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Austria's most beautiful panoramic roads

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PRISONERS ON THE HOCHTOR

PRISONERS ON THE HOCHTOR The exact period of mounting the figurine of Hercules, which can be dated long before the birth of Christ, is not clear. One thing is for sure that the coins were offerings of the travellers. Numerous other findings like spears, brooches, swords, necklaces and decorative places prove that men have moved across the high alpine pass together with the horses and mules. That they all were not voluntarily away, is proven by the finding of an eight-metres-long ankle chain: Prince-bishops of Salzburg declared the service in the galley as a punishment. Therefore, some could be released with the help of family or friends on the way to Venice. 20 Video: Historic Grossglockner High Alpine Road. ON THE SAFE WAYS Today, one has the best opportunity to volunteer to travel: The Grossglockner High Alpine Road offers wonderful opportunities to learn about nature on short, or longer, trails. Nature trails invite one to discover the flora of the Hohe Tauern National Park with its over 1,800 plant species. Eyebright, Hawkweed, Dandelions, Anthyllis, Bell flowers and Plantain grow at approximately 1,600 metres above sea level along the loop road that runs through the Piffkar Special Protected Area. Cliff-settlers like lichen and moose, flowering plants like Ducat flowers, early thyme or the Alps-rock rose edge the road through the larch meadows. In the area surrounding the “Haus Alpine Naturschau” you get information about a nature trail across the “Welt der Flechten im Hochgebirge” (The Realm of Lichens in the High Mountains) and across the different types of rocks occurring in the Grossglockner area. “GAMSGRUBE” SPECIAL PROTECTED AREA Unique in its offerings is the Gamsgrube trail to the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe: Hikers can here explore the high mountain regions at the foot of the Grossglockner and explore high over the Pasterze glacier, in a gentle walk at almost 2,600 metres above sea level. The legend about the origin of the Pasterze glacier is impressively dramatised in the tunnels at the beginning of the high alpine path. The “Gamsgrube” special protected area behind the Hofmannshütte is off limits to visitors. Therefore: Stay on the trail! Here one finds the largest marmot colony in the Hohe Tauern, and the last good chance to see mountain goats. It pays to keep one’s eyes open for other alpine highlights, however: From the path one sees sand pyramids, cushion plants and unique flora such as the “Alpenbreitschote” (Braya alpina), often seen on

1 2 3 GROSSGLOCKNER HIGH ALPINE ROAD 21 mountain peaks. At the end of the Gamsgrubenweg one encounters the “Wasserfallwinkl” with “Austria’s most beautiful refreshment area”. TRAVELLING WITH RANGER Those who would like to set out with a ranger, has an opportunity for this at the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe. The ranger explains the legends, which trail around the Pasterze glacier and discuss the historic incidents: Such as the Glockner first ascents, the development of the alpinism in the region, the origin of the national park idea, about the mining industry in the Glockner area as well as about the mule tracks. They explain the mountain peaks and how they got their names and know the places, where special plants grow, which one cannot find alone. The current Ranger Programme can be found at www.nationalpark-hohetauern.at and www.nationalpark.at 1 The marmots are the cute companions along the Grossglockner High Alpine Road. 2 Hiking at the Gamsgrubenweg with fantastic Glockner sighting. 3 The Margaritzen Reservoir with the view of the Johannisberg (3,453 m) in the foreground of the longest glacier in the Eastern Alps, the Pasterze glacier (approximately 8 km long).