5 things not to miss in Alpbach Seenland, a valley in the Austrian Tyrol with the most beautiful houses with flowered balconies in Europe, an extended summer and healthy cooking specialties to taste.
If you are looking for the mountains with luxury brands and sea fish, Alpbach is not for you. If your ambition is alpine green that reaches up to the sky , fireflies that light it up at night and maybe some nice genuine lunches with river fish, game and hay milk, you could think about it seriously. 2,500 inhabitants, 2,500 cows and 2,500 beds for guests, Alpbach is by choice the "Most beautiful village in Austria", 50 km from Innsbruck. At 'Alpbachtal Seenland' - 'The Valley of the Alpe del Ruscello, the Land of Lakes' - among venison hams, Tyrolean t-shirts with sleeves puffed, ladies strolling on the lawn in bikinis with the big dog on a leash, gnomes, blueberries, strudel and cheese dumplings, the pure mountain vacation is guaranteed.
5 things not to miss in this part of the Austrian Tyrol so easy to reach (find out about the railways that depart from Italy), yet so far away (from the pollution of the frenzy) ...
1) Crystal clear water and beer
Alpbachtal has been named the "Crystal Water District of Austria". Among the clear alpine waters, that of the place is particularly sweet, without limestone or iron, purified by the slate stones between which it flows. “No piece of gold, no diamond is as precious as the water of your fountain" - they remind us here. Regenerating with pure water is truly a source of well-being. But if you are one of those who regenerate themselves on holiday with beer, you are still in the right place here, because you can enjoy the "crystal clear beer" , made with the aforementioned water, local organic cereals (albeit not certified) and dark ceramic bottles, to preserve it at its best. The brewery is the artisanal one of Josef Moser , for friends Jos, who on Fridays pulls up the shutters of his garage / shed and also roasts the chickens. He, the brewer, eats them copiously washed down with ... wine! One cannot control the heart…. PS If it's not Friday, you can always accompany the beer with Bierkäse - the ' beer cheese ', very lean and at the same time very tasty (excellent the one from the Heumilch dairy).
2) The mushrooms of the 'golden autumn'
Imagine that the end of September or October is no longer time to visit the Alpbach mountains and it is better then to wait for the ski season? Error! From the second week of September to the end of October , the weather in the region is very stable and beautiful (not for nothing the summer lifts close only at the beginning of November). It is also time for mushrooms, which are very abundant and for which no harvesting license is required. You can cook your own, or try one of the many local specialties. Starting with the mushroom butter that they bring to the table by default at the Fuggerstube restaurant - an original 15th-century stube , with a cellar dating back to the same era, with 220 labels for 10 thousand bottles - of the Böglerhof hotel. It was the owner of this hotel, then mayor, who in 1953 imposed the "Alpbach style" for all buildings: ground floor in white painted stone, upper floors (max 4) in wood with flowered balconies (which also earned the village the European Flower Prize). But back to food and mushrooms: the chef can offer you 'Chanterelle mushroom ravioli' rather than a 'Chanterelle mushroom stew with knödel of white bread '(basically a goulash without meat and mushrooms) or breaded porcini mushrooms to accompany an exquisite fillet of venison flavored with aromatic herbs. Always served by Daniele , a very expert Friulian who takes care of his compatriots in the dining room.
3) The schnitzel with blueberry jam
It's true, you don't eat only in this valley: the habit is now widespread in a lot of Tyrol. But if you haven't tried it yet, now is the time to do it, and without delay! If the Milanese cutlet with jam can sound pure horror to the ears of the Italian palate, it's time to throw your heart over the moat. Recalling that the Milanese comes from Austria: here you eat the original Wiener Schnitzel , which spread with cranberry jam is a truly unexpected delight. Where to try it? To the Hornalm mountain hut, for example, which can be reached by cable car which also offers a 'breakfast in the sky' service . And where, in addition to the thrill of this culinary combination, you can try that of the Alpine Coaster roller coaster with which you can throw yourself down through the woods at over 40 km per hour!
4) The dessert as a main portion
“What's for lunch today?" - Maria di Genova asks her mother hungry on her way home from school - “Pasta al pesto!". "What's for lunch today?" - asks hungry Petra from Alpbach to her mother on her way home from school - “Strudel!". We are used to the 'scofanata' of pasta as a single dish. Perhaps you have never reasoned that the same technique can be applied to dessert. The Tyroleans, on the other hand, know it well. And for some traditional desserts, if you don't specify 'dessert portion' you will get a dish with which at least four people can happily end a meal. The classic of the classics is the Kaiserschmarren , a sort of omlect cut into strips, sprinkled with powdered sugar and accompanied by the inevitable cranberry jam. Then there is obviously the strudel (try the one of the Hacker pastry shop in Rattemberg, the smallest city in Austria) and again the very typical Brandenberger Prügeltorte , which is prepared with a spit in which the dessert pastry is roasted instead of the goat and is served with doses of cream to make a whole class of greedy children pale (a place to try it is the Kaiserhaus, next to a fascinating canyon - where you can also sleep for 30 euros in the room where Sissi slept). Or, for example, the unpronounceable Griesstrietzel , fried semolina fingers (they make them artfully in the restaurant of the beautiful museum of peasant houses - the farms, Bauernhöfe, the largest open-air museum in the country).
5) The path of the spirit
Any walk through the woods and the flowery mountains will give us a “healthy appetite" . And “healthy" does not only refer to quantity, but also to the quality of those who are hungry and are healthy in body, mind and… spirit. In Alpbach there is also a "path of the spirit", the Heimatweg, an easy walk designed in stages that instead of training the muscles of the arms and legs, train those of the heart. Like a podium to become a mountain or to shout your personal power to the trees; a tree to hug that transmits the energy of the thousands of hugs it has already received; a place to experience the healing power of our hands; dare our feet in the icy water; to reverence the love of a mother and the creativity of stones. When it's time for the next meal and we're ready to enjoy a plate of mashed baked dumplings followed by a roast pork massaged with mustard, rather than a trout with toasted almonds, we would be more aware and ready to do what the hologram of the farmer that appears on the wall of the room of a Bauernhöfe farm has urged us: remember to thank for the food , as we did in the past in which every day only the soup landed on the table because the earth gave nothing else, while now we have the richness of wheat flour, milk, butter ... and all the good things that the tables of Tyrol (and not only ) can offer us.