Recipe for Tyrolean blueberry dumplings

From July to September, blueberries are turning fingers blue in the Tyrolean mountains. The berries are very popular with hiking enthusiasts: as a natural snack whilst a hiking tour, as a topping for a healthy breakfast or traditionally processed as cranberry dumplings.

It is best to collect blueberries in a closable box or basket. Fabric and paper sacks are less suitable as the berries are very sensitive to pressure.

In contrast to the culture blueberry, which has a white pulp and is often sold in supermarkets, the wild blueberry has a blue pulp. Therefore, it can easily come to stains when collecting the berry.

No worries: With a little lemon juice the stains can be easily removed. The taste of the wild blueberry is more intense, so it is advisable to pick the fruits used in the following recipe for blueberry dumplings yourself.

Ingredients for Tyrolean blueberry dumplings (4 portions):

  • 2 eggs
  • 250 grams of flour
  • 1/4 litre of milk
  • 1 kg of self-picked blueberries
  • a pinch of salt
  • a little bit of butter
  • Sugar to sprinkle
  • Vanilla ice cream to be served aside

Mix the flour with the eggs, the milk and a pinch of salt.

Wash the picked blueberries properly. Gradually stir the blueberries into the dough.

Melt some butter in a pan and bake the desired amount of dough in the pan. Try to form not too large pieces.

Sprinkle with icing sugar. Add vanilla ice cream and garnish with additional blueberries if there are some left. Usually, a glass of milk is served aside.

Enjoy it!

Magnificent panoramas from Goethe-Weg

We’d heard that the Goethe-Weg offers breathtaking outlooks and stunning views of the Karwendel mountains, the Hall-Wattens region, the town of Innsbruck, the Wipptal, Stubaital and Inntal valleys, but we didn’t expect this. We’d done a lot of hiking in the mountains, yet this tour was unique – a truly energising experience. Six of us embarked on the hike with Basil the dog.

We take the Nordkettenbahn from Innsbruck. The sky is a brilliant blue, so not surprising that we’re not the only ones on the go – but only few of us wearing hiking boots and carrying backpacks 😉 We’re quickly whisked up to Hafelekar, from where we take an easterly route and set off on the Goethe-Weg!

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At the Goethe-Weg

We have to stop, again and again, to take in the magnificent panorama. We can’t get enough of the amazing bird’s eye view.

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Down to the Inntal valley

After about half an hour, the path changes over to the north side of the Karwendel range and we get a completely different outlook: one jagged rocky-grey Karwendel peak after another.

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Somewhere in the Karwendel reserve

Rugged mountains against a crystal blue sky, the lush green of dwarf pines and meadows below … we couldn’t have painted a more beautiful picture, and Goethe himself couldn’t have put in better words.

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Around Mandlspitz peak

It’s very tempting to linger and stand in awe, but alas we know we’ve still got a long way to go. However, new breathtaking views await us behind every bend, every ascent and every scree slope!

This is our final climb up to Mandlscharte. From the top we can see the green alpine pastures of the Pfeis area, jagged Arzlerscharte, Innsbruck and, on the north side, towering Rumerspitze with its magnificent west ridge. After the short descent from the wind gap (scharte), we take a well-earned break in the green pastures of the Pfeis. Recharge our batteries, rest and wonder…

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Descent from Mandlscharte on Goethe-Weg

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From here we could hike down to Pfeishütte in 40 minutes, but we prefer to watch and admire the mountaineers as they conquer the giddy heights of Rumerspitze’s west ridge.

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Rumer Spitze

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Arzlerscharte

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Above the Pfeis, we traverse the northern flank of Rumerspitze…

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Along the Rumerspitze

… for about 40 minutes until we reach Kreuzjöchl. This is the peak we’ve set ourselves for the day. What a view!

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View in the direction of Stempeljoch

Then we climb down from Kreuzjöchl: first down a scree slope, and then along a steep track between dwarf pines which leads to Vintlalm. It takes us just three quarters of an hour to reach Toni at Vintlalm.

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Vintlalm

We’re dying for a big glass of apple juice. Toni hurries off to get our drinks. And, although we’re not at all hungry, we even find space for a piece of homemade plum pie!

It’s a shame to leave Vintlalm, the outlook from up here is simply amazing…. but storm clouds are gathering in the west, so we make our way down the mountain via Thaurer Alm to Thaur as fast as our weary legs can carry us.

A splendid day in the mountains comes to a close and we’re all back in the valley safe and sound. Goethe couldn’t have put it any better when he wrote:

‘The mountains are mute masters who make for silent pupils.’

(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer, 1749-1832)

 

 

Hike to the Blue Lakes Glungezer – and a mystical “Written Stone”

As they say, ‘the early bird catches the worm’ and so we (that is to say Robert, Klaus, Sonja and Anita) set off at 8.30 a.m. and get onto the Glungezerbahn in Tulfes looking a little bleary-eyed. Our destination for today: The Blue Lakes Glungezer at the Tux Alps.

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The hiking quartet: Anita, Robert, Klaus und Sonja

 

Our ascent on two chairlifts is the ultimate in deceleration: they’re so slow that you have the feeling you have to get out and push (!). On the other hand, it gives us plenty of time to take in the marvellous view of the Inn Valley and Karwendel Mountains. From Tulfein Alm it takes us about one and a half hours to hike along the summer path (eastern slope) to the top of Mount Glungezer. At an altitude of 2,677 metres (8,782 ft.), the panorama takes our breath away!

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On top of Mount Glungezer

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Sheep grazing on Glungezer Mountain

Robert is itching to move on, so we head towards the ridge, via Gamslahner Spitz’ and on to Kreuzjöchl from where we clamber down over the rocks (and there are a lot of rocks) to the Blue Lakes (Blaue Seen ). The descent takes us about half an hour. A flock of sheep give us some strange looks on the way down. They don’t get to see many people up here. In fact the last persons we saw were at the summit.

All of a sudden we can see the four lakes from above. They’re called ‘Blue Lakes’ but actually look emerald green in the autumn light. One thing is certain: they look very inviting – perfect for a quick alpine dip at 2,240 metres (7,350 ft.).

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Blue mountain lakes

After all, it’s still lovely and warm up here at 25°C (77°F). We’ve been on the go for two and a half hours so it’s high time for our well-earned mountain picnic. Our legs are aching – walking over slate slabs is no easy undertaking, but we’re actually quite proud of our little adventure.

We tuck into a hearty meal of speck, salami, mountain cheese and farmer’s bread, washed down by fresh fruit juice and a slug of stone pine schnapps. Ah, this is the good life. The view over the lakes in the direction of the Karwendel Mountains is mind-boggling; the clouds are reflected in the water; there is a wonderful silence and calm; surrounded by a sea of thistles, the only sound is that of ravens flying above. Not a soul in sight – amazing for the fact that it’s one of the most popular days for hiking in the season!

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Stunning mountain panorama

A little farther on, heading towards Zirbenweg, we pass ‘G’schriebener Stoan’. We can make out some ancient-looking characters on the standing stone, but we’re not certain…. We definitely feel full of energy – could it be the hearty meal, the brilliant weather, the nice company or the magical powers of the stone? We’ll never know.

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Der “Gschriebene Stoan”

A quick glance at our watch tells us we’ve got to get going. We take a shortcut up and back to Glungezer Steig. After about another 200 metres (650 ft.) in elevation gain we’re back on top of the mountain and heading towards Neuner Spitz’ Boden. Then we go down to Zirbenweg from where the going is easy and we quickly make our way to Tulfein mountain station to catch the last lift.

The lift man and six of his mates are good enough to wait for us. Thanks go to the Glungezerbahn and their team! After hiking six and a half hours in all, we wouldn’t have managed the descent into the valley – especially Sonja who’s managed to lose the soles from both her shoes!

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Help! My soles are coming off!

What fun! Sonja (un)chained… we end the day with coffee and mouth-watering cake at cosy Larchenhüttl. We’re bound to sleep well tonight!

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…and away they are!