Solden & Vent 30 July – 14 July, 2012
Several months ago, my wife Julie and I were trying to decide where we would travel next. We noted that we had not been to Germany in 20 years. On that vacation, we had a rail pass and a guidebook and merrily went on our way from city to city. We managed to spend a couple of days of hiking in the Mittenwald area, but that was the extent of it.
For this vacation, we wanted to make hiking the major part of the holiday; however, we also wanted to have time to ourselves to do some sightseeing and enjoy the museums – without wearing our hiking boots. We decided on one week in Bavaria on our own and two weeks of hiking with Ramblers Worldwide Holidays.
We chose the Solden/Vent C C+ trip because the starting point was Munich and because we had not been to either of those two centres in Austria before. This was our first trip with Ramblers Worldwide Holidays. We had done many trips with other tour operators and were familiar with how they worked.
As agreed in advance, we met our leader, John Lade, and the rest of the group, at the Munich airport. We then took the Ramblers bus to the four-star Hotel Alpina in Solden, where we were warmly greeted and served a nice meal.
We were glad to be in the mountains again, particularly after an unusual heat wave in Munich, where our hotel was not air conditioned.
The hiking program that John had planned for the group was fantastic. Each hike got progressively longer or higher; some involved the use of chains or cables. John was quick to help anyone who needed assistance.
The pace was such that it allowed frequent apple strudel stops at the mountain huts. This became quite a game for the group – rating one hut’s strudel against another’s.
Given that we were there in July, we were able to see a beautiful array of wildflowers growing in the mountains.
One particular highlight was walking around the Schwarzsee and climbing up to Schwarzkogl (3018 metres). Julie and I practically had the mountain to ourselves. We were able to take lots of pictures and enjoy the views.
I used to do commercial photography when I was younger and carried lots of equipment with me, at that time. Not so anymore. I photographed this holiday with a Canon G12 and Julie used a Canon SD 880. We were pleasantly surprised at how well the panorama shots turned out.
After a week in Solden (1377 metres), we transferred to Vent (1900 metres) where we stayed at the four-star Hotel Vent. Having done our share of camping, I must say that it is nice to come back to a comfortable hotel after a long walk and have a hot shower and a cold beer! An added bonus for me was that I did not have to cook for the entire holiday!
If you have not been to this part of the Alps, I would highly recommend it. It is good value for your money and the hiking is fantastic. You might even get to see a rainbow like we did!
For more photographs, please click here.