Montafon Region : Return to Lake Silvretta.

Silvretta Travel Blog

 › entry 22 of 268 › view all entries

Well time to try once again after yesterday’s stumble in vain, the wrong direction down Memory Lane.  By 10.00 I am back in Schruns boarding the bus to Silvrettasee Bielerhöhe.  This costs about 7 Euros (+ later you have to pay another 3 Euros for the right to ascend into the higher region of the Montafon range) and takes about an hour, the latter part of which is spent snaking up some pretty hairy, winding mountain roadways past Vermonter (Vermunt Lake) and onwards and upwards.

 

There is no rain today ("phew") but atmospheric mists, deeper and more purposeful than in previous days hang around the peripheries like school playground bullies ready to descend on you when you least expect it.

  We are much higher up today also and the moist, fresh mountain air is filtering through the AC vents, quite a treat for the lungs.  We arrive at the main station on the shore of Lake Silvretta, effectively a large mountain reservoir sat at 2,030 metres high.  This is much more familiar territory to my mind’s eye and a broad smile sits upon my face as I take deep breaths of the cool mountain air that I breathed once long ago, maybe 17, 18 years or so?.

 

Whilst the whorls of mist and fog continue to congregate around the upper reaches of the surrounding mountains, and away from the shoreline Lake Silvretta in all it’s milky placidity remains fully revealed to the happy hiker.  In my memory I’m sure I’ve only ever been here on blazingly hot summer days as the many family photos of myself and my sister, very young and unphased by our garishly coloured shorts, t-shirts and hats testify to.

One of the main waterfalls that courses down into the Silvretta reservoir.
  This cool clear weather is a pleasant new way to see this part of the world.  This part of MY world.

 

For this is what Silvretta really is for me, here today anyway.  A big part of MY world, or my shared experience of the world constructed by and around my family and I growing up together.  The lake is a sort of giant Goladriel’s mirror to look into contemplatively and walk around, both seeing and pondering things that have been, things that are and things that may yet come to pass.  Why do certain places, once discovered resonate so strongly within the memories of an individual or group of individuals; within a family?  Places that remain in your heart always I guess, and must eventually, inevitably be returned to.

  I’m sure I too will bring my future children here someday and keep the circle started by my mother and father turning around these waters.  But that will be another story.

 

This two hour walk, for reasons I do not know, holds almost the most firm of the myriad memories of Katie and I and our parents when we were younger and together holidaying on the continent.  (yeah, yeah, yeah I KNOW I forgot the name of the place yesterday! ;-P) Why Silvretta?  The height?  The journey to get to it?  The scenery and the sweet, clean mountain aromas having forged enough of a complete sensory thumbprint on my mind or soul that it can never be forgotten? Who knows.

Silvretta from the air. Yann Artus-Bertrand eat your heart out! :)
  Happy days indeed.  I’m not sure how often we came here.  Two? Three times?  Any thoughts Kate, although you were very young then?  We would stroll around in the burning sun, perhaps with a ‘Gandalf’ staff of wood found on a previous mountain walk to prop me up on the way around and our large, cool, green screw-capped bottles of orange juice made up by mum the night before.  Generally I have a memory of ‘Team Weselby’ adapting to its variant levels of walking ability.  By the time we got to the halfway point where the main concourse of waters wash down from the higher mountain reaches to replenish the reservoir, Kate and dad would usually be some way ahead of us (mum and I), chatting along in their merry way.  Mum and I would be the perennial ‘back-markers’ of the group.
  Mostly this was just me keeping mum company as she failed to quite hack the pace in the heat.  And so it was.  Our footprints all together ringed several times around these shores and replenished by myself today.

 

It really is a very touching walk for me today and being slightly out of season not too busy at all.  You can feel alone with the natural surroundings most of the way around, and I offer the occasional friendly “Gruß gott!” whenever I pass a fellow hiker.  There are several pleasant waterfalls on the route and many paths leading off into the mists and higher peaks and destinations (mountain cafes etc…) but for me today it is just about Silvretta.

  Two thirds of the way around a small area of rocky shoreline, and only this one area, seems to have become a place where tradition has encouraged the crafting of small, scenic little stone cairns.  I cannot recall these from many a year ago, however as yesterday proved, memory is a fickle mistress.  They could have been here before?

 

As I come towards the end of the circuit, a final waterfall and then the second of two manmade reservoir walls that hem in the waters and the school bullies are making their move, the great clouds of mist and fog collapsing down from the mountain tops and spilling over the water's surface hungry to finally devour the beautiful scene.  It seems to get thicker by the minute, rolling in threateningly and alive like something out of a James Herbert novel… this is it… THE END!!!…I’m going to be hacked to death by the long-dead, broken and gangrenous ghosts of ancient hikers lost forever in The Fog on ill-fated mountain walks many a decade ago with their rusty climbing-pickaxes and Swiss Army knives!!!… "AAAAgggggh!"…but it’s ok.

Stone cairns by Silvrettasee.
  I make it back to base just in time (unhacked and intact) fortuitously to hop on the next bus back to Schruns seconds before it departs.  As I look back the lake, and the wonderful views if not the reminiscences it has afforded me today have all been completely consumed by The Fog.  I have been unreasonably lucky with my weather movements once more!

 

Back in Bludenz, but not yet at day’s end.  40 minutes ‘til my train to Davos and no place yet for the night, so a dash into town to set this all right.  Things here I feel get a little surreal, as people throng all about, there are monks playing bongos and bass guitars and priests and happy locals all mingling in bars.

Now I am sorry but possibly ONLY nuns could possibly have the time and libidinously frustrated minds required to cultivate a leguminous product of such wince-inducingly excessive length & girth!!
  There too are stalls full of nuns all selling their wares, rude vegetables and cheeses and things for one’s hair.  I fight my way through this incongruous group but the internet café I spotted this morning’s still closed. Out of season? Out of business? Well I’m outta luck either way and so it goes.  So back into the street I clatter my feet, dodging nuns selling buns, glove puppets and sheets.  It’s all very confusing and a little bit strange, but I barge my way through “can’t be missing that train!”. And then I’m calm and on the station again, I chat to a sheep shearer called Tom and soon have a new friend. Yes, it’s true he shears sheep the whole woolly world wide, a curious profession it can’t be denied.  But he sees the world and nature (and all of its sheep) and it’s all been good baa the Ozzie shearer who pissed on ‘im once when asleep.

pms70 says:
Glad you made it back here my friend, looks and sounds like it was worth it... Like thr rhyme at the end by the way... :-)
Posted on: Oct 13, 2008
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
One of the main waterfalls that co…
One of the main waterfalls that c…
Silvretta from the air.  Yann Artu…
Silvretta from the air. Yann Art…
Stone cairns by Silvrettasee.
Stone cairns by Silvrettasee.
Now I am sorry but possibly ONLY n…
Now I am sorry but possibly ONLY …
Valley below Silvrettasee.
Valley below Silvrettasee.
Me and Silvretta reunited.
Me and Silvretta reunited.
Rivulet coursing into Silvretta.
Rivulet coursing into Silvretta.
The misty bullies hang back a wh…
The misty 'bullies' hang back a w…
Lakeside flower.
Lakeside flower.
One of the two dams that hem in Si…
One of the two dams that hem in S…
Mist (to the left and all around) …
Mist (to the left and all around)…
Cmon Yann, did ya snap that one,…
"C'mon Yann, did ya snap that one…
Stone cairns on the lake shore.
Stone cairns on the lake shore.
Fractured butterfly (abtract)
Fractured butterfly (abtract)
On the way back down an  endless p…
On the way back down an endless …
Now thats better! Some nice, inoo…
Now that's better! Some nice, ino…
Monks jammin!!! Go Brother go.  T…
Monks jammin'!!! Go Brother go. …
A spectacular bridge passes by on …
A spectacular bridge passes by on…
First glimpse of Davos (the Davosa…
First glimpse of Davos (the Davos…
Silvretta
photo by: maka77