There are always specific stories that people love from their travels. There is always something unique, something strange, or even something hilarious that pops into your head immediately after hearing the name of a country that you have visited. Whether it be from a night out, a situation at a restaurant, a language barrier, an adventurous day or anything else… we all have that one moment that we will always remember from a trip.
At the end of 2018 we were road tripping through Europe, trying to hit as many countries as we could in about a 40 day span (we managed 10). Austria was high on both our lists so we made sure that we had enough time to explore the small mountainous country before we made our way south to Africa. Whenever I think of Austria now I think of one specific day and that day will most likely be forever engrained in my mind as “Austria”. We were BIG into hiking at that point. Our photography skills were so elementary that we literally depended on epic backdrops to give us some form of eye catching value. The effort required to do this was substantial and also a daily requirement for us while we tried to get our Instagram page off the ground. It worked… it undoubtedly paid off in the end, but it was wildly exhausting during this phase.
Kelly is the planner for the majority of the locations that we hit, so naturally she was on the research detail to determine which hikes had views that were worth the effort. We did quite a few hikes during our time in Austria but the one that sticks out for us as the best is Olpererhütte. This is a name that is probably very unfamiliar to a lot of you, but the stunning photography that is produced from this location will probably be something that you are actually familiar with.
The hike took us about two hours or so to complete, bottom to top, and provided some incredible views on the way up. The reason people do this hike is because the mountain side you traverse overlooks another part of the same range and there is a perfect, still blue lake nestled into the mountains. The Olpererhütte is actually a little restaurant at the top where you can purchase coffees, beers, or select food options and enjoy the view from a heated location. We were there in the early fall and it was already getting quite chilly.
We made this hike a priority because of the incredible view but also because of the dramatic photography that can be created on the hanging bridge. Just a little way up from the Olpererhütte there is a stream that runs gently down the mountain side. It is full of rocks and the water just moves slowly around them. At some times of the year the flow may be more intense but when we were there you could stand on the rocks and not get wet. Anyway, there is a bridge that hangs over the flowing water just before a decently steep drop-off. If you take a photo from behind the bridge, looking toward the lake, you can make it seem as though the bridge is hanging over absolute nothingness. These are the kinds of shots that we like to take.
Playing with perspective has always been one of our most favorite things to do with photography and when we saw this spot it was a no-brainer… we had to go. We actually took the photo you see here with our drone because we didn’t have any other camera equipment aside from our iPhones - and we didn’t even have a tripod. We were roughing it back then when it came to taking photos and that is one of the reasons we find this specific day always at the top of our minds when we think of Austria. We walked all the way up this mountainside just to use our drone to take a photo of us sitting on a hanging bridge. There were a few people up there taking photos as well, but us using the drone made it hilarious for everyone. We clearly didn’t know what we were doing and we actually didn’t even take the photo at the angle we wanted.
This was the first perspective photo that we ever took, actually, and it certainly wasn’t the last. We always look back on our past work and find some of them to be genuinely funny because we remember what we had to do in order to get that shot. So many memories of hitting the timer on our iPhone and then sprinting to get into place before the shutter went off.
If Austria is on the list for you we really recommend taking a day to do this hike. It is absolutely gorgeous and you can very easily get a photo just like the one we shared here.