Wild flowers and an eagle on the Rofan

Once again the valley was full of mist but by mid morning it had cleared and we decided to take a ride on the Rofanseilbahn, the cable car that takes you up the Rofan mountains.

A 10 minute journey took us up to just over 1800 m and the views were superb.

586

                                The track heading towards the Gschollkopf.

We set off along the wide track and soon we were both taking pictures.

605

Before long I spotted some wild flowers. I was soon down on my hands and knees and then lying down to get a low viewpoint.

I wanted to try and get the flowers in their alpine setting and even though I got some funny looks from people passing by I think I got my images.

Wild flowers on the Rofan

My find of the day was the Stemless Carline Thistle, Carlina acaulis.

662 Stemless Carline Thistle - Copy658 Stemless Carline Thistle - Copy

As the name implies this flower grows close to the ground and the flower head rests directly upon a basal leaf rosette. The rhizome contains a number of essential oils including carlina oxide which is antibacterial and has been used externally to treat wounds. The roots were once used in herbal medicine as  a diuretic and cold remedy.

There were also several species of Gentian but as yet I have been unable to identify them.

616 Gentian617 Gentian

So what about the Eagle. It was not an eagle at all, just the local name given to the Skyglider AirRofan. This pulls people seeking an adrenaline rush from the plateau to the peak of the Gschollkopf mountain (2040m). You are attached to a zip wire in groups of four in a construction vaguely shaped like an eagle. Once at the top the brake is released and you swoop down the 200 metres reaching speeds of up to 80 kph.

Not for the faint hearted.

671 AirRofan700 The Eagle

675 The Eagle

At the top of the Gschollkopf there is a metallic structure, the Adlerhorst (Eyrie) Viewing Platform giving uninterrupted views of the Rofan and Karwendel mountains.

Just watching was enough excitement for me so we went back to the Almstubert for a coffee and to gaze out at the mountains, the distant peaks covered in snow.

About crosbyman66

My aim is to create a photo diary of my walks and my travels. I have two main hobbies, walking and photography and these complement each other. I am a senior citizen, what used to be called an old age pensioner, but I don't feel old. Since retirement I have had more time to pursue my hobbies and the opportunity to travel more. My philosophy now is - Do what you can, while you can. My other interests are fine wines and keeping fit. These may not complement each other but keep me happy.
This entry was posted in Austria, Natural History, Photography, Travel, Wild Flowers. Bookmark the permalink.

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