Stilluptal – a beautiful valley

If the weather isn’t the best but you still want stunning, this valley is gorgeous and is great for all.

The way up the valley is a toll road, which winds it’s way up from the middle of Mayrhofen to the Stilluptal reservoir. This costs €8, but it would be a very long way up without a car. It’s a pretty drive, but totally stunning when you get there. Glacial waters and steep sided valleys with waterfalls pouring down from the tops.

This view is from the top of the Penken, on the other side of the Mayrhofen valley. It does show its extent and why it feels so amazing when in the Stilluptal valley

This walk is tarmac the whole way and a 2-3 hr round trip depending on the speed you walk. A downside of the tarmac is that if like me you prefer to be off road, it’s not. But it does make it totally accessible to anyone with a buggy/pushchair who still want views and a decent walk.

One of the joys of the mountains for me is hearing the cows with bells. Even better when they are friendly on their stroll down the road, and enjoy a stroke!

In her typical sleepy way Evie misses most of the walk up

We decided to trial her on the back in the sling, as she is getting heavy for front carrying over distance. She seems happy… and falls back to sleep.

The the rain comes, but all is well. Waterproofs for us, BundleBean for her and the rain is unimportant.

We arrive at the Grune-Wand-Hutte, very ready for late lunch.

Evie checks the menu to decide on food

She settles for her first go at baby food – Spaghetti Bolognese – and loved it

The food here was really good, as Austrian hut food generally is. Evie’s own meal doesn’t stop her interest in our food and her joy in routing her hands around in my salad!

Lunch over, time to return back down the hill.

Past more friendly cows

A bit of wriggle time for Evie (and naughty hot chocolate for us) at the next hut down

And then some gorgeous reflections to finish the walk

And then the rain came, luckily almost back at the car…..

Holiday in Mayrhofen

Mayrhofen is where Tim used to come for holidays as a child, and where we came on our honeymoon, so it seemed important to bring Evie, almost 5 months old now, here for our first family holiday.

After two weeks of not seeing daddy, Evie was very keen to show him her ability to sit almost independently and her rolling!

She even moved up into the big kids supermarket trolley section

Unfortunately the weather is not so great on day one, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing to do. The clouds were down making it pointless going up high as there would be no views.

There is a nice valley ‘Easy walk’ path that takes you along the river on one side and back through the woods on the other. It meant we stopped at this small church where we have never been before

And saw a sculpture that represented our new family nicely

I spotted a sign that clearly means no old cars or flapping motorbikes allowed

Evie found a big bear to jump in a hitch a lift back into Mayrhofen with!

And then the other thing Mayrhofen has is a nice pool. In the past staying in certain hotels gets you into the outdoor pool for free. But we are in an apartment this time…. and the pool was €10 each! Thankfully Evie really really enjoyed floating around with us, and we enjoyed the crazy slides and bubbles.

And then at the end she fell into one of the deepest sleeps I have ever seen!

Trip to Staithes, Yorkshire- July 2018

My mums wish for her 70th birthday was to spend it on holiday with her two daughters and now her two grandchildren. Looking for somewhere suitable with something to occupy a 2&1/2 year old, and be a nice place to be in, not too far to drive for each of us, my sister Imogen found the beautiful location of Staithes on the North Yorkshire coast.

Now there is only one problem with Staithes. You can’t park outside the houses! Parking in a place that you weren’t really meant to park to get as close as possible (still a 4 min walk), made things hard! Now Imogen had warned us to pack light, but this was only my second trip away and I still hadn’t sussed what I needed for Evie.

Carrying a screaming baby, trying to feed her in the sling, whilst unloading clothes bags, nappy buckets, swim stuff, food, a birthday cake…… made for an interesting and slightly stressy start to the holiday and a very sore thumb, which I nearly broke by slipping carrying too much at once. Immediate resolve, bring less, eat as much food as possible so it doesn’t have to go back to the car!

Next crazy thing. The house was lovely but did have the stairs of doom as I called them! I learnt from above though and carried either luggage or baby, never both.

Still, it was all worth it. My mum had a lovely birthday. I think I put 70 candles on the cake (I lost count). We had a lovely time at the beach, Sam building sand shaped he immediately smashed and playing in rock pools, we went for a nice walk along the cliff tops, and I can thoroughly recommend the food at the pub overlooking the harbour, where we had our dinner.

Another day we did a family bike ride, from Whitby to Robins Hood Bay and back along the disused railway track. I towed Evie in The Chariot, as it’s become known, and Imogen had Sam on the back. Once we got everybody comfortable (took a few attempts), we had a good ride there. Whitby has lots of bike stands so it was easy to park up and we went to the beach.

Coming back was not quite the same delight. Sam was tired and did the typical two year old scream. Then Evie decided she had had enough and spent the latter part of the journey screaming. This turned the end of that journey into one of misery. No one likes their baby to be unhappy, but when there is only one way back to the car, you’ve just got to crack on. Still overall the day was positive and full of nice memories. And good practice for our upcoming Danube cycle tour trip.

The rest of the holiday (it was short and flew by) was spent enjoying Staithes and Sam getting to know me & Evie, which was a delight. I swam in the harbour each day which was gorgeous and we hung out at the beach and had ice-cream.

The only downside to a holiday is that it has to end! And those journeys back to the car weren’t much easier!