I'm off to Austria with Jane for a week, on a walking tour in the Stubai Alps. We'll be staying in the chain of alpine huts that form what is known as the 'rucksack route'. If the weather is good we hope to complete a horseshoe circuit of the Stubai valley, staying above 8000 feet throughout.
I think that staying in a mountain 'hutte' is the best way to experience the Alps. The Austrian huts are more akin to simple inns, unlike the climbers' huts in France, which tend to be above the snowline and packed full of mountaineers. Austrian huts are relaxed - they have simple but clean bedrooms, a bar and restaurant, usually a terrace to sit and admire the view - and all for only a few euros.
It's easy to go hut hopping if you know how and I'll let you in on the tips and secrets when I get back. But for now, I've got to pack, catch the flight and walk up to our first hut which shelters below the Habicht mountain. This time tomorrow I should be looking down on the valley, glass of wine in hand, and dreaming of the mountains we will climb.
No Internet access I'm afraid - so this is all you'll hear from me in a while.
Think of me here...