Today’s recap of our AMAZING Austrian honeymoon is going to be all about our activities and exercise in the mountains.
If you missed my first recap, be sure it check it out!
Let’s start with the nitty-gritty here. Zach and I were gone for 2 weeks (Saturday-Sunday…with a day added in London due to missing out connection). There were 3 days fully dedicated in there to travel, but the rest of the days Zach and I tried to make the most of our time in the mountains and enjoy outdoor activities. Hello 2 weeks of no gym?
Here’s how the activities looked:
- 4 days of skiing
- 2 days of running
- 2 winter hikes
- 1 day of snow shoeing
- 2 yoga practices
- 1 day of walking all over Munich (and exercising my liver with the great bier!)
4 days of skiing
The skiing in Europe is VERY different than what I’m accustomed to here in the West. They have been having a tough season so their snow pack is minimal, to put it lightly. This was challenging for me because it was basically like skiing on a big plate of ice…very crowded plate of ice.
So yes, the conditions were tough. But the views? Out of this world. The Alps are SO unique and provide breathtaking moments that literally catch you off guard. I am hopeful that Zach will do a guest post and include a bunch of his photos from the SLR, because it was honestly like we were in heaven.
My favorite part of European skiing is just how large and vast the ski areas are. We stayed in St Anton, but skied basically all of the neighboring towns on the same one lift ticket. Skiing is really affordable in Europe in comparison to US, and you have SO much more terrain open to you.
Of all the areas we skied, I think we would both agree that Lech was our favorite but I wouldn’t complain any of them. Sure, skiing was a bit more stressful than I am used to, but I do wish I hadn’t gotten sick and was able to get a few more days under my legs.
2 days of running
You know my heart has been with running for a long time — and of course that didn’t change while I was on my honeymoon. 🙂 I made a promise to myself to TAKE IT EASY ON THE RUNNING while I was gone after a long streak, but of course brought along my shoes in hopes that I’d at least get one or two runs while I was out there.
And that’s exactly what I did. Two days that Zach went skiing and I stayed behind, I laced up my shoes and hit the (very icy) roads. This was definitely a different experience for me. . . the first day I went about 6.3 miles and the second day I did about half that.
Now let’s get things straight here. St Anton is HILLY (like 300+ meters elevation change in less than a mile. That’s almost 1000 ft). This provided some GREAT downhill running, but some serious uphill WALKING. On these runs, I’d run as much as I could, but walk the drastic uphills. For example: my 6.3 mile run day ended up being a little over 80 minutes. My 3 mile run day was closer to 35 I believe. . . context.
I was also moving a lot slower thanks to melting snow and ice. But to be honest, I wasn’t concerned about my times. I was just enjoying being outdoors and exploring this amazing town. I was running on my own in an area I wasn’t familiar with, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to explore very much, but the area that I was able to go and feel comfortable in was beautiful non-the-less.
You know running makes me a happy lady — and that was absolutely the case with these two runs. I finished feeling strong and full of beautiful mountain air. Nothing like it. . .
Never travel without my running kicks
2 Winter Hikes
The only other time I have ever really hiked in winter conditions was 4 years ago, also with Zach and also in Europe. . . go figure ;). You all know I love hiking, but there was something about all the snow and the cool air that made it that much more enjoyable.
Our first hike was actually more like a snowy hilly walk. We walked through town and then followed a cross country trail for probably 6-7 miles. It wasn’t rocky or too strenuous, but it was our first full day and figured we didn’t want to tackle too much on exhausted bodies.
Our second hike was a short but good one. The town of Lech that I mentioned in the skiing section was our favorite for more than one reason. One really unique element of the town was that it was actually two towns on top of each other. There’s Lech, and then Oberlech (or over lech) that is just a few hundred meters directly up the mountain.
You can easily ski between the towns, but they also offer a hiking trail that takes you directly from one to the other. At the end of the trip Zach and I took a bus out to Lech (instead of skiing and busing like we had been), and hiked between the towns. It was honestly one of my favorite days and included a lot of more relaxed outdoor time and good food :).
The winter hikes aren’t rock scrambling, and this trip it wasn’t through feet of snow (like it was in Zermatt in 2010). . . but the snow definitely added a fun new element to hiking!
One Day of Snow Shoeing
Zach and I are goobers and got each other snow shoes at the end of the year last year (for his birthday and for me at Christmas). Zach’s are pretty high tech and can easily be taken out in the back country, which he plans to do.
We knew right away that we wanted to break them out while we were in Austria, so they made the hike overseas with us! We tackled an 8k course for our first day of show shoeing, and I don’t know if it was because I was fighting getting sick or what, but MAN I was exhausted after.
There wasn’t too much snow on the trail, so Zach and I would jump up on the side of the road and hike in the 4 or 5 foot snow walls. That was challenging, but it at least made the snow shoes work like they were supposed to.
Yes it was tough, but I look forward to breaking them out again in the Spring on early season hikes here in Colorado!
2 Yoga Practices
Man oh man. To say Zach and I were sore during all these activities is an understatement. To help balance this, I made sure to take some time and dedicate it to yoga and stretching. I did a couple of my favorite at home practices and both times felt like a new woman after! Now if only we had found a studio to try in town, how cool would that have been?
One Day Walking All Over Munich
It was important to Zach and I that we had one, settled home base the entire time that we were on our honeymoon — but that doesn’t mean we didn’t want to explore. We both agreed that we wanted to do at least one day trip, and Munich was an easy winner for both of us!
We had plans to take the first train out, but that was when we both started getting sick so we took one out 2 hours later and ended up getting in about 1 hour later right about lunch time. Zach, being the smart traveler that he is, immediately picked up an English travel guide of Munich and headed out on a walking tour of the city!
We were only there for 6 or 7 hours and the weather was kind of crappy but boy did we have a blast! Good thing we both wore our comfy shoes for that walking tour 🙂
I absolutely loved all of my activities in Austria and just wish I could have done more. I absolutely believe that the best way to explore a new place is on foot (or ski, or show shoe). I mean come on, you’ve gotta balance the German beir and sausage somehow, right? 😉