On the top

On Easter we decided to do a little weekend getaway and head south to the north of Italy, the area of South-Tyrol, to enjoy the Alps and the quietness. A little getaway was definitely needed, since we both have been recently finishing up our studies and jammed with work. Besides, I get really tired sometimes with the city; we live quite central and it’s challenging to find any peace and quiet in Stuttgart, the city of cars. Even though Finland doesn’t have big altitudes, nature is a huge part of Finnish mentality and culture. After all, our country is over 70% covered in forests, so getting close to nature is something that I just need to do on a regular basis.

Filled with energy and ambition we headed to the Alps with a goal of a full day hike. The mountain huts were closed and hiking season was not on its peek, so on our 15km hike we saw no living soul. We took a bit too big bite to eat as beginner hikers though: the routes were partly covered so bad in snow, that we sometimes fell in there having snow up till our hips. The routes also included a lot of climbing, and eventually we had to give up and turn back, when we reached a point where the rising was simply too steep and covered in over a meter of snow. I was actually very bummed, since giving up and turning back are not in my nature. But after all it was a good achievement for a rookie and eventually the point was to enjoy nature and the beautiful mountain views. We did not reach our goal, but definitely stepped out of our comfort zone by even doing such a challenging route.

The moment of reaching a peak in the height of almost 3 kilometers was definitely a breathtaking moment. Endless view of more peaks and valleys, and no people on sight. Somewhere in the distance you could hear mountain rivers and birds. It felt as if we were the only ones in the world. The air was so fresh and the wind felt so good.I guess there and then I reached a moment of complete calmness, that I haven’t experienced for a long time, and that I was so desperately in the need for. The whole way you didn’t think of anything – only where you stepped into. For me that kind of clearing your mind was amazing, since I consider myself as a bit of a over-thinker.

I did though almost miss out on that startling moment at the peak just because I wanted to waste time on thinking, how I wasn’t good enough, or didn’t go as far as I planned on going. Eventually I was able to give in on the amazing feeling up there. What I learnt is, that goal-reaching and ambitiousness are good characteristics, but because of them you shouldn’t miss out on enjoying the moments. I think being fully present in the moment, with heart and mind makes the experiences so powerful and much more meaningful, than when you’re worrying about things that don’t really even matter.

What I also learnt is, that no matter how deep you’re in snow, it doesn’t prevent you from getting a sunburn. You should’ve seen my face the day after!! Also, wasn’t such a good idea to go to a hot sauna afterwards 🙁 Oh well, lesson learnt. Although, I don’t know how many times I gotta burn my skin before learning, that it happens basically every time the sun is up.

 

It was also the first time in my adult life to stay in a spa hotel with full service: 4-course dinner menu in the evenings, didn’t have to search for a restaurant. Normally I love strolling down the streets and spontaneously just pick a place to eat, but I gotta tell you, this all-inclusiveness fitted so well to this trip, and in the village where we were staying were no restaurants anyway.  Was after all a nice, care-free way of spending your Easter-weekend, and it gave me a lot of strength to carry on the next couple of months before my next getaway. I’m sure I won’t have such an arrangement in all of my trips, but will definitely combine it in the future in similar activity-holidays, where you physically burn the energy so hard, that it’s good to save it for the actual sports rather than wandering around searching for food.

I can definitely recommend the hotel Tannhof in Vals, if you want to head to South-Tyrol. They had a nice spa area consisting of three saunas, small outside terrace and a relaxing room. The dinner was delicious and affordable, and service good. Rooms were beautiful and clean.

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