There’s a craze in the Austrian Zugspitze Arena this summer that’s gotten hold of Collett’s guests and hosts – and it’s not lederhosen!
Stamp collecting. It doesn’t sound very glamorous….. and it doesn’t sound like something at the top of the usual holiday ‘To Do’ list either! However, the spectacular scenery and associated orienteering challenges have quickly turned Collett’s Austria guests and hosts into fervent & competitive stamp hunters.
On arrival, guests are issued with a Stempel (stamp) book with 61 blank and expectant spaces. Many guests smile wryly when we first explain this novelty, but within a couple of days they are making special journeys & choosing specific walks to boost their potential Stempel scores!
32 of these can be satisfied by visiting Huts (Hütte) in the Zugspitz Arena area – but don’t worry, you aren’t obliged to buy 32 drinks to accompany them! The Stempel are often kept in little boxes on the outside of the hut, or on the counter inside. These visits do present a good opportunity to sample the outstanding local mountain fayre though. Strudel in Austria is a must! The remaining 29 Stempel are dotted around the Arena, along some of the highlighted panoramic footpaths and at significant scenery viewing points.
All of the Stempel are different and have a collection rewards system: Bronze (4), Silver (7), Gold (10), Alpine (10 + 1 from an ‘Alpine Hut’) and Crystal (20 + 1 Alpine). There are beautiful little pin badges available to buy from the Tourist Information Centre when you achieve each level – a fine memento of the holiday!
It’s very possible to achieve Gold on a week’s holiday, with the more hardened walkers making it to Alpine – found in the least accessible places. But: could you be the first Collett’s Crystal of 2015? Our Stempel Record Book is waiting for your signature!
Many thanks to Sam and Helen, two of our local hosts and walk organisers, for the photos and blog.