Berlin Special: Autumn in green metropolis

Autumn in Berlin is mostly grey and wet. The colors of the leaves bring some welcome change and when the sun comes out, Berlin offers some most beautiful going places, which you should not miss. In this entry Charlottenburg Castle and the Teufelsberg are presented.

Over the last time lots of reports and pictures of the Alps in autumn colors could be found here. Now it is time for a little round-up from Berlin. The autumn in Berlin is mostly grey and wet, as the winter is. The summer time is certainly the more beautiful time in this city. Still, Berlin is a place with lots of parks and green areas, so you find the autumn colors as well, like in the forests and on the mountains of Austria.

Schloss Charlottenburg (Charlottenburg Palace) is a beautiful place and every season offers another point of view. In autumn, the many alleys in the park – which is still free of charge – and in Schloss Strasse, leading towards the castle, are colored in yellow from the Tilia trees. Those trees produce an awesome smell in spring, with pale green, new leaves. They offer shadow in summer and in autumn they draw a colorful component into you photos. You should visit the palace, when you got time to do so. In winter, starting from Advent, a great christmas market takes place on the grounds in front of the main building. It’s a beautiful christmas market and besides hot wine you get treats, souvenirs and good food. And if you are first time visitor to this palace, make sure to take the tour. The description, of what you can see, is linked above.

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This is the view over Berlin‘s biggest forest, the Grunewald. You will have a great overview from Teufelsberg, a hill built of debris after WW II, today a green oasis with top notch views over the whole city, predominantly former West-Berlin, but at night or when the sight is clear, even deep into former East-Berlin. You will see all the main sights of the city sticking out, a skyline per excellence. The depicted view is towards Wannsee and on the right you can see the Grunewaldturm. This is a classical November depiction, if you are lucky and the sun comes through. It’s certainly beautiful, when it does.

And this is a forest closeup taken with a 50 – 200 mm objective. It shows the autumn colors in detail. Attached you find the obligatory gallery, with many more pictures of Berlin‘s autumn. Expect another Special later today about the re-unification of Germany, 25 years ago and for next week an entry about the street art you can find on Teufelsberg.

Hiking Special Tyrol – Part 2

Last weeks report was about Stubai Valley, Hiking along the Innvalley and Lake Obernberg. This week is about two touring areas – with plentiful individual tours – the areas of Sellrain Valley and Isar Ursprung Valley. The Photography give you an impression, what kind of nature is waiting for you to get discovered.

Last weekends Hiking Special Tyrol – Part 1 gave a short introduction in possible tours and regions for supreme hiking, before the winter break and this is why Part 2 already follows this weekend. Innsbruck (Part 1 & Part 2) is a great basis to start your journeys. It is very likely that you will still be able to go some rounds in the late autumn, before the winter reaches the lower valleys. In the meanwhile you can enjoy snow covered summits, awesome weather and green meadows in contrast to those white tips everywhere.

Valley of Sellrain

The Sellrain offers several valleys which terminate into the main valley. If you go up there to the top, you automatically reach the skiing and summer resort Kühtai.

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If you leave the valley earlier into one of the several side valleys you will reach a nearly untouched hiking ground, where you can park your car pretty close to the forest. And mostly you reach deep forests, which open up in higher altitudes, where you can find beautiful Almen and granite rocks in the highest altitudes, close to the summits.

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The autumn colors have been stunning and a great contrast to the evergreen (or white) meadows of the Stubai Alps. Those are blueberry bushed and their leaves are all colored in red during fall season.

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We had a great tour about four weeks ago in the side valley leaving Gries im Sellrain. My Tyrolean friends have a little hut in the mountains and up there, hidden in the forest, you are nearly alone, when you go out in the plains. And that’s the way I celebrated when we reached the summit.

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It’s probably a very nice ski touring ground as well – for all recommended entries, have a look here. Make sure to check on the risks for avalanches and enjoy a secluded mountaineering paradise! More pictures can be found in the attached gallery.

 

Isar Ursprung Valley in Scharnitz

If you have time and it’s earlier in the season, you could surpass the whole first ring of Karwendel and go a tour from Scharnitz to the Achensee close to Jenbach. It is a three day tour, if you plan with about 10 – 20 km trails per day. You walk by Innsbruck, but it’s hidden on the other side of Karwendel, soutwards of you.

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This is the view, when you access the valley, in the back the hiking trail spread out and you have several options for great tours. And the following picture is taken inside of the young Isar. It is a pretty cold river, let this be said. 

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The Isar springs are in the mountains of this region and this river goes all the way up to Munich and passes Bavaria’s capital, as one of Munich‘s sight, since the Isar Auen are a great place for recreation in summer time, for canoeing and all sorts of paddling sports with little boats. We chose a trail towards the Scharnitz Alm, where you can go all the way into the first high valleys of Karwendel, behind Nordkette and soon reached the first deep forest. A beautiful forest, dense and full colored under the influence of Autumn.

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But you still find green spots, hidden in the forest. The ground is covered with moss in many parts, the nostrils are filled with an uncomparable smell of nature, when you make your way upwards.

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If you make your way deep inside of this fairywonderland, you become hungry. This is our Jause, we enjoyed with an uncomparable view. We met in total maybe 6 people on our tour, which lasted for about 4 hours.

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Here you can see the wonderful October colors in contrast to the reddish grey rocks of the big mountains. The water passing through those mountains, eating itself into the rock, has a light turquois color, it is really pure and cold. You find more images attached in the gallery. With the provided information you have something on hand to plan your trip, you should definitively reconsider this, while you are around between May and Mid of November, depending on the weather.

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And when you are on the summits of Nordkette, like the Hafelekar, you have a wonderful look inside of this region as well! These are some views from the Hafelekar and the Hafelekarbahn up to the summit!

Hiking Special Tyrol – Part 1

In this entry the hiking opportunites around Lake Obernberg, along the Innvalley and in the valley of Stubai are described and depicted. Since the winter already reached the high alpine regions and the winter season is on, you need to make sure, if you still want to hike, that you are well prepared and look out for tours that are not leading you into high alpine regions, at least not without proper equipment.

Today I want to give you some recommendations for your hiking in Tyrol – this is part one and I split it into two parts. You will find more detailed info on the tours – parts of them have already been mentioned in the guide for Innsbruck (Part 1 & Part 2) itself. Homebase for your endeavors is Innsbruck, which looks like that at the moment.

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In walking distance from Innsbrucks Abbey, close to the street going up to Brenner, you find a nice beergarden called Bierstindl and the entrance to Sillschlucht. This is an impression from Sillschlucht in summer, a place where you will find the alternative people of Innsbruck to hang out and enjoy the ice-cold water of this little river.

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The winter comes in fast now, so the season is over for the higher altitudes – or it starts, if you consider to do skitouring. But this winterbreak in October is mostly of short duration, followed by a warmer period until the snow manifests in the end of November. With good clothes you will still be able to go some rounds as long as you don’t attempt for the summits, which will remain covered in snow until late April to May from now on. And if you attempt that, make sure you have the proper equipment, without that it is very dangerous – and check on the risk of avalanches, the new snow is not compacted yet and you should not blindly hike into regions where you are in danger. And although you might not find the summit experience too easy anymore, hiking the valleys and some Almen can be very rewarding as well!

 

Lake Obernberg

The region of Lake Obernberg offers plentiful opportunities. You get there in a 30 min. ride from Innsbruck via the autobahn towards Brenner.

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This is another impression from the high alpine regions in Tyrol. Obernberger See is truly a gem and worth a visit when you #lovetirol and the Alps. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• TAG a friend & follow for your chance on a benicoma feature & Read the story on http://benicoma.com How to be featured: ◆ FOLLOW and TAG a friend on any picture you'd like to share with them because they might enjoy it → You qualify by doing that ◆ I select a winner per week from all participants who gets a shoutout and a picture of their gallery published (via link) on the blog ◆ Everytime there are 4 winners it's time for a voting which is held one week here to distinct the overall winner ◆ A picture of the overall winner is featured here and three more in the blog and you get an introduction there as well if you want → https://benicoma.com/be-featured •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• #landscape_captures #ic_nature #ic_landscapes #ic_trees #rsa_nature #rsa_trees #elite_shotz #master_shots #hot_shotz #dream_spots #dream_image #exklusive_shot #special_shots #igs_world #igs_europe #insta_international #bs_world #ig_eurasia #zamanidurdur #secretplaces @theseldomseen #allshots_ #inspiring_photography_admired #travel_magazine #tv_travel #postcardsfromtheworld #ponyfony #igrecommend #jaw_dropping_shots #igs_group_02

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Leave the autobahn at Nöslach and continue via the plateau of the Wipptal. This alone is a hiking ground which is jaw dropping, through the agricultural used grounds of local farms into the forests.

When you are at Lake Obernberg you can do skiing tours and in summer hiking tours, which are quite challenging. You find the overview over the possible tours here.

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The tour around the lake should still work for now – the time of late autumn with summits covered in snow – it is an easy round of one to two hours with stunning views on lake and surrounding mountains! If you plan something more challenging, please don’t desitate to contact the Alpenverein for questions, to buy maps or to rent your equipment, when you are here to explore the nature. Find more shots of Lake Obernberg in the attached gallery!

 

Valley of Stubai

The valley of Stubai is most diverse. What you can find in summer is depicted from my instagram feed. It has three skiing resorts, at the beginning of the valley in Fulpmes the Schlick 2000, 11er Lifte in Neustift and the Stubai Glacier in the end of the valley at Mutterbergalm.

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All three are great, depending on what you are looking for. All three are high alpine, with the glacier longing on altitudes over 3000 m. This little river goes through the whole valley and is fed by several waterfalls all along the way.

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Make sure you prepare properly for those altitudes, take sunscreen – and if you are looking for offpist adventures, at least be firm with equipment to look for buried persons – and have the knowledge to do so. We experience many casualties of avalanches every winter.

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Here you can see the glacier, covered in snow during the whole year. It’s a majestic view all along the valley. If you stop behind the last village, where the valley narrows, 10 min. before you reach the glacier, you find a little canopy garden. This place is wonderful for a short break and a great starting point for hikes. Find all the possible tours here

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This is a view captured with a solarisation filter from my phone. The mirror effect is caused by a little pond which you will find at this spot. You can still go hiking there at this time of the year, as long as you don’t attempt for the higher altitudes, that are already covered in snow – starting usually from middle October, depending on the weather.

 

The forests along Innvalley

It does not matter at which time of the year you are looking for a hike. The forests along the Innvalley always work for you, in winter sometimes with snow boots but as long as you remain in the forest, without the high alpine dangers. The big advantage is the proximity to Innsbruck. You even find some great trails for hiking in combination with sleigh riding. And for the time between June and the beginning of October it is a great ground to look for mushrooms. 

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This is the view from Nordkette, when you are on the highest spot Hafelekar. You can easily go there by cablecar, when your time is limited.

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This is the view from Nordkette on Innsbruck, when you are hiking the Hofwald up to Höttinger Alm. In general the hiking trails (Forstwege) on the northern side of the valley are steeper and the Höttinger Alm will close soon. But the forest is beautiful and with Höttinger Bild and Rauschbrunnen, you see here, you have still some options left with a great view on Innsbruck.

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The southern side is a great mushroom ground. I won’t tell you exactly where to look, but as stated above, in between June and October you will find enough everywhere, no matter if you go up directly from the villages over Innsbruck or beyond the Glungezer. All the following pictures are from the southern side of the Innvalley forests.

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You will find sceneries like that everywhere in the forests under world famous Zirbenweg and between the summits of Patscher Kofel and Glungezer.

This is the forest over Rinn in Tyrol. A beautiful, in parts widely open forest with some steep parts.

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This is the forest over Volderberg in Tyrol, opposite to the majestic Glungezer. It’s a very secluded forest and you will not meet many people over there. And this is the view down into the Innvalley.

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All the photography can be bought digital via eyeem.com and via twenty20.com as hardcopy print and digital – since I just have my instagram feed upped there, please contact me in case you are interested in buying. Another way to obtain the license for the use of the pictures in original format is available soon via fotolia.com. I will bring up the file in best quality for you, without the watermark if you wish. A feed to buy the original work is in the works at the moment. And the hiking recommendations continue here

Eastcoast Roadtrip 2013 – Round of three states

Throwback to the USA and Canada Roadtrip 2013: The second episode of this roadtrip begins in New Haven (CT) and since New England’s states are not too big, you can easily do three states in one day. The first stop is Mystic (CT) where you can have a look at the historic shipyard. For lunch and some gawking I chose Newport (RI), where the wealth of New England accumulates and the final destination of this trip is Cape Cod (MA), where I stay the next two days, before the trip continues to Boston (MA).

I continue, New Haven (CT), albeit of one of worlds finest Universities is not really a favorable place to live, not for a long time at least. At 11:00 PM life ends spontaneously, i.e. the streets get really empty, and everything of this city which is not directly on campus looks rundown and I heard the crime rate is really high if you leave the campus regions, where the campus police takes care to keep criminals off. The more it’s time to continue. Bobcat Cody woke me up early, he is awesome and I had the feeling I miss my cats at home in Berlin.

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The first stopover is in Mystic. It’s just a little village which became famous due to its shipyard. There is a relatively nice museum and it’s a nice place to stay for some hours, take a coffee, or like in my case, have some breakfast. It’s is nothing really special, though and you could skip it as well, when you want to push miles. As you can see, Indian Summer is there, the leaves of the American oaks shine in bright red!

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My next stop is Newport in Rhode Island (RI). It’s the place of the rich and famous, at least it was very dominant as a summer residence to those families. I enjoy my first lobster and I have to say, it is a delicacy which I would not be able and willing to afford in Europe. American pricing is just different, in regard to consumption, no matter if it is for cloth, electronic devices, or more or less luxurious food. The poor lobster was awesome – it’s true, New England is famous for its seafood for a good reason. What I love about America: Several older people wonder where I am from, when I skype with my cousin in Canada to assure that I will arrive in a couple of days – German accent most likely included. We get into conversation quickly. They ask me if the lobster really is as great as it looks. “Yes Ma’am it is!” 🙂

The cribs in Newport are very impressive – I show you some shots in the attached gallery. You can certainly see the wealth of this region and you feel it in the pricing compared to CT in regard to tobacco, beer, softdrinks – your daily needs.

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At 5:15 PM I reach my final destination for the day, the half-island of Cape Cod. I stay in an Airbnb in Orleans with Julie and her family – she is not there on my arrival so I decide to head to the beach which I reach easily by car, passing through a dense forest. It is just beautiful and I decide to take a swim – it is not too cold after all!

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That’s me, just out of the water. It was fresh but not unbearable cold!

The day ends with a most beautiful sunset over the Atlantic Ocean. I love those moments, when I am alone, able to let the thoughts pass, not worried for a short time, just silent and in a status of meditation. It is beautiful and I feel blessed to be able to see all of this – already, although there is so much more to come!

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My plan for the next day is to spend the day at the beach. I want to talk to Julie later what she can recommend. The weather is supposed to be splendid with up to 25°C – a perfect day to enjoy these nice beaches and to explore Cape Cod.

Innsbruck – About my home – Part 2

Innsbruck has plenty of great sites, summer as winter. It’s up to you to decide what you would like to experience. Outdoor is a great plus but the museums of the city draft in thousands of tourists as well. Have a look into this entry to find your personal and suitable experience.

Innsbruck from Nordkette
Innsbruck from Nordkette (click to buy)

I want to start this entry with a little story about the people living here in most beautiful Tyrol, Austrias highland. The Tyroleans are a very special kind of people. If you approach them too open minded and loud, before they can flee, you can be prepared for a reply which can be harsh sometimes, or at least sarcastic. Foreigners, especially the ones living permanently in Tyrol, like Germans, are not always welcome to them – Germans in particular are a matter of a longterm love hate relationship. The term for Germans in Austria is “Piefke” which goes back to a story of two officers on the Prussian miltitary squad of the old times, before the Nazis took over Europe. They were so in shape, that they defined this term as typical German (towards the Austrian mentality). It might be due to the success of Germany in football, olympics, industry etc. while speaking the same language, it might be due to the size of Germany and amount of Germans, or because of the lively, self-confident (overexaggerating sometimes) appearance much more Germans have compared to Austrians, who are almost ever much more relaxed and laid back – even if they are equally qualified for what they do. I started to love this kind of attitude, it’s “just being relaxed” vs. being permanently stressed out and hasty in your everyday life… So this is by any means critics on the Austrian mentality. If you befriend with those guys and they go to the mountain with you, be sure you have found friends which understand this meaning from the heart.

This is the Tyrolean “National Anthem” if it comes up to the Tyroleans in Tyrol, East Tyrol and South Tyrol (Alto Adige), it should be still a united country, without Alto Adige belonging to Italy.

Sights of Innsbruck

But this entry is to bring the sights of Innsbruck to you, who are probably not living here, who are planing to do an unforgettable vacation in the Alps. Innsbruck is a tremendous base for your endeavours because you have lots of great restaurants and entertainment on the one hand and top notch skiing resorts or hiking on the other within an hour in your car or by public transportation

Rank 10: Plenty of Chinese and Japanese visitors rush in every day and it’s a main sight of the city, the Swarovski flagship store with its crystal exhibition in the center of the old-city. The company is actually a Tyrolean family owned company and does precision glassware for analytics and optics besides the jewelry. The main facility is in Wattens, just a 30 min. busride away the Swarovski Kristallwelten in Wattens. As I mentioned in my last entry about Innsbruck, this is nothing we would attend to, but I know there is big interest in these exhibitions, so it’s worth to mention them here. 

Innsbruck's colorful houses at night
Innsbruck’s colorful houses at night (click to buy)

Rank 9: The inner city of Innsbruck itself is a sight. You will have this panoramic view nowhere else while you go shopping. It includes the old-city itself, with the well known Goldenes Dachl, which I grant the Rank 5 in this listing. It includes the colorful houses along the Inn, the Dom (the main church), the Stadt-schloss, Landestheater, Hofgarten and everything related. The city shines in its beauty and this is based on the fact that it was not destroyed during WWII.

Schloss Ambras
Schloss Ambras

Rank 8Schloß Ambras and the Ferdinandeum, the lovely Tyrolean museum for history are going places when you are into history and old stuff, which is exhibited there. The castle is lovely and the garden beautiful. The Ferdinandeum is quite modern but the exhibition still has its charme.

Rank 7: Another main sight of the city is the Bergisel Schanze where the olympic wintergames took place. It’s annually used as venue in the tournament of the Vierschanzentournee, as I reported in my last entry. Another curiosity is the Wok WM, which was hosted by the German host Stefan Raab during the last years. A crazy tournament for crazy people, who enjoy a race down the bob-trail on a heated wok (yes the cooking device).

Rank 6: The zoo of Innsbruck, better known as Alpenzoo, is a nice place for families and animal enthusiasts. The inhabitants are all living in the Alps, so get a good overview which kind of animals can be found here, when you wander off the beaten tracks. Capricorn and eagle are the most prominent inhabitants, but bears, wolves and bobcats can be found there as well, and of course the otters, which have been my personal favorite! Another great sight is the botanical garden of the University of Innsbruck – small but well organized and the entry fees just apply for the tropical houses, visiting the garden with the flora of the Alps is totally free of charge!

Goldenes Dachl
Goldenes Dachl (click to buy)

Rank 5: The main sight depicted on all the postcards from Innsbruck is the Goldenes Dachl (golden roof). There is not much to say about it, it’s simply beautiful and you should stop there and take your touristic photo souvenir, when you pass it. It gets a separate rank, because it is the symbol of the city.

Obernberger See
Obernberger See (click to buy)

Rank 4: Compared to Salzburg or Kärnten there are just few lakes where you can go to dip on hot summer days. But some of them are most beautiful and I want to mention them here as one “sight” because most of them are in close range and easy to reach. The most beautiful lake around the area is Lake Obernberg, it is not allowed to swim in there, but we were never punished when we took a fast dip after we hiked the surrounding mountains. Another great lake is the Achensee, which you reach by car going via Jenbach, turning northwards up into the mountains. 

Reintalersee
Reintalersee (click to buy)

You can even sail on this lake and (kite)surf in summer, in winter you find a school for snow-kiting. The two most beautiful swimming lakes in the surrounding of Innsbruck are the Reintalersee in Kramsach and the Piburger See in the Ötztal. In the Ötztal you find the Area 47, a water themepark for your amusement and plenty of opportunity to do rafting and canyoning.

Rank 3: The endless amounts of skiing resorts in the region are a major sight for your activity and your exploration. I will just recommend the best of the best to you and not give you info on the smaller ones. Leave those to the locals and the guys who tend to be alone when they do their sports. If you are interested in touring skiing you can ask me for those via the comment section, albeit from that, stick to the ones, which offer your daily dose of convenience, apres ski and awesome. For the following list, I do not have a special ranking. Ischgl, Arlberg, Zillertal, and Serfaus are huge, the rest is smaller and some are closer to Innsbruck.

Rank 2: The Höttinger Alm is an easy to hike hut, which you should visit when you are in good shape during the summer month. You can reach it in a two hour hike via easy routes and the food is fantastic! You have a great view on Innsbruck and it is my personal favorite, when it comes up to traditional huts and the mountain flair.

Rank 1: The Nordkettenbahnen are the main sight in my opinion and they bring you up to 2300 m of elevation to the Hafelekar right over the roofs of Innsbruck. This experience is so unique, no matter if it summer or winter, it has to receive rank 1. You can jump in there, like into a metro and right from the old-city of Innsbruck, go up to Hungerburg, from there by cable car to Seegrube, and from there up to Hafelekar with just another cable car. It opens a playground for adventurers, skiing experts (yes, experts!) in winter, and mountainbike freaks (yes freaks!) in summer. You find an awesome climbing trail and plenty of opportunity to live your personal experience of wanderlust. If you are not into those sports regulary and very experienced leave this place out and just go up to enjoy the view – you can do that every Friday in summer til 11:30 p.m. and in winter til 1:30 a.m.! It’s in your own interest to not overestimate yourself because otherwise you just hurt yourself and are brought down to the valley in a helicopter. I mean it like I write it, please don’t overestimate your skills here. I have to mention the Patscher Kofel as well here – just for completeness and without taking rank 1. It’s by far not as impressive as the Nordkette, but the views on Innsbruck, the Nordkette and the Innvalley are more than beautiful as well. If you have few time, do just the Nordkette, if you have plenty do Patscher Kofel as well and hike the Zirbenweg.

Innsbruck – About my Home – Part 1

Part 1 of my introduction of my home Innsbruck is all about the lifestyle, what you can do and where you can go at night. I give you recommendation on what to obey and where to inform, when you plan to hit the mountains. In the upcoming second part I will give the more basic info like touristic sights and going-places.

The Innsbruck “skyline” with the dome and clouds from an incoming thunderstorm.

Innsbruck is quite a small city, compared to my hometown Berlin, where I was born and raised, but is still well known for its divine nature and sports opportunities all over the world. It lies at the river Inn – where the name is derived from – and has a count of about 125,000 people when all the students are present – which is not so common, especially not over the summer month where the inhabitants count around 95,000. That’s an equal count of citizens like in Berlin Charlottenburg, the district where I originally come from. With that count the city is Austrias 5th largest city. From this point of view, I did not move into a smaller place, when I came here… 😉

Most people associate Innsbruck and Tyrol with wintersports or ridiculously green meadows on the mountains during the summer time, where you can give credit to your Wanderlust.

A typical street scenery in Innsbruck’s old city – a beautiful city with colorful and old houses, since the city was not destroyed in WWII

The term cultural capital is of course not comparable with the likes as the opera in Verona (Italy), Wagner in Bayreuth (Germany), sights in Vienna (Austria), and the tons of great entertainment Berlin (Germany) has to offer, it is a small city after all – but you should not make the mistake to compare those names with each other and the main “sight” is nature and the mountains of the Alps. I will give you more information on the touristic important sights of Innsbruck and the surrounding area in my next entry – part 2. For us, who live here, those sights are playing a minor role of course, but when you are here for the first time, you should definitively check them out, since they characterize this place and give it a special character.

Events & Artists in Innsbruck

Anyways, there have been several great artists coming to Innsbruck over the last years since I live here and for some reason Innsbruck seems to be an important place for those artists on their way up to a bigger career. I was able to see the Blood Red Shoes, The Cinematics, Portugal the Man, Steaming Satellites, Blumentopf, and just last year Milky Chance live, and there are always great gigs every now and then – impressive for a city of this size – as of last with more and more popular DJ Sets like one of my favorites Worakls. A huge advantage are the relatively small stages where you get in touch with artist and mood much closer than on those huge stages, like in New York (I saw Placebo there), Berlin (Fugees, 50 cent), Munich (Lana del Rey) and other big cities. Another advantage is the relatively low entry coverage, if the concerts aren’t for free completely. The boys and girls from BONANZA do a great job as well, since they brought an open air to Innsbruck, which has always a great line-up and during the summer month they entertain us at the Inn, playing decent electronic beats for free – the place to be on Wednesdays to enjoy your well deserved after work beer, having a BBQ and chillout to Electronic music!

Nightlife in Innsbruck

The Place of the Dome
The Place in front of the Dome

For a relatively small city there are plenty opportunities for nightlife! I will just give you a selected selection of great bars and clubs. My favorite bar is by any means the Café Moustache. You can already go there in the afternoon for a very good Falafel and at night chill-out to good music, meeting friends, with a beer that is absolutely fair priced and enjoyable in the surrounding – team is cool as well! The Club Aftershave is related to the Moustache and always worth a visit in season, when the students are present. We had fun nights down there!

For live music the Weekender is the address to be. Most of the concerts I attended have been there and they offer free concerts of upcoming artists on Mondays during the semester, a great service!

Good bars to start into the evening are Innkeller, Zappa, Treibhaus – known for the big variety of cultural program – and Prometheus (Proml), when the cafés close at 2 a.m. the Limerick Bill’s Irish Pub and the Babalon. Another Irish Pub, to watch football and enjoy good German beer, is the Galway Bay.

The nightlife takes part in different locations, on one hand the “Bögen”, where you find my favorite clubs the Project, the p.m.k. – if you are interested in culture, gigs, concerts and acts, the Bäckerei with a focus on cultural program and products from the region and the Tante Emma, a classy cool nightclub which is open until sunrise. A little further off the track is the Club Cubique, where the well known DJs attend for sets in town. And last but not least there is a relatively new “underground” location Kindergarten, quite cool and in the modern style of an abondoned place – they don’t have a website, it’s “underground” and nightlife takes place to special events. A special and unique location to celebrate, aprés ski and enjoy life is Cloud9, which is nothing more than an iglu on Seegrube in winter time, where you can celebrate Wednesdays and Fridays – I say, this is the coolest (in the true meaning) location you can find!

Activity & Outdoor in Innsbruck

Nordkette at night
Nordkette at night, illuminated with snow covered mountains

Sportive events exist plentiful. The Air & Style took place every winter – but will be in Beijing in 2014, the Nordkettenquartett is a very cool event where teams of four people compete against each other and each team member has a different task: biking up the mountain, claiming the summit via touring ski, freeride it down again and come into the aim with the mountain bike downhilling the track from Seegrube – which is also called Gruabn’. The Vierschanzentournee is an annual visitor to the city, just to mention the most famous out of so many, not to start with the plentiful freeride events in Innsbrucks surrounding in winter. The sportive opportunities are endless here and Tyrol becomes more and more a paradise for alternatives from the classic wintersport. Skitours are very high on the list – but I recommend you an appropriate training in avalance awareness before you start into the freeride and skitouring adventure! Good sources to prepare your mountain experience are…

  • Bergfex for maps of skiing resorts and wander-routes and recommendations of the community
  • ZAMG to check on the weather which is inevitable before you start
  • Lawine to check the dangers and risk of avalances in certain regions – I recommend to train the awareness in the SAAC course (link above), when you have not done it before!
  • Almenrausch to plan your summer hiking tours and the stay at a hut
  • Alpenverein the official site of the community and society to worship the Alp of Austria – you can borrow equipment there
  • Alpenverein Aktiv to plan your tour based on a map, very nice if you want to browse & discover based on your location
  • Powderguide to check on the new snow and to find your pristine powder experience

You can explore everything of course without the need to visit events, museums and sights.

The Alps are THE major sight itself and you will find such a proximity to the high mountains nowhere else…

At least not with a city of this size right to its feet. And when you are in good physical condition, have respect for the mountains and want to experience a fun thing in summer, you should go hiking and check out boulder running – the fastest way to get down the mounain after you hiked it up. 

I will deliver a second report from my home and bring the main touristic sights to you and a little outlook, what you can and should do as daily tours, when you are here, stay tuned!

Treasures of the forest – Time for Mushrooms

This is a very short guide to collect mushrooms with some of them depicted. If you want to know more please leave a comment and I will add it to this entry.

Summer in the alps is always time for delicacies. You can go hiking and collect a great variety of mushrooms on your way to sweeten up your cuisine. Yesterday I went together with a friend and what we found, was worth around 30 EUR in raw material. If you calculate the dish in a restaurant, you have quite a little luxurious meal.

Tyrolean Alps

Fliegenpilz 01
Amanita Muscaria, the Fliegenpilz, one of the well reknown but toxic guys you will find on your way
A beautiful pair of Cantharellus cibarius (Pfifferling), one of the most desired mushrooms for the kitchen.
Fliegenpilz 02
Another beautiful Amanita Muscaria, maybe one for the guides to collect mushrooms in its full beauty.
Coral mushroom
A black and white take of those beautiful coral mushrooms, which are not enjoyable to eat, taken with my S3 and the red & yellow filter.
Steinpilz 01
A Boletus Edulis (Steinpilz), king of the mushrooms and ingredient in many luxurious meals of high class restaurants.

The time flies by when you combine the outdoor activity with this tasty hobby and all you need is a little knowledge about where to find those beauties. The Boleti are growing close to the dense forest, where the sun can still reach. Mostly accompanied by Amanita muscaria and sometimes, that was my observation, close to ant nests.You will find some of them even in the dense forest on moss rich areas which are humid. The Cantharellus cibarius – Eierschwammerl (German) – are growing in the moss as well, accompanied by myrtillium vaccinum, the blue berry. You have to lift the moss here and there to find them. It’s easier to find them in dense spruce forests, though. There they grow, well to see, on the ground covered with the spruce leaves, when a sufficient humidity is given. You can just walk by and sometimes cut hands full of it at one place. The Amanita muscaria are not to eat of course, but they are colorful and most beautiful!

Netzstieliger Hexenröhrling
The Boletus luridus is a very good mushroom to eat after you cooked it properly.
Flockenstieliger Hexenröhrling
Boletus erythropus is another representative of the Boletus family, and as luridus toxic if you don’t cook it properly.

Boletus luridus and erythropus are toxic Boleti, if they are not cooked properly. Most people don’t take them, but I do. You have to cut and blanch them, before you roast them in butter, then those species are very tasty, spicy and good to eat! They have a very special taste (awesome) and grow in the same habitant as Boletus edulis, sometimes even on meadows in the mountains, where lots of light comes through. Keep updated, since I will present some recipes the upcoming days for Spätzle with mushroom cream, Pizza with Gorgonzola mushroom topping, and Carpaccio of Boletus edulis.

An entry for toxic mushrooms can be found on the Homepage of the Klinikum Rechts der Isar in Munich (German).

OH WIE IST DAS SCHÖN!

GERMANY is worldchampion in football and won the finals against Argentina in the World Championship in Brazil 2014.

This night will remain in our memories. This night caused us lots of worries, lots of joy and happiness. The Football World Championship in Brazil 2014 ended this night, with a close but deserved victory of our team, of my team, Germany, which we lovingly cheer to as SCHLAND – against a very strong and minimalistic Argentinian team!

Me and my friends supporting SCHLAND!

The game was so close and Argentina really played strong, so strong that my friends and I jumped up from the couch several times, shouting at the screen. Imagine this scenery, it is somehow really ridiculous, but that is football! After the game’s end there was no time to waste to get into Berlin’s epicenter to Zoologischer Garten.

Jan and me, not really able to believe what just happened

WIR SIND WELTMEISTER! WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!

The way to Zoo in the S Bahn was memorable, all the people were singing together and jumping in the wagons. Thousands of people were on the streets celebrating. Fireworks exploded every second. The cops controlled everything, without showing emotions.

WIR SIND WELTMEISTER 2014! Without words! BERLIN!

In the middle of all the festivities a good amount of palestine guys celebrated with us, reminding of the the war which goes on between Isreal and the palestine people. Over all everything was loud, happy and very peaceful, just epic!!! It is an incredible feeling to be part of it and a long time, since 1996, that we were allowed to celebrate our football team again, how beautiful. Berlin is, not just because of the diversity, a great place to celebrate an event like that! Thank you DFB-team, thank you Brazil for all the beautiful images during the last four weeks. May the next Championship be as epic as this one!

Berlin Special: The area around Oberbaumbrücke

This is my first entry about Berlin. My homecity, the place where I grew up. Since I don’t live there anymore on a regular basis, I see the vast difference and the progress, which changes the city the whole time. I will continue to give some insight into my city, give recommendations to visit places which are off the cultural or nightlife track.

Since I am a Berliner and always will be, I want to take my time this time I visit my hometown, to capture some beautiful pictures and give some recommendations for you, to explore this city aside the endless cultural program and aside the overwhelming nightlife opportunities.

Berlin Skyline
This is the skyline of Berlin seen from S Bahnhof Warschauer Straße. Yesterday was a great sunset and I took this picture, while the clouds opened up a bit. I overworked the picture with GIMP to give some more focus on the contrast.

I visited the Eastside Gallery, since I was there already. Haven’t done that for a couple of years! The Oberbaumbrücke, connecting former East- and West-Berlin, is a sight for itself, as are the wallpaintings all over the former Berlin Wall. In the evening hours you can listen to artists, playing their music directly on Oberbaumbrücke and at U Bahnhof Warschauer Straße. The Matrix, which I visited back in the day, when I was 18 years old, still exists and seems to be a classic for the American tourists. The Club of Visionaries is a very nice place and it is reopened. Make sure to bring ladies, when you go there, it is much easier to get in.

The Eastside Gallery, rest of the Berlin wall, covered all over with beautiful and theme related graphiti – Peace, Reunition and Love.
Oberbaumbrücke connecting Berlin-Kreuzberg and Berlin-Friedrichshain

The whole area offers plentiful Bars, Cafes and Nightclubs. The Watergate, which is popular with tourists, the classic partly open air, partly inside Club Lido, where you can witness cool Bands playing. Some Jazz Bars, like Badehaus in Friedrichshain, and many restaurants can be found around this area. Just go there and get inspired, don’t plan too much, just follow the flow and enjoy this part of Berlin. And take a closer look at the rest of the German Wall, this is true history that you just find in Cypress, Pjönjang and Israel to the Palästinian parts… The advantage of the German wall… It is past and gone.

As a great place for your fast food on the way visit Burgeramt Frühstücksklub. You will find a big variety of burgers, veggie included. A great place for Kafta, arabian meatballs with salad, is Kreuzberger Köfte Burger in the Wrangelstraße. Get it without the sauce, since you will experience the spice of the meat better.

Innsbruck: Visit Höttinger Alm

Innsbruck’s Nordkette is a big playground for alpinists and everyone interested in hiking and nature. In winter it offers great skiing and snowboarding. The panoramic view over the city towards Italy will be your reward if you were able to accept the challenge to climb up there.

If you ever are around Innsbruck in the Austrian alps of Tyrol, not lacking a good bit of training and willing to have a sportive hike with great views on the city, visit the Höttinger Alm and try their food, while you enjoy a great panorama.

Clouds cover the Nordkette and we have some decent snowfall in May. It’s cold to be back to Europe…
Covered in snow, the evening scenery of the Nordkette is most unique and beautiful. It’s the “skyline” of Innsbruck, which you will find nowhere else.

The snow is gone again, so you are good to go now. A walk for about 2 hours awaits you and on the way you will find some fountains were you can actually drink the water, which comes right out of the mountain.

The view down on Innsbruck. In the back you see the famous Serles where Wipptal (left) and Stubaital (right) start.

If you hiked high enough, these views will be your reward. This day the conditions are perfect, so if you are around you should come and enjoy the mountains!