High Alpine Road — day 2

It was our last full day in Heiligenblut, and since Liam had been the one steering our plans on the day of the “Cable car!” ride, and Dan & I had pretty much called the shots on the first day that we toured the High Alpine Road, we wanted to give B a chance to decide what we would do with our day.  And he had no doubts — he wanted to go back to the same playground we’d played at the day before.

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And so, we did.  We started our day out with a few hours at the same playground, with the great stuff to play on and the amazing view.  The boys climbed and slid and ziplined into a very happy state (and, unfortunately, into a few more splinters — there were a lot of splinters on this vacation).  Dan and I played alongside both of them, and we all enjoyed the gorgeous sights and the sounds of distant cowbells from the herds of cattle grazing on the side of the mountain.

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And then, since there were still many hours left in the day, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and see if we could get another (clearer) view from Schareck at the top of the cable car line.

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982And we certainly did!  It was cool but sunny, and the boys entertained themselves by putting out sun chairs and resting with their stuffed animals in the mountaintop sunshine.  We hung out at the top and enjoyed the amazing scenery.  We had planned to take the cable car up to the top, and then to hike back down to where the car was parked along the High Alpine Road — it was supposed to be about an hour to an hour and a quarter hike, and all downhill and on well maintained paths.  But, we couldn’t — on our way up the mountain, we looked down at the path below us and realized that it was so snow covered at some points that we weren’t sure we’d be able to safely make it through without ending up knee-deep (or deeper, for the boys) in wet snow on the side of a windy mountain a few hours before sunset . . . never mind that it was July 4.  Upon further reflection, we decided to just take the cable car back down.

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But, we had the fun experience of riding the very last cable car back across the mountainside, and we hung out at the bottom to watch the process of collecting up the cable cars all up at the summit.  It was pretty neat.

Though the cable cars were closed for the night, there were still a few hours until sunset, so we decided to continue on down the High Alpine Road, in the hopes of checking out some of the road we hadn’t yet explored.  We made it all the way down to the Edelweissspitze, the highest overlook point on the whole of the High Alpine Road.  The view was fantastic . . . but the wind was so intense that B wouldn’t linger outside of the car for more than a few minutes (and Liam wouldn’t get out at all).  The wind was so strong that we struggled to make it back to the car when it was time to go.  It was intimidating and amazing.

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1099We headed back to our hotel to finish up our last evening in Heiligenblut, and as we were chatting with our hotel hosts, they complimented the boys on what great guests they’d been.  It was wonderful to hear.  As a family that travels a fair bit, we do our best to be good guests, wherever we go — we keep the noise down, try to use our best manners and try to always be considerate of the other visitors and of our hosts.  But, kids are kids, and things don’t always go as planned.  (We spent at least 15 minutes of our first evening at the hotel with Liam shrieking as we tried to get a splinter out of his finger.  So much for keeping the noise down.)  It was nice to hear that the boys had made a good impression.

Our time in Heiligenblut was just all around amazing.  The place was beautiful, the people were friendly, and there were so many fun things to see and to do.  (And, because we had the Kärtnen card, so much of what we did was FREE.  The card was included in our hotel stay, and apparently typically is included in summertime hotel visits throughout the region.  It was amazing.)  If the opportunity ever comes for us to go back, we will.

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