Austria

Mountains and lush green meadows fill the Austrian Tirol region. The landscape is so picturesque. For our visit, the weather was sunny and perfect. It was brisk enough to wear a jacket while hiking, but not too cold. We enjoyed our outdoor time.

The locals were very friendly. Herman, the owner of the Alpenhotel Ernberg hotel, greeted everyone and actively checked in during both of our hotel group dinners. He even joined with the group that went down to the hotel patio for after dinner drinks.

 

Neuschwanstein Castle

Our group boarded the bus early to cross the border into Germany to visit the famous Neuschwanstein Castle. It has gone under major restoration for years.  The outside was prestine!

There were still a few rooms inside the castle that were closed, but most were open for the tour. The newly refurbished interior was stunning. Sadly, we were not allowed to take pictures inside.

The Marienbrücke (Mary’s Bridge) underwent major structural work which was completed not long before our trip. The pathway to the Pöllat Gorge below the bridge was unfortunately closed due to continued rock slides. We were able to get pictures from amazing angles from Mary’s Bridge and also the higher lookout point beyond the bridge.

Hiking to Marienbrücke
Schwangau, Germany
Marienbrücke
Schwangau, Germany
Bedroom Balcony View
Schwangau, Germany
Neuschwanstein Castle
Schwangau, Germany

Highline 179

We had free time for the afternoon so a group of five tour members shared a taxi to Highline 179, one of the longest suspension footbridges in the world. It set world records when it opened in 2014.

The bridge connects Ehrenberg Castle (now ruins) on one mountain to Fort Claudia on another mountain top. We took the cable car from the valley to the ruins. Crossed the bridge to explore the fort and then returned back to the valley.

 

Highline 179 / Cable Car on Left Side
Reutte, Austria
Ehrenberg Ruins
Reutte, Austria
Looking down
Highline 179

Don’t be afraid to try something new. Push your comfort zone to experience new things.

Jeannie is terrified of heights, but with the encouragement of fellow tour members, she shuffled across the bridge, twice.

Group Highlights

Neuschwanstein Castle
Schwangau, Germany
Tegelberg Summer Luge
Schwangau, Germany
Tyrolean Dinner Entertainment
Ruette, Austria
Hohenschwangau Castle / Lake Alpsee
Schwangau, Germany

Personal Highlights

Ehrenberg Castle
Reutte, Austria
Breitenwang Parish
Reutte, Austria
Breitenwang Parish Cemetary
Reutte, Austria
Highline 179
Reutte, Austria

Local Cuisine Spotlight

And now for something completely different… rather than food, let’s highlight an Austrian drink – Zirbenblut

It is a schnapps made from pinecones. Yes, pinecones!

Lisa recommended this flavor of schnapps. It wasn’t overly sweet like schnapps in the states. The flavor was really good and smooth. We also recommend giving it a try.

 

Nightlife

After all the walking and hiking, we chose to just stay at the hotel and relax. Our nightlife consisted of hanging out with fellow tour mates on the hotel patio. Again, weather was just wonderful.

A perfect way to end the evening in Austria. Chilling with pinecone schnapps and friends.

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