Ahornboden and Eng Alm

In mid-May, our friend Mia took Aunt K., Rosebud and me on an amazing hike in Austria, in part of the Karwendel region. Specifically, we visited Ahornboden, which is part of a protected nature area. The valley area is called “Ahornboden” because of the maple trees (Ahornbäume) that grow there.

We had excellent weather for most of the day, which made the views that much more impressive. As you’ll see from the pictures, the views were just breath-taking.

Ahornboden and Eng Alm

Ahornboden and Eng Alm

The area is also know for its Alm, or alpine pasture. This one is called the Eng Alm. It has a little farming village which is well known for its cheese; here you can read about the Almdorf Eng, or alpine pasture town, in German. There is also a restaurant/café and inn which you can read about here.

Alpengasthof Eng

Alpengasthof Eng

Here’s a map of the valley and its mountain peaks:
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We were very lucky that the weather was clear when we arrived. We bought some of the locally made cheese on our way to the mountain path for our lunch. Mia said that the cheese tastes the best right there in the area! She’s absolutely right about that. We had some of the cheese leftover, so I brought it home with me. It wasn’t quite as tasty as it was up in the mountains.

Anyway, I could not get over the natural beauty of the valley.
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We walked along a stream bed and stopped to have our lunch. As you can see from the pictures, there was still some snow that had not yet melted. We couldn’t continue along this particular trail because the Spring water runoff had damaged a footbridge crossing the stream.

Melinda, eating lunch by the stream near Eng Alm

Melinda, eating lunch by the stream near Eng Alm

Look how clear the stream water is! I don’t know if I’ve ever seen such pure, clear water in a stream before.
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Since we were unable to continue on this path, we headed back down to the pasture area, and went up a steeper path. Along the way, I found a nice tree where I could nurse Rosebud. I think this is probably the greatest altitude at which I’ve nursed my baby.

nursing Rosebud at high altitude

nursing Rosebud at high altitude

We were fairly high up at this point. We even heard some yodelers on the other side from where we were standing in this picture! My sister joked that we were too kind to arrange yodeling for her, on her alpine trek. The yodeling did make our hiking adventure feel that much more authentic and memorable. I must admit, I wasn’t expecting to hear real yodeling on our hike.

looking at the valley below (Ahornboden/Eng Alm)

looking at the valley below (Ahornboden/Eng Alm)

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Soon, the weather started to change, as it so often happens in the mountains. I enjoyed seeing the clouds drift in, seeming to hug the mountains.
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We hiked up a bit further. Along the way, I took some pictures of the Enzian flower (called Blue Gentiana in English). It really is this vibrant blue shade. DSCN3486An interesting note about Enzian – in Bavaria (and presumably, parts of Austria), you can get an alcoholic spirit that is flavored with Enzian; it’s very bitter and has a strong herbal flavor – definitely an acquired taste.

We reached this sign post; as you can see in the picture, we hiked with Rosebud in our baby carrier. We took turns carrying her; she loved being able to look around. I figure that it must have been a stimulating day for her.

Auntie K and Rosebud in the Karwendel

Auntie K and Rosebud in the Karwendel

We climbed just a bit higher past the post, but it was getting cloudier. We took this as a sign to head back to the valley below. Here’s one of my favorite pictures of the day, as the clouds were moving in ominously:
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Once we reached the valley, we stopped in a café and enjoyed some local pastries. I enjoyed the homemade Apfelstrudel, and Mia had a dessert that looked amazing. I don’t remember what it was that she had, but it was a typical Austrian dessert. When I have a chance to ask her, I’ll make a post about it. As we walked back to the car, we noticed the gap in this maple tree trunk – of course, we had to put Rosebud there and take some pictures.

Rosebud sitting in between the trunk of an ancient maple tree

Rosebud sitting in between the trunk of an ancient maple tree

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I hope you’ve enjoyed going on this virtual hiking adventures through the pictures I’ve posted. I am eager to return to this area to hike more of the paths and enjoy the natural beauty. I also can think of several family members and friends I’d like to bring to this part of the Karwendel. If you visit us, I will gladly take you – just be sure to pack your hiking boots!

Ahornboden (Karwendel, Österreich)

Ahornboden (Karwendel, Österreich)

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8 responses to “Ahornboden and Eng Alm

  1. Deutschneid again, or perhaps Osterrichneid. I remember drinking “Almdortler” in Austria, an herbal soda that might be a non-alcoholic relative of Enzian. And of course I remember Austrian pastries all too well. Definitely sign me up for this hike if I’m ever in the neighborhood.

    • bowmansinbavaria

      Almdudler!! Mmm. We had some in the refrigerator, but I think that David drank it all this weekend. You really can’t get anything like Almdudler in the States; at least, I can’t think of any soda like that.

      I’ll gladly take you on this hike – I thought of you while we were there, because I know how much you’d enjoy it. I’d say that Eng is about an hour and a half from our house.

  2. Mary Ann Verkamp

    Melinda, if and when we get over to see you, David, and Rosebud, please put Karwendel on our things to do. What a fun day that must have been!

    • bowmansinbavaria

      Mary Ann, I absolutely thought of you and Paul when we were hiking near Eng Alm in the Karwendel. I would so love to take you there. I know you two will love it as much as I do.

  3. Mary Ann Verkamp

    Oh, and that picture of Rosebud sitting in between those two tree trunks is ever so precious!

  4. Matthew Spencer

    It was great to see you and David at Rochelle’s wedding. It’s too bad we seldom get to see each other. I’m glad you posted pictures of the trips you took with Karen, since I didn’t have much time to talk with her in NY. David did tell about the cheese though; It must be delicious.
    I definitely agree with you about the pleasures of eating food while wandering around where it’s grown. In Oregon there’s a fruit growing region outside the town of Hood River. Being between the Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood, you can pick up local specialties like Marionberries and eat them while you hike. I haven’t found any local cheese though.
    I’m curious to try out some Enzian. I really those pungent, herb and flower infused spirits that you can get in Europe, like Chartreuse. There’s a place in my old neighborhood in Portland, where you get that kind of drink, but it’s different if you are actually consuming it in the place where it is produced.

    • bowmansinbavaria

      Matt, I wish we could see each other more often as well. I also love hanging out with you, Megan and your mom. I keep threatening a trip to the Pacific Northwest. One of these day I actually need to plan said trip and come visit you guys. For one thing, I’d love to go hiking with you and eat some of those Marionberries. This plan may not happen for awhile, though!

      I will have to see what I can do about the Enzian. It’s such an unusual spirit and not at all sweet. I’d be interested to hear what you think about it.

  5. Pingback: Prayers and Thoughts for Aunt K. « Bowmansinbavaria’s Blog

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