The E4 again

Spital am Phyrn to Seewiesen on the E4 long-distance trek


Like most years Nick and I are walking a week on the Austrian part of a long distance path that starts in Gilbraltar and goes via the spine of the alps down threw the Balkan to Greece. We start where we stopped the year before. This path has become a kind of moving Heimat over the years. This time round we are walking with Nick’s brother Andrew and my lovely sister in law Clare.

at Voisthaler Huette

Day 1: 16 August 2014 – Spital – Rohrbacher Haus: 2 hours 40 min
Said good bye to Mutti in Germering, when will we see again?, Munich train station, my favourite place, in the world?, hi Andrew, hi Clare, tickets, train, destined for Budapest, long not been, Bretzeln, Bavarian hamlets, onion church towers, Salzburg, Willi?, Linz, peep out, Linzer torte, slow train, big monastery, Spital, station master, yellow sign, 3 hours, to Rohrbacher Haus, lets go, will we manage?, village, over the Bach, up, woods, along, Bosruck hut, Schorle, up again, here is the hut, Lederhosen man, Alpenchilli, Wurst, Sauerkraut, Apfelstrudel, UNO, Boell’s clown, bed.

Stift Admont
Stift Admont

Day 2: 17 August 2014 – Rohrauer Haus – Oberst-Klinke Huette: 7 hours
Breakfast, buffet these days?, photo, postcards, bye, down, red and white, woods, down, down, tarmack track, where is Andrew?, Admont, beer garden, Schorle, Leberknödelsuppe, Stift Admont, baroque, the library, how is it possible?, in this country, with all the peasants, 70000 books, some 1000 years old, from 177, the ceiling frescoes, too much?, amazing, off we go, road, motorbikes, too many of them, noisy, ah the wood, the burn, over it, up, up, hot, up, up, Snickers break, up, up, the hut, Clare sees it, hot, Bier her, oder I fall um, who was Oberst Klinke?, prefer not to know, hut from 1942, a Nazi barack, the memoirs of the clown always with me, busy place, rock climbers, Knödel, staff nice, but messy, they smoke in restaurant, UNO.


Day 3: 18 August 2014 – Oberst-Klinke Hütte – Heβ Hütte: 8 hours
Up, where is the breakfast, find the man, is he hung over?, shuffles the coffee, fresh bread makes up for it, why can’t it always be like this?, the bread, there we go, off we go, down, down to Mödlinger Hütte, Quarkstrudel, Schwarzbeerstrudel, Johannisbeerschorle, yum, lovely hut, stressed Wirt, off again, along, sunny path, down, down, Johnsbach, Kölbl Wirt, nice wee place, nice wee restaurant, Kaiserschmarrn, now up, up, steep, up, up, burn, woods, flowers, so many of them, love the Danube gentians, all the gentians, up, people down, up, more rocky, see the hut, yeah, Hess, its full, Gamsgulasch, thought they were protected?, maybe not, Kipferl, beer, nice Wirt, how do they do it?, UNO.

Hess Huette

Day 4: 19 August 2014 – Heβ Hütte – Radmer an der Stube: 10 hours
Up, up, down, down to Sulzkaralm, kissing pigs, Jo-Schorle, ringing cows, down to Hartelsgraben, Schorle, down and up over to Goldecksattle, Silberdisteln, up to Scheucheckalm, where is the path?, grey all day, lots of chanterelles, finally good views down, scree, Geröll, steep down, down, stony, too steep, where is the path?, finally Obere Sulzbaueralm, but where is Andrew?, Milka, need one, down, knees hurt, Radmer, baroque church, yellow towers, pilgrims, finally, 10 hours, 2 more than expected, Erna + Erich, cute couple, in door, bring beer, shower, out again, Schnitzel, at Gasthaus zur Mühle, bed, so tired, no clown today.

E 4

Day 5: 20 August 2014 – Radmer – Eisenerz: 5 hours
Up, breakfast with fire and fish board, normal path closed, forestry road, up to Radmer Hals, misty day, write in book, near the cross, so may crosses, need to find out more about them, pilgrims?, down now, rainy day, down, anorak, Nordic Center, have the kids been here?, Pilcher Hof, yum, Griesnockerlsuppe, Venison gulasch, up again, over the Pilgrims path, Eisenerz, the Schichtturm, amazing sight, not prepared for that, not really, mining town, all colourful houses, Gasthaus zur Post, walk about town, Olympic champion, Nordic, map hunt, Apfelstrudel, dinner, in Gasthaus, Menu translator, could this be a career?, UNO.


Day 6: 21 August – Eisenerz – Sonnschien Hütte: 9 hours
Up, Semmeln, yum, Hinterseegraben, sunny, Urlaubskreuz, the only way one got of work, long ago, if you go on a pilgrimage, so steep, but nice, picnic with bread, Cabanossi and cheese, up, along, woolly thistles, like in Scotland, but bigger, cow bells, amazing, can one orchestrate a cow driven concert?, Androth Alm, women with chainsaws, Schorle, Latschenwald, see the Hut, nice, few people, frustrated Wirt, broken glasses, now fixed, Palatschinken, UNO, tired, can’t read the clown, not even a page, bed 8.30 pm.


Day 7: 22 August 2014 – Sonnschien Hütte – Voisthaler Hütte: 9 hours
Up, out, first mist, down, to Sackwiesensee, sorry See, maybe next time, Sackwiesenhütte, Schorle, up, up, see a hunter, in full regalia, Steinbock, amazing, never seen them before, up, up, up, sun peaks out, view and warm, over lime stone, all day, up, Biwack, up, Gipfelkreuz, view, wow, photo, down, down, Schiestlhaus, ultra-modern, show hut, all CO2 neutral?, where are my glasses?, down, echo, down, marmoset, down, along, hut, lager, nice Wirt, Reisfleisch, bier, UNO.


Day 8: 23 August 2014 – Voisthaler Hütte – Seewiesen: 2.5 hours
Up, Bombenbuffet, out, down, down, down, so sunny, nice, down, strange cross, what would the clown say, he collets anecdotes, woods, burn, road, cross, couple, were are the others?, hotel closed, taxi, lost, supermarket, Griesnockerl, Milka, Kürbiskernöl, Leberknödel, Cabanossi, Mannerschnitten, to Vienna, all different, city, plush, showers, fine dining, art, bye, bye to the clown too, at the railway station, in Cologne, so sad, bye Clare, bye Andrew, bye E4, till next year.

at Radmer Hals

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