I had a change from Switzerland this year and instead went to the Tyrol. I have been through there previously but not to stay and it turned out to be a pleasant week spent between Mayrhofen and Seefeld.

I spent the night before at the Heathrow Terminal 5 Travelodge again. Any eagle-eyed readers may remember that my frugality on the previous occasion had rewarded me with a gammy foot ( and accusations of gout also from some of my more teetotal friends...) I - and I hope my readership - may be pleased to hear that I dipped into my pocket this time and took the Hoppa bus to the hotel. I was, therefore, in pristine condition for my week's walking.

One amusing episode before I reached my room was being offered first entrance to the lift by a young lady. My manners couldn't possibly allow this but I certainly met my match in her and it quickly developed into a battle of wills in the nicest possible sense. End result was that the lift left without us. I was pleased and not a little relieved when the lady reluctantly agreed to go in first when the lift returned.

Everything went smoothly the following day on the British Airways flight to Innsbruck. The airport is in a most delightful setting but not that day as it was raining. As it happened, although the forecast for the week was slightly dubious, the two bad days were when I was travelling so it worked well. Other days which either started or ended damp were clear when I was walking and the last two full days were superb.

After a bus and train journey to Mayrhofen, I put up in the very adequate Siegelerhof which is close to the centre and small train station. I suspect that I was given a bigger room than I had booked: it was nice having the bigger bed and larger balcony but the room could possibly have done with a little more light. It was a nice place and the breakfast was decent in a trio of downstairs rooms.
I must admit that I know the walks well in Switzerland but not in the Tyrol so maybe I might have done slightly better. That said, the first day's walk going towards the Ahorn was pleasant even though the weather threatened worse than actually materialised. One may think that walking down is easier: it isn't always and I was pleased that my four-and-a-half hour walk involved a couple of hours walking up. Maybe I have reached the age where I don't mind some walking along the flat, though.

I found a nice hotel, the Kristall, in which to eat and did well there. The surroundings were pleasant as was the food and I didn't really feel the need to look any further for the remaining two days.

My second full day took me to Brandberg, a delightful village overlooking the mountains. I had noticed that some of the pass had been closed the previous day due to the threat of falling stones but, whilst I had to find another route, it turned out to be worthwhile. The weather most certainly enhanced the walk but the views were delightful and the walk took almost exactly the same length of time as the previous day.

I left on the Tuesday but, due to problems of my own making, paying wasn't as simple as it should have been as I kept on putting in the wrong PIN number. It sounds daft to admit to but I realised that I only needed to put in the PIN when buying petrol on my Mastercard and, as I have been working from home for the last seven months, I have - luckily, possibly - only needed to visit the petrol station three times. I had a bit of work to do when I arrived home re-setting the PIN, mind you... On this occasion, I was glad to be carrying another card.

The weather was ghastly travelling to Seefeld. It followed the same route back to Innsbruck and then a further short journey to my second destination. All told, it took around two-and-a-half hours but I was at the Batzenhausl hotel far earlier than the normal check-in time and somewhat wet. Fortunately, I was immediately allowed into my room which I was grateful for. It was a simple view but, when the clouds lifted, it offered a nice view. The Batzenhausl is a typical Austrian gasthof: friendly staff, an excellent breakfast (again taken in three rooms) and a wonderful setting close to the centre. I enjoyed my four-night stay there.

The Batzenhausl is part of the Kaltschmid group of hotels which, put frankly, seem to own Seefeld. They have a lot of hotels and restaurants within their empire and use of their spa was included in the impressive Ferienhotel Kaltschmid. Actually, don't laugh but I couldn't find the entrance to the Ferienhotel but made a mental note after finally doing so...
Der Siegelerhof, Mayrhofen

Mayrhofen Church


Seekirche, Seefeld

Batzenhausl, Seefeld

Seefeld Church

View from Moosern, near Seefeld


Scenery around Seefeld

The spa was quite popular, too. A swimming pool, jacuzzi and selection of saunas made it an enjoyable way of whiling away a couple of hours after my four-and-a-quarter hour walks during my stay.

I found a restaurant in the centre, Corso, which, okay, was marginally cheaper than the hotels but the surrounds were pleasant, the quantity of the food was vast and it was a little quieter. In short, it was ideal there and again I felt no need to look any further for my stay. The menu was varied and extensive and I enjoyed a couple of schnitzels, trout and Cordon Bleu.

The weather was slightly better on Wednesday and I walked towards Reith and Leithen. I had found information on walks none too easy to come across so set off more in hope. It turned out to be a pleasant walk but I didn't find the signposting of walks as good as in Switzerland. Where a route was given, in some cases it led to further walks which branched off later so I did, at times, find it a little bit of a lottery. Anyway, Wednesday's walk was better than the forecast had suggested and, in general, was dry.

The forecast for the last two days was better still but never did I expect the most perfect weather which happened. Almost cloudless, I again set off on the road towards Reith before managing to find another path upwards and through a forest. In essence, I went round in a big circle before going on to the delightful Moosern with delightful valley views and a lake. This was a busier area.

On my last full day, I did find a path in the opposite direction of Reith which essentially followed part of the railway line. It was flat, rather nice and quiet and made for the ideal day. I had to go back to check in for the flight the next day and, after a few internet issues, it was fairly quickly managed successfully. I also managed to pay without any further dramas before having a beer and sitting in the spa.

Of the two towns, I had enjoyed Seefeld more. The mountains seem close and, on the last two days, the views had been stunning. There is plenty to do there and it had been a lovely four days.

I left around 9 a.m. on the Saturday for my British Airways flight at 11:45 a.m. I was still there too early but, generally, everything went smoothly and we were back pretty much on time. I enjoy Austria and Switzerland very much and this holiday had been excellent. Possibly Switzerland has the more spectacular scenery in parts but equally the decorative houses in Austria are a treat. Whatever, I find both countries wonderful and this was a very good holiday.