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Day 26 – Austrian Afternoon – Eisenkappel

A via ferrata on the river

We spend the morning relaxing and working on our computers. For lunch M cooks the ‘Oreilles d’âne’, and G serves his Tiramisù with the coffee. After this light meal, we decide to follow our hosts suggestion and spend the afternoon in Austria climbing and digesting.

Our destination is Eisenkappel, 17km from Jezersko. At the border they take our temperature. Along the way, we stop by “Murijev vrelec”, a naturally carbonated mineral water source rich in iron. Anja asked us to bring her back a tank of 5 litres of this water that is supposed to be very good for the health.

Once in Eisenkappel, we enter a bäckerei in order to buy a bretzel -we both love them- but we aren’t lucky. Therefore, we proceed to the parking from which we can join the via ferrata Türkenkopf. We cross the river Vellach through an old wooden bridge that produces non reassuring sounds. The ‘via’ starts a few metres from the parking, on the river shore. The first block of climbing consists in a series of zig-zag above the river. Then it deepens into the forest just to bring us again on the cliff for the most physical passage, a long and exposed traverse.

It ends a few metres under the peak of the mountain on which it develops, a panoramic viewpoint allows us to overlook the village. We mostly appreciated the technical side of the ‘via’; however, we did not like the fact that all along the climb we could hear cars and see the road.

Some sport climbing

After stopping-by to buy some bread, we explore the other side of the valley in search of a climbing spot our hosts suggested us to visit. We find it after some 15 minutes of walk. We cannot find the name of the spot or any description of the pitches. However, it’s easy to find exiting the village there is a green sign on the right indicating the climbing area, there is a small parking just on the other side of the road.

The pitches we choose are nice and not demanding, however, after a couple of climbs we are tired. When we hear the first rain on the canopy, we are drinking a beer. Even though we run to the van, we get completely wet. The rain doesn’t stop, a huge storm accompanies us until Jezersko and in our bed.

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