Alps. I wasn’t planning on travelling abroad at all this summer, but when I happened to get multiple consecutive days off work around the Finnish Midsummer, I decided to book the flights at a few weeks’ notice.

IMG_1025Sunrise from a bus window – Paimio, Finland

I sat through bus rides, flights and train trips for almost twelve hours, until late Thursday afternoon, when I finally got to step outside in the scorching heat of Tirol. My base camp was to be in Mayrhofen, which is a small town in the Zillertal valley, surrounded by the Alps and tons of hiking trails. In winter the valley is packed with skiing tourists, but in June it was quite peaceful with affordable accommodation options.

IMG_1034The modest view from my balcony at B&B Scheulinghof

I dropped off my backpack at the hotel, picked up some snacks and went off to explore the nearby hiking routes. Having had barely slept for three hours, my mind was no longer at its sharpest, and somehow I ended up on a steep climb up the encouragingly-named Harakiri-Hill.

IMG_1035Wait, what, I’m supposed to run here?

I pushed myself painfully higher up the hill, until I was rewarded with the most wonderful sight of them all: wild strawberries! With a fresh spring in my step, I followed the path through shaded forests and open areas with increasingly beautiful views.

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After 1.5 hours of hiking, I reached a small restaurant with a breathtaking terrace view. However, at that point I had already helped myself to such generous amounts of peanuts and cheese that rolling back down the hill would have been a viable option. A sign pointing at the top of Mount Penken threatened me with 2.5 more hours of climbing, mosquitoes had found me, and shadows had started to stretch over the valley. I decided to skip the restaurant and the summit, and started making my way back to Mayrhofen.

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Did not get lost even once. For a mere half day at the destination, I managed to do a lot. Surely a successful start to the holiday!

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