Go with the flow
Flow: In psychology, this is the blissful feeling experienced when in a state of complete and total absorption in an activity. Two days of total immersion following the course of the Schwarzwasserbach, from its source to the Walserschanze . . . An author experiences the flow ...
Recuperative holiday in Kleinwalsertal – flow and plenty of Om!
Discover the diversity of life
The first of my two hiking days leads me from the Walmendingerhorn via the Ochsenhofer Scharte into the Schwarzwassertal and ultimately to the Auenhütte. My starting point is the Walmendingerhorn gondola mountain station. From there, the route leads briefly downhill before crossing the Lüchlealp. For the next hour, we hike gently up and down over Alpine meadows. Butterflies flutter around my face, like a welcoming committee on my personal path of life discovery. Bees buzz busily past, as if to tell me: sorry, we have to work, nice that you're here! I think I'm in the flow already .
The finest cowbell jazz
When I reach the Starzelalp, I take a short break to drink some water, because the next 30 minutes is a steep uphill climb to the Ochsenhofer Scharte, the gateway to Schwarzwassertal, and thus to the banks of the Schwarzwasserbach, which I aim to follow. I breathe more quickly, my pace slackens . . .
The Alpe Melköde From
this point I follow the Schwarzwasserbach, which is fed from two sources above me. Just below the hut, the path opens up into a sparse, relatively steep mountain forest. At the edge of the forest, a good bit further on, is the Melköde. A high moorland stretches out in front of the dairy. From one side, the magnificent Ifen watches over hut, man and beast, while from the other the waters of the Schwarzwasserbach cascade down the slope. “Picture-perfect”, I think, and head down in the direction of the hut.
Hotel for Alpine swine
The Alpe Melköde was first mentioned as early as 1461, and an Alpine logbook from 1648 provides testament to its centuries-long management as a dairy co-operative. Since time immemorial, dairy cows have been kept and their milk processed into cheese. The Schwarzwasserbach ensured the water supply for both humans and livestock.
The upland moor at Schwarzwasserbach
Martin explains to me that the Schwarzwasserbach has an upper and a lower course. The result of a powerful rockslide. A huge boulder came loose from the Ifen and routed the entire Schwarzwassertal. This formed the plateau and the upper course of the Schwarzwasserbach. He tells me that on my way into the valley, I will pass two large boulders where the water flows underneath the surface of the valley for a good 500 metres. Below the Auenhütte, it then reappears above the surface, acting as a gauge of the water level for locals. As the saying goes: if the water is roaring here, it is still damming uphill. According to Martin, he often has to give hikers a “welly warning” in June, as the Melköde is located on a 12 hectare lake when the moor is flooded. I will have to come back in a rainy June, I think - I want to see that...
„Follow the course of life”
Early in the morning the next day, the sun jostles me out of my bed. “Come on, get up,” she chides ... I get ready for the second part of my “go with the flow” hike and, catching the no. 5 Walserbus, I once again head towards the Auenhütte, disembarking at the “Schröflesäge” stop. I haven’t even walked 150 metres before I hear the Schwarzwasserbach again, shortly before I come across a magnificent waterfall with deep, green rock pools. The water’s back - we have arrived at the lower course.
Patting moss cushions
My path heads slightly downhill through a sparse forest, where thick cushions of moss shine by the wayside in all shades of green. I feel compelled to “pat” them, something I have done ever since my childhood. It’s such an incredible feeling to touch such a thick, soft moss cushion, as it gives way to that lush moss smell ... I remember my childhood, and the countless walks through the woods and alongside the water with my father ...
Variable tour length
A little further on, the path spits me out of the woods, and I warm myself briefly in the autumn sunshine before diving into the next section of forest. If you’ve had enough, you can end your hike at this clearing and be at the bus stop in just a few minutes.
That’s another great thing about this hike: it takes you to a completely different world, and yet is still close to civilisation. All along the way, there are forks that lead to a bus stop or directly to the village of Riezlern. But my next destination is not the bus; instead, I head towards the Naturbrücke. The Schwarzwasserbach passes beneath a large arch made of rock.
I take a seat on the last bench before the Waldhaus, my lunchtime stopping-off point, and close my eyes. Again, bees buzz round me, and a small butterfly lands on my hand: “And how was it?”, it seems to ask. “Amazing, life is beautiful”, I murmur, almost under my breath. The butterfly appears satisfied and flutters on. Mission accomplished. I carry on to the Waldhaus, a small forest farm located right next to the stream. The
host says it is about to start raining. Oops for the last hour I haven’t paid attention to the weather. Thick rain clouds have formed in the sky - well then, my hike will end here here and not at the Walserschanze - it doesn’t matter though. After a delicious lunch, I head to the bus stop, on the road located about 150 metres higher up. When I arrive at the top, it starts to rain. I don’t mind. On the contrary, I’m grinning from ear to ear. Perfect timing, perfectly in flow ...