Yesterday was the last day of summer here on my mountain. And though in the Zillertal valley few upcoming days might still feel warm, up the mountain I already want gloves and furs. The forecast promises a bit of snow as well. But yesterday was still warm and sunny. This is what living in the Alps means – the conditions might chance in a few minutes.
Since the day was sunny and warm, in the evening I decided to climb the mountain up to see the lake. It is not the actual climb. It is a hike but pretty steep and long one. Still, the views up there are amazing and it seemed like a perfect day.
The Way Up
When I reached my favorite spot to read a book, I felt the first few drops of rain. The reading spot is a rock, facing the valley with few trees on it. It is comfortable to sit leaning on the tree. And when you look around you can see the beautiful view of the mountains and the valley. Usually, if I don’t read a book there, I just sit there for a while, listen to the mountains and look around. Yesterday I skipped that cause the rock is only one-third of the way to the top and the rain was increasing.
The wind was blowing from the West and I saw that a dark cloud is approaching. “It is so warm that few drops will not scare me” – I thought. It might have been my last time this year hiking this mountain. But higher I hiked, more rain came. The wind was rising and I heard it’s whizz all over the mountains. When I reached the lake, warm summer evening has turned into a proper rainy and windy day. Dark clouds were covering the mountain tops. I hid from the rain for a moment under the roof of a mountain hut. The view was amazing, however, it started to get cold. The rain stopped but the sun was already too low for this side of the mountain. Since I was already here, I went around the lake. In the middle of the road, I have realized that the wind has completely changed its direction and was swiftly bringing all the dark storm clouds I saw earlier straight to me.
“This is unexpected”, – I thought. I usually know the weather patterns but everything is so different in the mountains. I almost ran down. Getting soaked in the rain in this cold wind from the North East would mean at least few days in the bed coughing…
Lower I went, calmer it got. As I reached my reading spot, it was again warm summer evening again. I guess this what living in the Alps means – you get to experience at least 3 seasons in 15 minutes. I could see the rays of setting sun on the village in the valley. By the time I have reached my hut, everything went so silent, calm and beautiful that I sat in the middle of the lawn waiting for the sun to set. It was so beautiful that it almost made me cry.
I have spent 10 years traveling to various places. I have seen thousands of amazing sunsets, but sunset in the mountains is something different. You can’t actually see the sun itself, it is already behind the mountain. Just the rays of light, traveling up the other side of the valley. Stroking the forests and houses on the way. Reaching tops. Coloring clouds in bright yellow.
It was so silent around. I held even my breath not to disturb the silence.
The only thought that I could hold in my mind was how blessed I am to be able to be living in the Alps to experience this. It seemed that my entire body smiled. Here and now was perfect connected.