Monday 15 August 2016

Flying high in the Austrian Alps

From sunny Trieste on the Adriatic we drive up through the Dolomites and over the Brenner Pass into Austria. 
In Stubaital, very close to Innsbruck in the Austrian Tyrol, there are enticing views to the Stubai glacier.

Sadly a trip up to the glacier was a no-go as the lift was under repair. But the Kreuzjoch mountain peaks are accessible via a cable car that whisks you up well over 2000 metres - to some pretty fabulous close encounters with the Stubai Alps.

In summer this is fantastic walking territory with the dozens of trails that are mapped out across the alpine landscape full of hikers. But the Stubai Alps and the Kreuzjoch in particular is also flying paradise for hang-gliders and para-gliders. 
It's something to do with wind conditions and thermal lift - whatever, there were countless human birds floating well above the height of these dizzying peaks.

I watched as Birdman here made awkward progress towards the take-off platform, suited in a contraption not designed for walking on terra firma ...

and stood for a very long moment on the edge, perhaps considering the wisdom of the terrifying leap he was about to make (well, I would too) ...

before tipping himself forward over the precipitous edge 

and into flight.

 This one, in contrast, less encumbered by gear and on a different slanted platform like a ski jump, didn't stop to think, just ran madly headlong downwards and off ...

Walking along an alpine trail I was glad to have the earth under my feet but couldn't stop wondering how incredible it must feel to be floating at these heights, light as air

At the chalet style café there is local beer, sausage and strudel served by dirndl-ed waitresses

and the less adventurous enjoy the views from benches

Give me a ski resort in the summer months any time.

Kreuzjoch, Stubaital, Austrian Tyrol, July 2016


  1. Each time I visit you I'm completely taken away !!!
    Thank you SO much !
    Just awesome.

  2. Very informative, keep posting such good articles, it really helps to know about things :)

  3. This looks really great. I hope that we can make holidays in austrian alps, too one day.


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