At the end of June we came back from the one-month research trip for the new edition of our Uzbekistan guidebook and in mid-July we left again for Tyrol in Austria. And that is where we spent the best part of the summer – in the mountains of the Alps, doing research for a brand-new guidebook on Tyrol for MairDumont, our German publisher.
Seven fun- and action-packed but exhausting weeks. One of the absolute highlights was a five-day Alpine climbing excursion in the Kaiser Mountains. This was not work-related, which made it even better perhaps. We had booked a training course via the German Alpine Association and especially Natascha worried a lot about the age of the other participants. It turned out that they were indeed 10-20 years younger than us, BUT we had a fabulous time anyway, and our guide, Björn Heregger – actually a well-know freerider (watch one of his crazy clips on youtube), as it turned out – had just the right blend of being relaxed and responsible.
We do go to the climbing gym, and we have been doing outdoor sports climbing whenever we had an opportunity, but never tried multi-pitch Alpine climbing. The distance between the bolts is much wider than in sports climbing (sometimes 4-5 m, and it seems this was friendly), so you need a lot of confidence and must not worry too much about falling. But we are resolved to take Alpine climbing further in the future.
Other outdoor activities we tried were E-mountain biking, which is very easy and feels like cheating when cycling up, but can also be quite scary when you have to go back down trying to slow down on steep trails. And we also tried our (shaky) hands at downhill cycling.
Seefeld near Innsbruck is famous for cross-country skiing in winter and they are also a venue for Biathlon championships. On Saturdays, visitors have the chance to learn about winter sports in Seefeld and to shoot with a small calibre rifle like the athletes (a rare experience for Germans!). And we also tried roller skiing in Seefeld, a sport most people would be able to learn within a few hours. Isa is not very good at sports requiring balancing skills, but she also enjoyed it very much. We already found a shop in Berlin that rents out roller skis.....so we might try it again.
We have been back in Berlin since the beginning of September and spent the whole month with writing work: Finishing the Uzbekistan book that came back from the editor, and WRITING WRITING WRITING about Tyrol. We are also preparing our next trip to Egypt (work-related) and Sudan (just for sightseeing and fun). We managed to see some art exhibitions in between and liked Andreas Greiner at the Berlinische Gallerie. He made a dinosaur-sized chicken skeleton out of the 3D-printer.
But shit also happens – Natascha's bicycle has been stolen a few days ago. It was a quite new bicycle and secured by a heavy lock. And this makes it the third stolen bicycle within five years between the two of us. In some ways, Berlin sucks...
As we did not have much time for the blog, there are only a few new posts. One of the highlights of our Uzbekistan trip was a visit to the solar furnace in Parkent:
The amazing Solar Furnace in Parkent in Northern Uzbekistan – and how to visit it!
The other two posts were about our adventures in Tyrol this summer:
Fly high – or hike – like an eagle on the Adlerweg (Eagle Trail), where we spent three days of hiking.