Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Austria, Obervellach - Groppenstein

The mission was to trek along the waterfall all the way to the top and try not to get washed away by sudden floods as warned by the many signboards along the way.

The autumn sights along the way simply got better the higher we trekked. The sound of water trickling and the occasional gush alongside the trekking path stopped us in our tracks every now and then to check the progression of the waterfall, our trekking altitude, capture some wonderful sights and of course, to catch our breaths.

It was quite a vertical trek and took us close to an hour to reach the top.

For a change of sight and route, we decided to take the downward descent via a small winding road through some farm houses and the view was A-mazing! Having a clear view from the obstructions of the tall trees, we were blown away by the show of autumn colours continuing from one mountain to the next with the occasional snow-covered peaks in the backdrop.

Being populated with farm houses, there were inevitably the herds of cows, sheeps and ponies grazing on the still-green slopes. There were also some herds which were unguarded by fenches or wire barbs but were simply too lazy to attempt escape plots of any kind or even be bothered by the vehicles driving up the mountain.

Nearing the base of the mountain, we found the entrance to a castle - Burg Groppenstein. This castle dates back to the 13th century and unfortunately it was closed on the day of our visit.

There was also an abandoned, boarded-up little church where I managed to peek through the rusty window grills and spotted the cross left hanging across one end of a tiny congregation room.

It was a good trip all in all, good exercise for the legs, healthy for the lungs, and eventful for the eyes!
p.s. don't ever be a smart-aleck like me and try to pick one of these leaves to feed the animals. It'll instantly prick your itchy fingers and send a painful numbing sensation which will promise to last for the next few minutes...

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