Wilderness DiaryDiary of a Wilderness Volunteer

A rough arrival, but smooth start

Rebecca Hollely

My name is Jonas, I am one of the many new volunteers of the European Wilderness Society. I had my arrival in Tamsweg on the 30th of June to start my volunteer period here one day later. I chose one of the hottest days of the year to travel to Tamsweg from my parents’ place in Frankfurt, Germany. So instead of a smooth train ride, I had to endure a cancelled train, a broken AC and the concern not to arrive in Tamsweg the same day. Luckily the EWS was kind enough to pick me up in Bischofshofen and I made it to my room at 11pm.

Smooth start

During the first days after arrival my main task was getting settled in at the EWS and in Tamsweg. Fortunately, I live in a hotel room, which I can rent cheaply on a monthly basis. So, I didn´t have to find a flat beforehand and my room was ready to move in on arrival. However, I still had to figure where everything is in the shared kitchen, which apparently nobody has really used for years, and where I can find everything, I need, in Tamsweg. In the office, everybody made it very easy for me to start my work, so I got settled in quickly.

Knights and mountains

My first weekends here were packed. As Biff and Ziva already wrote, we went to the “Mittelalterfestspiele” in Mauterndorf on my first weekend after arrival, and on my second one we made a 4-day trip LINK! to Slovenia and Italy. Last Wednesday I experienced my first “Z’sammnsitz’n”. During summer on every other Wednesday, there is food, drinks and music on the market square in Tamsweg. So, the whole town gathers, enjoys a beer or “Spritzer” (wine with sparkling water) and each other’s company. We went there together with all the volunteers and had a good time, until rain forced us to go home.

Surprise visit

This weekend was supposed to be my first quite one, but it turned out differently. On Wednesday a friend of mine from Munich decided that she wants to visit me, so she arrived here Friday afternoon. We had a weekend full of hiking. On Friday evening we just went up a hill next to my hotel, but on Saturday we hiked up the Preber, one of the highest (2750m) and most prominent mountains around Tamsweg. That was a beautiful, but also long hike, so on Sunday we went up to the beautiful church St. Leonhard above the town and further on to the top of the mountain (only around 1500m), where every hiker can write their name into a book and take a zip of Schnapps.

So, I really had exciting, enjoyable and packed first three weeks here at the European Wilderness Society and I am really looking forward to my at least five more months here in the beautiful Alps.  

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