Ankor på vift

A freedom-oriented travel blog

Category: Austria

Taking on Hoher Ifen before we leave Austria

Hoher Ifen was our third and final adventure with Sandra and Markus for this time around, and it was a perfect hike for our now  sore legs. This mountain has been in our sight from Sandra and Markus porch, so we got excited to hear that we would get a chance to take a closer look on this spectacular plateau, standing there in the distance. We let the pictures and videos speak for themselves! 


Hoher Ifen blev vårt tredje och sista äventyr med Sandra och Markus  för den här gången, en perfekt vandring för våra nu väldigt möra ben. Detta berg har varit i vår vy från Sandra och Markus veranda, så vi blev glada att höra att vi skulle få möjlighet att titta närmare på denna spektakulära platå, som fanns där i bakgrunden. Vi låter våra bilder och videos talar för sig själva!

Hoher Ifen, a 2230 meter high mountain in the Kleinwalsertal valley, was our mission on our last day with Sandra and Markus.

It was an easy hike compared to our previous two adventures the days before.

We took our time listening to the sounds of the mountains, mostly cow bells.

and taking pictures on the alpine flowers.

Sandra is making use of her camera!

The view is amazing, so don’t forget your camera.

Sandra and Ulrika on their way to the plateau on top of Hoher Ifen.

Group photo with Riezlern in the background.

We found a few butterflies on our hiking trip.

We had a picnic at the top and with a beautiful view to go with our lunch. We put together a short video from our first part of the hike that you can see below.

There is a small via ferrata on the south side of Hoher Ifen. People have died here so be careful when passing this part of the hike.

We ate second lunch on our way down at Scwarzwasser- Hütte. We tried a local dish called Kaiserschmarrn!

And had a Russ – a popular hiking drink with Weißbier and lemon soda.

We came across a waterfall in the end of our 8-hour hike, with a lot of stops, and we felt that it was a nice ending of a beautiful day.

But this hike had a big surprise in the form of an artificial lake, used as a water storage for snow canons in the winter, and we jumped in!

Last evening and we got to experience a beautiful thunder storm coming in the valley. We also filmed  the rain and Hoher Ifen from the porch  which you can see below.

The morning after we took the train to Bayern, Germany,  for a few days of resting our muscles. Thanks Sandra and Markus for the awesome summer days spent with you in the Alps.

Riezlern to Schönenbach by bike

Our second adventure with Sandra and Markus started in Riezlern and our goal was to get to Schönenbach, and back again, with mountain bikes. A 50 kilometer bike ride in the “flatter” part of the mountains according to Sandra and Markus. The route was as flat as it could be if you consider the fact that you’re starting point is 1000 meters above sea level in the Alps.  We are not used to riding bicycles, so we really got a hard adventure that day, but it was fun and we’re proud to have accomplished getting back in one piece and without having to be brought back to Riezlern in a car or an ambulance.  
Below are  pictures and videos from our bicycle adventure and from our “normal” walk around Riezlern!


Vårt andra äventyr med Sandra och Markus började i Riezlern och vårt mål denna dag var att komma till Schönenbach och tillbaka igen, med mountainbikes. En 50 km cykeltur i den enligt Sandra och Markus “plattare” delen av bergen. Rutten var så “platt” som det kan bli när utgångspunkten är 1000 meter över havet i Alperna. Vi är inte vana vid att cykla på detta sätt så vi fick verkligen ett hårt äventyr den dagen, men det var roligt och vi är stolta över att ha lyckats komma tillbaka i ett stycke och utan att behöva återvända till Riezlern i en bil eller en ambulans.
Nedan finns bilder och videor från vårt cykeläventyr och från vår “normala” promenad runt Riezlern!

It is always nice to wake up in Riezlern and see the beautiful landscape from Sandra and Markus place.

We got to borrow bikes from Sandra and Markus and our mission today was to bicycle to Schönenbach and back.

Our bicycling adventure took us out on a good 7-hour tour balancing on the border between Austria and Germany.

We had cloudy weather, but it was nice to have cover from the sun – the scenery was still stunningly beautiful even though clouds covered most of the mountain tops.

Two rivers that have their final outflow on opposite sides of Europe starts here. Starzlach river ends in the black sea and Schönbach river ends in the North sea.

We took a rocky detour a short part of the way to Schönenbach so that Markus and Sandra could show us how to ride their mountain bikes. Ulrika and Pontus had to walk most of that part of the way. The video below some of the skills that Markus has on a MTB.

We took a well-earned break in Schönenbach eating our lunch before we headed back to Riezlern.

We took the ordinary road back to the main road, so we had a chance to use our bikes.

Pontus had a bit of a misfortune with his bike. First the front brake fell of, then with only breaks on the back wheel, it also stopped working in a long downhill slope due to overheating. With Pontus completely out of energy, also the chain jumped. So he was lucky to come back to Riezlern without hurting himself.

Back in Riezlern looking at the sunset reflecting on the mountains.

Stretching and yoga to ease up sore muscles. Could you have a better view while doing that?

We also managed to do a walk around the neighborhood, trying new settings on our camera that Markus and Sandra had showed us. This bridge can be used with more than vehicles, the video below shows what school children do on the bridge during their field days in the valley.

The Breitach river.

Wild strawberries are in abundance around here.

Alpine grass and meadow flowers.

Horses in the valley. Next blog post will be about hiking up to Hoher Ifen with soar legs, stay tuned 🙂

Exploring Graz with old friends

We would never have traveled to places like Graz or Dubrovnik, if it wasn’t for our friends  who live or have relocated to different parts of the world.  Graz and the surroundings are a lovely place to visit for a few days and it is even better when you can use your friends as local guides who can show you their favorite spots in the area. Thanks Sussi and Tobias for the days you showed us around in Graz and hope to see you again soon!  


Vi skulle aldrig ha rest till platser såsom Graz eller Dubrovnik, om det inte var för våra vänner som bor eller har flyttat till olika delar av världen. Graz och omgivningarna runt staden är en fin plats att besöka i några dagar och det är ännu bättre när du har vänner som personliga lokalguider och som kan visa dig sina favoritplatser i området. Tack Sussi och Tobias för de dagar ni visade oss runt i Graz och hoppas vi ses snart igen!

Graz during night, walking back to Sussi and Tobias place.

Graz is the second largest city i Austria and is also a university city with a lot of students.

The city center when the sun is up. You’ll find really old-looking buildings around town. Graz was made into an important commercial and trade center during the 12th century by the Habsburgs and later, in the 16th, the architecture was influenced by the Italian Renaissance people, so that is why you have the interesting looking buildings here today. You also see and hear a lot of churches here:

The impressive courthouse in Graz.

There are also a lot of futuristic buildings incorporated into the medieval look of the town.

Sussi took us out on a walk through the center of Graz and our mission was to get up on Grazer Schloßberg or the castle mountain. Here we took an ice cream break 🙂

There is a small garden on top of Grazer Schloßberg, but you’ll mostly get up here to see Uhrturm, or the clocktower, and the view over old town Graz.

Uhrturm has an interesting feature, the clock’s pointers have opposite roles compared to ordinary clocks, with the larger pointer showing hours while the smaller pointer shows minutes.

The park just beneath the Uhrturm.

The view from Grazer Schloßberg is amazing and you can see the mixture of buildings. Notice the large alien slug-like building to the right. It is the Kunsthaus, the museum of modern art, and we heard that the building itself is more interesting than what is displayed inside.

This is the view if you’re talking the stairs back down to the city center. The other option is to take the elevator. There are tunnels under Schloßberg that was created during the second world war to protect the people of Graz from airplane bombings. Some parts of the tunnel system is still accessible today and that’s where you’ll find the Schloßberg elevator.

We also had time to try out Sussi and Tobias favorite neighborhood cafe, and Pontus had time to describe Bitcoin for Sussi.

Austrians love hiking, so Sussi and Tobias took us out hiking around the small mountains surrounding Graz. It is really easy to hike in Graz, just follow the signs and the read/white markings.

We got a lovely view over Eggenberg castle, a castle built in Baroque style. The oldest parts of the castle date back to the 1460, but the more modern parts are from around 1625. Below you’ll find a video with the view over Graz from our day hiking the surroundings.

Sussi and Tobias took good care of us and showed us their favorite restaurants in town.

Here eating the biggest pizzas we’ve ever seen.

The last evening we played some billiards, here team Assander are discussing their strategy.

Ulrika is aiming carefully. Thanks Sussi and Tobias for a nice couple of days in Graz. We’ll have a rematch soon somewhere in Europe 🙂

Early the morning after we said goodbye to Sussi and Tobias, taking the train to a part of Austria only accessible from Germany.

Austrian vineyards and learning to love white wine

“Are you ready for a road trip and visit Austrian vineyards?” – Sussi and Tobias asked as we showed up on their doorstep in Graz. “Of course we are!” was our reply and that’s how we ended up loving Austrian white wines.  Usually, the white wine is something Ulrika avoids, she doesn’t like it and thinks it’s to sweet, but the Austrian white wines are an exception. We had a really pleasant day exploring the area south of Graz together with Sussi and Tobias and the view from the vineyards are reason enough to visit this place. We’re so thankful that we have such awesome friends that can handle a spontaneous couple traveling around the world and who take us out on new adventures!


“Är ni redo för en road trip och besöka österrikiska vingårdar?” – frågade Sussi och Tobias när vi dök upp utanför deras dörr i Graz. “Naturligtvis!” var vårt svar och det var så vi lärde oss att älska österrikiska vita viner. Vanligtvis är vitt vin något som Ulrika undviker, hon tycker inte om det och anser att det är alldeles för sött, men de österrikiska vita vinerna är nu ett undantag. Vi hade en riktigt trevlig dag med att utforska området söder om Graz tillsammans med Sussi och Tobias och utsikten från vingårdarna är tillräckligt för att besöka denna plats. Vi är så tacksamma att vi har så fantastiska vänner som kan hantera det spontana paret som reser runt om i världen och som tar oss ut på nya äventyr!

Lovely vineyards in Austria. Ulrika was never fond of white wines, but the Austrian white wines are now an exception because of their dryness and freshness.

We went by train north to get to Graz in Austria. We’re traveling through Europe without getting on an airplane. It is so nice 🙂

Our mission was to meet up with these people, our friends Sussi and Tobias. We also got the opportunity to meet their Austrian/Swiss friend Hanna before she left for Switzerland.

Sussi and Tobias had rented a car for the weekend, so they brought us to the south of Austria, sometimes balancing on the border to Slovenia, to visit Austrian vineyards. They are everywhere, and green signs mean direction to a local business here, and you can just stop for food and local wine while enjoying the fantastic view. We have a short movie from our road trip below.

We stopped at Legat vineyard for food and wine tasting. Most vineyards are family business and Legat vineyard is no exception.

We ordered a plate with cheese and charcuteries to go with our wine. This is what the local people are doing in the weekends, walking around the vineyards and having a glass of wine and eat lunch.

Legat vineyard also had a lovely garden.

Roses are planted with each row of vines to detect if they get infested with parasites. If so, the roses will quickly die and you’ll have time to rescue the other vines from death.

Sussi inspecting the vines!

We met a kind Austrian man who gave us a left over birthday cake to feed the pigs.

We continued our journey to the next vineyard, passing a lot of sun power-loving vineyards.

Ulrika and Pontus chilling on the love bench!

Mr and mrs Assander thanks for showing us the Austrian vineyards and introducing us to excellent white wine!

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