JenSop: The Singing Traveler!

Idealist. Dreamer. Singer. Explorer.

Hiking at the edge of the Alps

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This past weekend, my roommate (Sonja) and I went hiking in the Austrian mountains.  She has a car, so on each of those two days, we decided to get out of the city and reconnect with nature.


Saturday was cloudy and a bit cool, but we had a wonderful hike nonetheless.  We started in Semmering and followed the trail up to the mountain there.  (Across the valley from the ski slopes.)  We hiked up steep hills and had lunch on the top of the mountain (Sonja made calzones), while admiring the view below us.  Near the end of our day’s journey, we saw the most beautiful little church, with roof tiles that glowed iridescent in the evening light.  Throughout the day, we had a few “rustic” adventures when we lost the trail, but all in all, it was so much fun, we decided to do it again the next day on a different mountain!

On Sunday, we had lots of sunshine and warmer temperatures.  This time, we started in the village of Payerbach and hiked up through the mountains there, getting some spectacular views of the surrounding valleys.  On the way up, we even got to taste some fresh pressed apple juice from one of the local farmers who was offering it to all the hikers with a “pay as you wish” arrangement.  The waning daylight kept us from ascending to the very top of the mountain, but we still took in some spectacular vistas.  We definitely want to get back for sure to finish the hike all the way up.  We drove to Payerbach, but there was a train station right there in the village, which makes for easy access  for those without a car.


In both towns, parking was no problem and we were able to find hiking trails with little effort.  Hiking is big in Austria and the trails are marked, but not as well as in the States.  And sometimes the hiking trail maps are a little ambiguous.  Regardless, we still had no trouble finding our way around.  I really recommend decent footwear.  Some of the trails are very steep and a bit treacherous.  We wore sneakers, but there were also lots of hikers with real-deal hiking boots on, and Alpine sticks in tow.  We did okay in sneakers, but I know I would have done better in my Keen hiking sandals.


If you venture out in to the mountains, be sure to know when the sun will be setting, and plan your hike accordingly.  Sunday’s trail especially would be impossible without good daylight.  I recommend taking a photo of the hiking trail maps to have them handy on your smartphone.  Also, we each took a back pack with supplies: drinks, sandwiches, an extra sweatshirt each, and an extra t-shirt each.  (The extra shirt comes in handy when you get all sweaty hiking up the mountain, only to be confronted with cooler temps while you descend.  You’ll want a dry shirt to change into.)  We also wrapped our sandwiches each day in a small towel.  It helped to keep our lunches from getting squashed, and hey, you never know when you might need a towel – Douglas Adams was on to something.


People in general are very friendly in this area, and all your fellow hikers will say hello!  And each day, I met super friendly cats who were instantly my best friends!  Saturday’s cat literally jumped right into my lap when I knelt down to pet her.  She then curled up and closed her eyes as if to take a nap.  And on Sunday, that particular cat enthusiastically ran right towards me from a yard in town, purring and wanting snuggles!


Here are some pics from our weekend!


First, Saturday’s hike out of Semmering…..




And then here are some photos from Sunday’s hike out of Payerbach…



Author: JenSop

One of my favorite quotes is, "If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough." I guess I've been a dreamer all my life - I set my sights high and then I try to reach the sky. Some might call me a naive idealist, but that's just the way I am. I believe in always taking the high road, I believe in true love, and I believe in treating people the way you want to be treated. If you put good out into the world, good will come back to you! Being the dreamer that I am, I pursued singing as my primary life's calling - I've got two degrees in classical voice under my belt, and I sing just about anything under the sun. I also love a good adventure. Over the past few years, I've done quite a bit of world traveling, and have even lived abroad for stretches at a time: mostly in Vienna (Austria) and Croatia. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, and I became a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations. (Seriously, I KNOW Disney - I've been going regularly since I was a little girl - and I LOVE it!) And with all my experience traveling and living in Europe, I'm becoming quite the specialist in that travel category as well. (And last year, I started working as a Tour Director in Central Europe!) As to the other juicy details of my life - I'm originally from Pennsylvania, I'm married to an awesome Croatian man named Miloš who is the BEST adventure partner a girl could ask for. (He's also an expert on knowing how to make me smile.) He's truly the love of my life! I've also had all kinds of other jobs along the way, besides singer and travel pro. (Which is pretty standard for those of us who went to school for music.) I've worked part time weekends as a Disney Princess look-alike for children's parties. I've been teaching for almost 20 years, and have lots of experience in retail and customer service. Oh, and I should also probably mention that I'm a huge Lord of the Rings/Star Trek nerd! :-) Let's all go along for an adventure, shall we?

One thought on “Hiking at the edge of the Alps

  1. Pingback: Helpful Links | Jen and Milos

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