Print from www.stmartinchalets.at from 22.05.2013
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St Martin Chalets Archive
Blog archive for the month of September 2011
Well done Jim and Laurie!
Jim and Laurie from chalet 3 (Zirbe), are making us all proud. Their chalet has just been voted favourite holiday let by the www.holidaylettings.com website, which has literally thousands of properties listed. Congratulations!!
Walk to the Örgenhiasalm in the Riedingtal Nature Park
In the St Martin Chalets activity programme the walk to the Örgenhiasalm at 1,708 metres was described as a family outing, on fairly flat terrain, with one or two steep sections. That sounded perfect to us.
Herby picked us up from the chalet and he drove about 25 minutes through magnificent scenery alongside a crystal clear river surrounded on both sides by towering mountains. We parked at the Information Centre in the Riedingtal Nature Park and started our walk on a gentle path around the Schlierersee.
The Schlierersee was an outing in itself and we could have spent a very pleasant hour or two walking around it, but we continued on the Almenwanderweg, through shady woods and open meadows, which were full of wild geraniums and cows with the traditional bells around their necks.
We then had a steep short climb through the woods and joined the road. We passed the Mooslacke by the Königalm where Jimbo (Herby's black labrador) had a refreshing swim.
We passed various other refreshment stops which looked very inviting but we pressed on and eventually reached the Örgenhiasalm, which is the furthest stop in the valley. We were very hungry by now and looking forward to the mouth-watering home-baked dishes.
The home made cheese and bread, and bacon made from pigs raised on the farm, was absolutely delicious and we rounded the meal off with coffee and “Krapfen” straight out of the pan. Jimbo enjoyed it too, as he was lucky enough to get some scraps of tasty bacon rind.
After lunch Heidi, whose parents run the Örgenhiasalm, showed us how the cheese is made. They use a small hydro electric plant to harness the power from a local stream to milk their 10 cows. They have modern equipment to make the butter and cheese and we saw a large stainless steel vat where the whey was separated from the curd but we also saw the old “Stotz” and “Katschka” for processing the milk. The “Stotz” was used to skim the milk in the days when there were no centrifuges. It is a large wooden dish, from which it is easy to ladle off the cream. The “Katschka” looks like a wooden flowerpot, bound by two wooden rings. The milk curd is allowed to mature overnight in this container, becoming the Lungau’s famous Hill Cheese. Small round holes in the base of the container allow excess liquid to drain off.
We also saw the two pigs in a large pen. They are being fattened up to become home-made “Speck”.
After lunch we walked back down the road and followed the path through the woods. It is possible to catch the valley bus but we decided to walk. Unfortunately, the weather turned rather nasty with thunder and lightning and we rejoined the road to make a more hasty return to the van. Nevertheless, despite the speedy finish, it had been a gentle walk amidst stunning mountain scenery with delicious organic home-made food. The walk to the alm took about 1 ½ to 2 hours and Herby was a fantastic guide - filling us in with local information and history of the area we were walking through. A must!