“The coldest May in 28 years
”, said our slightly apologetic host as the snow fell gently outside the restaurant window.
Our early May walking holiday based at the Hotel Wiesenhof in Pertisau am Achensee
in the Tyrol, was getting off to a snowy start. Fortunately, we’d studied the forecast (with rather sinking hearts) and packed appropriately – just as if we were going walking in the Scottish hills (in any season).
Weeks earlier, I’d envisaged strolling across lush, green meadows bursting with wild-flowers, the sun beating down on our backs, as we explored the mountains and valleys. Currently, the meadows were, in fact, sporting a layer of soft snow, while higher up, the mountains were blanketed in white, well down past the tree line.
However, the cable cars were running and the views as we made our way along the deserted slopes were breathtaking. The snow seemed to highlight the peaks, the cliffs and the valleys, the air was cold and fresh and we were on our own, just drinking in the view – and the silence. Higher paths were invisible – all markers were covered by fresh, untrodden snow, so we explored lower routes, heading down through the pine forests to the lakeside.