European Wilderness Volunteer DiaryThe Diary of the European Wilderness Society Volunteers

Adventures in and around (and through) Tamsweg

Hi! It’s Tim here, the newest volunteer on the team and I’m excited to share with you a few little snippets from the start of my stay here in Tamsweg! I’m originally from the UK but made my way here from Freiburg in Germany after spending a year out there. It’s been about 2 months since I first arrived in Tamsweg from Freiburg. After a (delayed) train journey that took over 24 hours and included 4 changes, I was looking forward to relaxing a little during my first few days here. However, little did I know that my journey had not quite reached its conclusion. After moving five times within my first month here, I’m happy to say I’m writing to you from the new volunteer flat! More on that later.

Slowly settling in

During the first week here, most of the team were away helping the shepherds with the Almabtrieb in Tyrol. Photo after photo was sent to me of stunning Tyrol’s stunning scenery and their shepherding life. Safe to say I was a little jealous that I wasn’t with them to share in this experience. Despite this, my first week in Tamsweg was a chance to recuperate after my long journey and also a chance to adjust to the country lifestyle. Anni and Max were kind enough to take me up to Grangleralm for a little hike and experience some traditional Austrian cuisine at a mountain hut. We even had the pleasure of being treated to some traditional Austrian music while we were there!

Feeling at home with the Highland cows

The next week, the whole team was finally back together and I got acquainted with office life. After a week in the office I was raring to get out into nature again to enjoy the last remnants of the summer weather. At the time, unknowingly, I had signed up for my toughest bike ride yet with Jonas and Nick, two other members of the team here in Tamsweg. After 80km of steep climbs and thrilling descents through the lovely Lungau and its stunning surroundings, I was exhausted, but it was a good introduction to the region and its stunning geography.

No punctures to see here…

Back in the mountains

The next weekend was also another time to go out and enjoy the mountains. I had promised myself all week, that I would go swimming outdoors somewhere. This time, Julia, Gintare and myself, the newest additions to the team here at the European Wilderness Society, went for a little walk up to Schlierersee and I duly took this opportunity to go for a dip. I severely misjudged how cold it would be! Julia and myself lasted barely 10 seconds in there, refreshing to say the least! After that we felt like a little treat at the hut was well deserved and we ordered ourselves some lovely Kaiserschmarrn.

Numerous hikes and adventures followed in the weeks after. My first summit in the Lungau was scaled on bike and foot with Hanna. The views from the top of Gumma were amazing, with the prospect of a panoramic view of the Lungau spurring us on during our ascent. Snow still lay on the summit from the previous week’s snowfall, making my first ascent of a Lungau summit a truly breathtaking experience. Berg Heil!

Final stretch

Now, where was I with my journeys through Tamsweg. After moving from Freiburg, I ended up moving five times from Pension to Pension, and once to Nick’s and also Gintare’s (who were kind enough to let me stay at their places), until the volunteer flat was finally ready. After hauling all my stuff to its final destination (for a while), all that was missing were the other volunteers! Following a team effort in renovating the flat, they soon moved in a week later and the flat was up to its full complement. Having familiarised myself with office life, I’m now looking forward to settling into the cosy new flat with all my fellow volunteers too!

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