Brechsee (2)
14 April 2023
Post originally written in: Deutsch Information An automatic machine translation. Super fast and almost perfect.

A man stands on Innsbruck's oldest bridge and gazes silently at the water. Whispering, the turquoise-blue stream flows through the small Alpine town, steadily and since time immemorial. The man on the bank seems to listen attentively to the glacial stream, already a smile plays on his lips, the two understand each other. Uwe Schwinghammer is even so absorbed in the flow that he doesn't notice me until I'm standing next to him. His hot-off-the-press „Tiroler Wasser-Wanderbuch“ will be published at the end of the month. I was recently allowed to meet the author in person for a walk along the Inn - for a sprawling conversation between two water and hiking friends.

Everything flows - into one book.

Anyone who likes to stroll through Innsbruck is also familiar with the street newspaper 20er. In the past, this socially responsible publication cost exactly twenty shillings, and Uwe Schwinghammer wrote the monthly hiking tips. Today, you pay for the newspaper in euros, and Uwe now publishes his hiking tips in neatly bound book form. That makes perfect sense, since there are many more options, the author tells me. We have taken the Inn promenade and are heading purposefully for a small bay, because we want to be even closer to the water. By the way, the hiking water man knows his way around travel guides very well; three editions of the Marco Polo travel guide have already been published by him. The idea of the water hiking book was then almost obvious, he is simply so fond of the water himself, smiles the man in the direction of the river.

The lake at the end of the world.

We sit on a stone and watch the current. A stick drifts by, ducks bathe on the shore, two newlyweds kiss a little off to the side, it is a particularly beautiful atmospheric image. By the way, the atmospheric pictures in the hiking guide were taken by the author himself - the stock of pictures of the intended professional photographer was simply not sufficient for the water hiking book. Uwe went on some hikes several times, always in search of the perfect picture - such a change of weather surprises one in the mountains then particularly badly, he remembers of the last summer. Once he even sat at the wrong lake, the right one was just a bit further on, but the first one was also very beautiful, the hiker smiles into the water.

Of course I ask the expert about his favorite waters, and he tells me five: The Green and Black Lakes in Nauders, the latter a picturesque moorland lake with rare water lilies. Or the Blue Lakes in the Viggartal, which can be reached from the Patscherkofel and via the strangely "described Stoa" ( by the way, the hiking and wonder man Werner Kräutler recently deciphered it). Especially now in spring, the Grawa waterfall in the Stubai is also a true wonder of nature, because there the meltwater then thunders wild 180 meters into the depths. Perhaps the most beautiful view, on the other hand, can be enjoyed at Wildseeloder in the Kitzbühel Alps - here you can even paddle through the panorama in a boat! Last but not least, Uwe recommends the "lake at the end of the world" - you really have to earn the Roßkarsee in the Außerfern with its two waterfalls, but then you also lack the words, the writer assures me.

Land of streams, land of rivers, Innsbruck by the sea.

The „Tiroler Wasser-Wanderbuch“ gathers a whole 60 tours through North Tyrol with powerful images and eloquent, the author has experienced them all himself. Not at all self-evident, so an initially consulted accompanying book led the author in parts astray - was the author perhaps never there? No matter, because the hikes along the water are, with a few exceptions, even completely and comfortably accessible by public transport, and Uwe Schwinghammer adds their approach to each hike.

In the meantime, we have changed the bank of the Inn and made ourselves comfortable in a café on the river. We talk about the beauty of Innsbruck's Sill Gorge, the mystical Leutasch Ghost Gorge and the mystery of the temple at Hundstalsee, just a casual day's hike from my home village. The author has mastered a proud 24,000 meters of altitude in one summer; there is probably no body of water that he does not know personally. His hiking guide to the streams, lakes and rivers of the country will soon be available in bookstores. The Inn flows by silently, a seagull lands silently on the bank fence, we smile silently: Innsbruck by the sea.

Photos: The impressive landscape photos in this article were provided to us by book author Uwe Schwinghammer.

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