Aug 22, 2012

italian diaries - part 1

“If you are faced with a mountain, you have several options.
You can climb it and cross to the other side.
You can ignore it and pretend it’s not there.
You can turn around and go back the way you came.
Or you can stay on the mountain and make it your home.”
― Vera Nazarian

At last, here's the first part of my Italian photo diary. The next posts will not be just one day of the trip, but since we took quite some photos on our way to Italy itself, this will be a post on its own.
The trip took 13,5 hours, which is quite long, but we had quite some stops and since we left early, we didn't really mind. 

Austria in the clouds

Our holiday really seems to begin when we reach the top of the Timmelsjoch, a mountain of 2509 meters which you have to go over when you want to go from Austria to Italy. We always stop on the top, exactly a meter before the Italian border, so just like 'A Walk To Remember', we got to be in two places at the same time. Last year, it was snowing and it was freezing, but nevertheless we ran away in shorts and t-shirts. This year, we had about 10 degrees celsius and a little bit of sun. Simon, my little cousin and I had been looking forward to taking photos here the whole year.

Going up on the Timmelsjoch

Brecht and I, dancing on the edge of a ravine.

After standing on the edge of the rocks for a while, my older cousin Brecht (who is ironically still younger than me) discovered an abandoned house/ruin right below us. (There was so much fog we never noticed the building.) Fearless as guys are, he just went over there and just seeing him being so small there was breathtaking, but hey, I wouldn't be Karen if I didn't want to stand there too. So with my camera around my neck, I went down there too. A few near-dead experiences later, I got there, camera alive and all. We snapped some more pictures and after we got back on the road, and my cousin laid on it, we got back in the car, continuing the most exciting part of the journey. 

Brecht standing on the old house.

Trying not to fall while climbing down.

Brecht on the building, not caring about falling through it, obviously.

On the building, taken by Brecht.

Whooo creepy!

Typical happy family portrait

Simon fearlessly laying on the Asutrian - Italian border.

After ten years, there are traditions and uses, known places and memories. Every year, we stop at the same cafe, where I eat strawberries with the typical Austrian unsweetened whipped cream. We remember the place our 11-years-in-Italy friends picked us up the first time and on the road where you have a perfect view of the mountain the hotel is located on, we look for the hotel and for the first time, I actually find it.
By the time we reach Merano, certain songs start to play (Human Highway – The Sound – my all time favourite song and Lou Bega – Lucky Punch – our summer song) and we cheer every time the temperature goes up. (24 – 26 – 29 – 30!!!!!!)

Taken by Simon

The Italian valley.

Simon and I

After our car once again succeeds to drive up the steep hill, we see the hotel and the apple gardens surrounding us. And it doesn't feel like holiday, it feels like coming home. Whenever I see the pool, the people who return every year and Mimi, the cat, I don't think I ever feel as complete as I do in that moment.


  1. Beautiful photos! Its looks amazing there!

  2. Wow, I absolutely love the photos! This is super gorgeous!

  3. BEAUTIFUL !!! I can't stop seeing them :'(

  4. The clouds look absolutely amazing. It seems so unreal, like another world!

  5. Oh my goodness these are so good! I love all four of your posts, you captured Italy perfectly.