European Wilderness Volunteer DiaryThe Diary of the European Wilderness Society Volunteers

New beginning in Tamsweg

Hello everybody and anybody reading this post! My name is Gintare, I am from Lithuania, and this is how my new adventurous life in Tamsweg starts. 🙂

My relationship with European Wilderness Society has started back in March – I was supposed to start my volunteering from the 1st of April. But, as we all know, Corona and lockdown happened, and I wasn’t able to come to Austria. Nevertheless, I stayed connected to EWS team via zoom. As for many people, fully transferring into virtual life was quite new to me. I got to know the team and Tamsweg via 2D screen, virtual tours and many photos. Fortunately, Corona situation got better, and after 3 months-long build up, I finally traveled to Tamsweg physically.

I was traveling on 13th of July from Vilnius to Vienna by plane, and then I took train Vienna Airport – Tamsweg, with two connections. I was expecting to see temperature checks, tightened passport control, required mask wearing and distancing between the passengers. To my surprise, none of this was implemented. Temperatures were not checked, border control did not ask for any additional documents and both plane and trains were packed with people. There were many signs everywhere asking people to wear masks, however, not everyone was compliant, or wearing their mask only on their mouths, noses sticking out.

After such worrying travel experience, I was concerned about getting Corona, and so was EWS team, so they arranged a Corona test for me. The doctor took swab from my nose – and believe me, that is not a SPA procedure! But, I thought, it is still better than staying in isolation for 2 weeks.

After I’ve received a negative test result (in only two days!) I was able to finally meet the team, have a welcome party and come to the office. To my surprise, everyone was much taller, than I anticipated! 🙂

In these few weeks I’ve been doing easy little tasks for the team, slowly getting used to the work environment and deepening my knowledge about EWS. On weekends, I have been exploring Lungau and getting used to the mountains. I have never lived or had holidays in the mountain area before, so I don’t really know what to do with them or how to approach them. 🙂 So, on one of the beautiful Saturdays, Hanna and Jonas took me on a hike to Johanneswasserfall (Johannes waterfall). It was a very pleasant hike, with beautiful scenery, not too exhausting landscape and, of course, breathtaking water fall. On the way we also found some wild berries, interesting plant and insect species and lots of cute cows! I am very glad that Jonas and Hanna gave me an introduction to hiking and now I feel much more confident to go on hikes on my own.

I am very glad that I have finally reached Tamsweg and that I stayed safe during my travels. Tamsweg is very beautiful and I am enjoying life in here so far. 🙂 EWS work is very interesting to me and I am glad to be a part of it. And every day I am discovering new wonders of Lungau that I am looking forward to exploring! 

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