July 2, 2009

Reutte, Austria: Ehrenberg Castle Ruins Hike

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Jul 2, 2009 - Reutte, Austria

Ehrenberg Castle Ruins Hike

After breakfast at our quiet valley "Gasthof" (Pension Garni Waldrast) we ventured off on a hike up the trails behind the guest house that lead up to the Ehrenberg castle ruins. With Clif bars and water bottles stuffed into our camera bags we followed a stream up a parking lot in the valley that serves as the launching point for hikes up to the hills that hold the Ehrenberg castle ruins; passing some distracting tourist facilities and small museum - we skipped that and started up. The Ehrenberg castle ruins include several distinct fortifications with an interesting history. Our first destination was the closer and lower castle ruin on the "little hill" 1st built in the 13th century (~1296 AD). After 40 minutes of moderate hiking we were there. Walking among the ruins was neat, but taking in the views of the neighboring alps - in all directions - was awesome.
Ehrenberg Castle
Ehrenberg Castle Ruins - view from below

Pension Garni Waldrast
From what I read about the area, not a lot of Americans vacation in the Reutte area. Who do we run into? - a family from California, then a couple from New York and 2 more from Ohio. 

Nowhere else did we run into so many Americans - C'est la vie!

Ehrenberg Castle Ruins

From Ehrenberg castle ruins - a view of Reutte, Austria valley
From Ehrenberg castle ruins - a view of Reutte, Austria valley

Wild flowers and Austrian Alps (at Ehrenberg Castle)
Wild flowers and Austrian Alps

Ehrenberg Castle - looking down on lower ruins
Ehrenberg Castle - looking down on lower ruins
After taking in the lower Ehrenberg ruins, we felt adventurous enough to make the longer hike up to the Schloßkopf ruins looming over us (the original inhabitants of the castle built another one on higher ground when they lost the 1st in battle - then used the higher vantage point to take out the enemy and their original fortress).

This hike burned a few more calories than the hike up to Ehrenberg. We had to hike halfway back down before turning up and up and up to the higher set of ruins.

We were rewarded with more beautiful views. From Schloßkopf ruins, looking down on our guest house, the town of Reutte in the valley and other set of ruins was breathtaking. Alps covered with steep green pastures speckled with huts teased us across the valley. Others with ice filled ridges loomed in the distance.

From Schloßkopf ruins: View of Reutte, Austria
From Schloßkopf ruins: View of Reutte, Austria
As we wrapped up our exploration of the mountain top castle fortress ruins, storm clouds in the distance were no longer distant. The rain came. Fortunately some of the old castle's fortress withstood the test of time and we were able to seek refuge in a long tunnel with a couple from Canada. After nearly 30 minutes the rain turned into a misty drizzle. With cameras tucked away, we made a run for it. It was warm and the light rain felt good. Luckily the rain dissipated as we hiked down the side of the mountain.
Schloßkopf castle ruins
Schloßkopf castle ruins

After freshening up at the guest house, we hopped in the Mercedes A150 rental picked up bananas at the local market for some tired legs, explored more or Reutte, and used the GPS to venture toward Füssen, Germany for some turbo-sightseeing and dinner.


Funnyrunner said...

Wow. GORGEOUS photos!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the memories. I stopped in Ruette, on the beginning of a castle day adventure back in 1986.
Canadian Backpacker.

Shinjinee said...

Really gorgeous pictures.

It's interesting that the castle defenders were able to build the castle higher up after losing the lower one and then re-take it. I'm not a castle expert, but I suspect this is pretty rare.

About finding loads of Americans - could it be the influence of Rick Steve's, or did his guide entry come out post 2009?