rauris valley - schoeder (Steiermark)

schöder - neustift



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a Waterfall and a House

There are different opinions on alpine passes: a trucker says the Soelk was free of snow, yet another young man says there were avalanches and there's literally no way - so off to the Tauern road through white landscapes just underneath the tree limit, and a frosty scandinavian feeling creeps in my bones.
The Steiermark in turn greets me with a lush atmosphere of early spring, small villages and incredibly friendly people. Following a sign that simply says 'Waterfall' - I decided to have a look, but what I found is more: a lovely farm lady and her husband run a pub in their place, a friendly old house dating from 1771 - and the smell of woodfire is everywhere, with soot drops on the ceiling and worn panels of wood - and i'm made welcome to share the table in the kitchen kept warm by a massive woodburning stove. I take the smell with me when I make for the tent.
The cows are about ready to leave their winter accomodation and to spread out into the fields, but it's still a bit too early as the water still rages down the mountain slopes; there's still a lot of snow up there. A frosty night, and in the morning i walk into the river barefoot, but not for long :), well, *now* I've woken up properly.
The bike packed i sit in the sun and talk to the farmer for another four hours, have coffee, learn something about running a small farm whilst the mother cow takes a lazy walk around the yard. Yes, everyone has a past and everyone has a need for identity and some hold out longer than others.
Then i manage to leave, finally, with bundles of energy given to me by the two, and whizz off to light the fire for the Soelk Rally run by the Austrian AiA. But that will be another story...

status bike: slow above 1200 meters/sealevel
status max: sun burned
status weather: frosty during the night