Day three of our Austrian adventure started with another early wake up call, meeting at the bike shop in the village we were staying (Going, in Tirol) to suit up (once again) and choose our e-bikes. Although many of the more experienced mountain bikers opted for the Average Joe bikes (the normal ones we all own back home), many of those on the trip decided to try out an e-bike simply because they hadn’t ever ridden one before, me included. Little did we know, they’d be saviours for the rough, rocky and steep journey ahead with ‘eco’, ‘tour’, ‘sport’ and ‘turbo’ settings, the latter of which rather helpfully propels you up steep hills!
Cycling, unlike the majority of sports, is something I actually really enjoy. In fact, my mum and I have even considered signing up for next year’s London to Brighton cycle ride, so the 35km bike ahead of us seemed like it might be a bit of training for that. However, my inexperience meant that I associated normal ‘biking’ with ‘mountain biking’ – two rather different things altogether.
Kitted up, we set off on our cycle ride – our group a mix of beginners, experts and those somewhere in between. Our guide Marcus switched between English and German as he explained the best positions to control the bike when navigating rockier terrain – something that went largely over my head when we actually came to putting the instructions into practice. We rode through several beautiful villages, made even more stunning by the gorgeous weather – the sun streaming through the traditional Austrian houses, wooden balconies with hearts carved in and blooming flowers adorning the windows. It was beautiful – and I thought I’d finally found my calling.
That was until we reached the real deal – an actual mountain. I somehow bumped down a rather steep hill, fearing for my life the entire way down. Luckily, Marcus realised that the girls and I weren’t quite comfortable with the terrain and suggested that we join the rest of the group on the ride up to the top of the main mountain (reached only by cable car) but then take an alternative route where we’d feel safer.
Once we reached the top, we were so pleased we ventured up in the first place as it was truly breathtaking. Austria is famed for its views and these ones definitely didn’t disappoint!
As well as a cafe, the mountain peak hosted an incredible ‘grown ups’ playground – with waterfalls, hammocks, swings and a giant sized trampoline – which we spent the majority of our time enjoying!
After an hour, we decided to make our way back down the mountain via cable car, pick up our e-bikes and ride to a nearby lake in a valley in the opposite mountain region. This journey actually turned out to be far better exercise than the original route, with several steep (yet smooth) hills, winding roads and tree lined paths. Teamed with the weather (which was gorgeous), we had a really enjoyable (and tiring) ride to the lake – which was honestly the bluest and most beautiful I’d ever seen.
We grabbed an ice cream and chatted – interrupted only when we spotted a rescue helicopter soaring up above over our heads, making its way towards the nearby cliff. Incredibly, we watched as a member of the mountain rescue team (who all work on a voluntary basis) climb out of the flying vehicle and down onto a rope, so that he could swing and jump off to where the casualty was. I’d never seen anything like it in my life before, in fact it felt quite surreal.
We had to head off before we could see the incident resolved however I do believe the person was air-lifted to safety. I think it’s so inspiring to see people do amazing things for others without any financial obligation. It does restore my faith in humanity to see things like this, especially when the media only tends to show the negative or the glamorous.
Arriving back at the hotel with a few hours to get ready for dinner, we decided to make the most of the sunny weather for a spot of tanning by the outdoor pool on our doorstep. I wore my new Surania bikini, which I designed myself (it’s such a cool concept – as you pick out the shape and style you prefer, before selecting the pattern and the colours) and my Asos cover up. I also slipped on my Castell sandals, a Spanish brand who make the most comfortable and beautiful soft summer shoes!
After a quick visit to the spa, we headed off to a cute little restaurant that we’d cycled past earlier in the day for a carb filled feast! Tables with gingham table cloths complemented the traditional Austrian menu and we whiled away the evening chatting through the days activities, updating social media and snapping the best shot of one another’s dinner! Bloggers eh?!
The decor almost felt festive!
I opted for the Wiener Schnitzel with parsley potatoes and cranberry sauce.
While others filled up on cheese dumplings, cordon bleu and steak.
Pudding wise. I was particularly jealous of Danielle’s chocolate and ice-cream filled pancakes.
Although the day itself was warm and sunny, as the evening drew closer, the mountain air grew a little chilly again and I started regretting my outfit of choice, which I eventually had to team with a very mismatch fleece. Since arriving back, I’ve been searching for the perfect summer coat or jacket, as it is handy to have something casual to cover up with you. M and M Direct seem to have some lovely options, with designer brands at affordable prices. I have my eye on the short trench coat!
What I actually wore on the evening itself you may recognise from a previous outfit post of mine (here) as I styled it for winter attire! The Rare London dress is so comfortable and effortlessly flattering as it nips in in all the right places! Teamed with these gorgeous dark green New Look shoes, it makes for a very easy to wear – yet rather glamorous outfit!
After chatting for ages after dinner, we finally headed back to the hotel for another busy day to follow! The others had a rather scary canyoning activity booked while we had a mountain Segway tour for the morning – exciting! Stay tuned for my next instalment to hear how we got on!