The next morning, I headed down for breakfast early- hot coffee, a plate of meats and cheeses and breads, and of course butter, Nutella, and jam. I talked more to the American woman and to another German guy who’d stayed in his room the night before. Turns out, the American woman, Deb, is a travel writer and she was waiting for her guide for the day. She was also heading the same way I was, as was this new German guy. While I was planning to get through 2 stages that day, I agreed to start with them and just keep moving on half way through the day.
Hours passed after we climbed the first mountain, and we finally stopped at a little hut (Steiner Hochalm) where an older man with white hair plays the harp and sings, with his wife joining in whenever she’s not serving people. Hikers drink beer and Radler (half beer, half lemonade – exactly like a shandy and really popular for lighter drinking), looking out on the view. I think this is where I finally decided that sometimes in life you have to switch plans. I was so enjoying the company of this group, including the 2 young female guides from Tyrol, that I kept on all the way to the hut – throwing all plans of tackling the next stage out the window.
The continued walk to Hintersteinersee from Steiner Hochalm
We finally reached Pension Maier on the other side of the lake and were able to get 2
rooms. After some much-needed showers, we all gathered in the front of the building for dinner and (also much-needed) drinks. I had the Tyrolean Grustl, potatoes cooked in a cast iron pan, covered with sunny side up eggs, and red wine.
Eyeing dessert, I spotted jagatee- tea with rum, red wine, and schnapps. “Be careful” the menu said. Even Richard, the German guy, warned that we should share one instead of having our own. Well let’s just say that once the guides left and the 3 of us (Deb, Richard, and myself) moved into the cozy, warm, wooden dining room inside, 2 jagatees, and 3 schnapps each (hazelnut and apricot) later, Deb, Richard and I were discussing politics, the refugee crisis, healthcare costs, and just life in general.When we asked for one more jagatee, the owner told us we’d depleted all the jagatee. That’s just the kind of night it was. Don’t think I’ve laughed that much in quite a while. Just further proof of how great things can turn out when you throw some plans out the window.