Short trip Millstätter See - Part 1: Deep lakes, wild cow hunts and oxygen masks that do not want to fall off the ceiling.

D he lake is so calm. I'm sitting in a small wooden boat trying to set my computer-calibrated eyes to infinite . Difficult. The dark water, the distant mountains, the green shores and these fantastic cloud formations that swim down the slopes - all of this looks incredibly surreal to me. So amazingly real and impressive that it just seems unreal again. As if I were just - clumsy! - fallen through a small time hole in another world. Or in a painting.

The water splashes softly as my boat companion moves the oars and the boat glides silently a bit further through the dark water. Only three small other boats bob in our area, otherwise no human soul can be seen far and wide. To infinity. At some point the morning clouds break and the blue sky flashes over the mountains and is reflected in the lake. It instantly transforms from a dark and magical place to a holiday postcard panorama. I am struck by the spectacle.

Fortunately, at this moment I do not suspect that only two hours later I have a cow chase over a pasture and play with my Popo header. I just continue to enjoy the moment, the magnificent view and the silence. My goodness - this silence.

"You must relax!" Gottlieb calls from one of the three boats. "You have to try to take in the lake and let it take effect. This is a very unique atmosphere here. "Gottlieb is right. We try hard to process the impressions and slowly it will be relaxing.

Gottlieb is a trained boatbuilder and decided after the pension that everything is a bit too quiet for him. That's why he now goes with tourists " cove walks " - he rows with them very slowly in small boats across the morning lake. Every Tuesday and Thursday it starts at 8 o'clock on the waterfront in Millstatt. The whole is free and designed for 18-20 people. Nobody has to be able to circle, "says Gottlieb. "Only in the boat you have to be able to come." And everyone has done so far. Even me.

Gottlieb calls us. We have to go back. Pity! I could bob here endlessly. Now I'm in the row. When we are in the middle of the lake, a boat with outboard engine comes to us and stops for a chat with us. Our visitor is with his wife on the way to one of the fish plots of the lake to look after the right. And on the occasion he tells us about the waters and their inhabitants. In the Millstätter See there are a lot of fish species: rainbow trouts, reefs, chars, bleak, roach, chub, barbel, tench, catfish, pike, zander, perch and eels swimming in 141 meters Depth below me. I am impressed. Especially from the depth. The lake is managed in open leasehold parcels. This means that the fishermen are only allowed to catch fish in the piece of lake assigned to them. In addition, they also have to care for their own offspring.And that's at least 11.7 kilometers long. But somehow the principle seems to work anyway. Our visit beckons, starts the engine and rattles off.

When we get back to the waterfront, a minibus is already waiting for us. We jump halfway elegant out of the barges (I just say: legrests galore!), Shake off the legs and swing us into the van. Our gnarled driver obviously welcomes us muksch, "because these tourists obviously can never be punctual". He is as old as Methuselah - I estimate him to be at least 80 years old - and he will now drive us on a small, relaxed hike to an alp. He starts the engine.

After only a short drive, the terrain becomes steep and curvy. It goes up the mountain. My heart is slipping in and out of me as I do in the van. The fact that I am sitting at the back of the window proves to be a less clever idea: 10 centimeters from my right thigh, new bottomless abysses open up after each bend. The road is getting narrower and steeper and the truck races at an unchanged pace. At some point there are no guardrails anymore and I am separated from my death by a thin glass. The driver takes to the gas, chatting relaxed with the other passengers, tells that he has been driving this route several times every day for 45 years and waves happily to another vehicle that skims a hair's breadth at breakneck speed past us. In my mind, various headlines of the usual gazettes appear on: Tourists fall in Carinthia in the car in death! I claw my belt and pinch my eyes shut. What I do not see is not there. And at some point the whole thing has to be over. And that's the way it is.

The car stops, the door opens, I get out of bed and look around. I breathe deeply into the clear air and am happy about the sun, which is blinking through the clouds.

Methuselah meanwhile uses the van with squealing tires and heats the mountain down unchecked. I sincerely hope that it will not happen too soon. Now I am looking forward to a small, relaxed walk in this great environment. Before you start, there is a short shot of the landlady of the Lammersdorfer Hütte for the whole troop. The picturesque little house is a popular destination with kitchen, coffee and cake. If you survived the way up here. Speaking of survival: I am sure that the liquor sells the last remnant of my serpentine discomfort and reach for it.

Someone passes me some sunscreen and recommends rubbing it with it - because of the sunlamp. I think the whole thing a bit over the top, because there are still thick clouds on us, but do not want to be rude and therefore distribute the cream generously in my face and arms. Then we're off.

10 minutes later, I'm panting over a cow gate and wondering seriously when - the hell - the damn oxygen masks will finally fall from the ceiling.I also sweat like a moose, the darn sunscreen dissolves and runs into the torrents in my eyes. The "little relaxed hike without requirements" turns out to be an alpine climbing tour. At least for a North German who celebrates every 10-meter survey frenetically as a mountain massif. Waiting around me enter the walking group until I am reasonably in power again. Only now I notice that all functional outdoor clothing and ankle-hiking boots are invariably worn. Just not me. I wear my comfortable neon Hippster sneakers and a loose dress with leggings. Obviously, I'm doing here to Volldeppen. The big city plaza from the advertising agency enters nature and collapses behind the first bend. Well, congratulations.

Here I had duly inquired before the start of the trip, whether the hike special demands on condition and equipment are made or whether normal casual clothing would be sufficient. The normal casual clothing is perfectly adequate, since it is only a small easy walk. I recognize spontaneously relatively clearly that in North and South apparently huge differences in definition gape with respect to the words "casual wear" and "easy migration". Casual clothing means in the mountains: complete hiking outfit from the outdoor specialist. On the other hand, equipment is probably understood to mean hooks that are knocked down in steep walls, rock-proof helmets and oxygen cylinders. At least. We walk in Hamburg very long distances on foot regularly and in a very fast pace. But I did not see this coming.

I am offered with a subtle whisper that you can call a car for me to bring me back down to the valley. But I do not want to be naked before the rest of the troupe. I go up that damn mountain and if it takes days! However, on the forest. Because the "short cuts" through the open terrain are not in my shoes in sneakers. And for other cardiovascular reasons. I started moving again. It's nice to be above the clouds.

Then suddenly there is one small herd of cows in the middle of the way. I did not realize how tall cows are when you're standing right in front of them. Since I'm the last one in the hiking trail, I call to the front if I have anything to keep in mind. Nope, just go past it, the answer comes back. I take my heart - actually one cow looks quite friendly. So friendly that I even get the idea to take a picture of her. Then I walk in the largest possible arc around the herd around it. I'm already half past when suddenly a cow sets in motion. I look around, see the huge mountain of fur coming towards me and only one in the dull look: murder lust. Should there ever have been a world record for "screaming and chasing a mountain pasture at jet speed" - I undoubtedly broke it. Unfortunately, the cow is also quite good on foot, catching up with me and ramming her massive skull in my ass. I scream like crazy, with my arms around me and yell at the crazy beast that it should be forgiven. Apparently not a bad strategy, because it actually leaves me and fidgets back to the herd. I am outraged. And save me. And my butt hurts.What they think about now is as clear as day. Can it get worse? I do not know.

Over the next 2.5 hours, I'm screwing myself on a 7-kilometer stretch of 2081 meters of altitude. It is my personal triumph of the will. I set foot on foot, sweat, breathe, fight, concentrate. Around me, thick clouds are raised and you can see just 10 meters away. So I humbly crawl up a mountain and can not see anything except a gravel road and clouds. The sense does not really open up to me. The thin air is incredibly exhausting. At some point, it seems to me that I'm supposed to spend all my life on a stepper japping between white sheets.

At some point, as we get close to the top, it'll be level and easier to walk. I drop into the grass and rest for a few minutes. Before I would not have dared, because I probably would never have gotten up again. My legs feel like pudding. Pretty painful pudding though. After all, the clouds have moved a little and I bring a few photos. After all, you need proof for those who stayed at home. Otherwise no one will believe you.

Then we finally reach our destination: the Granattor . The sculpture of metal and garnet stone marks the highest vantage point of the mountain trail and should open a great view of Lake Millstatt. Since the cloud cover has closed completely again, but there is currently no picture book panorama and it is pretty fresh up here. Picknick baskets on blankets are available for this purpose and you have built a rustic table with farm specialties from the region right on the edge of the slope - the Garnet table . These are really good prospects for a change! I get flopped down on one of the benches and have to be 10 minutes for me.

Someone gives out Nussschnaps and I make with fresh bread with sausage cope. With the hard liquor in one hand and the shawl in the other hand, I can almost laugh at my "mountain touch" of a special kind.

And then suddenly it's time: the sky breaks open and you can catch a glimpse of the magnificent panorama of Lake Millstatt. Even though I will not feel my legs until tomorrow - at that moment it was worth it. It's wonderful to be up here. I take another sip of the delicious nut brandy and am suddenly quite happy. Above the clouds ...

My holiday tips and relevant information for the Millstätter See:

Even if you have to get up pretty early on holiday, you should not miss the bays in the colorful little boats on the lake - heavenly Silent and dramatic cloud formations included.Registrations for bungalow hiking are accepted by the tourism office by 5 pm.

The Millstätter See Höhensteig leads in eight stages with numerous side routes from the world of three thousand meter mountains in the far west of Lake Millstätter See over the Millstätter Alpe and the Goldeck to the Weltenberg Mirnock. Of course, the path with its wonderful mountain panoramas and nature experiences can also be hiked in day trips.

WARNING: Hiking is not all about hiking! Inexperienced hikers or people from flat areas should (unlike me) be well prepared and informed before they set out on the mountain. Even routes marked as "easy" are not automatically a weekend walk. Ankle-covered hiking boots, breathable as well as wind and rainproof clothing, a light backpack, enough water and a small Poviant are the basic equipment. Trekking poles are great if you want to leave the forest road and move through the terrain. You should definitely be dressed on the onion principle and carry a headgear, since the weather can change in seconds from "really fresh" in "tropical sun". Sunglasses and sports sunscreen are a very good idea. In addition, one should not underestimate his condition and start rather with shorter distances, rather than stranded exhausted somewhere in the mountain. Very hot showers, horse ointment and several gin tonic help against aching joints and sore muscles after a mountain tour. I've personally convinced myself.

Free-roaming animals along the trails are not always keen on people. Therefore, you should go quickly and carefully with the greatest possible distance past them. Not every cow is a direct cause of panic - but with accidents occurring every year, one should be vigilant and never enter fenced pastures or enclosures. Petting and cuddly delights should definitely be saved for Fifi at home.

The Garnet table on the edge of the most beautiful vantage point on Lake Millstatt is a truly unique experience: Delicious bread -, sausage, cheese, herbal, juice and schnapps specialties from local producers are lovingly arranged on a rustic board. So you can dine in over 2,000 meters altitude with a magnificent view (if the weather wants) and let your soul over the clouds. Extra tip: There are very different "tables" around Lake Millstatt. Here you can see all dates and topics.

Outlook: In the next part of Kurztripp Millstätter See we go swimming together play miniature golf and feel like Peter Alexander. Stay tuned!