A Leap into Cold Water
I love the feeling of taking the plunge! I love this moment when the water prickles on the skin and I feel as though I am in a completely different world – a world in which only a little light strays and whose blue-green play of colours couldn't be more magnificent. Most of all, I love to emerge after a leap into the cool water and to see the water droplets flying away, illuminated by the sun's rays and surrounding me with thousands of glistening stars for a fraction of a second. You won't experience moments like these in an open-air swimming pool or at a crowded lido at a lake: they can only be found outdoors in the natural world. You can find them in wild streams which make their way through forests, down mountains and past hills; in mountain lakes which reflect the surrounding peaks and in rivers which form idyllic bays where you can enjoy life completely undisturbed.
Here I am, on the brink once again. On the brink of daring to jump and dive into the crystal-clear water. The rays of the sun find their way through the surrounding trees and shine in my face. What wonderful days here in the Salzburger Saalachtal once again! Not only for me, no, but for my whole family. And what an adventure to boot! We find ourselves on a very special mission! We are searching for the most beautiful places to pursue our passion of wild swimming. There are as many such spots here as grains of sand on a beach. Yesterday we spent the whole day in the Vorderkaser natural bathing area, a true paradise for young and old. The little ones built dams and splashed about in shallow water while the older children put their courage to the test and dared to jump from the rafts into the water with me. A great feature of the Vorderkaser is that there are barbecue sites where you can prepare your own food. This was a fantastic experience for our children and of course for us as well.
It is high time to jump; after all there are a few eyes watching me intently. As if in slow motion I push off and lose the ground below my feet. After breakfast we cycled to Lofer on our bikes and then set off on foot up the Waterfall Trail to the Almenwelt Lofer, always on the lookout for the best places to cool off during our hike. And voila, here we are! We were attracted by the roaring of the stream and after a few steps through the undergrowth we found this wonderful, completely hidden place: shallow water to play in, moss-covered rocks to relax on and this pool which is perfect for jumping in and having a lot of fun.
Returning to the jump! As I take flight towards the water I hear the whooping of the children as though through a veil. Nevertheless, it is always a challenge to
venture into the cool mountain water and to leave your own comfort zone but there really isn't a better feeling than this. Tomorrow, another one of the highlights of our holiday is on the agenda. After spending the morning visiting the Seisenberg Gorge in Weißbach bei Lofer we plan to return to the Almenwelt Lofer and try out Stand Up Paddling for the first time. Yes, you read that correctly, SUP on a mountain lake situated at 1,000 metres above sea level. That will be a fantastic experience!
Like I bomb I plunge into the water with my legs tucked up. If I have to be the first, the test pilot, then the others have to get a little wet at least. What an amazing feeling! Screaming loudly, I resurface and splash my audience again. In this moment, the next jumper strikes the water next to me and joins me in my noisy cheering. The happiness that can be found in wild swimming is simply infectious. It is a feeling that I can't do without and want to experience again and again, preferably here in the „white water“ of the Salzburger Saalachtal.