Girls on SUPs
A SUP Trip to Austria
Julia & Rob
It was not an easy decision, but in the end I had to choose Mondsee. Awe-inspiring mountains, the greens of nature all around and the blue-green water make this lake the absolutely perfect spot for Stand Up Paddle Boarding. And the best thing is that our camp site was directly on the lake. We had front row seats and could hop on our SUP's and paddle around at any time of day or night for those three days. And that is exactly what we did. We have really fallen in love with this outdoor life, so close to nature in our camping van – parking directly on the water or in the mountains. Mondsee lies in Upper Austria at the foot of the Drachenwand Mountain, which is amazingly impressive with its raw, steep, beautiful face, especially if you can enjoy the perfect view of the over 1100 meters high mountaintop from out on the lake. We were really lucky to have great weather that first evening. It was really warm and the gorgeous sunset lured us out onto the water. The occasional strong wind blew out of the south and so we decided to explore the south side of the lake. And it was more than worth it! The experience of paddling in the soft evening sunlight with the view of the Drachenwand and its neighbor the Schafberg was absolutely priceless. And we had it almost completely to ourselves. There was just one small sailboat still out on the lake. Even on other days, we only ever saw just a few other Paddlers. It is most likely more crowded in the summer vacation months, but no matter how crowded the camping site or beach bar get, one can always find peace and quiet out on the lake. We didn't have as much luck with the weather the next two days, however. Mother Nature showed us everything from sunshine, clouds and rain, to wind, thunderstorms and hail. But that is the great thing about life in the van, parked directly on the waterfront. With a constant eye on our weather apps, we took advantage of every small break in the rain to get out on the water, in surf leggings and sweatshirts instead of bikinis and shorts. These two days we paddled north. Straight to the town called Mondsee: along a small wooden bridge that belonged to a golf course , past lily pads, log cabins and tall reeds that lightly danced back and forth in the wind. It is exactly this closeness to nature and the never ending exploration of new terrain, that excites me so much about paddle boarding. Even after paddling the same lake for uncountable times, one can always find new and exciting hidden corners.
Mondsee is definitely more than it seems when driving by on the expressway from Munich to Vienna. It is definitely worth it to take the exit and make a stop. Those who have a Stand Up Paddle Board with them will most certainly love it and most definitely return.
Anja & Chris
„What a cool place!“. I do have to admit that I find myself saying this quite often when I visit new spots with my Stand Up Paddle Board, but I couldn't stop myself from being over excited when I got to Traunsee. It would be tempting to crown each lake as the most beautiful spot due to its clear blue water. However, it wasn't the color of the water that inspired us on Traunsee, but that this lake was just what our adventurer souls needed. We were also travelling in our van and we camped at a sort of gathering place for all sorts of water sport athletes. Kitesurfer, windsurfer and Stand Up Paddler sat together on the shore in the evenings. Even a few hikers and climbers were there. Every one of them hoping for perfect weather conditions on the next day. A glass of wine combined with a view over the entire length of the lake –a total of 12 kilometers-- made everything just perfect. Then it was time for bed...in the van, because our mission was : Sunrise!
That meant getting up at shortly after four the next morning : why does the sun always have to rise so damn early? Oh well, that's the way it is. We found a perfect parking space, pumped up the boards and there they were: the first warm sun rays carefully streaming over the huge Traunstein mountain. The almost 1700 meters high rock face falls almost vertically in the water directly before us. From down here, we can only imagine what good climbers those guys from last night must be if this rough giant was their goal for today. We thankfully think to ourselves : “Good that it is them and not us!“ – and off we glide onto the mirror-like surface of the lake. We gain access to the lake over a stairway that leads us through a gate made of trees and branches that couldn't have been painted more beautifully. There is nobody here besides us – that is the true magic of sunrises. We glide along, sometimes not speaking for minutes at a time, because it is so quiet. We paddle south in the direction of a peninsula near Traunkirchen, that seems to have been taken directly out of a fairy tale. The Maria Krönung Church sits peacefully high atop the steep cliffs and some meters above it is the Johannesberg chapel. Beautiful!! The perfect post card picture.
Making sure we stay fit, a strong headwind blows against our faces as we paddle the way back. We reach the comfort and safety of our van and now it is the wind surfers' turn to explore this beautiful lake. Traunsee – The lake of your dreams!