Alps. Tyrol. Austria. Marmots.
Yea, so I just came back from a holiday in Alps. In Tyrol, Austria, to be more precise. Even more precise, in Kirchberg.
The holiday was about 12 days from which only 1 was sunny and 2 partly sunny. Rest of them it rained or heavy clouds.
Despite this, it was beautiful. We (my, my wife, my son and our friends) enjoy going to mountains and if this is what you're looking for, then Tyrol might be the place for you. Mountains everywhere, with valleys between them, where you can find plenty of hotels and pensions. Make sure you have your reservation a few weeks before you go, and bear in mind that usually they make reservations for no less than a week.
I recommend going with your car, unless you know exactly where are you going with the public transportation; and have a PDA with GPS. This way we were able get to some very interesting places, like the Grossglockner glacier, Mirabell gardens, some castles, Alpine zoo and some other nice places.
And the damn marmots. They advertise all over the place to keep an eye on the marmots that COULD appear on the road (especially the high road that goes up to over 2500 m to the glacier) but until the last day I haven't seen any marmot. I was glad to spot one in the last day... in the zoo.
The glacier is quite impressive. Well, what's left of it, anyway. While you get down from the car parking place to the valley where the ice is, you see here and there little billboards with the year where the glacier was at that exact level. For example, in 1980 was at at least 50 meters higher than now. It melts at a very high rate and this creates a lot of mini-craters and crevasses. You really want to be careful when stepping on the ice.
Good thing - the ice isn't slippery at all, it's very abrasive so you can go for 1-2 km to the end of the glacier with no problem. Have some extra clothing with you because between the edge of the glacier and some 200 more meters deep on it, there's about 10 degrees difference in temperature.
Alright, one last thing - Tyrol and generally Austria has plenty of lakes. Beautiful views and some of them have boats to get you all over. We went to Konigsee, which seems to be the most famous lake of them all and it would have been absolutely great. But it was raining. Again.
Nevertheless, I still could get some photos, which I HDR'ed, the only chance to get something in an image on that nasty weather.
I'll have some photos from Tyrol soon in my portfolio. Right now there are only a few of them. I'll come with an update to the blog after they get reviewed.
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Photo credits: Xalanx.