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IMG_6583_1The hills are alive – with the sound of walkers.   When it’s hot, heading to the mountains is a classical cool-down. So, the gang piled into a couple of cars and headed for Vorarlberg in Austria.

IMG_6517_1The Lünersee, to be precise. It’s a hydro lake, but quite empty at the moment, which makes it safe for the trout. You can see them making surface movement on the water, indeed there’s quite a lot of activity, even in the heat of the day,  but it’s well below access for the anglers.

IMG_6519_1So – no fisher-folk, but lots of people in serious boots and sticks, heading out over the hills, or strolling around the lake – and others like us, content to just enjoy the air, and the mountain flowers.

IMG_6598_1They’re in full bloom in these high natural fields, long after their lowland cousins have had their time in the sun.    The alpenrosen are just coming out. They’re a very dwarf sort of rhododendron, not a rose at all, but we can  blame the Greeks for that because  (thank you Wikipedia) they named the rhododendron as “rose-tree”.

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We scratch back  in the attic-boxes of our once-learning to describe the landscape.

The hanging valleys from old glaciers are easy – and on a huge rock outside the restaurant the direction of the flow of the glacier is clear in the striations.

IMG_6569_1The scree-slopes are dramatic, some fresh, some gathering vegetation., fanning out from rocky peaks that look so enduring… and yet….   The water sneaks in to the crevices, then freezes to shatter the rock.   Instant gravel.  And sometimes, rock-falls, especially after a long hard winter like this one just passed. Two people have died in the last few weeks in Switzerland from mountains shedding rocks.

We restrict our mountaineering to the cable car, and a gentle amble round.IMG_6552_1

IMG_6528_1We also (because, yes, Voralberg is the country of that musical) restrict our yodelling to the car with the windows up so as not to frighten the livestock.  And the only lederhosen on display are those on the waitresses in the inevitable restaurant at the top.  She has her routine down pat. (So to speak.)  There’s a little leather patch hanging from her belt, so people who want to stroke her, get to finger that. Clever girl!

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Mountaineering - our style

Mountaineering – our style

Mountaineering - other people's tyle. Yes, that's a track across the lower left.

Mountaineering – other people’s tyle. Yes, that’s a track across the lower left.

Roughing it in the mountains

Roughing it in the mountains

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